U.S. President Barack Obama says he is "surprised and deeply humbled"
to have won the Nobel Peace Prize and will accept the award as a "call
to action" for "all nations to confront the common challenges of the
The president, who has been in office less than a year, said he does
not view the award as a recognition of his own accomplishments, but
rather an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of the
aspirations held by people worldwide.
He said he does not feel that he deserves to be in the company of the
many transformative figures who have been honored by the prize.
The comments came hours after the unexpected announcement in Oslo.
Nobel Committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland praised Mr. Obama for what
the committee called "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen
international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples."
Jagland said the committee attached special importance to his "vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons."
The announcement was greeted with gasps of surprise from the audience.
The decision has been well-received by many Nobel laureates and world
leaders. But others have said Mr. Obama has yet to make significant
contributions to the international stage.
The White House says Mr. Obama will donate the prize money -- roughly $1.4 million -- to charity.