By Gwladys Fouche
OSLO, Feb 18 (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
is not saying whether or not he nominated Donald Trump for this
year’s Nobel Peace Prize, but the question may be moot: the U.S.
president has been put forward by others for the prestigious
During a White House news conference on Friday, Trump said
the Japanese premier had given him “the most beautiful copy” of
a five-page nomination letter to the Norwegian Nobel Committee.
Since then Abe has declined to say whether he had done so.
Regardless, Trump has already been nominated by two Norwegian
“We have nominated him of course for the positive
developments on the Korean Peninsula,” Per-Willy Amundsen, who
was Justice Minister in Prime Minister Erna Solberg’s cabinet in
2016-2018, told Reuters.
“It has been a very difficult situation and the tensions
have since lowered and a lot of it is due to Trump’s
unconventional diplomatic style,” he added.
Amundsen, who is a member of the rightwing Progress Party,
wrote a letter to the award committee together with his
parliamentary colleague Christian Tybring-Gjedde, he said.
The letter was submitted in June, immediately after a summit
Trump held in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un
aimed at easing tensions and tackling Pyongyang’s nuclear
Tybring-Gjedde, who sits on the Norwegian Parliament’s
Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee, also confirmed the joint
nomination of Trump when contacted by Reuters.
“A possible award would of course depend on the talks
leading to a credible disarmament deal,” he said.
A wide range of people can nominate for the Nobel Peace
Prize, including members of parliaments and governments, heads
of state, university professors of history, social sciences or
law and past Nobel Peace Prize laureates, among others.
The deadline for nominations for the 2019 prize, which will
be announced on Oct. 11., was Jan. 31.
The five-strong Norwegian Nobel Committee, which decides who
wins the award, does not comment on nominations, keeping secret
for 50 years the names of nominators and unsuccessful nominees.
Still, it did say earlier this month that 304 candidates
were nominated for this year’s prize, of which 219 are
individuals and 85 are organizations.
Last year’s prize was jointly awarded to Congolese doctor
Denis Mukwege and Yazidi human rights activist Nadia Murad.
(Editing by Frances Kerry)