8 December 2010 Last updated at 16:45
Nobel peace prize: Who is boycotting the ceremony?
This year's Nobel peace prize was awarded to Chinese political activist Liu Xiaobo. The move angered Beijing, which warned of "consequences" for governments attending the ceremony. The BBC's Paul Reynolds looks at which countries are not going, and why.There are two major reasons why countries have decided to boycott Friday's Nobel ceremonies: first, that the prize went to a dissident and second, that the Chinese government has objected. This has opened the way for governments that are not sympathetic to dissidents to object and boycott the ceremony. The second reason - the threat from China of the "consequences" of attending - is significant because China is reaching out across the world with economic muscle.
At least 44 of the 65 embassies that have been invited have accepted the invitation, the Nobel Peace Prize Committee has said. But a total of 18 countries, plus China, have said they will not be going: Russia, Kazakhstan, Colombia, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Serbia, Iraq, Iran, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Venezuela, the Philippines, Egypt, Sudan, Ukraine, Cuba and Morocco. Their reasons are outlined below.
|Country||What they said||Analysis|
|China ||"As far as I know, at present, more than 100 countries and organisations have expressed explicit support for China opposing the Nobel Peace Prize, which fully shows that the international community does not accept the decision of the Nobel Committee," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu (pictured) said.||China has denounced Liu's award as an "obscenity" and has pressured diplomats to boycott the ceremony. In early November, China warned that there would be "consequences" if governments showed support for Liu at the award ceremony. The Chinese government apparently returned their own invitation unopened.|
|Cuba ||Fidel Castro recently wrote: "Let's hope to God this is just one of those ideological strikes that this once-prestigious honour has delivered over its long history, and not a new rule".||The dissident factor looms large here. By "ideological strikes", Mr Castro means the committee is making a political point, to which he objects.|
|Kazakhstan ||No official comment but the country is a member of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation, a mutual security grouping in Asia that includes China and Russia. The group's secretary-general, Muratbek Sansyzbayevich Imanaliyev, from Kyrgyzstan, said the prize should have followed Nobel's instruction that it be given to those working for peace. "It is very regrettable that the prize was awarded to a criminal who is now in prison," he said.||Both the dissident factor and the China factor are at play here. Kazakhstan shares a border with China and is close to it politically and economically. There is an oil pipeline from Kazakhstan into China. Kazakhstan itself is regarded by human rights groups as authoritarian.|
|Russia ||In early November, a spokesman for the Russian embassy in Oslo said the ambassador would not be in Norway at the time of the award ceremony. "It is not politically motivated and we do not feel we are pressured by China," he told AP newsagency.||Russia does not need to cosy up to China and is large enough to take its own decisions. But the dissident factor is important here as well. Russia is in an authoritarian mode, although it argues that it is simply re-imposing the discipline that was lost in the immediate post-Cold War period.|
|Venezuela ||Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez was highly critical of his own country's opposition media for their coverage of the Nobel Peace Prize. "This [Liu] is like Obama, the other peace prize," Mr Chavez said, adding: "Viva China! And its sovereignty, its independence and its greatness".||Venezuela has supported the Cuban position on the award.|
|Pakistan ||No official reason made public.||The Pakistani government would be eager to be seen as among the first to be standing with China, says the BBC's Syed Shoaib Hasan. The country enjoys a great deal of popularity among the general public and the ruling elite. The countries have strong economic and defence ties, and Pakistan sees China as its most important and resolute ally. It might also want to be seen not to be taking a soft line on political dissent - something Pakistan has a lot of in its current state of crisis.|
|Iraq ||No official reason made public.||This is the China factor. Here, it is oil that is the key. China is an active investor in Iraqi oilfields and Iraq needs the income that produces.|
|Morocco ||No official reason made public.||The dissident factor is key here. Morocco does not have vital economic ties to China, but it does have concerns over the principle that dissidents be awarded the Peace Prize. In particular, Morocco might be worried about Aminatu Haidar, a campaigner for the independence of the Western Sahara which Morocco controls. Ms Haidar has served time in prison in Morocco for her activities.|
|Afghanistan ||No official reason made public.||The government's boycott has to do with its need not to upset China which is a source of aid and development assistance.|
|Ukraine ||No official reason made public.||Ukraine is much closer to Russia, another boycott supporter, than it was under former President Viktor Yushchenko, who was himself nominated for the Nobel Peace prize by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she was a senator. So Ukraine does not like the concept of an opposition leader being given this prize.|
|Iran ||No official reason made public.||Iran has important contracts with China for the development of its oil and gas and depends on China to block tighter sanctions against it in the Security Council over its nuclear activities.|
|Colombia ||No official reason made public.||Opposition Senator Piedad Cordoba was one of the favourites for the prize which went to Liu Xiaobo. She wants a negotiated end to the civil conflict but is seen by supporters of former President Alvaro Uribe as too close to the Farc rebels.|
|Vietnam ||No official reason made public.||Vietnam's leadership has always been reluctant to welcome Nobel Peace Prizes given to dissidents and human rights activists, though the country welcomed the award of the prize to Nelson Mandela, says the head of the BBC's Vietnamese service, Giang Nguyen. The only Vietnamese given the prize was communist leader Le Duc Tho, who was awarded the prize in 1973 (jointly with US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger) for signing the Paris Peace Accords to end the Vietnam War. He rejected the prize without giving any explanation for his decision.|
|Tunisia ||No official reason made public.||The country does not approve of a dissident being awarded the prize.|
|Saudi Arabia ||No official reason made public.||Both factors apply for Saudi Arabia - China is also now a major trading partner.|
|Serbia ||No official reason made public.||Serbia's non attendance might be motivated by its desire to secure Chinese support over its reluctance to accept Kosovan independence.|
|Philippines ||No official reason made public.||China is a near-neighbour of the Philippines. It also probably has concerns over dissidents getting international recognition.|
|Egypt ||No official reason made public.||The dissident factor is important for a government that still cracks down on the opposition.|
|Sudan ||No official reason made public.||Sudan has strong economic ties with China. The countries buys much of Sudan's oil.|