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NATO allies agree on Stoltenberg as next secretary-general


(Reuters) - NATO countries have agreed that former Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg will become NATO's next leader at a time when the Western military alliance faces a new challenge in dealing with a resurgent Russia, diplomatic sources said on Friday.

"There's a consensus on his candidacy," one NATO source said.

A formal announcement that Stoltenberg will succeed current secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen later this year could be made on Friday, diplomatic sources said. NATO ambassadors must endorse the decision but that is seen as a formality.

Stoltenberg, who served for nearly 10 years in total as Norway's prime minister before losing power in elections last September, was backed by the United States, NATO's dominant power, and Germany. British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Wednesday that he also backed Stoltenberg.

Rasmussen, a former Danish prime minister who took office in 2009, is due to step down at the end of September after a September 4-5 NATO summit in Wales which will mark almost the end of NATO's combat mission in Afghanistan.

Stoltenberg will take over at a time when NATO, seen by some as a Cold War relic, has gained new relevance because of Russia's occupation and annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region.

NATO foreign ministers are expected to discuss at a meeting next week how they can reinforce NATO's military presence in eastern European countries such as the Baltics and Poland which are nervous about heightened tensions with Russia.

(Reporting by Adrian Croft, additional reporting by James Mackenzie in Rome; Editing by Robert-Jan Bartunek and Susan Fenton)

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Ron Ponton March 28 2014 at 11:36 AM

when the enemy is encroaching..., bring one into the world round table to communicate and negotiate a peaceful resolve... amicably...
ron p

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tpat912 Ron Ponton March 28 2014 at 12:28 PM

ron p ... what an idealistic life you must be leading. Aggressors would love to talk, talk talk and talk some more. In the end nothing would be resolved unless it was in their favor.

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Ol Bob March 28 2014 at 5:52 PM

NATO may be a Cold war Relic, but Putin has pushed the resume button on the Cold War.

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dorc792 March 29 2014 at 1:43 AM

just what does nato xpect to accomplish?..

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skygill March 28 2014 at 9:18 PM

Rasmussen with the help of his friends turned NATO into a joke. Ukraine with the help of the European Union was financially ruined. Putin offered Ukraine 35 billion dollars to bail them out. Rejected by the EU. So Putin again has put up 35 billion on condition of a partition. Sounds like check-mate to me.

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aunt nette March 29 2014 at 4:47 AM

Is anybody here old enough to remember Hitler? He was nuts. Russia, in a way, became our ally in WWII, which gave them the ability to claim parts of Europe as the spoils of war once it ended in l945. Remember East and West Berlin? FDR captained our ship during that time period. Basically, we learned to keep our friends close and our enemies closer. So we had to deal with the USSR for nearly 50 years. But we learned a great lesson from that so-called military victory in Europe. Mr. Obama has so much to think about in getting the US into another battleground, one issue being whom to trust as our allies, so that some country under the guise of helpmate doesn't activate another cold war, which for the U.S. would require perhaps another 50 years of military build-up and international tension. How can cutting off Europe's oil supply from Ukraine do otherwise than put EU on its knees? Let the people who have the actual information, knowledge and the benefit of Intelligence provided by those agencies which we have designated to keep track of what is Really going on in the world make the decisions. Willy-nilly anti-Obama tirades only detract from our image around the world. When we tell the international scene we don't trust our President, how the hell can it have any confidence in the United States of America to lead. Who in this series of comment said that the threats backed by strength win out every time. Putin has his own Intelligence machinery. He knows if we are B.S. ing him or not, and denigrating our President in internationally read literature is certainly not helping boost the image we wish to present.

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kcarthey aunt nette March 29 2014 at 6:07 AM

I fully agree with you and as one who lives primarily abroad and has traveled abroad for half a century, I see great and continued respect for President Obama. What I do see huge disrespect for is the American Far Right and I view many of their rants as being little more than wishful thinkng.

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qmcsm004 March 29 2014 at 5:12 AM

anyone nato comes up with would be far better than the clowns we have right now.

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eeodjo March 28 2014 at 3:35 PM

Perhaps NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) has selected a man from Norway, which could bolster the confidence back into NATO's operational structures. We hope so, after all he is a "VIKING". We hope he can persuade the other NATO countries to help him reinforce the protective wall of the Baltic states, including Ukraine, from the aggressive-minded Putin of Russia. Russia really leaves us NO CHOICE as they prepare to annexed all the countries they lost when the USSR collapsed. It is just a matter of time and a good reason for Putin, who is a Stalinist Facist, starts the engagements. Strong diplomacy, which Putin does not believe in and strong sanctions against Russian Federation, will only fire him up and may even give him good reason to start engagement. Does anybody remember how and why Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Dec 7, 1941??? My recolletions says that Japan was heavily sanctioned because of their aggressive attack on China, 1937. So, because of the sanctioned imposed, depleted oil imports, Japan had to go on the aggression and attacked Pearl Harbor. The planned heavy sanctions on Russia reminds me of the pre-WWII events. Twenty-two years went b y peacefully after WWI. It has been Sixty-nine years since WWII ended. I just wonder, is history repeating itself???

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Joyce eeodjo March 29 2014 at 2:52 AM

Another similarity I noticed is Obama talking to Putin by phone seems to think things are going well. I'm reminded that a Japanese peace envoy was in discussions in Washington at the very time they bombed Pearl Harbor. Beware of duplicity.

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Redding Holbert March 29 2014 at 2:15 AM

The EU still can't defend itself and still needs US help. Who is going to pay for all of this military buildup? Russia has enbedded it's tactical nukes with it's regular army. So why has Barack Obama destroyed so many of our nuclear weapons? Barack Obama loves his commies that is why. "We will take a hit for peace." What peace? As far as i'm concerned Barack Obama is an incompetent fool.

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chauncy March 29 2014 at 5:01 AM

yeah great choice. sweden i s SO WELL KNOWN for its leadership inthe world.

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ed27th March 29 2014 at 5:52 AM

This has turned interesting, to say the least. I think Europe will think twice about getting too chummy with the former Warsaw pact countries now that the Bear is resurgent. The European Union was quite happy to invite new members to swell the coffers when Russia was self absorbed and the US was still guaranteeing their security. The western European militaries are shadows of their former selves, and if NATO is depending on the US to to take the brunt of defence, well, we are shadows of our former might. We haven't had a REFORGER exercise in quite awhile, and US forces in Europe are just a shell. Add to this the not-so-inconsequential fact that we are 17 Trillion in debt, and I believe it's time for western Europe to start thinking very hard about their own defence.

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