Obama accepts the Nobel Peace Prize

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  • The US President reiterates his surprise at being awarded the Prize at a formal banquet in Oslo last night...

    The US President Barack Obama reiterated his surprise at being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize as he attended a formal banquet on Thursday evening,
    along with his wife Michelle,
    at the Grand Hotel in Oslo with the Norwegian royal family and other guests.

    Obama made a short speech during the banquet in which he thanked the Nobel committee for ‘the extraordinary confidence that they placed in me and this great honour’.

    ‘As I indicated before, no-one was more surprised than me,’ he told the guests. ‘Each of us in our own lives can do our part in order to make a more just and lasting peace and forge the kind of world that we want to bequeath to our children and our grandchildren,’ he added.

    Earlier in the day, Obama evoked the cause of a just war, accepting his Nobel Peace Prize just nine days after sending 30,000 more US troops to war in Afghanistan, but promising to use the prestigious prize to ‘reach for the world that ought to be’.

    Obama became the first sitting US president in 90 years, and the third ever, to win the prize – some say prematurely. He and his wife, Michelle, whirled through a day filled with Nobel pomp and ceremony in the Nordic capital.

    ‘A nonviolent movement could not have halted Hitler’s armies. Negotiations cannot convince al-Qaida’s leaders to lay down their arms,’ Obama said. ‘To say that force is sometimes necessary is not a call to cynicism, it is a recognition of history.’

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