Dutch PM Mark Rutte Would Make 'Excellent' NATO Chief: White House


(MENAFN- The Peninsula) AFP

Washington: Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, the front-runner to become the next head of NATO, would make an "excellent" chief of the trans-Atlantic alliance, the White House said on Thursday.

"The United States has made it clear to our allies, our NATO allies, that we believe Mr Rutte would be an excellent secretary general for NATO," National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told journalists.

Britain and Germany on Thursday threw their weight behind Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to become NATO's next secretary general, at a crucial time for the alliance as Russia's war against Ukraine rages on.

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Rutte is the frontrunner to replace Jens Stoltenberg, even though a shock win for the far-right at the recent general election in his homeland risks tarnishing his legacy.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's spokesman said Britain "does strongly back Dutch PM Mark Rutte to succeed Jens Stoltenberg as NATO secretary general".

He said the UK wanted a candidate who would "keep NATO strong and deliver on the alliance's NATO 2030 vision".

Rutte, he said, was "well respected across the alliance, has serious defence and security credentials, and will ensure that the alliance remains strong and ready to defend and deter".

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz also supported Rutte, a government spokesman said.

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