Former Finnish president sees Nobel Peace Prize for Myanmar government

Martti Ahtisaari who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2088 said Friday that he believes Myanmar’s reformist government could win the Nobel Peace Prize

The comment was given during President Thein Sein 10-day visit to Europe aimed at forging stronger political and economic ties between Myanmar 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.

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.

During the visit to Helsinki it was announced that Finland would aid in developing Myanmar with 6.5 million euros ($8.4 million).

“Finland is willing to reach out” to Myanmar, Niinistoe said at a joint press conference with the former general.

The aid would be distributed between 2014 and 2016, according to a Finnish diplomatic source.

“Steps have been taken to improve human rights,” Niinistoe said of the reforms that have prompted the EU to suspend all sanctions apart from an arms embargo.

The United States has also dismantled key trade and investment sanctions against the Southeast Asian country.

Speaking on the economy, Thein Sein invited Finnish entrepreneurs to “work together with Myanmar in order to strengthen investment.”

Thein Sein kicked off his trip in Norway earlier this week, following Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s own milestone visit to the country last year, where she was finally able to accept her 1991 Nobel Peace Prize in person after spending years under house arrest.



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