Nobel Peace Prize Awarded to Barack Obama

U.S. President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for giving the world "hope for a better future" with his work for peace and calls to reduce the global stockpile of nuclear weapons.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee praised Obama for "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples."

The first African-American to hold his country's highest office, Obama has called for disarmament and worked to restart the stalled Middle East peace process since taking office in January.

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.

"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," the committee said in a citation, Reuters reports.

Obama, 48, last year was elected the first black U.S. president on a platform of extracting the U.S. from the Iraq war while increasing focus on an eight-year conflict in Afghanistan. All U.S. forces are scheduled to be withdrawn from Iraq by 2011, after the 2003 the U.S.-led invasion to topple Saddam Hussein.

Obama is the third sitting U.S. President to be awarded the prize, following Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 and Woodrow Wilson in 1919. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter won in 2002, Bloomberg reports.
In the meantime, often, the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to encourage those who receive it to see the effort through, sometimes at critical moments, The Associated Press reports.

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