Trump backtracks, says North Atlantic Treaty Organisation 'no longer obsolete'
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 13, 2017,
Apr 13, 2017, 20:31
"In a joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the White House on Wednesday, President Donald Trump said the slaughter of innocent civilians should be forcefully rejected by any nation, and he called on NATO members to work together to resolve the disaster now taking place in Syria".
Trump spoke at a news conference alongside NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, whom he welcomed to the White House on an official trip.
"I complained about that a long time ago and they made a change".
During the campaign Trump roundly criticized the alliance, which came into being in 1949 as a collective defense network against the Soviet Union.
Stoltenberg, 58, the former prime minister of Norway, said he trusted Trump commitment to the organization, as well as his leadership skills because he was "elected by the people of America, elected by a democratic process in a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation country". "Big statement to make when you don't know that much about it, but I learn quickly".
However, President Trump did not fail to describe the Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, as a "butcher" following the use of chemical weapons.
Trump made the issue a major foreign policy point during his campaign, and repeatedly raised it at Wednesday's press conference.
Asked about Russia's prior knowledge about the Syrian government's alleged use of chemical weapons, Trump said it's "possible", but "unlikely" that Russian Federation had known in advance of Syria's plan to launch a chemical weapons attack on its own citizens. We had a very good bonding, I think we had a very good chemistry together, I think he wants to help us with North Korea.
Stoltenberg said ensuring that the cost burden is better shared amongst the member countries has become a top priority for him. "Now we are stepping up our efforts to fight global terrorism", Stoltenberg said.
All NATO countries have agreed to spend 2 percent of their gross domestic product on their own defense by 2024, but only a few of the member countries now meet that goal. We talked trade. We talked a lot of things. "Many have not been doing that", said Trump.