How world views Obama Nobel Peace Prize
President Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize is praised in many countries as a reflection of a "new hope" in world politics, but others worry it came too soon. A global roundup of views.
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Countering experts who see the tribute as premature, Mr. Patino's colleague, Juan Manuel Montano, says that as leader of the most influential country in the world, Obama can make more of a difference with the prize. "He is looking for ways to build relationships with countries around the world, including Mexico," says Mr. Montano.Skip to next paragraph
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But Obama's ability to deliver on that hope is what troubles some observers.
"I couldn't believe it," says a Scandinavian diplomat whose wife called him Friday with the news. "I actually felt a little embarrassed for Obama, and for the Nobel committee. He [Obama] is going to have to accept this with the acknowledgement that he has still to earn it."
That sentiment was echoed in Britain, where the US president still enjoys high levels of approval. "He is a great, eloquent speaker and people admire that, but Tony Blair was also very eloquent, and many Britons are now cynical about what [Blair] ultimately achieved," says Dominic Dyer, executive director of the American European Institute in London.
Mairead Corrigan, a Belfast-born peace campaigner who was a joint winner of the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize for her work in Northern Ireland, said she was "very sad" to hear the news. "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," she told the BBC.
In Pakistan, opinion ranged from surprise to outrage, with doubts expressed about cooperating with the US in the war on terror, paranoia about the expansion of the US Embassy in Islamabad, and fingerpointing over unrest and bombings. In one of the softer comments offered, Cyril Almeida, the assistant editor of the newspaper Dawn, says that people shouldn't have to think about why someone received such an award. "This decision will be met at the least by a collective scratching of heads, if not genuine disbelief."
In India, meanwhile, some pointed out that their country's paragon of peace, Mahatma Gandhi, never won the Nobel Peace Prize. But people also gave a nod to the choice.
"I suppose it's more about hope than actual achievement to date," says Meenakshi Banguly, senior researcher for South Asia with Human Rights Watch. She credits Obama with changing the atmopshere. "In South Asia, there was a lot of anti-Americanism that followed 9/11 and the so-called war on terror that a lot of Muslims felt was directed at their community. President Obama came out and said that very clearly, and that was a reason for hope."