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Mark Rutte is expected to be elected the new secretary general of NATO, he also receives the support of Hungary

Mark Rutte is expected to be elected the new secretary general of NATO, he also

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has backed Mark Rutte as the next NATO secretary general after the Dutch leader promised to allow Budapest to withdraw from the alliance's military activities in support of Ukraine.

The deal with Orbán, which was first reported by the Financial Times , comes after months in which the Hungarian prime minister refused to back Rutte, angering the US and other key NATO allies such as the UK, France and Germany, who have openly supported the Dutchman for months.

Romania, whose president Klaus Iohannis launched a rival bid for Rutte, is now the last country standing.

The US has made clear it expects to achieve unanimous support for the Dutch prime minister by the time of the NATO leaders' summit in Washington next month.

Rutte and Orbán, who have clashed several times in the past and have a strained personal relationship, met on the sidelines of an EU leaders' dinner in Brussels on Monday night, where the FT reported that the Dutchman had struck a deal with the Hungarian leader to secure his support.

Orbán confirmed the deal on Tuesday, saying in a statement that Rutte had pledged that under his mandate "no Hungarian personnel will participate in NATO activities in Ukraine and no Hungarian funds will be used to support them".

Stoltenberg told Orbán that Hungary could withdraw from NATO activities to support Ukraine, as part of a plan for the alliance to take more control of military supplies to Kiev and the training of Ukrainian troops, as well as long-term financial support.

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