"Very few leaders if at all were able to change the mood of the entire world in such a short while with such profound impact. You provided the entire humanity with fresh hope," Mr. Peres wrote."Under your leadership, peace became a real and original agenda. And from Jerusalem, I am sure all the bells of engagement and understanding will ring again."
Many average folks from across the globe said the award ratifies a weary hope for peace.
"It's OK," says Dieter Bosche, who heads a German agriculture feed company, sitting with four friends at lunch in Berlin. "It's good for the new politics Obama represents, and good for the direction of the US. We want this direction to continue."
In Mexico City, some residents responded similarly, even though Latin America had strong contenders for the award, including French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt and Piedad Cordoba, an influential peacebroker in Colombia.
A group of messengers standing on a sidewalk praised the decision. "He is a man of peace, he deserves it," says Jose Domingo Patino.
Countering experts who see the tribute as premature, Mr. Patino's colleague, Juan Manuel Montano, says that as leader of the most influential country in the world, Obama can make more of a difference with the prize. "He is looking for ways to build relationships with countries around the world, including Mexico," says Mr. Montano.