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Youth key to Egypt's future, Carter says

Oct. 30, 2012 at 11:19 AM

CAIRO, Oct. 30 (UPI) -- Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter called on youth leaders in Cairo to seize the opportunity in post-revolutionary Egypt.

Carter joined former Dutch Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland and former Irish President Mary Robinson in a roundtable discussion on youth leadership in Egypt. They took part in the discussion as representatives of The Elders, an international advocacy group founded by Nelson Mandela.

Carter said that, with most of the Egyptian population under 25, it's that generation that can help lead the country's political and social future.

"Don't underestimate what you've done in the past," he told the audience. "And please don't underestimate what you're going to do in the future."

U.S. policy center Rand Corp., in a study published this month, said the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt may be facing directional challenges given the growing number of younger members within its ranks. While young members are the "foot soldiers" of the movement, most are facing a bleak future, said Rand.

The movement's Freedom and Justice Party emerged out of the 2011 revolution to play a dominant role in the country's political landscape. Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was an FJP leader.

Carter helped broker the Egyptian peace deal with Israel in 1978.

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