President Obama welcomes Malala at the White House
Teenager met the president in the Oval Office as he signed a proclamation marking Friday as 'International Day of the Girl'
Heather Saul is a digital reporter for The Independent, currently working on the People desk. She has written news and features across a number of topics, paying particular attention to the activities of Isis and events in Iraq, Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Saturday 12 October 2013
Malala Yousafzai was welcomed to the White House by US President Barack Obama just hours after missing out on the Nobel Peace Prize.
The 16-year-old was shot in the head a year ago by the Taliban for campaigning for education for girls. She recovered after medical treatment in Britain, and had been considered an odds-on favorite to win the Nobel.
The teenager met the president in the Oval Office, where he signed a proclamation marking Friday as '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”.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons were instead awarded the prize by the Norwegian Nobel Committee for its “extensive work to eliminate chemical weapons”, as a team of inspectors continued working in Damascus under a UN resolution to demolish chemical arsenal production equipment.
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.
According to the White House the Obamas thanked Yousafzai for her "inspiring and passionate work on behalf of girls education in Pakistan."
“The United States joins with the Pakistani people and so many around the world to celebrate Malala's courage and her determination to promote the right of all girls to attend school and realize their dreams,” a White House statement said.
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