Several months before leaving office, former US Secretary of State John Kerry organized a secret regional peace summit where he presented a new proposal for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. The proposal gained the support of Egypt and Jordan.
Kerry and Netanyahu Photo credit: Kobi Gidon/GPO/ Channel 2 News
Approximately a year ago, then-US Secretary of State John Kerry introduced a regional peace proposal during a secret diplomatic summit in Aqaba, Jordan. The participants of the summit included Jordanian King Abdullah II, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was not present. The proposal included recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and a renewal of the negotiations with the Palestinians.
The proposal was the same as the one presented in his speech at the end of 2016, only several weeks before US President Donald Trump entered the White House, and included 6 major principles.
1. Secure and recognized international borders between Israel and the Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders with agreed territorial exchanges.
2. The realization of UN Resolution 181 (the Partition Plan) of two states for two peoples- one Jewish and one Arab.
3. A just, agreed and realistic solution to the Palestinian refugee issue that will be consistent with the two-state solution and won’t affect Israel’s fundamental nature.
4. An agreement that Jerusalem will serve as the capital city of both states and will be recognized internationally, ensuring freedom of access to holy sites in accordance with the status quo.
5. Addressing Israel’s security needs, ensuring Israel’s ability to defend itself effectively and ensuring the ability of the Palestinian state to provide security for its citizens in a sovereign but demilitarized state.
6. Ending the conflict and allowing the normalization of relations and increased regional security for all in accordance with the vision of the Arab Peace Initiative.
Abbas wasn’t at the summit Photo credit: Reuters/ Channel 2 News
According to a senior level US official, the Jordanian King and Egyptian President agreed to support the proposal while Netanyahu didn’t give a clear answer, claiming that the principles were too detailed and he would find it difficult to attain a political consensus within his coalition.
9 months after the secret summit, no progress has been reached.