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The endorsement of outgoing Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte for the position of NATO Secretary General by the United States and the United Kingdom on Thursday

marks a significant step towards his potential appointment.

A U.S. official stated, "President Biden strongly endorses PM Rutte's candidacy to be the next secretary general of NATO."

The next NATO Secretary General, set to take office in October, faces a critical juncture, navigating support for Ukraine against Russian aggression while also considering the implications of the upcoming U.S. presidential elections in November.

Former President Donald Trump's stance, characterized by wavering commitment to NATO allies, contrasts with Rutte's perspective. Trump's recent remarks suggested a lax attitude towards NATO defense spending obligations, drawing criticism. Rutte countered by urging Europe to focus on supporting Ukraine rather than fixating on Trump's rhetoric, emphasizing pragmatism in international relations.

Rutte's unexpected departure from Dutch politics in July, following his government's collapse last year, underscores the significance of his potential NATO leadership. With a reputation for practicality and approachability, Rutte is viewed as a competent candidate to steward the alliance, according to several member states.

While there has been a push for diversity in NATO leadership, Rutte currently stands as the sole official contender to succeed Jens Stoltenberg. His candidacy hinges on securing support, or at least avoiding opposition, from all 31 NATO members. Diplomatic sources indicate Rutte has garnered backing from 20 members thus far, signaling growing momentum towards his potential appointment. Photo by European Commission (Christophe Licoppe), Wikimedia commons.