Turkish President Erdoğan discusses approval conditions for NATO secretary general candidates with Dutch PM Rutte

Monday, 1 April 2024

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has had a conversation with Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, about, among other things, Türkiye's expectations for the new NATO secretary general.

According to the Turkish President's Office, Türkiye is one of the few countries that could become an obstacle to Rutte's appointment as the successor to the current NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

During the conversation, Erdoğan told Rutte about Türkiye's expectations of the new secretary general.

In particular, the Turkish president said that the new secretary general should "best serve" the security and interests of Allies in the fight against terrorism and other challenges, strengthen Alliance unity and give priority to NATO's primary role, commit to the core values and established practices of the Alliance, and "take into account the specificities of non-EU allies".

"Erdoğan said that in the light of these principles, Türkiye will make its decision on this issue (election of the new secretary general – ed.) in the context of strategic wisdom and justice," Turkish President's Office said in a statement.

Recently, a number of capitals have signalled their support for Rutte's candidacy for the post of NATO secretary general. These include such key powers as the United States, the UK, France and Germany. However, Hungary, which has already publicly expressed its opposition to Rutte's appointment, as well as Türkiye, may become an obstacle to his appointment.

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