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UK backs outgoing Dutch PM Rutte to become next NATO Chief

Tan KW
Publish date: Thu, 22 Feb 2024, 11:56 PM
Tan KW
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LONDON -Britain is backing outgoing Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to succeed Jens Stoltenberg as the next secretary general of the NATO alliance, the Foreign Office said on Thursday.

Rutte, who is considered the favourite to take over when Stoltenberg stands down in October after a decade in the role, signalled his interest in the job last year.

The Foreign Office said Rutte was a well respected figure across NATO with serious defence and security credentials, and someone who would ensure the alliance remained strong and prepared for any need to defend itself.

Rutte, the longest-serving leader of the Netherlands, unexpectedly announced his departure from Dutch politics in July, but remains in post as a caretaker leader while coalition negotiations continue following a Nov. 22 election.

Stoltenberg's term was extended in July last year for a fourth time, as the alliance opted to stick with an experienced leader rather than try to agree on a successor with Russia's war in Ukraine raging on NATO's doorstep.


  - Reuters


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