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U.N. body adopts Mideast peace resolution

UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- The U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process Tuesday, calling on both sides to step up efforts for a lasting peace.

The resolution, the first the Security Council adopted on the Middle East peace process in five years, stated the U.S.-brokered talks were "irreversible," reported RIA Novosti, the Russian news agency.

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"(These) negotiations should be intensified in order to put an end to the conflict and to establish, as soon as possible, the state of Palestine, living side by side in peace and security with Israel," negotiators on the Middle East conflict -- the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations -- said in a statement.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday Moscow's scheduled international Mideast conference could hasten the peace process.

"Only together and on a commonly recognized international-legal foundation can we achieve a just, firm and comprehensive peace settlement," he said during the Security Council meeting.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the resolution underlines that the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict" should be aligned with efforts toward broader regional peace."

"We have to continue on the chosen path," she said before the resolution's adoption. "That chosen path will finally bring for the Israelis the peace and security that can only come from living side by side in reconciliation with a democratic neighbor of Palestine."

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