Washington D.C. [United States], Apr. 13 : U.S. President Donald Trump has taken a u-turn over his stand on NATO by saying that he no longer considers it to be 'obsolete'.
"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," the Washington Post quoted Trump as saying during a joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday.
Trump had been consistently critical of NATO and its importance to U.S. allies. He had called NATO as an outdated organisation and said that it is costing the United States too much money.
Trump had even suggested replacing it with an alternative organization focused on counterterrorism and repeatedly using the word 'obsolete' for it.
Stoltenberg said that NATO had established a new division for intelligence, which had enhanced its ability to fight terrorism and working together in the alliance to fight terrorism in an even more effective way.
"But we agreed today, you and I, that NATO can and must do more in the global fight against terrorism," he said.
Calling on NATO members to meet their financial obligations, Trump said that member-nations are expected to contribute two percent of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to defence.
Stoltenberg said ensuring that the cost burden is better shared amongst the member countries has become a top priority for him.
Thanking NATO members for condemning Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons, the US President said he has absolutely no doubt over the U.S.
strikes in Syria as it was a right thing. He added that it was done very successfully. Trump described his meeting with NATO Secretary General as 'great' and said that that the two agreed on the importance of getting countries to pay their fair share (and) focus on the threat of terrorism.
"Great meeting w/ NATO Sec. Gen. We agreed on the importance of getting countries to pay their fair share (and) focus on the threat of terrorism," Trump tweeted.
Trump described Bashar al-Assad as "a butcher" for the chemical attack which the United States Government has accused him of carrying out on his own civilians.