Jimmy Carter: U.S. Must Recognize Palestine Before Obama Leaves Office

Former president says he is convinced the U.S. can still shape the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict before a change in presidents, 'but time is very short.'

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, right, shakes hands with Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.
estinian President Mahmoud Abbas, right, shakes hands with Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter during their meeting on Saturday, May 2, 2015 in the West Bank city of Ramallah. AP

Former United States President Jimmy Carter has called on outgoing President Barack Obama to "grant American diplomatic recognition" to Palestine before he leaves office on January 20.

In an opinion piece published in The New York Times on Tuesday, Carter wrote that U.S. recognition of a Palestinian state "would make it easier for other countries that have not recognized Palestine to do so, and would clear the way for a Security Council resolution on the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

With Donald Trump due to assume the presidency, the goal of all recent presidents to achieve a negotiated end to the conflict based on two states living side by side "is now in grave doubt," Carter wrote.

He stressed that, "I am convinced that the United States can still shape the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict before a change in presidents, but time is very short."