Prime minister Mark Rutte has told a Dutch radio programme that he would not rule out taking the role of head of the Nato alliance. The job of secretary general would be “very interesting,” Rutte said in the interview.
Rutte is standing down at the November general election but will remain prime minister in a caretaker capacity until a new coalition government is sworn in, which could take several months.
Rutte had said earlier he is not interested in such a heavyweight role, but said on Saturday told The Hague radio show Spuigasten that the role of Nato chief would enable him to still make a contribution.
Rutte told the programme it would be good if a woman had the job and that he would not actively lobby for the position. “But if it comes my way, perhaps yes,” he said.
Current Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg this summer agreed to stay in the position for a further year but will step down in October 2024.
Rutte is one of Europe’s longest serving prime ministers and has been at the helm in the Netherlands for 13 years.
The prime minister said earlier in the day that he had perhaps held The Hague’s top job for too long. The comments came in the wake of a statement by new VVD leader Dilan Yesligöz who said she, if elected, would only be prime minister for eight years – or two parliamentary terms.