April 4, 2009 / 1:48 PM / 10 years ago

NATO appoints Denmark's Rasmussen as next chief

STRASBOURG, France, April 4 (Reuters) - NATO leaders agreed unanimously on Saturday to appoint Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen as the next head of the alliance after Turkey dropped its objections.

NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer told a joint news conference with Rasmussen: "You know that there has been discussion over the past 36 hours, but the fact that we are standing here next to each other means a solution has been found also for the concerns expressed by Turkey, and we all very much agree and are unanimous."

Rasmussen, whose nomination was controversial because of his handling of a 2006 crisis over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a Danish newspaper, will succeed the Dutch diplomat on Aug. 1. (reporting by Tim Hepher, editing by Timothy Heritage)

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