British Prime Minister David Cameron has publicly announced his support for former Norwegian prime minister Jens Stoltenberg to take on the top job at NATO. Media speculation over Stoltenberg’s candidacy has reached fever point this week, but Stoltenberg himself won’t comment on whether or not he’ll stand as NATO’s next Secretary General.
“I think Jens Stoltenberg will be an excellent candidate,” said Cameron, when asked about the Norwegian Labour Party (Arbeiderpartiet, Ap) leader in the British Parliament on Wednesday. “I have worked very closely with him, and I think it will be very good to have such a candidate who has had such a high office in their own country.” Local media have quoted sources saying Stoltenberg had Cameron’s backing, but it’s the first time he has publicly stated his support, reported Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).
The current Secretary General, Denmark’s Anders Fogh Rasmussen, will leave the role later this year. The first official opportunity to elect his successor will come when NATO’s foreign ministers meet at the start of April.
Other names tipped for the position include Radoslaw Sikorski, Poland’s foreign minister. NRK reported the most pressing matter for the incoming Secretary General will be new challenges posed by Russia, following the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine.