Clintons applaud Gore for Nobel Peace Prize

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WASHINGTON, Oct 12 (Reuters) US Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, applauded Al Gore today for winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

''Congratulations! Congratulations to Al Gore for his well-deserved Nobel Peace Prize,'' the Web site of the senator from New York and former first lady -- www.hillaryclinton.com -- said in a message alongside a large picture of Gore.

''His dedication and tireless work have been instrumental in raising international awareness about global warming.'' Aides to Hillary Clinton said she would make a more detailed statement about Gore and the UN climate panel that shared the Nobel prize with him later in the day.

Bill Clinton said he was ''thrilled by this well-deserved recognition'' for his former vice president and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

''Al Gore has been warning and educating us about the dangers of climate change for decades,'' Clinton, the US president from 1993-2001, said in a statement.

''He saw this coming before others in public life and never stopped pushing for action to save our planet, even in the face of public indifference and attacks from those determined to defend the indefensible.'' In 2000 Gore lost the closest presidential election in US history after losing a Florida recount battle to Republican George W Bush.

In the months leading up to the 2000 election, Gore distanced himself from President Clinton. Friends say he has good relations with Sen Clinton and admires her.

Gore has attracted growing support in recent days from thousands of Democratic activists who want him to enter the 2008 presidential race, which Hillary Clinton is currently dominating.

REUTERS SYU BST2145

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