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Jun 26, 2024, 6:08am EDT
Europe

NATO appoints Netherlands PM Mark Rutte as next secretary-general

FILE PHOTO: The Netherlands' Prime Minister Mark Rutte speaks to the media during an informal European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium April 18, 2024. REUTERS/Johanna Geron/File Photo
Johanna Geron/File Photo/Reuters
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NATO appointed Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Wednesday as the bloc’s next secretary-general.

Rutte was widely expected to win the selection after his only opponent — Romanian President Klaus Iohannis — dropped out of the race last week. Rutte had voiced interest in helming the alliance last year, and gained key support from the United States, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

“Leading this organisation is a responsibility I do not take lightly. I’m grateful to all the Allies for placing their trust in me,” Rutte wrote on X.

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Rutte will succeed Norway’s Jens Stoltenberg in October. “Mark is a true transatlanticist, a strong leader and a consensus-builder,” Stoltenberg said Wednesday. “I wish him every success as we continue to strengthen NATO. I know I am leaving NATO in good hands.”

Hungary and Romania were the final holdouts against Rutte’s leadership, but last week Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán — who is sympathetic to Russia — announced that he would endorse Rutte’s candidacy.

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