Canadian Minister of National Defence withdraws from NATO candidacy

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence
Image: Elza Fiúza/ABr.

Peter MacKay, the Canadian Minister of National Defence, said on Sunday that he has decided not to pursue his undeclared candidacy to run for Secretary General of NATO.

A new Secretary General will be established at the NATO leaders summit held in France and Germany April 3-4.

The appointment of the new Secretary General is done unanimously within the NATO alliance.

Several countries have been reported placing their support behind Prime Minister of Denmark, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, to succeed Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, the current NATO Secretary General.

"A number of people at the alliance are looking at Rasmussen as a leading candidate, but there's been no decision yet and it takes a consensus," said a senior United States official.