US announces that it “fully” supports Mark Rutte for the head of NATO, but also appreciates “good friend” Klaus Iohannis


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NATO is in the process of debating and seeking consensus on the name of the next Secretary General of the North Atlantic Alliance, but the position of the United States is that it fully supports the current Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, for this position, although it appreciates that that President Klaus Iohannis, “a friend”, decided to enter the competition, said Tuesday, in a press briefing in Brussels, the US ambassador to NATO, Julianne Smith.

The US permanent representative to NATO wanted to emphasize that the US also has “the greatest respect” for Klaus Iohannis, whom he described as a friend. I think you are aware that the US position is that we fully support Mark Rutte as the next Secretary General, but we also have the greatest respect for our friend, President Iohannis, and we appreciate that he entered the race and we wish him all the best good, while we continue to debate this issue (election of the future secretary general – n.r.) within the Alliance”, said Julianne Smith.

She emphasized that currently the ambassadors of the 32 NATO member countries are discussing and debating the arguments for and against the two candidates.

“We, all 32 ambassadors here, from NATO, are in the midst of searching for potential successors (for the current Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg – n.r.). And there are two official candidates, as you know. We have Mark Rutte from the Netherlands and President Iohannis from Romania. There is an ongoing debate within the Alliance regarding the qualifications of these two very impressive leaders and we will continue to debate the pros and cons of these two individuals until we reach a consensus on one of them,” the ambassador said.

Julianne Smith added that she “hopes” that in the coming weeks a consensus will be reached, but specified that it is not known what the exact moment will be. Certainly, we want to reach a decision on this matter as soon as possible. I think that at the latest we would like this to be resolved by the summit in Washington”, the ambassador pointed out, noting that “this is all she can say at this moment”.

Last month, 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 which facing NATO, Europe, and especially the Eastern region, and its firm commitment to the fundamental values and objectives of the North Atlantic Alliance.

At the time Iohannis made the announcement, at least 20 of the 32 NATO members, including the most important Western members – the USA, Great Britain, France and Germany -, had announced their support for Mark Rutte. However, Iohannis could gain ground especially among the Easterners, given that Hungary and Bulgaria, to which Turkey could be added, have already announced that they do not agree with the Dutchman Rutte at the head of NATO.

Consensus is needed to obtain the position of Secretary General of NATO, the vote presupposing unanimity. The mandate of the current Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, already extended twice, ends in October.

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1 Comment
  1. Panagiotis Spyridis says

    Iohannes is promoting his own goals by using Romania as a licking dog. Shame for Romania to do this even between allies. His masters voice told him to sit down.

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