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Friday, 16 March, 2001, 17:18 GMT
Norwegian defends Castro Nobel nomination

A member of the Norwegian parliament has defended his decision to nominate the Cuban President, Fidel Castro, for the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize.

Mr Hallgeir Langeland said that he was aware of the controversial character of his decision, but he wanted to praise President Castro's efforts to help other developing nations.

He added that despite the hardships created by the long-standing United States embargo on Cuba, President Castro had been able to send doctors, engineers and aid workers to other countries. This years' winner will be announced in October.

Other nominees include the United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and the founder of the Chinese Falungong movement, Li Hongzhi.

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