Nobel Peace Prize laureates call for fight against terrorism, Palestine solution

Thu Dec 10, 2015 8:56am EST
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By Gwladys Fouche and Johan Ahlander

OSLO/STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - A Tunisian pro-democracy group accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on Thursday and set the fight against terrorism and helping Palestinians to achieve self-determination as global priorities.

The National Dialogue Quartet, which won the Peace Prize for helping build democracy in the birthplace of the Arab Spring, accepted the award at a ceremony in Oslo held under tight security following the armed attacks in Paris on Nov. 13.

"Today we are most in need of making the fight against terrorism an absolute priority, which means perseverance on coordination and cooperation between all nations to drain its resources," Hussein Abassi, head of the Tunisian General Labour Union, one of the quartet honored, said in a speech.

"We need to accelerate the elimination of hot spots all over the world, particularly the resolution of the Palestinian issue and enable the Palestinian people the right to self-determination on their land and build their independent state," he said.

Security precautions loomed large over the banquets and concerts for hundreds of political, intellectual and business leaders attending the lavish Nobel awards ceremonies held jointly in Oslo and Stockholm.

"Security is higher than it would otherwise have been because of the situation in Europe," Johan Fredriksen, chief of staff for Oslo police told Reuters, referring to the Paris attacks in which 130 people were killed.

Last year, a demonstrator carrying a Mexican flag disrupted the ceremony at Oslo City Hall when Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai and Indian activist Kailash Satyarthi received their Nobel Peace Prizes. He was not a guest but managed to get through the security checkpoints.

The quartet of the Tunisian General Labour Union, the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts, the Tunisian Human Rights League and the Tunisian Order of Lawyers was formed in the summer of 2013.   Continued...

The winners of the 2015 Nobel Prize, Tunisian National Dialouge Quartet members, (L-R, seated),  Secretary General of the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT), Hussein Abassi, President of the Tunisian Order of Lawyers Mohamed Fadhel Mahfoudh, President of the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts Ouided Bouchamaoui, President of the Tunisian Human Rights League, Abdessatar Ben Moussa attend the non-profit organization Save the Children's Peace Prize party together with Prince Sverre Magnus and Crown Princess of Norway, Mette-Marit at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, Norway, December 10, 2015. REUTERS/Fredrik Varfjell/NTB scanpix