Sweden wants Mark Rutte as next NATO chief

Dutch PM Rutte visits Lithuania

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden is among NATO member countries that want Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to lead the defence alliance after Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg's mandate expires in October, the Nordic country's government said on Thursday.

"Mark Rutte is a wise leader with solid experience," Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said in a statement.

"In a time characterised by increased uncertainty and a deteriorating security policy situation, a strong NATO is needed, which through deterrence and defense contributes to the security of all allies, and to promoting peace and freedom."

(Reporting by Anna Ringstrom, editing by Louise Rasmussen)