10:56 GMT +314 October 2019
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    Trump's NATO Remarks 'Real Mistake' as Alliance Important to US

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    Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders said US President-elect Donald Trump's statements regarding NATO as an obsolete organization were "worrying."

    OSCOW (Sputnik) — The Dutch minister's comments were echoed by other European politicians. On Monday, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said the European Union must stand united in the face of Trump’s comments, while his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier admitted that Trump’s comments were met with "astonishment," but noted the existing "contradiction" between Trump’s message and that of his nominated cabinet, calling for a wait-and-see approach.

    "We need to sit down with Trump as soon as possible, because NATO is important for the US too. There are mutual interests," Koenders was quoted as saying by Dutch News on Monday in Brussels where he attended a meeting of European foreign ministers.

    Koenders also stressed that "in an unsafe world to say that we no longer need NATO" would be "a real mistake."

    On Monday, in an interview with The Times newspaper, Trump called NATO an "obsolete" organization, since it was not much engaged in countering terrorism, arguing its member countries' contributions were not efficient.

    "We can see that he has less faith in institutions such as the UN, NATO and the EU. How that translates in practice remains to be seen," Koenders said.

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