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Hungarian Prime Minister Orbán Refuses Support for Rutte as NATO Secretary General

AFPHungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte, early January

NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 21:38

Mark Rutte does not have to count on support from Hungary for his candidacy for the post of NATO Secretary General. Hungarian Foreign Minister Szijjarto said this at a press conference.

“We certainly cannot support a man as head of NATO who previously tried to bring Hungary to its knees,” Szijjarto said. He was referring to the criticism that Rutte has expressed in the past about the breakdown of democracy and the rule of law in Hungary.

Three years ago, after the introduction of laws in Hungary that established “a ban on gay promotion”, Rutte said that Hungary had “no more business in the EU”. “If Europe, in addition to being a market and currency, is also a community of values, it cannot be true that a country in the European Union would do something as backward as the Hungarians are doing now.”

Earlier, in 2020, Hungarian Prime Minister Orbán complained that he did not understand why the Dutch Prime Minister hates him and Hungary so much.

Unanimous support

Although there is no official procedure for choosing a new secretary general, Rutte does need the support of all 31 NATO member states. There is support from the vast majority, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and France.

Supporters of Rutte’s candidacy say they are not concerned about Hungary’s attitude. Diplomats from two member states tell the ANP news agency that support for Rutte is “broad and strong”. It would be difficult for Hungary to continue to resist this.

Until recently, Hungary continued to obstruct Sweden’s accession to NATO for quite some time. Here too, criticism from Sweden of the Hungarian constitutional state was the reason for not agreeing. Last week, the Hungarian parliament approved Sweden’s NATO membership.

Also Romanian candidate

Two weeks ago, a rival candidate for the highest position at NATO presented itself: President Iohannis of Romania. He advocates more geographical diversity for European top positions. At the announcement, he called it a mistake that there have been few or no appointments to officials from Eastern and Central Europe since the European Parliament elections in 2019.

What challenges await Rutte if he becomes NATO chief? And what does it mean for the Netherlands if he leaves? Nieuwsuur explains it in this video:

How Rutte became a top candidate for NATO

2024-03-05 20:38:45
#Hungary #support #Ruttes #candidacy #NATO #boss

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