Nelson Mandela Foundation

The Norwegian Nobel committee paid tribute Friday to Nelson Mandela, calling him "one of the greatest names in the long history of the Nobel Peace Prize".

Mandela, who died on Thursday aged 95, received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 together with South Africa's president at the time, FW de Klerk, for their efforts to bring about reconciliation after decades of apartheid.

"His work presents a message also today to all those who bear responsibility for apparently unresolvable conflicts," the Nobel committee said in a statement.

"Even the most bitter of conflicts can be solved by peaceful means."

Mandela has always been considered one of the most prestigious winners of the Nobel Peace Prize in its century-long history.