Indonesia's president said Tuesday he would be honored to accept this year's Nobel Peace Prize for helping to end a bloody war in Aceh province, but said it would be better if all parties involved in the deal were awarded.
Experts and bookmakers are predicting that the Norwegian committee that awards the prize will honor the Aug. 15, 2005, peace agreement between Indonesia's government and Aceh separatist rebels which ended 29 years of fighting that left 15,000 people dead.
Martti Ahtisaari, a former Finnish president who mediated the deal, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and the former rebel movement have all been tipped as possible winners. Some experts say the committee is likely to split the award three ways.
Yudhoyono said dividing the award between Ahtisaari, himself, the former guerrillas, the negotiators, the Indonesian security forces, the peace monitors and local parliamentarians and religious leaders would be best.
"If Allah wants us to receive the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, then those parties who I mentioned surely have the right to the award," Yudhoyono said in a statement read by his spokesman, reports AP.
Other favorites this year include exiled Chinese human rights activist Rebiya Kadeer, Chechen lawyer Lida Yusupova, U.N. chief war crimes prosecutor Carla Del Ponte, Belarus human rights activist Aliaksandr Bialiats, as well as musicians Bono and Bob Geldof.
The Nobel Peace Prize, first awarded in 1901, will be announced on Oct. 13 in Oslo, Norway.
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