Referring to the possibility of Europe breaking with the
The blockade on Hamas-ruled Gaza, imposed by the US, EU, UN and Russia – the so-called Quartet – after the organisation’s election victory in 2006, was "one of the greatest human rights crimes on Earth," since it meant the "imprisonment of 1.6 million people, 1 million of whom are refugees". "Most families in
He called on the EU to reassess its stance if Hamas agreed to a ceasefire in
Although it is 27 years since he left the White House, Carter recently met Hamas leaders in
Carter described western governments’ self-imposed ban on talking to Hamas as unrealistic and said everyone knew
While being scrupulously polite to the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, and prime minister, Salam Fayyad, who represent the Fatah movement, he was scathing about their exclusion of Hamas. He described the Fatah-only government as a "subterfuge" aimed at getting round Hamas’s election victory two years ago. "The top opinion pollster in Ramallah told me the other day that opinion on the West Bank is shifting to Hamas, because people believe Fatah has sold out to
Carter said the Quartet’s policy of not talking to Hamas unless it recognised
"The Quartet’s final document had been drafted in
Earlier, Carter, told Sky News that Hillary Clinton should abandon her battle to become Democratic presidential candidate after the last round of primaries in early June. Like many superdelegates, he has yet to declare his support for either Clinton or Barack Obama, but he suggested the outcome of the race was a foregone conclusion. "I think that a lot of us superdelegates will make a decision … quite rapidly, after the final primary on June 3," he said. "I think at that point it will be time for her to give it up."
Last night, before a packed crowd at Hay, Carter spoke of his "horror" at America’s involvement in torturing prisoners, saying he wanted the next US president to promise never to do so again.
He left an intriguing hint that George Bush might even face prosecution on war crimes charges once he left office.
When pressed by Philippe Sands QC on Bush’s recent admission that he had authorised interrogation procedures widely seen as amounting to torture, Carter replied that he was sure Bush would be able to live a peaceful, "productive life – in our country".
Sands, an international legal expert, said afterwards that he understood that to be "clear confirmation" that while Bush would face no challenge in his own country, "what happened outside the country was another matter entirely".