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France supports Mark Rutte's candidacy for NATO Secretary General

France supports Mark Rutte's candidacy for NATO Secretary General Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte (photo: Getty Images)

The French government supports the candidacy of the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, for the position of the new Secretary-General of NATO in the elections this summer, states French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal.

During his visit to the Netherlands and at a joint press conference with Rutte, the French official explained Paris' support, highlighting Rutte's experience as head of the Dutch government and his ability to build coalitions.

"We support Mark Rutte's candidacy for NATO, given his experience, his ability to build a very broad coalition, and his ability to act for our collective security," Attal said.

In turn, Rutte expressed support for Ukraine and noted the crucial importance of breaking the deadlock in Congress (US) over 60 billion dollars for continuing funding for aid, which is currently blocked in the House of Representatives by Republicans.

"I am convinced that whether Biden or Trump wins, the US will remain engaged, in every way, with NATO and also with Ukraine," Rutte said.

Candidates for NATO Secretary General

The term of office of the current NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg ends on October 1, 2024.

Earlier, NATO member countries discussed various options for the new head of the bloc. Among the possible candidates was former British Defense Minister Ben Wallace, but his candidacy was not supported by the US.

There were also rumors about the appointment of the head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez as the NATO Secretary General.

On February 22, Politico reported that US President Joe Biden supports the appointment of Mark Rutte as NATO Secretary General after Stoltenberg's term expires.

Earlier in March, Western media also wrote that the likely appointment of Rutte as the new NATO Secretary General this summer received preliminary approval from Washington, London, Paris, and Berlin.

Meanwhile, the country's Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó has stated that Budapest does not support Rutte's candidacy for the NATO Secretary General.