Trump says NATO not obsolete, reversing campaign stance

U.S. President Donald Trump and NATO Secretary General share commitment to fight Islamic State in the Middle East, as Trump urges NATO to “meet their financial obligations, and pay what they owe.”

WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES (APRIL 12, 2017) (REUTERS) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday (April 12) that NATO is not obsolete, as he had declared on the campaign trail last year, but said NATO members still need to pay their fair share for the European security umbrella.

At a news conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Trump thanked NATO members for their support of his decision last Thursday to launch 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian airfield in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack on civilians and said it was time to end Syria’s civil war.

“I said it was obsolete. It’s no longer obsolete,” Trump said, adding that the Transatlantic alliance was adapting to the broader mission against Islamic militants that he had urged.

Stoltenberg said he had an excellent and productive meeting in the Oval Office with Trump, and condemned a recent chemical weapons attack in Syria that killed dozens, including children.