Norway will support an extension of Jens Stoltenberg’s term as NATO chief if the Allies agree on the issue, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre (AP) said on Thursday.
Støre already discussed the matter with Stoltenberg and conveyed his support. This conversation took place “in recent days,” Støre told NTB.
“Several of my colleagues in NATO have now raised the question of a possible extension for Stoltenberg,” Støre said.
“My comment has been, as I have also told Stoltenberg, that it is a great recognition for the work he has done. It has been important in this crisis. And if there should be a desire among NATO countries for an extension, and if he wants it, then Norway will support it,” he added.
Stoltenberg to extend term?
Both TV 2 and Dagens Næringsliv report that NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg is likely to continue in his job as Secretary-General for one extra year.
Stoltenberg is scheduled to resign as NATO chief on September 30 and take over as central bank governor in Norway later this year.
Stoltenberg himself says that it is up to the leaders of NATO’s 30 member states to make this decision.
“I leave that decision to the 30 leaders. I have nothing further to add,” Stoltenberg said when he arrived at an emergency summit in NATO on Thursday morning.
Could be decided on Thursday
There, Stoltenberg will meet heads of state and government from NATO’s 30 member countries, including US President Joe Biden.
When asked if there could be a possible decision on Stoltenberg’s future fate in NATO already on Thursday, Støre answered:
“It’s not impossible.”
A centrally located source in NATO told NTB that there had been steady pressure for Stoltenberg to continue as general secretary all the time, even after he got the job as central bank governor in Norway – and especially after Russia invaded Ukraine.
Støre believes that NATO must either begin work on finding a new chief, or ask whether Stoltenberg should continue.
“And I have the impression that there are many who want the latter,” Støre noted.
“We also believe he has done a good job and that having continuity in this now can be a good thing.”
The Ministry of Finance is preparing
Minister of Finance Trygve Slagsvold Vedum told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) on Wednesday that Jens Stoltenberg has informed him about the discussions in NATO that could lead to him continuing as Secretary-General.
“I spoke with Jens Stoltenberg earlier this week. He informed me that there was more discussion about his role in Brussels. But he also has to wait and see what will actually happen,” Vedum said.
Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews
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