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NATO approves extension of Stoltenberg's mandate as secretary general

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, shown at the White House on June 13, will serve until Oct. 1, 2024, under his latest mandate. File Photo by Samuel Corum/UPI
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, shown at the White House on June 13, will serve until Oct. 1, 2024, under his latest mandate. File Photo by Samuel Corum/UPI | License Photo

July 4 (UPI) -- NATO announced Tuesday it has extended the mandate Jens Stoltenberg as the alliance's secretary general for another year.

The organization said in a statement its members agreed to retain Stoltenberg in his post until Oct. 1, 2024. Their decision will be endorsed by NATO heads of state and government next week at a summit in Vilnius, Lithuania.

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"I am honored by the decision of NATO Allies to extend my term as Secretary General," said the 64-year-old former Norwegian prime minister, who has served as the 13th Secretary General of NATO since 2014.

"The transatlantic bond between Europe and North America has ensured our freedom and security for nearly seventy-five years, and in a more dangerous world, our great Alliance is more important than ever," he said.

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U.S. President Joe Biden said he "welcomed" the announcement of Stoltenberg's extension.

"With his steady leadership, experience, and judgement, Secretary General Stoltenberg has brought our Alliance through the most significant challenges in European security since World War II," the president said in a statement.

"Today, our Alliance is stronger, more united and purposeful than it has ever been," he added. "I look forward to continuing the work with Secretary General Stoltenberg to further strengthen the Alliance next week at the NATO Summit in Vilnius, and ahead of the 75th Anniversary NATO Summit in Washington, D.C. next year."

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen also sent her congratulations to Stoltenberg on Tuesday.

"In these extraordinary times, it is excellent news that the Alliance can continue to benefit from your experience and leadership," she said in a Tweet. "We will continue strengthening the EU-NATO partnership."

NATO officials say Stoltenberg's nine-year run as Secretary General has benefited from his belief in "credible deterrence and defense while maintaining dialogue with Russia."

During his term, he has advocated for increased defense spending and "better burden sharing within the Alliance, and a greater focus on innovation," according to his official biography.

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