NATO mulls proposal to name HQ for McCain

Brussels: NATO said Thursday it will consider a proposal made by three former alliance chiefs to name the organisation’s new headquarters in honour of the late US politician and Navy veteran John McCain.

Former secretaries general Anders Fogh Rasmussen, George Robertson and Javier Solana wrote to Britain’s Times newspaper to urge NATO to name its new seat in Brussels, opened earlier this year, after McCain, saying his life and work symbolised “this alliance, and the enduring benefits of American global leadership”.

McCain, a Vietnam War hero and two-time Republican presidential candidate, died on Saturday after a battle with an aggressive form of brain cancer, drawing tributes from across the political spectrum.

“Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has noted the proposal to name NATO Headquarters after Senator John McCain. This proposal will be studied carefully,” NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said in a statement, adding that Stoltenberg had “tremendous respect” for McCain.

While the old NATO headquarters had certain rooms named after former leading figures in the alliance, the building itself was not named.

Naming the building would need the unanimous approval of all 29 member countries and given his bitter relationship with US President Donald Trump, it is not clear that Washington would give its blessing.