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Mark Rutte gains Turkish support for NATO Secretary General position

Mark Rutte gains Turkish support for NATO Secretary General position Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (Photo: Getty Images)

President of Türkiye Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will support the candidacy of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte for the position of NATO Secretary General, according to Bloomberg.

The agency indicates that Türkiye's position, in turn, is likely to prompt Romanian President Klaus Iohannis to withdraw his candidacy for the NATO Secretary General position.

Turkish officials, speaking anonymously, stated that Erdoğan will most likely support Rutte's candidacy, but the final decision has not yet been made.

Bloomberg notes that the top position at NATO will be crucial in the coming years amid increasing doubts about US support for Europe and the potential re-election of Donald Trump as President.

The NATO Secretary General will have to continue mobilizing support for Ukraine from allies to defend against Russia while preventing further escalation in relations between Moscow and the military alliance.

Who else has not supported Rutte

NATO allies are seeking to agree on Stoltenberg's successor by the time foreign ministers meet for an informal meeting in Prague at the end of May.

The US and other major countries supporting Rutte hoped to officially confirm this at the April meeting. However, Romania's unexpected nomination of President Klaus Iohannis for the NATO Secretary General position delayed the process.

The publication writes that only Slovakia and Hungary will remain after Turkey decides on its position regarding the new NATO Secretary General. These countries have not expressed support for Rutte.

Hungary, however, may pose a more serious obstacle to Rutte's candidacy after the Dutch Prime Minister criticized issues with democracy under Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's rule.

New NATO Secretary General

This year, NATO members must decide on a new Secretary General for the alliance. The media reported that 28 out of 32 NATO member countries support Rutte's candidacy.

Recently, Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski stated that Poland wants a representative from Eastern Europe to assume the NATO Secretary General position instead of Jens Stoltenberg.