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Former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres appointed U.N. secretary-general

By Amy R. Connolly
Former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres appointed U.N. secretary-general
Antonio Guterres, the Secretary-General-designate of the United Nations, talks to reporters after being approved by the General Assembly at United Nations headquarters in New York on Thursday. Guterres will officially take the position as UN Secretary General in January of 2017. Photo by Justin Lane/EPA

UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- Former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres was formally appointed as U.N. secretary-general on Thursday, replacing Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon of South Korea when his term ends later this year.

Guterres, 67, was widely praised as a good choice for the post. He was Portugal's prime minister from 1992 to 2002 and led the U.N.'s refugee agency for nearly a decade ending in 2015. He will be sworn in on January 1.

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"He's a high level politician. He's been prime minister of his country. He is a person who talks to everybody, listens to everybody, speaks his mind; very outgoing, I think open person," Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said.

Guterres was one of 13 candidates up for the post.

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