Obama defends his Nobel Peace Prize following growing criticism over Libya campaign

Last Updated: Thu, Mar 24, 2011 08:40 hrs

United States President Barack Obama has said that he does not see any contradiction between his Nobel Peace Prize and his actions in Libya.

"When I received that award, I specifically said there was an irony because I was already dealing with two wars. So, I am accustomed to this contradiction of being both a commander-in-chief but also someone who aspires to peace," Politico quoted Obama, as saying.

"I think the American people don't see any contradiction in somebody who cares about peace also wanting to make sure that people aren't butchered because of a dictator who wants to cling to power," he added.

Obama's comment comes after Bolivian President Evo Morales and a Russian political leader, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, launched a joint effort to have the US President stripped of the award following the US-led military campaign against Libyan dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi.

Obama further defended the US involvement in Libya, saying that he is focused on ensuring that Libyans can "live out their own aspirations".

"We're not invading a country, we're not acting alone - we're acting under a mandate issued by the United Nations Security Council in an unprecedented fashion and with unprecedented speed," Obama said.

The Nobel committee has been criticized both in the US and abroad for its 2009 decision to award the prize to Obama for "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples" only a few months after his inauguration. (ANI)