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President Carter has supporters for Nobel

Q: I was surprised when the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to three people last week. I always heard that it could be given to an individual, or shared by two people, or given to a group, but never shared by three. Supposedly, that was why President Jimmy Carter didn't get it in 1978 for engineering the Camp David Accords. So how could it go to three people this year?

A: Nobel expert Irwin Abrams, who has nominated Carter for a Nobel Peace Prize three times, says the Nobel committee has no regulations about the number of recipients. But he says the "weight of tradition" has been against it going to three people simply because it had never happened in the prize's 93-year history.

In 1978, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat shared the prize for the Camp David Accords, disappointing Carter fans who believed he deserved a share.

This year, the prize went to Yasser Arafat, leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization; Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin; and Shimon Peres, Rabin's foreign minister.

Abrams, a retired history professor at Antioch University in Ohio and a member of the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker organization that won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1974, said he intends to nominate Carter for the prize again next year.