The Norwegian committee that gave Barack Obama the Nobel Peace Prize is defending its choice amid criticism that the U.S. president has not done enough to deserve the award.

In rare comments to media, committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland tells The Associated Press that “we simply disagree that he has done nothing. He got the prize for what he has done.”

Mr. Jagland said Mr. Obama reached out to the Muslim world and “modified” a Bush-era proposal for an anti-missile shield in Europe.

Mr. Jagland and three other members of the five-seat Nobel panel told the AP that they had expected criticism of their decision. One of them, Aagot Valle, said some of the criticism was patronising towards Mr. Obama.

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