WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, welcomed Pakistani schoolgirl activist Malala Yousafzai to the Oval Office on Friday.
On the day she was passed over for the Nobel Peace Prize, the Obamas hailed Malala, 16, who was shot by the Taliban for championing girls’ right to an education, for her “inspiring and passionate” work on behalf of girls 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.
“We salute Malala’s efforts to help make these dreams come true.”
Obama met with Malala on the same day the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
The teen said in a statement after the meeting that she was honored to meet with the president, who is a Nobel Peace Prize recipient. “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 fueling terrorism. Innocent victims are killed in these acts, and they lead to resentment among the Pakistani people.”