Turkey to support Rutte as next NATO secretary general

Turkey has told allies that it will back the candidacy of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to be NATO's next secretary-general.

Duvar English

Turkey has decided to support the candidacy of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte for NATO Secretary General. 

Turkey on April 29 informed other members of the organization that it would support Rutte's candidacy for the next NATO Secretary General, according to Anadolu Agency,

Turkey was one of four countries that had not yet voiced its support for Rutte to succeed current Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on April 26 met Rutte in Istanbul for talks on the outgoing Dutch premier's candidacy.

At a joint press conference, Rutte said that NATO's southern wing needed Turkey and its leadership.

"Turkey is playing a decisive role. In doing so, it is making efforts to resolve the situation in Gaza. It is also making efforts to deal with this terrible war in Ukraine. In this respect, you are playing an important role,” Dutch PM said.

Among 31 NATO countries, 28 member states, including the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany, have declared their support for Rutte.

Stoltenberg's tenure will be ended on Oct. 1, 2014.