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Former US envoy Shapiro details failed peace bid in tweetstorm

On Twitter, former US ambassador Dan Shapiro confirms reports of a regional peace initiative pursued by the US, Israel and others, saying that the complicated dynamic left the parties skittish about taking risks to jumpstart the process, leading to its ultimate failure.

Shapiro says the idea was first pursued after talks broke down in 2014.

“The idea was also discussed during Obama admin, after breakdown of bilateral Is-Pal talks. If it works, no possible reason 2 object 2 it,” he writes.

He adds that while the US, Israel and Sunni states were on board, the Palestinians were “the most unenthusiastic party, fearing they would be bypassed & pressured to accept terms they deemed unacceptable. ”

“So we tested it. But it was hard to pull together. Everyone has to give something, but no one wants to jump first and be left hanging,” he writes. “Domestic political constraints in Israel & Arab states, & a complicated Arab-Palestinian dynamic (who pressures whom) made it difficult.”

He says some in the administration were skeptical of the plan but Secretary of State John Kerry pushed anyway. He declines to go into details as to why it failed.

On Sunday, Haaretz published a report revealing a secret summit in Aqaba a year earlier between Kerry, Netanyahu and the leaders of Egypt and Jordan. According to the account, mostly confirmed by Netanyahu and other officials, Netanyahu rebuffed the proposal by saying his right-wing coalition would not go for it and offered his own counter-proposal involving Gulf states, and the initiative never got off the ground.

Netanyahu and Trump say they are pursuing a regional peace initiative.

Shapiro says that the Trump administration will run into the same wall if they don’t learn from their predecessors’ mistakes and push the sides harder.

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