April 18th, 2008
02:30 PM ET
6 years ago

Cafferty: Appropriate role for former presidents?

 Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak meets with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter in Cairo on Thursday. Carter also met with top Hamas officials in both Egypt and Syria.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak meets with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter in Cairo on Thursday. Carter also met with top Hamas officials in both Egypt and Syria.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Former President Jimmy Carter has been making waves this week with his trip to the Middle East.

Today, Carter met with an exiled Hamas politician in Damascus, Syria. Earlier this week, he met with two other senior Hamas politicians in Cairo.

Carter's trip drew condemnation from the U.S. and Israeli governments; both consider Hamas a terrorist organization. Carter has said he's not a negotiator, but that he's "just trying to understand different opinions and... provide communications between people who won't communicate with each other." Critics say it's not useful to engage in diplomacy with a group like Hamas, and most Israeli officials have refused to meet with Carter.

His trip raises larger questions about what exactly former presidents should be doing with their time out of office, which could be many years for someone like Bill Clinton or the current President George Bush.

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