Berlin’s backing follows an intense 24-hour diplomatic campaign to shore up support for the Dutchman, amid continued doubts from a group of around 10 countries, including Eastern Europe as well as Hungary and Turkey.

POLITICO first reported Wednesday that two-thirds of NATO allies now support Rutte.

The United States declared its support for the Dutch leader and one official said President Joe Biden backed Rutte, as POLITICO reported. This was followed by the United Kingdom, as well as France, where a senior official said President Emmanuel Macron had been one of the first to support the Dutchman’s appointment to the role, after sounding him out for the position last year.

Rutte would need the backing of all 31 NATO allies before he could be nominated to succeed Jens Stoltenberg, who is expected to step down in October.

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By Sam