Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter begins a tour of the Middle East Saturday in an effort to build support for a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.
Mr. Carter will start his trip in Cairo and travel on to Syria, Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories. He will be part of a delegation that calls itself "The Elders." The group was founded by former South African President Nelson Mandela to impact world affairs.
The Mideast delegation is being led by former Irish President Mary Robinson.
U.S. brokered direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians stalled last month after an Israeli ban on new settlement construction in the West Bank expired. Palestinians oppose new construction on land they want for a future state.
A statement released by "The Elders" says the group will encourage regional support for final status negotiations.
Mr. Carter is a Nobel Peace Prize recipient who helped broker the 1979 Camp David peace accords between Israel and Egypt.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.