NATO officially selects the Netherlands' Mark Rutte as next secretary general

“It is a tremendous honour to be appointed Secretary-General of NATO. The Alliance is and will remain the cornerstone of our collective security,” Rutte posted to X.

Published: June 27, 2024 3:36pm

Updated: June 27, 2024 3:37pm

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has officially selected Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte as its next secretary general, replacing outgoing leader Jens Stoltenberg.

Rutte's confirmation Wednesday was all but finalized last week, after Romanian President Klaus Iohannis withdrew his own bid for the post and announced his country was uniting behind Rutte's candidacy.

Other NATO countries that initially opposed Rutte, such as Turkey and Hungary, have also dropped their own objections. 

“It is a tremendous honor to be appointed secretary general of NATO. The alliance is and will remain the cornerstone of our collective security,” Rutte wrote in a post on X after the vote.

Rutte is expected to focus on maintaining NATO support for Ukraine amid its war with Russia, and will oversee the rapid expansion of the alliance's defense capabilities, according to CNN. 

The new commander will officially take office on Oct. 1. The unity around Rutte comes after the 32-country alliance failed to approve a new leader to replace Stoltenberg last year. Stoltenberg has served as NATO commander for 10 years.

Stoltenberg celebrated Rutte's appointment in a post to social media, and claimed he's leaving the alliance in "good hands." 

"I warmly welcome NATO Allies' choice of Mark Rutte as my successor," Stoltenberg posted to X. "Mark is a true transatlanticist, a strong leader and a consensus-builder. I wish him every success as we continue to strengthen NATO."

The change in leadership comes amid a tumultuous time for Europe and the alliance. Russia is working to build its own military alliance with North Korea, Iran, and Cuba, to help with its war with Ukraine. But an escalation could trigger a wider combat if the new alliance attacks one of NATO's 32 member states, which does not include Ukraine. 

The confirmation also comes ahead of the alliance's summit in Washington D.C. next month, which will mark the 75th anniversary of NATO.

Misty Severi is an evening news reporter for Just the News. You can follow her on X for more coverage.

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