Today (10 October) the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize to Martti Ahtisaari. Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier congratulated the former Finnish President in a letter, paying tribute to his many years of commitment to peace and to the people in many of the world's crisis regions:
"I was delighted to hear that you have been awarded this year's Nobel Peace Prize, and I warmly congratulate you on this distinction.
Your tireless efforts to resolve numerous international conflicts have made you a symbolic figure of respect for many people, not only in Namibia, the Balkans or Aceh but worldwide. On behalf of the international community you continually took on difficult missions and successfully negotiated solutions using much diplomatic skill and the necessary persistence. You were given what I thought was a particularly pleasant "award" for your role in helping Namibia achieve its independence when a school was named after you.
The conferral of the Nobel Peace Prize is not only a singular tribute to your life's work but also a recognition of your major personal commitment to lasting peace and to the people in the various crisis regions.
I celebrate with you today and wish you all the best for the future."