JERUSALEM – Israel's prime minister turned down a regional peace initiative last year that was brokered by then-American Secretary of State John Kerry, former U.S. officials confirmed Sunday.
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 el-Sissi. The secret meeting was first reported by the Haaretz daily.
According to two former 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.
Netanyahu rejected the offer, which would have required a significant pullout from disputed territories, saying he would not be able to garner enough support for it in his hard-line coalition government.