Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Peace Hero Jimmy Carter

Peace Hero Jimmy Carter - A look at Carter's contributions to world peace efforts both during and after his administration.

From the site:

After leaving office, most presidents either retire to their ranches, go on the political fundraising circuit, play golf, or collect political papers for the creation of their commemorative library. Not former President Jimmy Carter. Since his presidency, Carter has demonstrated that he is undoubtedly an extraordinary person in his ceaseless contributions to the world. Although former President Jimmy Carter's tenure as chief executive ended nearly two decades ago, his dedication to a world characterized by peace and freedom from conflict has grown with each passing year. Jimmy Carter's many contributions to the international community demonstrate that no vision is too great, and no dream unattainable.

His role in resolving disputes between Israel and Egypt, despite their prolonged history of antagonism, illuminates Carter's heartfelt commitment to a more peaceful and better world. One of his most notable accomplishments was his position as mediator during the Camp David Accords of 1978. Hoping to mitigate and ultimately put an end to the volatile Arab/Israeli conflict in the Middle East, Carter instigated a set of peace talks, the Camp David Accords, between Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. Both leaders were invited to Camp David, the exclusive presidential retreat with the goal of opening lines of communication between the two extremely hostile countries.

The peace talks spanned 13 long days, much longer than initially anticipated. At times, animosities became so unbearable that Begin and Sadat refused to meet face to face. Carter used his influence as President and his mediating capabilities to reestablish communication between the two. Ultimately, the Camp David Accords of 1978 created a landmark framework for peace in the Arab/Israeli conflict which resulted in a formal treaty signed by Egypt and Israel in 1979. What is so remarkable about the Camp David Accords is how Carter recognized the pain and suffering occurring within the Middle East and used his powerful position to influence the future. Even in the Middle East, a region so divided in ideologies, religions, and history, Carter proved that intervention and peaceful negotiation are the most logical and effective means of resolving hostilities.

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