Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Obama meets Nobel nominee Malala

Malala Yousafzai was shot by the Taliban (AP)

US president Barack Obama has met the teenage advocate for girls' education and the target of a Taliban assassination attempt who was the youngest nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Mr Obama met with 16-year-old Malala Yousafzai on Friday, the same day the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

The Pakistani teenager was considered a front-runner for the prize, which Mr Obama won in 2009. She was in Washington to speak at two events.

She said in a statement she was honoured to meet the president.

Malala was shot in the head in October 2012 while going home from school.

She was flown to a British hospital for treatment. Her memoir, I am Malala, was published on Tuesday.

Malala said: "I thanked president Obama for the United States' work in supporting education in Pakistan and Afghanistan and for Syrian refugees.

"I also expressed my concerns that drone attacks are fuelling terrorism. Innocent victims are killed in these acts, and they lead to resentment among the Pakistani people. If we refocus efforts on education it will make a big impact."

She called for greater co-operation between the governments of the United States and Pakistan.

The White House said in a statement that Malala met with the president and first lady in the Oval Office where the president signed a proclamation to mark Friday as the International Day of the Girl.

The proclamation says in part that "on every continent, there are girls who will go on to change the world in ways we can only imagine, if only we allow them the freedom to dream".

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