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Trump administration challenge for Europe, France's Hollande says

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) and French President Francois Hollande attend a joint press conference prior to talks in the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, January 27, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

French President Francois Hollande has warned that the new US administration led by President Donald Trump poses "challenges" for Europe amid concerns over a series of controversial policies adopted or expected to be taken by the billionaire mogul.

Hollande made the remarks at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the German capital, Berlin, on Friday.

"Let's speak very frankly, there are challenges, there are the challenges the US administration poses to our trade rules, as well as to our ability to resolve conflicts around the world," President Hollande stated.

He also underlined the need for dialogue with Trump, adding, however, that the task should be done "with a European conviction and the promotion of our interests and our values."

The rise of "extremists" on the continent was a major threat to the European Union, the French president further warned.

Merkel, for her part, confirmed that "global conditions are changing dramatically and quickly."

Urging European unity in the face of the threats, she said, "We must respond to these new challenges, both in terms of defending a free society and defending free trade, as well as in terms of the economic challenges."

US President Donald Trump holds up an executive order on the withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) after signing it in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, January 23, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)

Earlier this month, Trump caused worry in NATO as he called the western military alliance "obsolete." He further said many NATO member states were not paying their fair share for US protection.

On January 23, he canceled the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP), a flagship trade deal with 11 countries in the Pacific rim.

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The US president is also expected to scrap the agreement's European equivalent, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and renegotiate the North American Free Trade Area (Nafta).

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