Jimmy Carter in London for Middle East talks

July 24, 2013 at 11:28 AM
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LONDON, July 24 (UPI) -- Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter led a delegation to London to put momentum behind an effort to rekindle Middle East peace talks, an advocacy group said.

The Elders, an international non-governmental organization, said Wednesday the former U.S. president joined Syrian peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi and former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari in London to consider the future of the so-called two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian crisis.

Mark Lyall Grant, British envoy to the United Nations, vowed his government would do "all it can" to support the peace process.

"We must all unite to help reach our shared goal of a negotiated two-state solution where a safe and secure Israel can live in peace with an independent and viable Palestinian state," he said in a statement.

The Elders met earlier this week in Washington with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who spearheaded the issue when he took office early this year.

Carter said Monday he welcomed the effort with "great pleasure." He helped broker an Egyptian peace deal with Israel in 1978 when he was president.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Monday he would call on the government to vote on the release of more than 80 Palestinian prisoners as part of a U.S. plan to renew the peace talks.

Kerry said last week from Jordan he was able to broker "an agreement that establishes a basis for resuming direct final status negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis."

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