NATO chief leaves hospital

July 27, 2009 12:00 am

, BRUSSELS, Jul 27 – NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer left hospital on Monday almost a week after he was taken ill and operated on for a blood clot in his heart, the military alliance said.

"Today, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, NATO Secretary General, left hospital, as he recovers from a procedure to clear a blocked artery," the alliance in Brussels said in a statement.

"The secretary general is expected to return to NATO headquarters before his term ends on July 31," it said.

Scheffer, who holds the top civilian post at the world’s biggest military alliance, fell ill last Tuesday after inaugurating a "NATO village" at a park in central Brussels on Belgium’s national holiday.

The 61-year-old Dutch diplomat had an operation to remove the small blood clot.

He will be replaced on August 1 by former Danish premier Anders Fogh Rasmussen.


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