ANKARA (Hurriyet) – NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen has appointed a Turk as the body’s deputy responsible for defense and planning, keeping a 2009 promise to appoint a Turk to the job.
Secretary General Rasmussen appointed Ambassador Huseyin Dirioz, a foreign policy adviser to Turkish President Abdullah Gul, on Friday.
Rasmussen had promised Turkey to appoint a deputy secretary general from the country after a row at NATO’s 60th anniversary summit in Strasbourg in 2009 overshadowed his own appointment. The crisis was solved after Turkey was promised the posts of senior military command and deputy secretary general.
Turkey had initially insisted on vetoing Rasmussen because of fears that his appointment as NATO secretary general could become a focus of anti-Western protest in Afghanistan and other Muslim countries. U.S. President Barack Obama later played a role in solving the disagreement.
In 2006, then-Danish Prime Minister Rasmussen angered Turkey and other Muslim countries for defending the right to publish the divisive Mohammed cartoons on the grounds of free speech.