Online Mideast peace group gets high-powered boost

JERUSALEM (AP) — An online group promoting Mideast peace is receiving a high-powered boost of support as it prepares to pass a key milestone.

The YaLa-Young Leaders program says U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and five European foreign ministers will address its online peace conference on July 2. Former President Bill Clinton and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas are to send written greetings.

The Facebook group brings together young activists from Israel, the Palestinian territories and across the Arab world for online seminars and discussions. During the conference, the group is expected to announce its 1 millionth member.

Former Israeli peace negotiator Uri Savir, the program’s founder, said Wednesday that it brings “hope” to the region at a turbulent time. He calls the young activists the “future pragmatic face of the Middle East.”

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