Last Updated: Tue Nov 02, 2010 21:00 pm (KSA) 18:00 pm (GMT)

US President Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize

Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize for efforts to strengthen international diplomacy
Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize for efforts to strengthen international diplomacy

American President Barack Obama sensationally won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday less than a year after he took office with the jury hailing his "extraordinary" diplomatic efforts on the international stage.

Obama was honored "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples," the head of the Norwegian Nobel Committee Thorbjoern Jagland said.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said that Obama will give the roughly $1.4 million that accompanies his Nobel Peace Prize to charity.

"I am both surprised and deeply humbled by the decision of the Nobel committee," Obama said earlier in his first public reaction to the award in remarks in the White House Rose Garden.

 To be honest, I do not feel I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who have been honored by this prize 
U.S. President Barack Obama

"Let me be clear. I do not view it as recognition of my own accomplishments but rather as an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people in all nations."

"To be honest, I do not feel I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who have been honored by this prize," Obama said.

"Special importance"

 Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future 
Head of the Norwegian Nobel Committee Thorbjoern Jagland

The committee attached "special importance to Obama's vision and work for a world without nuclear weapons" and said he had created "a new climate in international politics."

"Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future," it said.

It awarded the prize to Obama less than nine months into his presidency. Despite setting out an ambitious international agenda, he has yet to score any breakthrough on the Middle East or Iran's nuclear program, and faces difficult choices on the conduct of the war in Afghanistan.

Last month Obama chaired a historic meeting of the United Nations Security Council, which unanimously approved a U.S.-drafted resolution calling on nuclear weapons states to scrap their arsenals.

Obama is the third senior U.S. Democrat to win the prize this decade after former Vice President Al Gore won in 2007 along with the U.N. climate panel and Jimmy Carter in 2002.

Raise of expectations

 Now he has to do something with the award. It raises expectations on him to stand up for oppressed nations 
exiled Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer

The Nobel Peace Prize will raise expectations for U.S. President Barack Obama to stand up for human rights around the world, exiled Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer said.

Kadeer, who has often been tipped for the prestigious prize for her fight on behalf of the Chinese minority group, offered congratulations to Obama.

"I am very happy that he got it. Now he has to do something with the award. It raises expectations on him to stand up for oppressed nations," she told AFP.

"Uighurs are getting killed even know. With the award, he should know how to talk to dictatorships like China," said Kadeer, head of the World Uighur Congress who lives in exile in the Washington area.

Kadeer, who spent six years in a Chinese prison, has become a top nemesis to Beijing for her campaign on behalf of the largely Muslim Uighur community based in the western Chinese region of Xinjiang.

Meanwhile, Arab League chief Amr Mussa said he was "very happy" U.S. President Barack Obama had won the Nobel Peace Prize and hoped the honor would help boost Middle East peace efforts.

"This is an expression that the world is convinced of what (Obama) talked about in his speeches, whether about nuclear disarmament or his intention to find immediate solutions to the world's problems including the Arab-Israeli conflict," Mussa told AFP by telephone from Libya.

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