NATO to Extend Boss Jens Stoltenberg’s Term by a Year

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks during a press conference ahead of a NATO Defence ministers’ meeting at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on June 15, 2022. (Photo by Valeria Mongelli / AFP)

 

NATO opted on Tuesday, July 4 to extend Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s contract by another year, preferring to continue with an experienced leader as the crisis in Ukraine rages on rather than try to settle on a replacement.

Stoltenberg, a former Norwegian prime minister, has been NATO’s leader since 2014, and his term has already been extended three times.

 

The decision comes as NATO’s 31 members struggle to back Ukraine in repelling Moscow’s invasion while avoiding a direct clash between NATO and Russian soldiers.

 

In a tweet, Stoltenberg, 64, said he was honoured by the decision to extend his term to October 1, 2024.

 

“The transatlantic bond between Europe and North America has ensured our freedom and security for nearly 75 years, and in a more dangerous world, our Alliance is more important than ever,” he said.

 

After decades of focusing on missions outside its borders, such as in Afghanistan and the Balkans, his next responsibility will be to supervise a change of NATO troops to focused on defending against any Russian invasion.

Stoltenberg will also have to deal with disagreements about how involved NATO should be in Asia, with the US pushing for a stronger role in opposing China and others, such as France, insisting on NATO being focused on the North Atlantic region.

 

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