Carter slams Gaza siege, calls US to open talks with Iran
Former US president Jimmy Carter on Sunday described Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip as "one of the greatest human rights crimes now existing on Earth."
In a speech, the 83-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner said: "There is no reason to treat these people this way."
According to Carter, the failure of the European Union to support the Palestinian cause was "embarrassing." According to AFP, he said European states should be "encouraging the formation of a unity government." "They should be encouraging Hamas to have a ceasefire in Gaza alone, as a first step," he stated.
"They should be encouraging Israel and Hamas to reach an agreement in prisoner exchange and, as a second step, Israel should agree to a ceasefire in the West Bank, which is Palestinian territory."
Carter also said the United States had to begin holding direct talks with Iran over the Islamic Republic's nuclear programme. "We need to talk to Iran now, and continue our discussions with Iran, to let Iran know the benefits, and the detrimental side, of continuing with their nuclear programme," he said.