The feud has overshadowed the run-up to this year's award, for which the buzz is mainly around German Chancellor Angela Merkel, for her acceptance of refugees, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif, for their nuclear deal. Like last year, Pope Francis and Russian human rights groups also figure in the speculation. The committee hasn't given any hints.
His comment has reopened debate in Norway about how the panel should be picked. By Nobel statute, the all-Norwegian group is elected by the country's lawmakers and reflects the party arithmetic inside the Parliament.