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Peace prize winner urges Mideast talks

Dec. 10, 2008 at 11:26 AM
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STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- The winner of this year's Nobel Peace Prize, Martti Ahtisaari of Finland, says U.S. President-elect Barack Obama should concentrate on the Middle East.

Ahtisaari urged Obama at Wednesday's award ceremonies in Stockholm to "give high priority to the Middle East conflict in his first year in office," CNN reported.

Ahtisaari, who worked on efforts to resolve conflicts from Kosovo to Indonesia and Namibia, added, "All crises, including the one in the Middle East, can be solved," saying the international community also had to put its weight behind the Middle East peace process, the U.S. broadcaster reported.

Stockholm, meanwhile, was decked out to host the Nobel Prize awards ceremony, with more than 1 million Swedes expected to watch the proceedings on TV, officials said.

The weather was expected to stay above freezing in the Swedish capital as the festivities began at 4:30 p.m. in Stockholm's Concert House, and were to be followed by the guests of honor making their way to City Hall for a banquet hosted by King Carl Gustaf XVI and Queen Silvia, the Swedish news agency TT reported.

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