Key members back Mark Rutte as future NATO chief — RT World News

Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg is scheduled to step down next October, after extending his term for an additional year

The United States, Britain and other key members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) said they would support Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte as the military bloc's new leader, as the current secretary-general prepares to end his ten-year term.

The White House expressed its support for Rutte on Thursday, with National Security Council spokesman John Kirby telling reporters that Washington had already conveyed its position to other member states.

“The United States has made clear to our allies, to our allies in NATO, that we believe Mr. Rutte will be an excellent Secretary General of NATO,” he added. He said.

Berlin also announced its support for Rutte, with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's office describing the outgoing Prime Minister as… “Outstanding Candidate” To take over the position of Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

“Chancellor Schulz supports Mark Rutte's nomination to be the new Secretary General of NATO” Schulz's spokesman, Stephen Hebstreit, wrote in a social media post. Rottie praised “His enormous experience, great expertise in security policy, and strong diplomatic skills.”

Britain took the same position. He added, “The United Kingdom strongly supports Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rotter to succeed Jens Stoltenberg as Secretary-General of NATO.” A government spokesman said in a statement to the British media.

A senior French official told Reuters that President Emmanuel Macron was an early supporter of Rutte, and discussed the matter with him last year.

However, while unnamed diplomats told Reuters that 16 other NATO countries also favored Rutte for the role, his appointment would require a unanimous vote from the bloc's 31 members. The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs indicated that Warsaw did not announce its support for any candidate, while officials in Hungary and Turkey did not announce their positions.

Stoltenberg – a former prime minister of Norway – is due to take up his post as NATO's 13th Secretary-General in 2014, ending his ten-year term in October. Although he was originally supposed to leave office in October 2022, members ultimately voted twice to extend his term for another year, citing continuity. “Security challenges” associated with the conflict in Ukraine.

Rutte has served four terms as Prime Minister since 2010, making him the longest-serving leader in Dutch history. Before last year's elections, he said he would retire from politics once a new government was formed, and would remain in a caretaker position until the process was completed.

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