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Trump backtracks, says NATO 'no longer obsolete'

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By Euronews  with Reuters
Trump backtracks, says NATO 'no longer obsolete'

<p>US President Donald Trump has backtracked on his campaign-trail criticism of <span class="caps">NATO</span>.</p> <p>“I said it was obsolete. It’s no longer obsolete,” he said of the 28-member organisation.</p> <p>However, he reiterated his push for all nations in the alliance to pay their fair share.</p> <p>His comments came during a visit to the White House by <span class="caps">NATO</span> Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg.</p> <p>Stoltenberg said the meeting between the two had been excellent and productive. Trump appeared to agree.</p> <p>“The secretary-general and I had a productive discussion about what more <span class="caps">NATO</span> can do in the fight against terrorism. I complained about that a long time ago and they made a change, and now they do fight terrorism. I said it was obsolete. It’s no longer obsolete. (…) In facing our common challenges we must also ensure that <span class="caps">NATO</span> members meet their financial obligations and pay what they owe. Many have not been doing that,” said Trump.</p> <p>He also thanked <span class="caps">NATO</span> for supporting his decision to launch 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian air base a week earlier.</p> <p>Since taking office, Trump has expressed some support for <span class="caps">NATO</span> and last month the US Senate overwhelmingly backed allowing Montenegro to join the organisation.</p> <p>The US is said to have supported the expansion in the hope of sending a message that it will resist Russian efforts to increase its influence across Europe.</p>