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Minister of Defense withdraws as a NATO candidate

Kristin Krohn Devold, the Norwegian minister of defense, said she is not a candidate for the NATO secretary general position, and that she will support the Dutch candidate.

“I’m not a candidate, and I think the alliance’s next secretary general should come from the Netherlands,” said Krohn Devold to the Norwegian news bureau (NTB).

She stresses that this is her personal opinion, and that she has not discussed the question with either the prime minister or the minister of foreign affairs.

“But I will highlight the Netherlands when I meet the Lord Robertson under his final official meeting in Norway on Friday,” said Krohn Devold, and points to the fact that the Netherlands have suggested their Minister of Foreign Affairs Jaap de Hoop Scheffer as NATO’s 11th secretary general.

Krohn Devold claims it is important to get a secretary general who can bring the alliance together. But she believes there is a possibility that one of the southern European countries will claim that it is their turn to get this top position.

The secretary general will be formally elected at the NATO minister meeting in December. Krohn Devold said she does not believe a decision will be reached at the informal meeting for defense ministers next month in Colorado Springs, US.


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