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(photo credit: REUTERS)
Former US president Jimmy Carter on Monday said the Israeli-Palestinian peace process had reached a crisis point and that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's government was not pursuing a two-state solution.
"That policy of promoting a two-state solution seems to be abandoned now and we are deeply concerned about this move towards this catastrophic so-called one-state choice ... this is a major concern," Carter told a news conference.
Carter helped forge Israel's peace deal with Egypt in 1979, the first between the Jewish state and an Arab country but has been a strong critic of Israeli settlement policy in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
"Every (Israeli) prime minister that I have known has been a pursuer of the two-state solution and I don't know that (US President Barack) Obama has found that Prime Minister Netanyahu has been willing to go that route," Carter added.
He spoke during a visit along with other members of "The Elders", a group of former world leaders, to Israel, the West Bank and Egypt.
"All indications to us is that this two-state solution has basically been abandoned and we've had a moving forward towards a 'greater Israel' which I think is contrary to the two-state solution concept," Carter said.
Netanyahu has voiced support for a two-state solution, but has said a future Palestinian country must be demilitarized and accept an Israeli military presence along the Jordan River, its likely eastern frontier.
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