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Netherlands. Media: Prime Minister Mark Rutte is the favorite to take over as NATO Secretary General

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According to the Belgian and Dutch media, Mark Rutte, the head of the Dutch government, has the greatest chance of becoming NATO Secretary General. The NOS website claims that it can count on the support of Berlin, Paris and London. However, it is not clear whether he would also gain the support of NATO’s eastern flank countries.

Rutte resigned his government in July this year after the groups that made up his cabinet failed to reach an agreement on a refugee admission agreement. The Prime Minister then announced his resignation from politics.

Last week, however, he announced that he was interested in running for the position of chief FOR THIS. He said in the Spuigasten radio program on Den Haag FM that he was ready to apply for a new job. “I could definitely contribute something,” Rutte said.

Sources of the “De Telegraaf” daily claim that the Dutchman enjoys the support of both the current US president Joe Bidenas well as the former, Donald Trump. – I respect him and can only speak highly of him, replied Ben Cardin, head of the US Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, when asked if he knew the head of the Dutch government.

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“Rutte is the main favorite to take over as head of NATO,” says the Politico website. “Governments have so far remained officially silent on the Dutchman’s candidacy, but three senior European officials, who were granted anonymity so they could speak freely, said he is expected to gain broad support,” we read in Politico.

“Traditionally it was a transmission belt”

– His advantage is that he is a very experienced politician from a country that has traditionally been a transmission belt between Anglo-Saxon views and the views of continental Europe – says Ben Schreer, executive director of the Berlin office of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, quoted on the website.

According to the NOS website, Rutte can already count on the support of Berlin, London and Paris. However, it is not clear whether the Dutchman would gain the support of the increasingly important countries on NATO’s eastern flank.

Mark RutteROBIN UTRECHT/ANP/PAP/EPA

“He gradually moved from the pro-Russian camp to the group of politicians most critical of Russia.”

Politco notes, however, that the Dutch prime minister “gradually moved from the pro-Russian camp to the group of politicians most critical of Russia.” “In 2011, he was happy to stand next to the then President of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev, and the then Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, presenting the Nord Stream pipeline project,” we read on the website. This changed after it was shot down by pro-Russian separatists over the eastern part Ukraine in July 2014, a Malaysian Airlines plane. 198 citizens died in the disaster Netherlands.

Rutte also became one of the biggest supporters of helping Ukraine after Russia attacked in February 2022.

The media emphasize that several issues may prevent the Dutchman from taking up his new position. First, credibility. Rutte, as head of government in The Hague, ignored the NATO standard of spending two percent of GDP on defense for years. Secondly, gender. Since its establishment in 1949, NATO has always been led by a man, and it is increasingly said that the Alliance should be headed by a woman. There is also a fourth problem related to this. The candidacy of the current head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, appears more and more often in the corridors of Brussels, and she would undoubtedly be the favorite.

However, if the former leader of the Dutch liberals were to get a new job, he would be the fourth Dutch to become NATO secretary general, surpassing all other nationalities. The extended term of office of the current head of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Jens Stoltenberg, expires in October 2024.

Main photo source: ROBIN UTRECHT/ANP/PAP/EPA



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