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Worldwide Surprise Greets Obama Peace Prize Announcement


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Reaction from around the world has one of surprise following the announcement that U.S. President Barack Obama is the winner of this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

The choice of President Barack Obama as the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize came as a shock in Oslo, Norway where the announcement was made.

Around the world, messages of congratulations began to pour in - from Nobel Laureates Mikhail Gorbachev and Wangari Mathaii, who've both won the Peace Prize.

Israeli President Shimon Peres, who shared the prize in 1994. He says the selection of Mr. Obama makes peace in the Middle East a real and original agenda.

"Here in Jerusalem, the bells will ring again with a new hope. and a feeling that there is a lord in heaven and believer on Earth and both of us can act together to move properly and determinedly, to provide a new reality," said Shimon Peres. "Mr. President, I congratulate you from the depth of my heart. We are proud and we are proud about you."

Israel's defense minister sent congratulations, as did Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, who also hopes it will help the cause of peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai who had been tipped as a possible winner also had kind words for Mr. Obama.

"I wish to congratulate President Obama, I think he is a deserving candidate, I can not determine how people arrive at those conclusions and for me he is an extraordinary example," said Morgan Tsvangirai.

But not everyone believes the choice of the American President was a good one. An official of Hamas, the Palestinian group that controls the Gaza Strip says Mr. Obama still has a long way to go and as yet has not done anything to contribute to world peace or justice.

The Taliban spokesman said the President should have won a prize for escalating violence and killing civilians.

Some observers have questioning whether it is too early in the President's term for such an award, because the president so far has not made any major foreign policy achievements.