Former Finland president wins Nobel Peace Prize

Finland’s ex-president Martti Ahtisaari received the Nobel Peace Prize today for his efforts in places as diverse as East Timor and the Balkans.

“The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2008 to Martti Ahtisaari for his important efforts, on several continents and over more than three decades, to resolve international conflicts. These efforts have contributed to a more peaceful world and to ’fraternity between nations’ in Alfred Nobel’s spirit,” the committee said in announcing the prize.

Mr Ahtisaari’s efforts in Africa, Europe, Asia and the Middle East drew much praise from the five-member committee.

“For the past 20 years, he has figured prominently in endeavours to resolve several serious and long-lasting conflicts,” the citation said, mentioning his work in conflicts from Namibia and Aceh to Kosovo and Iraq.

“He has also made constructive contributions to the resolution of conflicts in Northern Ireland, in Central Asia, and on the Horn of Africa,” the citation said.

Mr Ahtisaari said he “was very pleased and grateful”.

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