Updated: Fri, 29 Mar 2013 18:32:21 GMT | By Agence France-Presse

Jimmy Carter heads to Myanmar, Nepal

Former US president Jimmy Carter headed Friday to Myanmar and Nepal, hoping to find ways to encourage democracy in the two Asian nations, which are undergoing political transitions.


Jimmy Carter heads to Myanmar, Nepal

Former US President Jimmy Carter speaks on February 24, 2013 in San Francisco, California. Carter headed Friday to Myanmar and Nepal, hoping to find ways to encourage democracy in the two Asian nations, which are undergoing political transitions.

Carter, 88, will first head to Nepal, where he will encourage political parties to hold delayed elections and to move forward on reconciliation from the civil war, the Atlanta-based Carter Center said in a statement.

The former president will then head to Myanmar to meet political leaders and civil society as the erstwhile military regime pushes ahead with reforms that have included an easing of press censorship and the release of prisoners.

Carter's visit comes amid growing concern about religious violence in Myanmar, also known as Burma, where at least 40 people have died in anti-Muslim riots led by members of the Buddhist majority.

Since leaving the White House in 1981, Carter has maintained a rigorous schedule of supporting peace efforts and anti-poverty programs around the world. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002.

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