Snowden, Ashton, Kosovo and Serb PMs proposed for Nobel

AFP, Friday 31 Jan 2014

Fugitive NSA contractor Edward Snowden, top EU diplomat Catherine Ashton and the premiers of Kosovo and Serbia were proposed for this year's Nobel peace award by European Greens and Socialist leaders Friday.

Snowden, currently in hiding in Russia, was officially named by the Greens group in the European Parliament in honour of "his contribution to the protection of our universal rights, including the right to privacy and freedom of expression".

The names of Ashton, along with Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and his Kosovo counterpart Hashim Thaci, were personally put forward by the president of the powerful Socialists and Democrats group in the parliament, Hannes Swoboda.

Ashton brokered a ground-breaking agreement between the two last year aimed at closing the door on tension in the Balkans.

Both premiers have been linked to trouble in the wars that followed the break-up of the former Yugoslavia, Dacic as former spokesman for the late Slobodan Milosevic and Thaci as a one-time guerrilla fighter named in criminal probes including organ trafficking during the war.

Swoboda said they should be given the Nobel "not only as a reward for the progress achieved already, but also as a motivation, possibly as the last push that is needed for lasting peace."

Deadlines for nominations for the prestigious peace award are February 1, more than eight months before the announcement of the laureate.

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