• EU Parliament leaders reject US envoy pick

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    BRUSSELS: European Parliament leaders on Thursday urged the EU to reject Ted Malloch if he is named US President Donald Trump’s ambassador to Brussels, calling him hostile to the bloc.

    The leaders of the main parliamentary groups said Malloch, whom they called Trump’s likely choice, has openly backed the dissolution of the 28-nation European Union much like the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    The leaders of the conservative European People’s Party, the largest group in the parliament, the Socialists and Democrats and the liberal ALDE group wrote to European Council President Donald Tusk urging him not to accept Malloch’s credentials if he is appointed ambassador.

    “The prospective nominee… eloquently supported dissolution of the European Union and explicitly bet on the demise of the common currency within months,” EPP chairman Manfred Weber and ALDE President Guy Verhofstadt wrote in their letter.

    “These statements reveal outrageous malevolence regarding the values that define this European Union,” they wrote.

    They warned that if such remarks come from an official US representative, they could harm the transatlantic relationship that has preserved peace and prosperity for seven decades.

    “We are strongly convinced that persons seeing as their mission to disrupt or dissolve the European Union, should not be accredited as official representatives to the EU,” they added.

    Socialists and Democrats leader Gianni Pittella warned that Malloch’s appointment could “potentially contribute to the spread of populism and euroscepticism across Europe.”

    He added: “Malloch should not be accepted as an official representative to the EU and should be declared ‘persona non grata’.”

    Malloch is a professor at the Henley Business School in the English city of Reading. The Henley website said he held an ambassadorial level position at the United Nations in Geneva from 1988-1991 and has served on the executive board of the World Economic Forum.

    Earlier this month, the departing US ambassador to the EU, Anthony Gardner, warned that the Trump administration would be committing “sheer folly” if it supports the bloc’s breakup.

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