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October 9th, 2009
08:16 PM ET

Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize – Reactions from around the world

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/europe/10/09/nobel.peace.prize/art.obama.mideast.gi.jpg caption="Obama with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas last month."]

AC360°

Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for Hamas: "Nothing has changed in the Obama administration's policies from previous U.S. governments, except statements, promises and hopes."

Zabihullah Mujahid, Taliban spokesman: "We have seen no change in his strategy for peace. He has done nothing for peace in Afghanistan…We condemn the award of the Nobel Peace Prize for Obama."

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter: "It is a bold statement of international support for his vision and commitment to peace and harmony in international relations."

Former U.S. vice-president Al Gore: "I think it will take some time before people put together all the different moves that linked his speech at the U.N. on the abolishing of nuclear weapons, his shift on the missile defense program in Eastern Europe and the movement of Russia to joining the international consensus that confronted Iran to abide by the nonproliferation treaty."

Binyamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel: "You have given inspiration to people all over the world until now and winning this prize is an expression of the hope that your presidency will promote a new era of peace and placation."

Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany: "There is still much left to do, but a window of possibility has been opened."

French President Nicolas Sarkozy: said the decision represented the "return of America into the hearts of the people of the world."

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak: Hoped the award would help Obama "to contribute to establishing regional peace in the Middle East and a settlement between us and the Palestinians that will bring security, prosperity and growth to all the peoples of the region".

Michael Steele, Chairman of the Republican National Committee: “The real question Americans are asking is, ‘What has President Obama actually accomplished?’ It is unfortunate that the president’s star power has outshined tireless advocates who have made real achievements working towards peace and human rights…One thing is certain — President Obama won’t be receiving any awards from Americans for job creation, fiscal responsibility, or backing up rhetoric with concrete action.”

John McCain, AZ Senator (R): “I think part of their decision-making was expectations. And I’m sure the president understands that he now has even more to live up to.”

Lech Walesa, the 1983 peace prize winner and Poland’s president from 1990 to 1995: “Who, Obama? So fast? Too fast — he hasn’t had the time to do anything yet.

Mohamed Elbaradei, the director-general of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency, who received the prize in 2005: “…absolutely delighted.”

President Shimon Peres of Israel: “Very few leaders if at all were able to change the mood of the entire world in such a short while with such a profound impact. You provided the entire humanity with fresh hope, with intellectual determination, and a feeling that there is a lord in heaven and believers on earth.”

Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations Secretary General: offered his wholehearted congratulations. “This is great news for President Obama, for the people of the United States, and for the United Nations…President Obama embodies the new spirit of dialogue and engagement on the world’s biggest problems: climate change, nuclear disarmament and a wide range of peace and security challenges.”

Desmond Tutu: “It’s an award coming near the beginning of the first term of office of a relatively young president that anticipates an even greater contribution toward making our world a safer place for all…It is an award that speaks to the promise of President Obama’s message of hope.”

Khaled Al-Batsh, a leader of the militant Islamic Jihad in Gaza: condemned the award, saying it “shows these prizes are political, not governed by the principles of credibility, values and morals…Why should Obama be given a peace prize while his country owns the largest nuclear arsenal on earth and his soldiers continue to shed innocent blood in Iraq and Afghanistan?”

Vatican Press Office: “The awarding of the Nobel Prize for Peace to President Obama is greeted with appreciation in the Vatican, in light of the commitment demonstrated by the President for the promotion of peace in the international arena, and in particular also recently in favor of nuclear disarmament. It's hoped that this very important recognition will further encourage that commitment, which is difficult but fundamental for the future of humanity, so that the desired results will be obtained.”

soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Leif

    This award is shocking and there is reason for it-it's not sincerely deserved but bestowed out of international interest. Not because President Obama may not be worthy of efforts but because it's political and carries other intent from the international field. We are too vunerable and divided in America and our foreign neighbors know it.

    October 11, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  2. Sian

    Obama got the Nobel Peace Prize...Bush got the Shoe

    October 11, 2009 at 8:32 am |
  3. roy alexander

    He can talk the talk, Now can he walk the walk ?

    October 10, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  4. Karlena

    This a great honor and it definitely was deserved! Obama has broken through the barriers by being the first African American president; this is an honor in itself. I think that he has made a lot of accomplishments by trying to unite the world in a peaceful way...it's only been 8 months!!! I believe the United States has unreasonable expectations from President Obama and is placing undue pressure based on the Bush administrations mistakes. I am very proud of our president and believe this honor will change the world!!

    October 10, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  5. Lilly

    I support 100% Obama receiving the Noble Peace Price.
    He has demonstrated commitment, loyalty, and hard work before and after being elected. His efforts to build new and improved relationships abroad has win the respect of millions all over the world. At home he has been given the difficult task to tackle an economy that is the worst since the Great Depression.
    He has proved himself and he will continue to prove himself effectively.

    October 10, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  6. Traveler

    It is interesting that the spokesmen for Hamas, the Taliban, the militant Islamic Jihad and RNC Chair, Michael Steele had similar reactions to this news.

    October 10, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  7. Linda B., Ga.

    Why in the world can't we just CONGRATULATE Pres. Obama instead of being so dang opinionated and negative about it? We are always so "quick" to criticize, My God we should feel honored that our President won the Peace Prize.

    October 10, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  8. Cindy

    It is too bad most people will no longer look at this scam of a prize with respect. The judges have to be out of their mind. What has he done? Oh yea, supported the heck out of Acorn.

    October 10, 2009 at 8:05 am |
  9. Eddie Cintron

    He should have gotten another Nobel Prize for the challenge of cleaning up the mess that was left for him. Why don't people realize that he also accepted the award because the money is being donated to charity. He doesn't get any points for that one he did that to empower the economy and help the lives that have been crying out for help through these charities.

    October 10, 2009 at 3:05 am |
  10. Kim

    Congradulations Obama and proud as an American of our president and current administration ! International unity for global peace is a call to action in the world we all need to answer.

    October 10, 2009 at 2:33 am |
  11. Charles

    Give me a break. There are soldiers dying who have done and shown more that deserve recongition. Obama is not God and it is really bothering me that people think he is everything. To all of you who voted for him I want to see if you are man or woman enough to see what kind of President you gave this great country. When this country destructs please do not ask us out there who did not vote for him for forgiveness.

    October 10, 2009 at 2:20 am |
  12. Carolyn Morey

    I was dumbfounded. I'm a very intelligent person & partisan politics play no part in my response. This was simply inappropriate and I believe will cause its own backlash, here and abroad.

    I'm going to find out who is on the committee and if possible who the other candidates were, what contributions were being considered and how long they had been on the list for the Nobel Peace Prize. I respect the office of the presidency but what's fair is fair.

    October 9, 2009 at 11:46 pm |
  13. Cathryn Davis

    What has President Obama done to deserve the Nobel Peace Prize?
    He has restored some respect to our country from other leaders of
    the world. That respect will be a great weapon in keeping us safe.

    October 9, 2009 at 11:30 pm |
  14. La'i 'Pops' Menehune

    So, if they didn't give the prize to Obama, who would get it? Is it possible he was their best choice?

    October 9, 2009 at 11:09 pm |
  15. Larry

    Were there no other nominees?

    October 9, 2009 at 11:02 pm |
  16. Ronda

    I'm very proud of President Obama. Well deserved!!

    October 9, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  17. naomi nixon

    to the person who says that anyone can get a noble peace prize, this is not true, you have to be willing to go above and beyond what you were called to do. And futhermore you have to be Godly enough, and brave enough to accept your calling. President Obama should have gotten two of the noble prize,because he's working with nothing, I feel sorry for him, because he's trying to get a good bottle of fine wine from a bad batch of sour grapes.

    October 9, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  18. Suzanne

    Really, what is it that he did that is so great he wins the Nobel Peace Prize. This seems ridiculous to me. I just don't get it.

    October 9, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  19. Nelson

    Yes, were all surprised that the president made it for the Nobel Peace Prize. But since he didn't lobby for it himself should he give it back? Isn't it disgraceful that conservatives should be pationately furious about it? Shouldn't Americans come together to accept and be proud that America is being viewed in positive eyes.

    October 9, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  20. Val

    Just by virtue of the fact that President Obama has reached out to people all over the world is worthy of a Peace Prize. Is the international community can see him as a peace maker, why can't his own country support their decision and him?

    October 9, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
  21. Britt

    America, Be proud you have such a great President.

    October 9, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
  22. Sebastien Kalonji

    Big fan of Obama and he definitely was on the right track for winning that prize in the future but this soon doesn't sound right. On the other hand I can't think of somebody else I would reward the prize other than Obama. Really sad world if our only hope for peace is a noob on the world stage.

    October 9, 2009 at 9:42 pm |
  23. Pam

    It's well-deserved. He is trying to bring peace and repair the hatred that has been caused throughout the world from the previous administration. If we are to stop terrorism, we have to want dialogue and understanding. Isn't it wonderful that he is looked upon as a man who wants peace throughout the world rather than instead of bullying everyone into submission?

    October 9, 2009 at 9:28 pm |
  24. diana

    I was surprised to say the least; trying to figure out what he did to deserve it. If he could get one; anyone can.

    October 9, 2009 at 9:22 pm |
  25. Annie Kate

    What are the criteria for consideration of this prize? They must be fairly low because Obama has yet to accomplish anything except spending our money, increasing our debt, and giving speeches. Maybe this prize will spur Obama on to do something about our problems.

    October 9, 2009 at 9:11 pm |
  26. Dennis Koltz, Macapá, Amapá, Brazil

    Congradulations President Obama! Thank goodnes that the Nobel Peace Prize recoginizes someone (all of us), who dreams of a society that resolves their problems, using peace and dialogue without using violence. I firmly beleive that violence embraces more violence.

    October 9, 2009 at 9:06 pm |
  27. Heather Ansel

    Can't we just let the main man enjoy it? Sure he has a lot more left to change, and promises to fufill. However, Obama has inspired a generation to dare to Hope again. For that alone, he would have won my vote for the Peace Prize.

    October 9, 2009 at 9:01 pm |
  28. Shane updyke

    For the first time in my lifetime I feel very inspired & believe he can lead us in making this world a better place.

    October 9, 2009 at 8:52 pm |
  29. THOMAS RITTS

    I shall say that i do like President Obama but i dislike the fact that the prize is conditining his job as President of the United State..if we as Nation and by the order of the commander in chief, have to go to war once againg to protect the integrety and security of the nation... these people are telling him not to do it...Diplomacy work until there is no more word to say..Iran is not a candy store ..and we might face it other wise.like it or not we are at war ...the prize shall be given insted to Former President Clinton.or some body else!

    October 9, 2009 at 8:51 pm |
  30. joe

    It looks like the crazy conservative fringe are going crazy(linbaugh,be ck,hannaty,coutler,o'reilly,etc) over the fact that the President got the Nobel PEACE Prize. Bush should get the hated by the world prize and cheeny the dark vader prize for getting us into two wars and killing so many of our soldiers. From a life-long Republican.

    October 9, 2009 at 8:46 pm |
  31. M. Shawn Lynch

    I believe what you have to clean up from past administrations, you deserve the Noble Peace Prize. This country knows you are the man for the job, keep smiling and making PEACE !!!

    October 9, 2009 at 8:35 pm |
  32. JC-Los Angeles

    Did he win the award because he's the only person that would employ Robert Gibbs?

    October 9, 2009 at 8:34 pm |
  33. Darren

    Americans clearly have no idea how the world felt during Barack Obama's speech in Chicago the night of the election last year. We could finally breathe out.

    The reasons for awarding the Peace Prize at this time may be nebulous to Americans but the rest of world appreciates the message sent. We hope the US join other allied forces in Afghanistan and continue the fight against AlQaeda. The Peace Prize isn't incongruous to this challenge; maybe the Nobel is a 'message of hope' from the world to you? Regardless, your nation should appreciate the appreciation!

    October 9, 2009 at 8:32 pm |
  34. Jesse Rogers

    Successful Beer Sumit = Nobel Peace Prize

    Wonder if he went and pitched himself for the Peace Prize like he did for the olympics?

    Barack, you are my hero!

    October 9, 2009 at 8:17 pm |