Cameron backs Norway's Stoltenberg to be next NATO leader

LONDON Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:41am EDT

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron arrives at the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague March 24, 2014. REUTERS/Marco De Swart/Pool

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron arrives at the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague March 24, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Marco De Swart/Pool

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LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Wednesday he backed former Norwegian prime minister Jens Stoltenberg to take over the leadership of NATO later this year, throwing his weight behind the front runner to lead the Western military alliance.

"I think Jens Stoltenberg would be an excellent candidate, I've worked very closely with him and I think it would be very good to have such a candidate who has filled such a high office in his own country," Cameron told parliament, when asked about Stoltenberg's candidacy.

Several diplomats told Reuters earlier this week that Stoltenberg, who served for a total of nearly 10 years as Norway's prime minister before losing power in elections last September, has the backing of the United States, NATO's dominant power, and Germany. A number of other countries were also rallying around his candidacy.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen is due to step down later this year. Whoever takes over from him will face a new challenge from Russia whose occupation of Ukraine's Crimea has put a chill on attempts by NATO and Russia to work together.

(Reporting by William James and Andrew Osborn; Editing by Andrew Osborn)

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Comments (1)
Arnleif wrote:
NATO badly needs an image-improvement and a new face i asume…

Mar 26, 2014 10:13am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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