Danish PM chosen as new NATO secretary general
[Al Arabiya Latest] Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen will be the next NATO secretary general, he and his predecessor said Saturday, after alliance leaders persuaded Turkey not to veto the nomination.
Gonna save the Islamic veto for later, huh?
Rasmussen was introduced by current secretary general Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and congratulated by President Nicolas Sarkozy of France and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, joint hosts of NATO's Strasbourg summit.
"Everyone is fully convinced that Anders Fogh Rasmussen is the best choice for the alliance," Scheffer said, while admitting that there had been long discussions on the issue. "An agreement was found," he said.
Rasmussen said he was deeply honored to be the first Dane to lead the Atlantic alliance and to have been named at the 60th anniversary summit. He will take over from Scheffer on August 1.
The Danish leader had long been seen as the favorite to take over the job, but his nomination was called into question when Turkey -- which could have vetoed the decision -- raised objections at the summit. Ankara had not forgiven Rasmussen for defending a Danish newspaper's right to court controversy in 2005 by printing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, nor for refusing a Turkish request that he close a Kurdish television channel.
Posted by: Fred 2009-04-05