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OSLO: 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 US president has been put forward by others for the prestigious award.“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, said. “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 weapons programme.

Tybring-Gjedde, who sits on the Norwegian Parliament’s Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee, also confirmed the joint nomination of Trump when contacted.

“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.

Published in Dawn, February 19th, 2019