SINGAPORE: Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has paid tribute to Finland’s former president Martti Ahtisaari, who died at the age of 86 last Monday (Oct 16).
“I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing,” said PM Lee in a condolence letter to Finland’s Prime Minister Petteri Orpo on Oct 20. The letter was made public by Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Oct 23.
“As the first popularly elected President of Finland, Mr Ahtisaari demonstrated his steadfast leadership and political acumen as he led Finland through some of its toughest times, and to Finland’s accession into the EU,” wrote Mr Lee.
Mr Ahtisaari was Finland’s 10th president from 1994 to 2000, and was known for brokering peace in conflict zones in Kosovo, Indonesia and Northern Ireland.
The former UN diplomat was credited with overseeing the 2005 reconciliation of the Indonesian government and Free Aceh Movement (GAM) rebels, bringing an end to a three-decade conflict in which an estimated 15,000 people died.