Trump Will Remain Committed To NATO, Obama Says

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent
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U.S. President Barack Obama ensured NATO members that President-elect Donald Trump will remain committed to the alliance.

Trump called NATO “obsolete” and lashed out at U.S. allies for not contributing enough to the common defense during his presidential campaign. Trump’s victory has alarmed foreign leaders who fear for the future of NATO.

Obama said Trump has assured him that he will continue to work toward achieving existing goals.

“He expressed a great interest in maintaining our core strategic relationships,” Obama said during his first news conference since the election. “And so, one of the messages I will be able to deliver is his commitment to NATO and the Transatlantic Alliance.”

Obama said one of his main goals will be to deliver Trump’s commitment when he makes his last trip to Europe as president.

“I think that’s one of the most important functions I can serve at this stage during this trip,” he said.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned Trump Sunday that “going it alone is not an option.” (RELATED: NATO Head Warns Trump That ‘Going At It Alone Is Not An Option’)

Trump’s criticism appears to already have an effect on European allies. The European Union agreed to a new defense plan Monday, which aims to make countries less reliant on the U.S. The new plan will make it possible to send rapid response forces abroad for the first time.

“Europe needs to be able to act for its own security,” French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told reporters Monday.

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