Former Finnish President Receives Nobel Peace Prize

Finland’s former President Martti Ahtisaari urged the U.S. president-elect Barack Obama to strive to bring peace to the Middle East as he received the Nobel Peace Prize Wednesday at Oslo, Norway.
   Over the past 30 years, the 71-year-old Martti has helped resolve conflicts in troubled lands, including Indonesia, Namibia, Northern Ireland, and the Balkans. He also led a United Nations mission to Iraq following the 1991 Gulf War, and pressed Washington for increased humanitarian aid to the country.
   On the global financial crisis, he opined that widespread economic inequality was worsening, and the international community needed to focus on helping the world’s poor.
   In his acceptance speech, Ahtisaari reiterated, “all conflicts can be settled” and said that he did not share the view that the conflict between Palestine and Israel would rage indefinitely. He urged world leaders that priority be given to work out a comprehensive peace deal in the long-drawn conflict of the Middle East.
   Later Wednesday in Stockholm, the winners of the Nobel prizes for medicine, physics, chemistry, literature, and economics received their awards at a formal ceremony, it was reported.

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