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NATO – Caliph is ready soon

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Brussels (Dagbladet): Sources in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) confirmed to (Dagbladet) that they are certain that Dutchman Mark Rutte will take over as NATO Secretary General, succeeding Lens Stoltenberg.

They believe the appointment will take place soon, before the NATO summit in Washington, D.C., in July.

It is clear to Defense Minister Björn Arild Gramm – who is currently attending a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels – that Rutte is Norway's candidate.

– I hope that an agreement will be reached before the summit, and in our opinion, Mark Rutte is a very good candidate, says Gram.

Hope: Defense Minister Björn Arild Gramm hopes that NATO will quickly agree on a new Secretary General after Jens Stoltenberg. Photo: Jörn H. Moen/Dagbladet
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But informed sources at both NATO and the Ministry of Defense confirm to Dagbladet that Rutte is likely to be appointed as the new Secretary General, a few days from now.

controversial

Those familiar with the process confirm that it was the regime in Hungary, led by controversial Prime Minister Viktor Orban, that sat in a defensive position, and that it was it that delayed the process in the search for Stoltenberg's successor.

On Thursday, Finnish President Alexander Stubb said at a press conference in Helsinki that he is absolutely sure that Mark Rutte will be the next Secretary General of NATO.

Earlier – this winter – it became known that US President Joe Biden nevertheless supports the nomination of Mark Rutte to take over the position to succeed Jens Stoltenberg.

It was not required

When Stoltenberg first announced his resignation, Joe Biden did not want Mark Rutte or Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen – who had been launched as a candidate – for NATO Secretary General.

Therefore, Stoltenberg was persuaded to continue for another year as Secretary-General, even though he announced his resignation.

Meanwhile, Stoltenberg has also been appointed as the new Governor of the Central Bank of Norway and Chairman of the Executive Board of Norges Bank. A position from which he was later forced to resign.

Earlier this week – Wednesday – Stoltenberg made a quick trip to Budapest, after visiting Riga on Tuesday and then chairing a meeting of defense ministers in Brussels on Thursday and Friday.

Support Ukraine

The main purpose of the trip to Budapest was to support Ukraine. Stoltenberg managed to convince Prime Minister Orban to join NATO's arms support plan for Ukraine. Orban is said to have promised that he would not impede NATO's long-term support for Ukraine.

DOES NOT SUPPORT: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (TV), who was here with Russian President Vladimir Putin in China last fall, does not support NATO's support plan for Ukraine.  Photo: Grigory Sysoev/AP/NTB

DOES NOT SUPPORT: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (TV), who was here with Russian President Vladimir Putin in China last fall, does not support NATO's support plan for Ukraine. Photo: Grigory Sysoev/AP/NTB
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On Thursday evening, Stoltenberg chose not to respond when asked at the press conference whether he had raised the issue of his successor with Viktor Orbán.

We had a long conversation. There will be something secret. This is the only thing Stoltenberg will say about Orbán and his successor.

Although Stoltenberg did not say anything about Orbán and his successor, there is reason to assume that others spoke to the Hungarian Prime Minister.

Earlier this year, Orban appointed Romanian President Klaus Iohannis (65 years old) as the new Secretary-General of NATO. He believes that Iohannis has no chance, and only has the support of his country and Hungary.

“Problematic statements”

Orban justified his negative attitude towards Mark Rutte, as the Dutch Prime Minister made “problematic statements.”

NATO sources expressed themselves as follows to Dagbladet:

“Mark Rutte will be the new Secretary General. In the worst case, Mark Rutte will have to make a trip to Budapest and ask for 'nice weather', and then he will be unanimously appointed as Stoltenberg's successor.”

Liberal conservative

Mark Rutte (57 years old) is a liberal conservative Dutch politician. He has served as Prime Minister of the Netherlands since October 2010, and has led various government formations.

Mark Rutte comes from The Hague. He is unmarried and belongs to the Protestant Church in the Netherlands.

He first specialized in art, before obtaining a master's degree in history in 1992.

During his years as Prime Minister, he alternated between cooperating with left- and right-wing parties in the Netherlands.

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