Mark Rutte elected as the new Secretary General of NATO

Mark Rutte elected as the new Secretary General of NATO

Photograph: Armin Dorgut/AP/NTB

Current Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will step down on October 1.

Rutte has always been the most likely candidate for this high position.

Last week, it was known that all NATO countries stood behind the Dutchman as the new Secretary General.

Hence, it was previously known that Rutte would become the new leader of NATO, but he was officially elected on Wednesday.

He will take up his position immediately when Stoltenberg steps down this fall.

“He is a true friend of transatlantic cooperation, a strong leader and a man of consensus,” Stoltenberg says of his successor.

New and current Secretary General Mark Rutte (57 years old) and Jens Stoltenberg (65 years old) in April. Photograph: Yves Hermann/Reuters/NTB

Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Sture (AFP) congratulates Rutte, and at the same time thanks Stoltenberg after ten years in office.

“I have worked closely with him and I am confident that Rutte will continue Stoltenberg’s work to ensure the unity of the allies and strengthen the Alliance’s ability to defend member states,” the Prime Minister said in a statement.

Rutte has been Prime Minister of the Netherlands since 2010, making him the longest-serving Prime Minister of the Netherlands.

The Dutchman is known as one of Ukraine's strongest supporters, and at the same time one of President Vladimir Putin's harshest critics.

He is also known as “Mr. Normal” – an unassuming man who still lives in the neighborhood where he grew up, who rides his bike to work and insists on cleaning up his coffee spills.

Rutte is seen by many as an alliance builder, but he has also been criticized for being more interested in power than principles.

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Jabori Obasanjo

Jabori Obasanjo

"Coffee trailblazer. Certified pop culture lover. Infuriatingly humble gamer."

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