Ayrault Says U.S. Unlikely to Halt Fight Against Islamic State

A Donald Trump administration would be unlikely to stop the coalition fight against Islamic State or leave the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said.

In an interview on Europe1 radio, Ayrault said officials from his ministry will be traveling to Washington D.C. next week to meet representatives from Trump’s transition team.

Trump indicated during his campaign he wanted the U.S. to pull back from commitments abroad and cast doubt on U.S. commitments to defend NATO members.

“Donald Trump said he wanted NATO countries to pay more and I’m sure he’ll want to sort out who pays what, but he’s unlikely to want to leave the NATO alliance,” Ayrault said.

Trump’s victory should be an impetus for European Union countries to cooperate more on defense issues, Ayrault said. It will take time to see what Trump’s foreign policy will look like, the French official added.

“The election hasn’t prevented me from sleeping,” he said. “I was less surprised than you might imagine.”

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