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Ex-President Ahtisaari not yearning for mediation role in Syria conflict
Former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari says that he has not been asked to act as a mediator in the conflict in Syria.
Speaking on a current affairs programme on YLE Television on Wednesday, Ahtisaari admitted that he had pondered the situation in Syria a great deal, particularly as he is a member of The Elders – an advisory group set up by former South African President Nelson Mandela to monitor conflicts around the world.
"I hope that it [the mediation task] would go somewhere else. In addition, I would want the person who is chosen for the task to be given decent possibilities to operate", Ahtisaari said.
If Ahtisaari were to be offered the task, he would first hold thorough discussions with all sides of the conflict, and with representatives of the permanent members of the United Nations.
"And even then I would not be certain that I would accept the task", Ahtisaari said.
He also said in the interview that he feels that the other permanent members of the Security Council have not been active enough in trying to persuade Russia to commit to a common stand.
"Apportioning blame will not help. A solution needs to be found in joint negotiations."