The UN Security Council approved a resolution Dec. 16stressing that the Israeli-Palestinian peace process initiated by the United States last year is irreversible and urging intensified efforts to achieve peace throughout the Middle East. The vote was 14 to 0, with Libya abstaining. The resolution - cosponsored by the US and Russia - backs “the determined efforts” by Israel and the Palestinians to conclude a peace treaty and fulfill the vision that they can live peacefully side by side as independent democratic states. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said all council members regret an agreement won’t be reached this year, but said “a serious process is underway” and the international community must ensure the talks achieve results, AP reported. Both Israel and the Palestinians welcomed the resolution.

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