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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In Kenya, Damaris Akaina Stephen, sipping tea in a dusty roadside shop in the northern drought-hit town of Archer's Post, 210 miles north of Nairobi, concurs: "He will succeed to bring peace across so many people, and it is good that these people recognize that he is in our hearts as a hero who can lead us by his good example."Skip to next paragraph
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But even in Kenya, the homeland of Obama's father as well as 2004 Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai, the award was met with surprise and qualified congratulations. The country is mired in political deadlock which is delaying reforms designed to sidestep a repeat of the deadly clashes which erupted after the 2007 presidential elections.
"I'm proud that another Kenyan has won the prize," said Mohamed Leeresh, a businessman also having tea in Archer's Post. "But what peace has he brought yet? Our people are suffering from fighting brought by drought, there is no peace, only fear of violence."
Asia: focus on nuclear weapons
In South Korea, commentators pointed to something that the Nobel committee singled out: nuclear weapons. Yonhap News Agency speculated that Obama's vision of a nuclear-free world was the main reason behind him taking the prize. Seoul's Segye Ilbo also viewed Obama as having won the award largely because of his "vision and efforts" towards a world without nuclear arms.
Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama extended congratulations to the president from Beijing, Yonhap reported. The prime minister is set hold talks on the North Korean nuclear issue with Chinese and South Korean counterparts. Earlier in the day, Mr. Hatoyama and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak agreed to a joint stance on the North's atomic weapons.
A number of Chinese dissidents were passed over in favor of Obama, included human rights activist Hu Jia and Wei Jingsheng, who spent more than a decade in prison after calling for reforms to the Communist system.
Contributors to this story included: Sara Miller Llana in Mexico, Ben Arnoldy in India, Issam Ahmed in Pakistan, Fred Weir in Russia, Julien Barnes-Dacey in Syria, Josh Mitnick in Israel, Ben Quinn in Britain, Ben Hancock in South Korea, and Michael Pflanz in Kenya.