Italian govt backing Frattini's candidacy to lead NATO

Former Berlusconi foreign minister a top contender

Italian govt backing Frattini's candidacy to lead NATO

Rome, July 25 - The Italian government is continuing its support of former foreign minister Franco Frattini in his bid to become secretary-general of NATO, Defence Minister Mario Mauro said Thursday. The government, currently a left-right coalition led by Premier Enrico Letta, has changed since Frattini, who served under three-time premier Silvio Berlusconi, made his candidacy known. Mauro was responding to journalists at a meeting with sitting NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who 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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