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Sat Nov 01 09:34:01 SAST 2014

Tutu protests Nobel Peace Prize for EU

Sapa-AFP | 30 November, 2012 07:48
Archbishop Desmond Tutu has written to the Nobel Foundation in protest of the EU's Nobel Peace Prize, saying the union is not the champion of peace Alfred Nobel had in mind.
Image by: YURI GRIPAS / REUTERS

Archbishop Desmond Tutu and two other Nobel Peace laureates have written to the foundation in protest at the decision to award the 2012 prize to the European Union.

The "EU is clearly not 'the champion of peace' that Alfred Nobel had in mind when he wrote his will", they said in an open letter.

The letter was also signed by Northern Ireland's Mairead Maguire, who won the prize in 1976, and Argentina's Adolfo Perez Esquivel, 1980.

"The Norwegian Nobel committee has redefined and remodelled the prize in a manner that is not consistent with the law," they said, adding that the committee should respect the original wishes of the Nobel founder who died in 1896.

The three also called for the prize money of 930 000 euros ($1.2 million) not to be paid to the EU.

Eighteen European leaders have accepted an invitation to next month's ceremony while six others have declined, the Nobel Institute said Thursday.

British Prime Minister David Cameron leads the list of leaders who plan to snub the December 10 event in Oslo, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande have said they will attend.

EU President Herman Van Rompuy called on all its 27 member states and soon-to-be-inducted Croatia to send attendees to the ceremony after the EU won the award on October 12 - a controversial decision that came as a surprise amid the economic crisis racking the bloc.

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