Obama hails Nobel winner Malala's 'passion and determination'

Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai (right), the joint winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, stands with her mother Torpekai after speaking at Birmingham library in Birmingham, central England Oct 10, 2014. Pakistani teenager Malala, who was shot in the
Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai (right), the joint winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, stands with her mother Torpekai after speaking at Birmingham library in Birmingham, central England Oct 10, 2014. Pakistani teenager Malala, who was shot in the head by the Taleban in 2012 for advocating girls' right to education, won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, together with Indian campaigner against child trafficking and labour Kailash Satyarthi. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US President Barack Obama congratulated Malala Yousafzai on winning the Nobel Peace Prize Friday, praising the 17-year-old Pakistani's "passion and determination" to stand up for girls' right to an education.

"When the Taleban tried to silence her, Malala answered their brutality with strength and resolve," Obama said in a statement, adding that he was "awe-struck by her courage" after a meeting in his office last year.