Page last updated at 13:05 GMT, Friday, 9 October 2009 14:05 UK

Obama award sad - NI Nobel winner

Barack Obama at the White House, 7 October 2009
Barack Obama has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize

Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Corrigan Maguire has criticised the decision to give this year's award to US President Barack Obama.

The Nobel committee said Mr Obama had created a new climate in international politics and made extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy.

However, Mrs Maguire said she was "very sad" to hear of the award.

Mrs Maguire won the 1976 Nobel award along with fellow Belfast peace campaigner Betty Williams.

"President Obama has yet to prove that he will move seriously on the Middle East, that he will end the war in Afghanistan and many other issues," Mrs Maguire said.

"The Nobel committee is not meeting the conditions of Alfred Nobel's will, because he stipulated that the award is to be given to people who end militarism and war and are for disarmament."

But SDLP leader Mark Durkan said the committee "rightly highlights the president's extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples".

"Since his election as US president, President Obama has touched and inspired people all around the world.

"He has been a sign of positive progress, not just in the United States but in terms of international leadership," Mr Durkan said.

Former SDLP leader John Hume and former Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble won the 1998 peace prize after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.



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