For the second time, NATO agrees to extend Stoltenberg mandate
NATO member states have decided to prolong Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg's mandate and will make a formal statement next week.
NATO member states have decided to prolong Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg's mandate and will make a formal statement next week, officials said Thursday.
Former Norwegian Prime Minister Stoltenberg, who has led the Western military alliance since 2014, has already had his term extended by a year, to October 2022, in the aftermath of Russia's military operation in Ukraine in February 2022.
Multiple NATO diplomats confirmed that the alliance's 31 member nations agreed to extend Stoltenberg's tenure for another year after failing to identify a suitable replacement in time for a meeting in Lithuania in two weeks.
Others seen as potential candidates, including Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and British Defense Minister Ben Wallace, have recently dropped out of contention.
Julianne Smith, the US Ambassador to NATO, told the media that an announcement on the secretary general's post will most likely be made "in the days ahead."
According to Smith, "A possible extension of Jens Stoltenberg is an option that allies are looking at."
At the beginning of June, sources told The Telegraph that many countries, mostly France, are insisting the next secretary-general must be from an EU nation., thus ruling out Ben Wallace.
Macron had the backing of Germany, the Netherlands, and Poland.
The United States too was skeptical about UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace's candidacy for the NATO post because a number of US military officials are dissatisfied with him over his measures on Ukraine, The Guardian reported on June 18.
The US has reservations about Wallace, with some in the military unhappy with the way he has set the pace on the Ukraine issue, the newspaper revealed.