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Olaf Scholz Blocked Ursula von der Leyen’s NATO Secretary-General Candidacy

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In a recent report by Welt am Sonntag, it was revealed that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has opposed the potential appointment of Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, as the next Secretary-General of NATO.

The decision, reportedly made due to concerns over von der Leyen’s political affiliation and her stance towards Russia.

Von der Leyen had been considered a leading candidate for the NATO position, with her nomination even proposed by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to President Joe Biden last year.

However, Chancellor Scholz rejected her candidacy, citing reservations about her ties to the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) and her perceived overly critical stance towards Russia.

According to sources cited by Welt am Sonntag, Scholz deemed the NATO Secretary-General role too significant to entrust to a member of the opposition CDU.

Additionally, concerns were raised regarding von der Leyen’s approach towards Russia, with Scholz reportedly viewing it as potentially hindering long-term diplomatic efforts.

Bloomberg also reported on Turkey’s conditional support for Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, as NATO Secretary-General, indicating ongoing negotiations among member states to secure consensus on leadership appointments.

Other potential candidates, including Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and Estonia’s Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, were evaluated but faced setbacks due to perceived inadequacies during diplomatic engagements and overly critical stances towards Russia, respectively.

As the term of current NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg nears its end in October 2024, the selection of his successor has become a pressing issue requiring unanimous approval from all NATO members.

With Mark Rutte emerging as a frontrunner, discussions and negotiations are expected to intensify in the coming months, with a decision anticipated by June.

EU Briefs publie des articles provenant de diverses sources extérieures qui expriment un large éventail de points de vue. Les positions prises dans ces articles ne sont pas nécessairement celles d'EU Briefs.

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