Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte Appointed as New NATO Secretary-General

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BRUSSELS, June 26 (Reuters) – NATO announced on Wednesday that Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte will be the next Secretary-General of the alliance, amid ongoing tensions with Russia and uncertainty about the future U.S. stance towards NATO.

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Rutte’s appointment was finalized after Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, his only competitor for the role, withdrew from the race last week due to a lack of support.

Rutte will assume the position on October 1, succeeding Jens Stoltenberg of Norway, who is stepping down after ten years. The decision was made by ambassadors from NATO’s 32 member countries during a meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

Expressing his enthusiasm, Rutte stated, “The Alliance is and will remain the cornerstone of our collective security. Leading this organization is a responsibility I do not take lightly,” in a post on X.

Rutte received early backing from key alliance members, including the United States, Britain, France, and Germany. Initially, there was some hesitation from Eastern European countries, who felt the position should go to someone from their region for the first time. However, they ultimately supported Rutte, who is known for his strong stance against Russian President Vladimir Putin and his unwavering support for Ukraine.

Jens Stoltenberg welcomed Rutte’s selection warmly, saying, “Mark is a true transatlanticist, a strong leader, and a consensus-builder. I know I am leaving NATO in good hands.”

Rutte, who is leaving Dutch politics after nearly 14 years as prime minister, faced the requirement of unanimous approval from all 32 NATO members, as the alliance operates by consensus.

As the new Secretary-General, Rutte will face the challenge of maintaining allied support for Ukraine amidst its conflict with Russia, while also ensuring NATO avoids direct involvement in the war. Additionally, he must prepare for the potential return of NATO-skeptic Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency, which has caused concern among NATO leaders due to Trump’s previous questioning of the U.S. commitment to the alliance.

By Naija247news
By Naija247newshttps://www.naija247news.com/
Naija247news is an investigative news platform that tracks news on Nigerian Economy, Business, Politics, Financial and Africa and Global Economy.

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