The Elders


Elders meet Kerry in Washington DC

The Elders visited Washington DC yesterday to discuss Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts with high-level officials, including US Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Advisor Susan Rice. At a public debate that evening, they welcomed Kerry’s efforts to restart negotiations and explained why there can be no military solution in Syria.

After US Secretary of State John Kerry announced on Friday that Israel and the Palestinians had agreed to discuss the resumption of peace talks, the Elders travelled to Washington DC yesterday for a series of meetings with high-level officials and policy experts.

Speaking at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace that evening, the Elders welcomed Kerry’s efforts.

Jimmy Carter acknowledged that conditions are far more difficult now than during his presidency, with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas constrained by their respective constituencies. Both leaders “would show great courage to come to the table and make concessions,” he said.

Watch the video of the event:

During the discussion, UN-Arab League Syria envoy Lakhdar Brahimi also briefed the audience on the situation in Syria. Refusing to characterise either the regime or the opposition as ‘winning’ in the country’s brutal civil war, he said that there can be no military victory: “you must leave from this vicious cycle and move to a political solution”.

Earlier in the day, the Elders also met with US National Security Advisor Susan Rice.

The Elders meet Susan Rice

L-R: Ernesto Zedillo, Martti Ahtisaari, Susan Rice, Lakhdar Brahimi, Mary Robinson and Jimmy Carter

Martti Ahtisaari, Lakhdar Brahimi and Jimmy Carter will travel to London on 24 July to continue high-level meetings on Middle East peace efforts. Chatham House will host a second public discussion on the question: can the two-state solution be saved? We will be live-tweeting the event – follow @TheElders for updates.

Our Work | Israel-Palestine


After decades of peace process, there is still no peace.

Find out more about The Elders' work to support civil society working for peace and reconciliation in the Middle East


Please read our moderation policy before commenting

  • All comments posted on will be moderated before publication.
  • In making comments, please be constructive and treat others with respect.
  • Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, inflammatory statements or accusations, personal attacks, discriminatory or abusive language will not be posted.
  • Links: Please do link to other relevant sites and articles to enrich the debate. Please do not link to inappropriate or offensive websites or use signature links in your post.
The Elders are independent global leaders, brought together by Nelson Mandela, who offer their collective influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity.

Sign up to receive monthly newsletters from The Elders.

We will occasionally send you other special updates and news, but we'll never share your email address with third parties.

Visit the archive to see our past newsletters.

The Elders website uses cookies. Click here to accept the Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy when visiting this site.