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US says no decision yet on next NATO secretary general

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Berlin, Mar 10, IRNA - The United States has yet to make a decision as to whom it will support as the next NATO secretary general, US Vice President Joe Biden was quoted saying in Brussels on Tuesday.

"The United States has not made a decision yet. This is a consensus matter," Biden said at a press briefing after meeting with the outgoing NATO head in the Belgian capital.

Biden's latest statements came in the wake of recent German press reports which stated Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen was tipped to get the top post at the western military pact.

Germany, Britain and France have reportedly agreed to back the candidacy of the 56-year-old Rasmussen, according to the Munich-based Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.

Other contenders for the NATO top job include Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorksi, Canadian Defense Minister Peter Mackay, Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere and former British defense secretary Des Browne.

A decision on who is to succeed Jaap de Hoop Scheffer whose mandate ends in July, is unlikely to take place ahead of NATO's 60th anniversary summit, which is scheduled to be held in Strasbourg, France and Kehl and Baden-Baden, Germany early next month.

The post of secretary-general of NATO has traditionally been reserved for a European, while the top military post of the western military has normally gone to an American.

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