Donald Trump declares North Atlantic Treaty Organisation 'no longer obsolete' in major u-turn

Shifting his stance on foreign policies in less than three months, American President Donald Trump has gone back on his views on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation being obsolete and China for currency manipulation.

Trump, who ran for the White House on a pledge to shake up the status quo in Washington, repeatedly lashed out at China during the campaign, accusing Beijing of being a "grand champion" of currency manipulation.

The meeting could be colored by the fact that Trump has previously called the alliance "obsolete", but aides said the discussion would focus on ways to goad North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member countries to increase military spending and focus more attention on stopping terror attacks. "I think that the secretary general has made clear that he also views it as a priority to get allies to shoulder a greater burden of defense investment and so the president and secretary general are likely to see eye to eye on that issue", the official said.

Trump was speaking to reporters at the White House on Wednesday alongside Stoltenberg after giving him a warm welcome and praising the organization as "the bulwark of global peace and security".

"I said it was obsolete".

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In the past the President had been hugely critical of the alliance, which has been in existence since 1949. "I phoned him just after he was elected".

But on Wednesday Trump said he had growing concerns about Russia's support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

He said "we may be at an all-time low in terms of our relationship with Russia", but said it would be "a fantastic thing" if the relationship could improve with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Ahead of that visit, Trump had predicted "difficult" discussions on trade.

  • Adam Floyd