Obama leaves for Oslo to collect Nobel Peace Prize

10:41, December 10, 2009      

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President Barack Obama left Wednesday night for Norway's Oslo to receive his Nobel Peace Prize.

U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama walk to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Dec. 9, 2009. Obama is travelling to Oslo, capital of Norway, to accept the Nobel Peace Prize.(Xinhua/Zhang Yan)

He is scheduled to speak there Thursday. According to the White House, he is to talk about the 30,000-troop increase to Afghanistan last week in his acceptance speech of the prestigious prize for peace.

"The president will address the notion that last week he authorized a 30,000-person increase in our commitment to Afghanistan, and this week accepts a prize for peace," said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, in a daily press briefing before Obama's departure.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate U.S. President Barack Obama departs Washington for Oslo December 9, 2009. Obama will receive the Nobel Peace Prize award at a ceremony in Oslo on Thursday.(Xinhua/AFP Photo)

Responding to a question about whether Obama feels embarrassed, Gibbs said Obama is proud of the steps his administration has taken to re-engage the world.

Obama is to accept the prize Thursday in Oslo. The irony of his being both Nobel laureate and wartime president has raised many eyebrows.

Gibbs said Obama "understands" he isn't "in the same discussion as Mandela and Mother Theresa." Nelson Mandela, former South African president, and Mother Theresa were both Nobel Peace Prize recipients.

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