RASMUSSEN CHOOSES TURKEY ENVOY AS NATO CHIEF OF STAFF

PanARMENIAN.Net
01.05.2009 17:09 GMT+04:00

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ The North Atlantic Treaty Organization's next
secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, has chosen Denmark's
ambassador to Turkey, Jesper Vahr, as his chief of staff, he announced
Thursday in Copenhagen.

But Turkey had received "guarantees" from U.S. President Barack
Obama to convince Turkey to drop its veto Rasmussen's candidacy for
NATO chief that one of Rasmussen's deputies would be a Turk, Turkish
media reported.

Turkey had opposed Rasmussen's bid for the top NATO post, saying
Rasmussens failure over cartoon crisis in 2006 which angered Muslim
world, sparking huge protest can exacerbate hostility towards the
West in Muslim countries and cast doubts over his ability to lead
the alliance.

Turkey also said that the Rasmussen's unwillingness to suspend
broadcasts from a Denmark-based Roj TV station linked to the PKK,
Turkish media reported.

Turkey dropped its objections after U.S. President Barack Obama agreed
to serve as a guarantor on several issues, Turkish Prime Minister Recep
Tayyip Erdogan said. One of these issues is that Turkish commanders
would be present at the alliance's command.

"I chose Jesper Vahr because he has a lot of experience, he has among
other things worked closely with current (NATO) Secretary General
Jaap de Hoop Scheffer on the reforms at Alliance headquarters,"
Rasmussen said in a statement.

In 2005-2006, the Danish diplomat was the secretary general's assistant
in a working group on reforms undertaken by the alliance.

Rasmussen said he intended to "continue the work" on reforms, saying
he was "convinced that Jesper Vahr would encourage strong cooperation
between member states and headquarters staff in order to ensure NATO's
continued renewal and development".