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Obama admits questions surround his Nobel peace prize

RIA Novosti


OSLO, December 10 (RIA Novosti) - U.S. President Barack Obama accepted the Nobel Peace Prize at a ceremony in Norway on Thursday, but acknowledged the controversy over the award, as his country continues to fight two wars.

The ceremony in Oslo City Hall comes days after Obama announced that he was sending an additional 30,000 troops to fight the insurgency in Afghanistan. He was given the prize in October, less than a year into his presidency.

"I receive this honor with deep gratitude and great humility... And yet I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the considerable controversy that your generous decision has generated," he told the guests at the ceremony.

"In part, this is because I am at the beginning, and not the end, of my labors on the world stage," he said. "But perhaps the most profound issue surrounding my receipt of this prize is the fact that I am the commander in chief of the military of a nation in the midst of two wars."

However, he defended the U.S. military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, saying: "War is sometimes necessary but a resilient peace can be achieved if the world imposes several conditions."

The Norwegian Nobel Committee earlier said the award was for Obama's "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples" and his "vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons."


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