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NATO extends chief Stoltenberg’s term for 2 more years

NATO has reappointed Jens Stoltenberg as the Secretary-General of the military alliance for two more years.

The 29 members of NATO decided to extend Stoltenberg’s tenure as the head of the alliance until September 30, 2020, a statement by NATO said on Tuesday.

The former Norwegian prime minister has served in the post since 2014. His term has been marked with serious security challenges, including a crisis in Ukraine which caused relations between the West and Russia to deteriorate and conflicts in Syria and Iraq that enticed thousands of Western nationals to travel to the Arab countries and join the ranks of terrorist groups.

Stoltenberg assumed the post in NATO just after Crimea, a former Ukrainian territory on the black Sea, joined Russia while the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group had seized swathes of lands in Iraq and Syria.

He has watched the deployment of around 4,000 NATO troops to Eastern Europe to confront an alleged threat from Russia while coordinating measures in the European capitals that could minimize terrorist attacks by nationals returning from the Middle East.

NATO’s Tuesday statement said members of the alliance had hailed Stoltenberg for the job he has done over the past years, saying they have “full confidence in his ability to continue his dedicated work to advance NATO’s adaptation to the security challenges of the 21st century.”

Britain and Germany, two key members of the alliance in Europe, have declared their full support for the reappointment of Stoltenberg to the job. British Prime Minister Theresa May called him a “true champion of the NATO alliance” who “made sure that NATO has stood strong but not stood still.”

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said Stoltenberg had “done excellent work modernizing NATO and adapting its structures to a changed security situation.”

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