SUPPORTERS of Scottish independence have privately hailed the expected appointment of Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg as the next head of Nato after he was publicly backed by David Cameron.
Mr Stoltenberg has become the frontrunner to takeover from Danish Nato Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussenroy, who is due to step down later this year, after he was backed by US President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“I think Jens Stoltenberg would be an excellent candidate, I’ve worked very closely with him and I think it would be very good to have such a candidate who has filled such a high office in his own country,” Cameron told parliament, when asked about Stoltenberg’s candidacy by SNP defence spokesman Angus Robertson.
Senior SNP sources have pointed out that Mr Stoltenberg is a politician from a small northern European country who like the Nationalists backs Nato membership but opposes nuclear weapons.
As with the plans set out in the independence White Paper for Scotland, Norway refuses to allow nuclear weapons on its territory.
The senior SNP source said: “This appointment would make the Project Fear claim that an independent Scotland would have no diplomatic influence and cannot join Nato without agreeing to having weapons of mass destruction on its territory look ridiculous.”
Publicly the SNP also hope that Mr Stoltenberg’s appointment will bring a focus to the threat in the Arctic region and High North with Russia’s recent agressive diplomatic and military stance.
Mr Robertson said: “Jens Stoltenberg would make an excellent Secretary General of NATO. In a time of rapid environmental changes and security challenges he has long championed the northern dimension.
“The High North, Arctic and northern European region is important to Norway, Scotland and all of our regional neighbours and allies. A Norwegian NATO Secretary General, following on from Denmark’s Anders Fogh Rasmussen will ensure that our shared regional priorities will be well understood.”