US President-elect Donald Trump boards the elevator after escorting Martin Luther King III to the lobby after meetings at Trump Tower in New York City on January 16, 2017. / AFP / DOMINICK REUTER
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European Union nations reacted with surprise and defiance Monday to Donald Trump's comments that he believed NATO was "obsolete" and that more member states would leave the 28-nation EU.At a meeting of EU foreign ministers, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said the best response to such an interview was simple – a united Europe.Although Trump had made similar statements about NATO during his election campaign, his recent comments still came as a bit of a surprise since his choice for defense secretary, retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, stressed his support for the NATO military alliance in his U.S. congressional confirmation hearing last week.A German newspaper group reports that Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite has urged Trump to continue meeting the U.S.' obligations toward the alliance.Trump indicated he was indifferent to whether the EU stays together or not, a sharp break from the Obama administration, which encouraged British people to vote to remain in the EU in the June referendum.
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