Indonesian president congratulates Ahtisaari on Nobel Peace Prize

Other News Materials 10 October 2008 17:57 (UTC +04:00)

Indonesia President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono Friday congratulated former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari for winning this year's Nobel Peace Prize, reported dpa.

"He is a solution-oriented person, and he also has played important role in Aceh," the state-run Antara news agency quoted presidential spokesman Dino Patti Djalal as saying, adding that Yudhoyono would soon directly contact Ahtisaari to congratulate him.

Indonesia's Foreign Ministry issued a statement welcoming the Norwegian Nobel Committee's decision to award Ahtisaari the prize.

"President Ahtisaari has made a constructive contribution to the resolution of many conflicts in the world, including, among others, Namibia, Northern Ireland and in the case of Indonesia, Aceh in 2005," the statement said.

In August 2005, Ahtisaari helped end 30 years of fighting between Aceh rebels and the Indonesian government with peace talks in Finland, which he initiated and mediated with his organization, the Crisis Management Initiative. A peace agreement, signed in Helsinki, followed seven months of negotiations between the two parties.

Oil-and-gas rich Aceh, which lies on the northern tip of Sumatra, witnessed a protracted 29-year civil war between the Indonesian military and rebels of the GAM Free Aceh Movement. More than 10,000 people, mostly civilians, were killed during the conflict, which saw gross human rights abuses by both sides.