Slovenia May Support Iohannis at NATO Despite Initial Rutte Backing


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The Prime Minister of Slovenia, Robert Golob, left open the possibility that his country supports the candidacy of President Klaus Iohannis for the headship of NATO, although Ljubljana had initially announced that it supported Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

Robert Golob met on Thursday with the current Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, and at the joint press conference a Slovenian journalist asked the Prime Minister if he supports Mark Rutte.

When it comes to the new secretary general, the truth is that about a month ago, we expressed our support for Mark Rutte. The truth is that, at that time, Mr. Rutte was the only candidate, so, obviously, we had no qualms about expressing our support at that time,” said Robert Golob.

In the meantime, however, Klaus Iohannis also announced his candidacy. “I took it very seriously,” the Slovenian prime minister testified, explaining that Ljubljana especially shares the Romanian president’s point of view regarding the “regionality of leadership positions”.

“And we continue to analyze this (candidacy for the head of NATO – n.r.), which means that now, since there are two candidates, we will take them both seriously”, said the prime minister of Slovenia. We are not saying that we are reviewing our decision yet, but we are analyzing both of them, and in the end a unanimous decision will have to be made,” Golob explained.

He said that Slovenia will do everything possible to promote the candidate who will get the most votes.

“Right now, that seems to be Mark Rutte. But I would say that we will have to wait a few more weeks, to be decisive in this regard”, added the prime minister of Slovenia, implying that for now it is an open-ended race between the Dutch prime minister and President Klaus Iohannis and a possible overthrow of situation.

On March 12, President Klaus Iohannis announced that he decided to enter the competition for the post of NATO Secretary General, arguing that the decision is based on Romania’s performance, the experience accumulated during the two mandates of Romania’s president, the deep understanding of the challenges with facing NATO, Europe, and especially our region, and his firm commitment to the fundamental values and objectives of the North Atlantic Alliance.

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