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U.S. President Donald Trump (R) arrives at a joint news conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in the East Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 12, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that NATO is not obsolete, as he had declared on the campaign trail last year, but said NATO members still need to pay their fair share for the European security umbrella.

At a news conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Trump thanked NATO members for their support of his decision last Thursday to launch 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian airfield in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack on civilians and said it was time to end Syria's civil war.

"I said it was obsolete. It's no longer obsolete," Trump said, adding that the Transatlantic alliance was adapting to the broader mission against Islamic militants that he had urged.

Stoltenberg said he had an excellent and productive meeting in the Oval Office with Trump.

(Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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