Mark Rutte Confirmed as Next NATO Secretary General

Mark Rutte has been confirmed as the next Secretary General of NATO, replacing Jens Stoltenberg as the head of the security alliance.

“The North Atlantic Council decided to appoint Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte as the next Secretary General of Nato, succeeding Jens Stoltenberg,” Nato said in a statement, adding that he would take over on October 1.

The Dutch Prime Minister’s appointment comes at a critical time for European security amid Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine.

His appointment became a formality after his only rival for the post, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, announced last week that he had quit the race, having failed to gain traction.

Rutte gained early support from key members of the alliance including the United States, Britain, France and Germany after declaring his interest in the post last year.

Others were more reticent, particularly Eastern European countries which argued the post should go to someone from their region for the first time.

But they ultimately rowed in behind Rutte, who is a fierce critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin and a staunch ally of Ukraine.

Stoltenberg said he warmly welcomed the selection of Rutte as his successor.

“Mark is a true transatlanticist, a strong leader, and a consensus-builder,” he said. “I know I am leaving Nato in good hands.”

The alliance takes its decisions by consensus so  Rutte, who is bowing out of Dutch politics after nearly 14 years as prime minister, could only be confirmed once all 32 alliance members gave him their backing.


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