Elders announce second Middle East trip

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Thursday, 14 October, 2010

One year on from the Elders' first visit to the region, Mary Robinson, Lakhdar Brahimi, Ela Bhatt and Jimmy Carter will travel to the Middle East from 16-22 October 2010.

Mary Robinson is to lead a delegation to the Middle East, one year on from the Elders’ first visit to the region in August 2009.

Mary Robinson meets Palestinian youth

She will be joined by her fellow Elders Lakhdar Brahimi, Ela Bhatt and Jimmy Carter.

From 16-22 October 2010, the group will travel together to Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territories to meet with ordinary Israelis and Palestinians, civil society, and political leaders.

Mary Robinson emphasised that rather than any direct involvement in mediation efforts, the Elders intend to ‘listen to a wide range of people about their aspirations for peace, including those who are currently at the margins of the process.’ Gandhian women’s rights advocate Ela Bhatt said that she is particularly looking forward to meeting women engaged in creative, non-violent resistance.

In the context of the current final status negotiations, the Elders aim to encourage support across the region for ‘a just and secure peace for all’ – one that embraces human rights principles under international law, while also ensuring the security and safety of Israelis and Palestinians.

Ahead of the trip, former UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi urged Israel to ‘end all settlement activity and uphold the right of Palestinians to live in dignity and freedom in their own land.’

The Elders will use this website to write about their trip over the coming week, and will also be inviting the people they meet to contribute their views and experiences to the blog.

You can also follow news from their trip on Facebook and on Twitter.

Find more details and the Elders’ statements here.

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