|File photo of newly elected Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg. (Xinhua File Photo)|
BRUSSELS, March 28 -- The NATO decided on Friday to appoint Jens Stoltenberg as Secretary General of NATO and Chairman of the North Atlantic Council, in succession to Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
Stoltenberg will assume his functions as Secretary General from 1 October 2014, when the present NATO chief Rasmussen is to step down after five years and two months at the helm of the Alliance, a NATO statement said.
"Warm congratulations to Jens Stoltenberg on his appointment as my successor," said Rasmussen in a Twitter message, "The Ukraine and Russia crisis shows need for continued strong and determined leadership of NATO."
Rasmussen said, "I've known Jens Stoltenberg for many years and know he's the right man to build on NATO's record of strength and success after the NATO summit in the UK."
From 2001 to 2009, Rasmussen held the position as prime minister of Denmark until he was elected as future NATO Secretary General at the Strasbourg-Kehl Summit in April 2009.
Jens Stoltenberg, a two-time Norwegian prime minister, was born in Oslo on 16 March 1959. He was appointed Prime Minister for the first time in 2000, at the age of 40. He once again became Prime Minister at 2005 and hold the position until October 2013.
"During his tenure as Prime Minister, Mr Stoltenberg frequently called for NATO to focus on security challenges close to Allied territory, "said NATO on its website.
He is currently leader of the Norwegian Labor Party as well as the party's parliamentary leader.