Carter Visits Beirut, Syria

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CBNNews.com - BEIRUT, Lebanon - Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter arrived in Beirut Tuesday for meetings with Lebanese officials.

Carter's press secretary Deanna Congileo, who arrived early with the rest of the delegation, told CNSNews.com that his itinerary may include meetings with the terrorist group Hezbollah.

"We are in contact with major parliamentary blocs, and we anticipate meeting with almost all," Cogileo said.

Hezbollah gained a foothold in the Lebanese parliament last year, which includes veto power.

Following his stay in Beirut, Carter will travel to Damascus to meet with Syrian leadership, according to the Atlanta-based Carter Center.

"During his visit, President Carter will discuss recent developments in Lebanon and the Middle East with officials and representatives of major political blocs in parliament and civil society leaders," said Carter Center staffer Hrair Balianion.

Carter last met with Syrian President Bashar Assad in April.

The former president's oft-expressed assessment that "Israel's continued control and colonization of Palestinian land" is the primary obstacle to peace in the Middle East has endeared him to the Arab world.

Carter frequently promotes his conviction that Israel's "persecution of Palestinians" is one of the Muslim world's most pressing issues.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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