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WorldAsiaEuropean Commission President Ursula von der Leyen offered to lead NATO

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen offered to lead NATO


Several NATO member countries have offered the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, to lead the North Atlantic Alliance in October 2023 after the departure of Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. On this subject writing The Sun, citing an unnamed diplomatic source.
The newspaper believes that von der Leyen “faces a tough battle” for the presidency of NATO “in a non-transparent selection process” because the alliance does not organize a formal election of a secretary general. The 30 states that are in the bloc will choose a new leader by consensus.
At the same time, von der Leyen’s term as President of the European Commission does not expire until 2024, notes The Sun.
Sources in the UK suggest London is likely to veto von der Leyen’s candidacy because of her “poor record” in the German Ministry of Defense job, which she held from 2013 to 2019.
According to The Sun, British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace is also a candidate for NATO Secretary General. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak supports this intention.
According to The Sun, of NATO chief was also offered to Estonian Prime Minister Kaia Kallas, but she refused. In addition, the Canadian Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland, is considered as a candidate. However, an alliance newspaper source suggested she was unlikely to take the job, as Ottawa failed to raise public defense spending to 2% of GDP, as required by the terms of NATO membership.
The United States does not usually present its own candidate, since American generals traditionally serve as the supreme commander of the American army in Europe, writes The Sun. At the same time, the newspaper notes that the vote of the White House can play an important role in the process of choosing the Secretary General of NATO.

Current NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg intends to step down at the end of 2023, said Oana Lungescu, the alliance’s official representative. At the same time, Stoltenberg was supposed to leave of general secretary in December 2022, but after the start of the military conflict between Russia and Ukraine, his term was extended. In mid-February, the Welt am Sonntag newspaper wrote that there was an unofficial agreement among 30 NATO countries to extend Stoltenberg’s mandate until April 2024, as the bloc believes this would help maintain “the stability of the alliance in difficult times”. Diplomatic sources told Politico that Stoltenberg is seen as a civil servant capable of dealing with serious crises.

Copyright © 2023 The Eastern Herald.

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