Italian defence minister pumps Franco Frattini to head NATO

Giampaolo Di Paolo says NATO allies back 'strong' candidacy

Italian defence minister pumps Franco Frattini to head NATO

(ANSA) - Brussels, October 10 - Italian Defense Minister Giampaolo Di Paolo promoted former foreign minister Franco Frattini to be named the next secretary-general of NATO on Wednesday. Di Paolo told journalists in Brussels on Wednesday that the allied countries "recognize" Italy's role in NATO and support the "very strong" candidacy of Frattini to follow Denmark's Anders Fogh Rasmussen as NATO's new chief. Frattini is a center-right politician from the Peopld of Freedom (PdL) party of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi, under whom he served from 2002 to 2004 and from 2008 to 2011. Frattini was European commissioner for justice, freedom and security from 2004 to 2008. Rasmussen's term as general secretary was due to end soon but was recently extended by a year. Di Paola spoke at the end of a meeting of ministers held in NATO headquarters in Brussels.

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