San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

From One Nobel to Another: Arias Congratulates Obama

From One Nobel

to Another: Arias

Congratulates Obama


Hours after headlines spread around the world that United States President Barack Obama had received the 2009 peace prize, Costa Rican President Oscar Arias – himself a Nobel Peace Prize recipient – offered his congratulations.

Despite the fact that the U.S. is battling a war on two fronts and its military budget is enormous, Arias said, “Sometimes, speaking of peace is an achievement in itself.

“When many voices call for a mad race for arms, when radical speeches intensify international polarization, and when a leader of the greatest military power speaks of dialogue and understanding – that gives us reason to dream that this century may finally be a century of peace for the world.”

Obama’s selection as this year’s Nobel Peace Prize recipient sparked criticism among conservatives of his home country, who said the award was premature and undeserved.

To their comments, Arias said, “I know many will question the merit on which this has been granted, given that there has been no specific result. I believe, however, that the Nobel committee is not saying he did this or that for peace, but what he wants to do for peace is correct and the international community should support him.”

Arias, who was awarded the peace prize in 1987 for helping end Central America’s civil wars, added that he hopes the opposition in the U.S. will understand Obama’s new responsibilities in the international realm, saying that a more international focus is “a responsibility that I, too, undertook 22 years ago, when I received the Nobel Prize.”





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