2009-10-10 13:24:03

Nobel Peace Prize to Obama greeted with praise, high hopes at Vatican

(October 10, 2009) News that U.S. President Barack Obama had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize was met with high hopes from the Vatican spokesman. Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi told journalists October 9 that the news "was greeted with appreciation at the Vatican in light of the president's demonstrated commitment to promoting peace on an international level and, in particular, in recently promoting nuclear disarmament. It is hoped that this very important recognition would offer greater encouragement for such a difficult but fundamental dedication to the future of humanity so that it may bring about the desired results," he said in a written statement. The new U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, Miguel Diaz, told Vatican Radio that the president was being recognized for his efforts in working to build understanding between people and eliminate nuclear weapons from all parts of the world. Winning the Nobel Peace Prize is a great encouragement to keep working toward building a better world, said Diaz. The Vatican press office has released a note of congratulation, saying that Obama deserved it for his "promotion of peace in the international sphere, and also in particular in favour of nuclear disarmament." "It is hoped that this most important recognition will ultimately encourage such a difficult but fundamental commitment for the future of humanity, so that it might bring the expected results," the statement added. Critics of the Nobel committee's decision note that Obama has been in office less than nine months, and hasn't had time to deliver much more than a vision. Obama promised to end the Iraq war if elected president, but has been slow to bring troops home from Iraq. He recently ordered 21,000 extra troops to Afghanistan this year.

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