Former Norwegian Prime Minister Designated to Lead NATO
By Claudette Roulo
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, March 28, 2014 Former prime minister of Norway, Jens Stoltenberg, was designated today to serve as the next secretary general of NATO.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, left, and Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg confer during the NATO secretary general's visit to Norway, May 8, 2013. NATO photo
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a statement that he welcomed the selection.
“Former Prime Minister Stoltenberg will bring strong credentials and experience to the alliance at a critically important time,” Hagel said.
“NATO has been and continues to be a force for peace, prosperity and freedom, not only in Europe, but around the world,” the defense secretary said. The United States, he added, will continue to strongly support the alliance and all of its member nations.
America's commitment to NATO's collective defense is firm and resolute, Hagel said.
Stoltenberg will succeed current Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen when his term expires Oct. 1, 2014. Rasmussen was prime minister of Denmark for eight years before becoming NATO secretary general in 2009.
"I want to express my deepest gratitude and appreciation to NATO Secretary General Rasmussen for his many years of strong leadership, for his commitment to strengthening the alliance, and for his continued hard work in bringing a critical NATO summit together this coming September in Wales," Hagel said.
The 2014 NATO summit will take place Sept. 4-5 in Wales. The last NATO summit was in Chicago in 2012.
(Follow Claudette Roulo on Twitter: @rouloafps)