Frattini gets boost in bid to lead NATO

Ex-foreign minister 'profoundly honored' by president's support

Frattini gets boost in bid to lead NATO

Florence, May 9 - Former foreign minister Franco Frattini on Thursday said he was "profoundly honored" to have the support of the Italian president and the premier in his bid to become NATO secretary-general. Speaking on the sidelines of an international conference in Florence on the state of the European Union, Frattini said he also appreciated the support of the previous technocratic administration of Mario Monti, which was replaced last month by Enrico Letta's left-right coalition. Sitting NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen completes his term in June next year. Talks surrounding his successor officially begin this fall. Analysts say Frattini, who served under ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi, is among the most credible candidates.

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