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LONDON: Britain said on Friday that the European Union must "preserve and strengthen" its achievements in future after the bloc was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
In a two-sentence statement, a Foreign Office spokesperson said: "This award recognises the EU's historic role in promoting peace and reconciliation in Europe, particularly through its enlargement to central and eastern Europe.
"The EU must always strive to preserve and strengthen those achievements for the future."
The brief statement came more than two hours after the award was announced.
A spokeswoman for Prime Minister David Cameron's Downing Street office told AFP they had no plans to make any separate statement. There was no immediate reaction from Foreign Secretary William Hague.
Cameron is under pressure from rightwingers in his Conservative Party to hold a referendum on whether Britain should change its relationship with the EU, or pull out altogether.
He has repeatedly said that the crisis afflicting the euro, of which Britain is not a member, is hurting his country's recession-hit economy.
Separately former British prime minister Tony Blair, of the generally more pro-Europe Labour Party, said the EU had been "one of the defining concepts of the last half century."
"Amidst the turmoil of today we would do well to remember that when the Second World War ended, Europe was in ruins. What followed has been over 50 years of peace and progress," he said.
"The rationale for Europe today has changed but the ideal of a Europe united and working together remains constant."