Credit: Martijn Beekman

Czech Republic Endorses Dutch PM Mark Rutte For NATO Secretary General Role

The Czech Republic supports the candidacy of outgoing Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte for the post of Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky (Pirates) said in an interview with the tabloid Blesk yesterday.

The current NATO head, Jens Stoltenberg, will leave office on 1 October.

“He has Czech support,” Lipavsky said. “It is not just that he is a good candidate, but there are a number of very good projects between the Czech Republic and the Netherlands with a focus on security. It is very natural for us to support Mark Rutte.” 

Rutte, 70, is the favourite for the post of NATO Secretary General, with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis also being discussed for the role.

After a series of meetings in February, Rutte had the support of more than 20 of NATO’s 31 members, according to Politico, including the United States, Britain, France and Germany. Hungary, whose Prime Minister Viktor Orban is pushing for closer relations with Russia, has expressed reservations. Critical voices against Rutte have also been heard from the Baltic states.

Rutte has headed the Dutch government for 13 years. Before last November’s Dutch elections, which were won by Geert Wilders’ right-wing populist PVV, Rutte announced that he would withdraw from domestic politics. Stoltenberg’s mandate was extended for a fourth time last July to ensure NATO did not change its leadership during the war in Ukraine.

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