NATO selects Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte as next secretary general

NATO has chosen Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte as the next Secretary General of the trans-Atlantic alliance. Rutte is to replace incumbent Jens Stoltenberg, whose term will end in October this year.

NATO said in a statement on Wednesday that the North Atlantic Council, NATO's decision-making body, decided on Rutte's appointment.

The decision came after another candidate, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, withdrew from the race, paving the way for Rutte to gain support from all member countries.

Rutte said on a social media post, "Leading this organisation is a responsibility I do not take lightly. I'm grateful to all the Allies for placing their trust in me."

Rutte is to leave his post as Dutch prime minister by October 1, when the term of Stoltenberg, who has been the NATO chief for a decade, will expire.

Rutte has been actively working on aid for Ukraine as prime minister. He is expected to continue to put priority on support to Ukraine as NATO's top official.

But some point out fatigue among NATO member countries in supporting Ukraine.

Former US President Donald Trump has expressed discontent over NATO countries' alleged reliance on the United States, as well as his reluctance to aid Ukraine.

Rutte is likely to face difficulty in coordinating among member nations if Trump returns to the presidency.