Jimmy Carter
Jimmy CarterReuters

Former United States President Jimmy Carter on Wednesday announced he has been diagnosed with cancer.

"Recent liver surgery revealed that I have cancer that now is in other parts of my body," Carter said in a statement released by the Carter Center and quoted by The Associated Press (AP). "I will be rearranging my schedule as necessary so I can undergo treatment by physicians at Emory Healthcare."

The statement made clear that Carter's cancer is widely spread, but not where it originated, or even if that is known at this point. It added that further information will be provided when more facts are known, "possibly next week."

Carter, 90, announced on August 3 that he had surgery to remove a small mass from his liver.

Carter, who was the 39th president, has remained active for the center in recent years, making public appearances at its headquarters in Atlanta and traveling overseas.

He has caused some controversy in Israel, however, due to some pro-Palestinian statements and actions.

In May 2014, the former President supported the Palestine Liberation Organization's (PLO) unilateral push to join international organizations in breach of the ongoing peace talks with Israel and the 1993 Oslo Accords.

The year before, he called on the European Union (EU) to label products coming from "illegal Israeli settlements" - despite the fact that Israel's presence in Judea and Samaria is legal under international law.

In April, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin refused to meet Carter during a visit to Israel, with a senior diplomatic source saying that Carter is "permanently damaging" to Israel and that Israel's leaders should refrain from meeting with him, on principle.