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President Donald Trump and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg participate in a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, April 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Reversing an earlier position, President Trump applauds NATO, 'no longer obsolete'


Reversing an earlier position on the campaign trail, President Trump mostly applauded the work of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization--an intergovernmental military alliance--declaring it's "no longer obsolete." The stunning shift in position surfaced during joint press conference at the White House with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

Reversing an earlier position, President Trump applauds NATO, 'no longer obsolete'

WATCH | President Trump and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speak at a joint press conference. 

Trump, who noted that NATO is about to celebrate its 68th year, called the alliance the "bulwark of international peace and security." He also spoke at length about the Syrian crisis, expressing his gratuity for the NATO condemnation of the "disaster that took place in Syria."

Though the 45th-commander-in-chief mostly praised the work of the alliance, Trump also brought up a frequently cited talking point on the campaign trail: urging NATO allies to contribute a fair share of its GDP to defense.

Stoltenberg echoed the remarks shared by Trump, agreeing that allies must contribute more to defense instead of relying on larger Western powers like the United States. In fact, he said he made "burden sharing" his top priority--continuingly bringing it up in meetings.

"Not we see things moving in the right direction," he said, noting the increase in military spending in Europe and Canada.

On the topic of Russia, Trump noted the deteriorating relations with the country and leader he once praised. He acknowledged the "all time low" relations with Russia following the chemical attack in Syria last week.

However, he expressed his desire to "get along with everybody," including Russia. Trump said it would be "fantastic" if the U.S. could get along with Putin.

On the same topic, Stoltenberg also noted the increase in troops on the Eastern front of Europe.


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