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Carter (third from left) with William Hague, Martti Ahtisaari, and Lakhdar Brahimi from The Elders group in London, July 24, 2013.

In July 2007, Carter joined Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, South Africa, to announce his participation in The Elders, a group of independent global leaders who work together on peace and human rights issues.[271][272] Following the announcement, Carter participated in visits to Darfur,[273] Sudan,[274][275] Cyprus, the Korean Peninsula, and the Middle East, among others.Bill Clinton sought Carter's assistance in a North Korea peace mission,[245][246] during which Carter negotiated an understanding with Kim Il-sung, with whom he went on to outline a treaty that he announced to CNN without the consent of the Clinton administration to spur American action.[247] Carter traveled to North Korea to secure the release of Aijalon Gomes in August 2010, successfully negotiating his release.[248][249] Throughout the latter part of 2017, as tensions between the US and North Korea persisted, Carter recommended a peace treaty between the two nations,[250] and confirmed he had offered himself to the Trump administration as a willing candidate to serve as diplomatic envoy to North Korea.[251]

In October 1984, Carter was named an honorary citizen of In October 1984, Carter was named an honorary citizen of Peru by Mayor of Cusco Daniel Estrada after traveling to Machu Picchu,[252] Carter endorsing the country's elections in 2001,[253] and offering support to the Peruvian government following a meeting with President of Peru Alan García at Government Palace in Lima in April 2009.[254]

In his February 1986 talks with Tomás Borge, Carter secured the release of journalist Luis Mora and labor leader Jose Altamirano,[255] while touring Nicaragua for three days.[256]

Carter conducted a tour of Cuba in May 2002 that included meeting with Fidel Castro[257] and meeting political dissidents such as the AIDS sanitarium, a medical school, a biotech facility, an agricultural production cooperative, and a school for disabled children.[258] Carter toured Cuba again for three days in March 2011.[259]

Carter's diplomatic efforts in the Middle East included a September 1981 meeting with Prime Minister of Israel Menachem Begin,[260] a March 1983 tour of Egypt that included meeting with members of the Palestine Liberation Organization,[261] a December 2008 meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad,[262][263] and a June 2012 call with Jeffery Brown in which Carter stressed Egyptian military generals could be granted full power executively and legislatively in addition to being able to form a new constitution in favor of themselves in the event their announced intentions went through.[264] In 2006, Carter stated his disagreements with the domestic and foreign policies of Israel while saying he was in favor of the country,[265][266] extending his criticisms to Israel's policies in Lebanon, the West Bank, and Gaza.[267] Carter traveled to Syria in April 2008,[268] laying a wreath at the grave of Yasser Arafat in Ramallah[269] and denying he had been contacted by the Bush administration in relation to meeting with Hamas leaders.[270]

In July 2007, Carter joined Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, South Africa, to announce his participation in The Elders, a group of independent global leaders who work together on peace and human rights issues.[271][272] Following the announcement, Carter participated in visits to Darfur,[273] Sudan,[274][275] Cyprus, the Korean Peninsula, and the Middle East, among others.[276] Carter attempted traveling to Zimbabwe in November 2008, but was stopped by President Robert Mugabe's government.[277]

Carter held summits in Egypt and Tunisia in 1995–1996 to address violence in the Great Lakes region of Africa,[278] and played a key role in negotiation of the Nairobi Agreement in 1999 between Sudan and Uganda.[279]

Criticism of American policy

Carter began his first year out of office with a pledge not to critique the new Reagan administration.[280] He spoke out after the assassination attemptCarter held summits in Egypt and Tunisia in 1995–1996 to address violence in the Great Lakes region of Africa,[278] and played a key role in negotiation of the Nairobi Agreement in 1999 between Sudan and Uganda.[279]

Carter began his first year out of office with a pledge not to critique the new Reagan administration.[280] He spoke out after the assassination attempt on Reagan,[281] and voiced his agreement with Reagan on building neutron arms in the wake of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.[282] He later disagreed with Reagan's handling of the Middle East.[283] The following year, Carter called for bipartisanship to fix American economic issues,[284] and criticized the Reagan administration's handling of the Sabra and Shatila massacre.[285] Carter responded favorably to Reagan choosing to remain within the Camp David agreement,[286] with distaste toward what he felt was Reagan blaming his tenure for continued difficulties in policy.[287][288] In 1983, Carter judged the Reagan campaign with having falsified simplicity in solving issues,[289] and criticized Reagan for a lack of attention to human rights violations.[290] In 1984, Carter stated he had been wrongly presented as weak by Reagan due to a commitment to human rights during the previous presidential election,[291] and condemned Reagan for not making rescue efforts to retrieve four American businessmen from West Beirut.[292] In 1985, Carter rebuked Reagan over his handling of peace within the Middle East,[293] his support of the Strategic Defense Initiative,[294] and Reagan's claim of an international conspiracy on terrorism.[295] Carter's insistence that Reagan was not preserving peace in the Middle East continued in 1987,[296] Carter during the year also criticizing Reagan for adhering to terrorist demands,[297] nomination of Robert Bork for the Supreme Court,[298] and handling of the Persian Gulf.[299]

During the presidency of George W. Bush, Cart

During the presidency of George W. Bush, Carter stated his opposition to the Iraq War,[300] and what he considered an attempt on the part of Bush and Tony Blair to oust Saddam Hussein through the usage of "lies and misinterpretations".[301] In May 2007, Carter stated the Bush administration "has been the worst in history" in terms of its impact in foreign affairs,[302] and later stated he was just comparing Bush's tenure to that of Richard Nixon.[303] Carter's comments received a response from the Bush administration in the form of Tony Fratto saying Carter was increasing his irrelevance with his commentary.[304] By the end of Bush's second term, Carter considered Bush's tenure disappointing, which he disclosed in comments to Forward Magazine of Syria.[305]

Though he praised President Obama in the early part of his tenure,[306] Carter stated his disagreements with the use of drone strikes against suspected terrorists, Obama's choice to keep Guantanamo Bay detention camp open,[307] and the current federal surveillance programs as disclosed by Edward Snowden indicating that "America has no functioning democracy at this moment."[308][309]

During the Trump presidency, Carter spoke favorably of the chance for immigration reform through Congress,[310] and criticized Trump for his handling of the U.S. national anthem protests.[311] In 2019, Carter received a phone call from Trump in which Trump expressed concern that China was "getting ahead" of the United States. Carter agreed and stated: "And do you know why? I normalized diplomatic relations with China in 1979. Since 1979 do you know how many times China has been at war with anybody? None. And we have stayed at war."[312] Carter stated that the U.S. has been at war for all but 16 years of its 242-year history and called the U.S. “the most warlike nation in the history of the world,” because of a tendency to try to force others to “adopt our American principles.”[312] Carter said of American military spending: "We have wasted I think $3 trillion. … It’s more than you can imagine. China has not wasted a single penny on war and that’s why they’re ahead of us. In almost every way."[312]