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World Leaders Praise Nobel Peace Prize Announcement

World leaders and diplomats have praised the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, and its director Mohamed ElBaradei.

In France, President Jacques Chirac said Mr. ElBaradei and his agency have played key roles in in the search for world peace and security. British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who had just concluded talks with Mr. Chirac, said the award underscores the significance of the IAEA's work.

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said the prize is recognition of Mr. ElBaradei's position in nuclear talks with Iran.

Russian presidential aide Sergei Prikhodko called Mr. ElBaradei a man of peace, not war.

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he hopes the world will now have greater appreciation of the IAEA and its work.

But not all of the reaction was positive. The environmentalist group Greenpeace expressed dismay at the announcement, saying the IAEA's promotion of nuclear power undercuts its efforts to control military nuclear proliferation.

Some information in this story provided by AP and AFP.