U.S. President Barack Obama has won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. The Norwegian Nobel Committee said Obama had been awarded the prize for his calls to reduce the world's stockpiles of nuclear weapons and work towards restarting the stalled Middle East peace process.
The committee praised Obama for "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples."
"Very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future."
The laureate wins a gold medal, a diploma and 10 million Swedish crowns (1.4 million dollars or 878,000 pounds).
Obama was one of a record 205 nominees for this year's prize and the decision has come as a surprise to many. Zimbabwe's Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, had been tipped as one of the favourites.