July 24, 2024

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The US believes that Rutte will soon be appointed as the head of NATO

The US believes that Rutte will soon be appointed as the head of NATO

News & PoliticsJun 12 ’24 at 15:13Author of the book: ANP

US sees ‘growing momentum’ for outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte to become top NATO executive US NATO Ambassador Julian Smith is ‘absolutely confident’ the Western military alliance will reach an agreement ahead of next month’s summit in Washington.

The search for a new secretary-general, Rutte’s favorite, had ‘been a topic of discussion within NATO for some time’, recalls Smith. He hopes to be able to announce a new NATO leader by the time the summit begins on July 9.

“We’ve reached a point where we’re starting to see some momentum.”

Julianne Smith, US Ambassador to NATO

Earlier on Wednesday, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, seen as a key obstacle to Rutte, vowed not to block decisions agreed by other member states. Apart from Hungary, Romania and Slovakia have yet to support Rutte. Romania is running with President Klaus Iohannis as his own candidate.

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US sees ‘growing momentum’ for outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte to become top NATO executive (ANP/AFP)

The opposing candidate is expected to withdraw

Smith recalled that all NATO countries had to agree to the nomination. But “we’ve reached a point where we’re starting to see some momentum.” A NATO envoy, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Iohannis expected to withdraw his candidacy soon.

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Hungary has previously spoken out in support of Iohannis and imposed two conditions on any support for Rutte. We must back off from disrespectful statements about Hungary and NATO, and ensure that Hungary does not have to participate in military support for Ukraine.

Stoltenberg confirmed the latter during a visit to Budapest on Wednesday, after which Orbán said Hungary would not oppose the decisions of the 31 NATO countries.

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