Finnish Nobel laureate sees peace prize for Myanmar govt

Daily Times: HELSINKI: Finnish Nobel peace laureate Martti Ahtisaari said on Friday he believed Myanmar’s reformist government could win the Nobel Peace Prize, as Helsinki announced 6.5 million euros ($8.4 million) in development aid to the country.

Ahtisaari met in Helsinki with Myanmar’s reformist President Thein Sein during his landmark 10-day visit to Europe aimed at forging stronger political and economic ties between the former pariah state and the West. The former Finnish president told AFP he believed Myanmar’s government was a “serious candidate” for the Nobel peace award if the democratic transition it had undertaken was completed. Ahtisaari himself won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2008 for his role as a mediator in several international conflicts. Under Thein Sein, the Myanmar government had been able to “get results faster than, for example, an interim government” would have, he noted. He urged Thein Sein to continue efforts to transform the country, saying change could only come from within. Also on Friday, Finnish President Sauli Niinistoe announced a 6.5 million-euro aid package after meeting the Myanmar leader.


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