Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting, in Jerusalem, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty, Pool)
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An Israeli newspaper reported Sunday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu turned down a regional peace initiative last year that was brokered by then-American Secretary of State John Kerry, in apparent contradiction to his stated goal of involving regional powers in resolving Israel's conflict with the Palestinians. Haaretz reported that Netanyahu took part in a secret summit that Kerry organized in the southern Jordanian port city of Aqaba last February and included Jordan's King Abdullah II and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi. According to the report, which cited anonymous Obama administration officials, Kerry proposed regional recognition of Israel as a Jewish state – a key Netanyahu demand – alongside a renewal of peace talks with the Palestinians with the support of the Arab countries.
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