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White House Nominates Former Texas Senator As U.S. Envoy To NATO

NATO and U.S. flags fly at the entrance of the alliance's headquarters in Brussels. (file photo)

The White House on June 30 nominated Kay Bailey Hutchison, a former U.S senator from Texas, to be the permanent U.S. representative on NATO's council.

Hutchison, 73, served in the U.S. Senate from 1993 to 2013. An attorney and former television journalist, Hutchison sat on the Senate's defense and military construction subcommittees.

Past appointees to the NATO post, which has ambassador rank, include prominent foreign policy expert Nicholas Burns, former State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

U.S. President Donald Trump has had a hot and cold relationship with the longtime military alliance, having called it "obsolete" during last year's presidential campaign, but conceding its value more as president.

While in Brussels for a NATO summit last month, Trump scolded allies for not contributing more to mutual defense and rattled nerves by not explicitly endorsing the alliance's collective defense principle, only to say after leaving Brussels that he was "absolutely" committed to NATO's Article 5 mutual defense agreement.

Based on reporting by AP and dpa