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Last Updated: Friday, 7 October 2005, 15:58 GMT 16:58 UK
In quotes: Reaction to Nobel peace prize
Figures from around the world respond to the decision to award the 2005 Nobel peace prize to the UN's nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, and its leader, Egyptian Mohamed ElBaradei.

KOFI ANNAN, UN SECRETARY-GENERAL AND NOBEL LAUREATE

Dr ElBaradei has guided this vital mission with great skill since 1997. The secretary-general congratulates him and the entire staff of the agency, past and present, on their contributions to global peace.

The prize is a welcome reminder of the acute need to make progress on the issue of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament at a time when weapons of mass destruction continue to pose a grave danger to us all.

WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN SCOTT MCCLELLAN

We congratulate Dr ElBaradei and the International Atomic Energy Agency for winning the Nobel Peace Prize. We also welcome the committee's recognition of the importance of stopping the proliferation of nuclear weapons. As the largest financial contributor to the International Atomic Energy Agency, we strongly support those efforts.

HAMID REZA ASEFI, IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN

I have nothing to say about this.

SHIMON PERES, ISRAELI DEPUTY PM AND NOBEL LAUREATE

He is a worthy winner, although not the perfect choice. There are many holes in the apparatus [to prevent nuclear arms proliferation], such as in the case of Iran, but... the agency has contributed much to halt the arms race and to prevent [weapons] from falling into dangerous hands.

The message is to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction because if irresponsible people around the world - of whom there are many - manage to acquire nuclear arms, it will be very hard to continue to live on this Earth.

MOHAMED AL-SAYED SAID, EGYPTIAN COMMENTATOR

I think it will ignite Egyptian pride. It's good for the issue itself, for non-proliferation, and good for Egypt. It's a new chance for the country to restore its pride.

It will also promote his status because the Americans were very angry with the positions he took on Iraq and other issues.

HANS BLIX, FORMER UN WEAPONS INSPECTOR

I think it underlines the importance of the agency and it underlines the importance of states co-operating through an international organisation, rather than simply acting unilaterally.

PAKISTANI PRESIDENT PERVEZ MUSHARRAF

This is a well-deserved recognition of your singular contribution to international peace and security, through your able leadership of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

[Your work has contributed to] a climate of understanding and co-operation, and has earned you the confidence and trust of the international community.

WOLFGANG SCHUESSEL, AUSTRIAN CHANCELLOR

As host country to the IAEA, we are naturally particularly happy about this award.

I sincerely congratulate General Secretary ElBaradei and all his co-workers on this well-deserved recognition of their permanent commitment in the service of peace.

JACQUES CHIRAC, FRENCH PRESIDENT

I would like to say... how delighted I am to learn that the relevant authorities have given the Nobel peace prize to the IAEA and its director, Mr Mohamed ElBaradei, for their quite significant, and I would go so far as to say key, contribution for this vital search for peace, stability and security throughout the world - something we all aspire to.

TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER

I endorse entirely his [Chirac's] congratulation to Mr ElBaradei and the [IAEA] on the receipt of the Nobel prize. It is well deserved and very important, and shows the significance that is attached to the work that agency does.

GERMAN CHANCELLOR GERHARD SCHROEDER'S SPOKESWOMAN

The chancellor praised the Nobel prize committee's decision as... a very wise decision, on account of the position that Mr ElBaradei and his organisation took during the Iraq war and during the Iraq crisis.

It is at the same time recognition for his stance in the negotiations with Iran.

MARTTI AHTISAARI, EX-FINNISH PRESIDENT

It's an excellent choice... for an organisation that does extremely good work.

JAN PETERSEN, NORWAY'S FOREIGN MINISTER

He is a man of great integrity and has always sought to achieve results through negotiation.

KENYAN PRESIDENT MWAI KIBAKI

The commitment of the IAEA in marshalling efforts towards the spread of nuclear weapons was not only outstanding but also a major service to humanity.

MIKHAIL GORBACHEV, EX-SOVIET PRESIDENT, NOBEL LAUREATE

It is a worthy reward for his efforts over many years. He is a man who does his job solidly and responsibly.

He avoids extremes and does staunch work building up the IAEA's role in controlling nuclear non-proliferation.

LECH WALESA, FORMER POLISH PRESIDENT AND NOBEL LAUREATE

The Nobel prize should go to individuals. Alfred Nobel was himself very much an individualist and I believe his prize should reward, encourage and support those who do something important for their country or for the world - for Africa, China, Tibet or North Korea, for example.

Naturally, the IAEA has done many important things for the world. But the Nobel prize should be wind in the sails of an individual who works for the greater good, who is a symbol.




SEE ALSO:
UN nuclear head confirmed in post
26 Sep 05 |  Americas
Profile: Mohamed ElBaradei
01 Oct 04 |  Middle East
Profile: IAEA
21 Jul 05 |  Country profiles


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