Dutch Foreign Minister Hoekstra resigns ahead of EU climate job

FILE PHOTO: Wopke Hoekstra, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Deputy Prime Minister arrives at the Binnenhof for the Council of Ministers

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra, the country's nominee to run the European Union's climate change portfolio after Frans Timmermans stepped down last week, said on Friday he had tendered his resignation to the King of the Netherlands.

Timmermans stepped down from the role in order to compete in Dutch elections.

Earlier this week, the European Union's chiefexecutive Ursula von der Leyen proposed the appointment of Hoekstra to the post of Commissioner to EU's council and the European Parliament.

Hoekstra is likely to face a tough hearing in the European Parliament, where he needs to win a positive assessment and pass a potentially close vote in the assembly with majority support.

"It has been an exceptional honour to serve the country as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister (...) As EU Commissioner-designate for climate action, I will start preparing for my work in Brussels," Hoekstra said in a resignation statement.

(Reporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Hugh Lawson)