Nobel winner Carter urges Israel to withdraw from territories (HA´ARETZ NEWS) By Ha´aretz Service and Reuters 12/10/02 21:59)
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Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter used his Nobel Peace Prize
acceptance speech Tuesday to call on Israel to comply with a United
Nations resolution to withdraw from the territories as a fundamental
step towards peace in the Middle East.
"At Camp David in 1978
and in Oslo in 1993, Israelis, Egyptians, and
Palestinians have endorsed the only reasonable prescription for
peace: United Nations Resolution 242," he said.
the acquisition of territory by force, calls for
withdrawal of Israel from the occupied territories, and provides for
Israelis to live securely and in harmony with their neighbors. There
is no other mandate whose implementation could more profoundly
improve international relationships."
Saying that war is always
evil, Carter, calling himself a "citizen of
a troubled world", also made veiled criticisms of U.S. President
George W. Bush for opposing UN-led schemes to protect the environment
or to create an international criminal court, and urged the world to
accept UN leadership in tackling challenges from the Middle East to
"Global challenges must be met with an emphasis
on peace, in harmony
with others, with strong alliances and international consensus,"
Carter told a ceremony in Oslo City Hall after collecting a Nobel
gold medal and diploma to a standing ovation.
"Imperfect as it
may be, there is no doubt that this can best be done
through the United Nations," said the 78-year-old Democrat, who was
U.S. president from 1977-81.
"War may sometimes be a necessary
evil," Carter told an audience of
about 1,000 people including his wife Rosalynn and Norway´s King
Harald and Queen Sonja.
"But no matter how necessary, it is
always an evil, never a good. We
will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other´s
children," he said.
Carter, who almost won the prize in 1978
for brokering an Israeli-
Egyptian peace deal, also said "the world is, in many ways, a more
dangerous place" in the new millennium because of civil wars
and "appalling acts of terrorism."
The head of the Nobel
Committee, Gunnar Berge, said Carter was
honoured for decades working for peace, democracy and human rights.
Berge did not mention that he had said two months ago, in announcing
the prize, that he also reckoned it was a "kick in the leg" to Bush´s
policy on Iraq.
"Jimmy Carter will probably not go down in
history as the most
effective president. But he is certainly the best ex-president the
country ever had," he said.
Carter reiterated calls on Iraqi
President Saddam Hussein to comply
fully with UN weapons inspectors and warned powerful nations against
launching wars in a bid to prevent bigger
Carter told CNN in a later interview that the UN
should have the final word in deciding if there should be a war
against Iraq - even though nations including China and Russia a veto
on the Council.
He said he "hoped and expected" that Bush would
submit to UN
decisions. Asked if he would have risked UN vetoes for key U.S.
policies when he was president, he said: "´Welcome´ is maybe not the
right word. I would have accepted it."
About 40 Iranian exiles
protested near City Hall, accusing Carter of
paving the way to the 1979 Iranian Revolution and a rise of Islamic
"Carter, Carter shame on you, what have you
done to Iran? Remember
1979. Shame on you, [Nobel] committee!" they chanted.
also made a plea for acceptance of global standards on issues
including a ban on landmines, creation of an international criminal
court to try war crimes and schemes to combat global warming mainly
caused by burning fossil fuels.
"Those agreements already
adopted must be fully implemented, and
others should be pursued aggressively," Carter said. Bush has
declined to sign up to several key global pacts.
praised the United States, saying it had used its power
with restraint in the past. "We have not assumed that super strength
guarantees super wisdom," he said.
Carter said he had
previously pointed to "the growing chasm between
the richest and poorest people on earth" as the main challenge of the
"The results of this disparity are root causes of
most of the world´s
unresolved problems, including starvation, illiteracy, environmental
degradation, violent conflict and unnecessary illnesses that range
from Guinea worm to HIV/AIDS," he said.
Carter later waved to a
crowd of several hundred people in a
traditional torchlit march past his hotel in freezing cold. He was to
attend a Nobel banquet, with peanut cake on the menu.
(© Copyright 2002 Ha´aretz 12/10/02)
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