WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump reveled Wednesday in his nomination by a right-wing Norwegian politician for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize. “Thank you!” he said in one of a flurry of tweets and retweets celebrating the nomination, which cited Trump’s role in brokering an agreement to normalize relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.
Norwegian member of parliament Christian Tybring-Gjedde told AFP that he has nominated the Republican US president due to the “unique and historic agreement between Israel and the UAE-an agreement that, we hope, can be extended to other Arab countries so that we can have lasting peace in the Middle East.”
A member of the right-wing, anti-immigration Progress Party, Tybring-Gjedde is the deputy chair of the Norwegian parliament’s committee on foreign and defense affairs. He unsuccessfully proposed Trump, along with another lawmaker, for the Nobel in 2018, citing his rapprochement with North Korea. That spectacular attempt at breaking the US standoff with the isolated, nuclear-armed dictatorship has since lost momentum. Hundreds of people are nominated every year for Nobel prizes, with no guarantee of being picked.
The Norwegian Nobel Institute welcomes all proposed names, as long as they are sent in by January 31 for the year in question and are submitted by those eligible to nominate-which includes members of the country’s parliament. Trump has previously complained that he has not been considered more seriously for the peace prize, expressing bitterness that his Democratic predecessor Barack Obama was awarded the prestigious honor at the start of his first term in 2009.
“They gave it to Obama. He didn’t even know what he got it for. He was there for about 15 seconds and he got the Nobel Prize,” Trump said last year. “I probably will never get it.” Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and White House advisor, said the president was “very, very honored to be nominated.” “All of America’s allies feel much closer to America, and now they’re becoming closer to each other and breaking barriers that people thought previously were not breakable. So it really is a very hopeful time in the Middle East,” he added.
According to Tybring-Gjedde, Trump is more deserving than many past laureates for his role in breaking the impasse between Israel and an Arab regional power. “Whether it’s the 1978 Camp David accords or the 1993 Oslo accords, the Nobel Peace Prize has been given to the protagonists and this agreement is at least as revolutionary for the Middle East,” he said.
Tybring-Gjedde said the Nobel committee should not be swayed by any controversy over Trump’s divisive style. “For Nobel laureates, whether they are in… literature or chemistry, nobody cares about their personality,” he insisted. “It’s not personality that decides whether someone wins the prize, but what the person has really accomplished to make peace in the world,” he said. The Nobel Institute usually refuses to comment on nominations and was not available for comment. In the past several of the five Nobel committee members that select the laureate have made negative remarks about Trump. -AFP