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    The long-serving Foreign Minister of the netherlands, Dr. Joseph Luns, is currently being tipped as?

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    The long-serving Foreign Minister of the netherlands, Dr. Joseph Luns, is currently being tipped as the next Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. Though no official announcement has yet been made, it is widely expected that Dr. Luns will succeed Italy's Signor Manlio Brosio, who is retiring shortly from the post he has held since 1964.

    Dr. Luns, now 59, has concentrated on two aspects of special importance during his distinguished career -- on the unity and defence of Western Europe.

    He has already served as President of the NATO council. That was in 1958-9. and as Foreign Minister he has worked tirelessly for the Common Market by serving on the Council of Ministers.

    Dr. Luns took up his first appointment at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1938. During World War Two he served abroad as a diplomat, then became the Netherlands' delegate to the United Nations in 1949.

    Returning to the Dutch Foreign Office in 1952, Dr. Luns served first as co-minister and then, since 1956, as sole Foreign Minister.

    If Dr. Luns does become the next NATO Secretary-General, his appointment will come at a time vital to the organisation. Members are concerned that american forces in Europe might be withdrawn after mid-1971.

    Earlier in November, Signor Brosio expressed alarm that any American withdrawal would create a "dangerous gap" in the defences of the Atlantic alliance. He reiterated the warning that Warsaw Pact countries already have armaments that far outstrip the NATO partners.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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    Available on request
    Black & White
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