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Hungary not opposed to Rutte's candidacy for NATO top job anymore, Dutch media reports

1 min

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Reuters/Johanna Geron

Hungary has dropped its opposition to Mark Rutte as the next NATO secretary-general, Dutch media reported on Tuesday, after the outgoing Dutch prime minister and his Hungarian counterpart met on the sidelines of a EU leaders meeting in Brussels.

Citing sources, Dutch outlets NOS and RTL reported that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban did not reiterate his demand for an apology from Rutte for what Orban described last month as "problematic" opinions on Hungary.

The apology had been one of the two conditions Hungary had put forward for approving Rutte as the successor to Jens Stoltenberg at the helm of NATO.

The other - the guarantee that Hungary would not have to provide funding for Ukraine or send personnel to the war-torn country - was met last week by Stoltenberg.

This year, the United States, Britain, France and Germany all backed Rutte to succeed Stoltenberg, who will step down in October, as the head of NATO.

Turkey told its allies in April it would also support Rutte. Now only Romania and Slovakia have not yet given a green light.

NATO takes decisions by consensus, so any candidate needs the support of all 32 allies.

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said in March he was running for the NATO top job, arguing Eastern European states need better representation in Euro-Atlantic leadership roles.

Reporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten



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