NATO's Stoltenberg will not seek another extension of his term, spokesperson says
BERLIN (Reuters) - NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg will end his term as planned in October, a spokesperson for the alliance said, after a newspaper reported a further extension was in the works.
"The mandate of Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has been extended three times, and he has served for a total of almost nine years," NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu said late on Saturday.
"The Secretary-General's term comes to an end in October of this year and he has no intention to seek another extension of his mandate."
Earlier, Welt am Sonntag reported Stoltenberg's term was to be extended again as the alliance sought to maintain stability during the war in Ukraine.
Stoltenberg, an economist by training and a former leader of Norway's Labour Party, had his NATO term extended last year.
He was prime minister of Norway from 2000-01 and 2005-13 before becoming NATO chief the following year. He has also been finance minister and energy minister.
Welt said alliance members wanted to give Stoltenberg the opportunity to chair the organisation's 75th anniversary summit in Washington in April 2024. He would also be in a position to become president of the World Bank when David Malpass steps down around the same time, it said.
No decision has been made about who will succeed Stoltenberg, but Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Britain's Defence Secretary Ben Wallace are among the leading candidates for the post, Welt said.
(Reporting by Riham Alkousaa and Sabine Siebold; Editing by Mike Harrison and Jan Harvey)