US President Barack Obama will formally receive his Nobel peace prize in Oslo Thursday amid widespread criticism about the timing of the world's most prestigious award for peace.
The award was announced barely nine months after President Obama was elected into office following his victory over former US Senator John McCain. The announcement was made at a time when the US government was facing raging issues on world peace including the timeliness for troops pull out from Iraq, the Afghanistan war and the lingering Palestinian conflict.
World leaders were stunned when the Nobel peace prize committee announced in October it was giving the award to Obama for his "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples."
The US President will accept the peace prize less than two weeks after he authorized the sending of at least 30,000 troops to Afghanistan to neutralize the onslaught of the Taliban.
Obama is the third sitting U.S. president,
along with Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, to win the prize. Jimmy Carter was honored two decades after he left office. Other prominent Nobel peace laureates include Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr. and Mother Teresa.
The Nobel honor comes with a $1.4 million prize. The White House says Obama will give that to charities but has not yet decided which ones.