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How to revive the Arab Peace Initiative

Representatives from Israeli and Palestinian civil societies, together with neighboring and Western peace activists, gathered in Antalya to contemplate ways of promoting the Arab Peace Initiative.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (back to camera) meets with the Arab League Peace Initiative at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Amman, July 17, 2013. Kerry is due to meet on Wednesday with officials from Arab nations that he regards as essential to his push to get Israelis and Palestinians to resume peace talks. REUTERS/Mandel Ngan/Pool (JORDAN - Tags: POLITICS) - RTX11P6I
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The few Russian tourists who visited the Grand Park Hotel in Antalya, Turkey, on Dec. 17-19, despite the tensions between Moscow and Ankara, could not have known that the women and men conversing easily at adjacent tables represent an occupier and the occupied. Anyone following the deterioration in the Israeli-Palestinian dialogue would have found it hard to believe that these men and women came to Antalya to look together for ways to save the two-state solution, using the Arab Peace Initiative. After breakfast they took their places around a long rectangular table in one of the meeting rooms.

Next to them at the table were also two Knesset members from the Zionist Camp and one from the Meretz Party. Present, too, was a former member of the Palestinian Cabinet, clerics from the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, a senior Arab League diplomat and three other diplomats — an American, a European and a Turk. For participants to express their views freely, the hosts from the API Regional Network asked everyone to avoid publicizing each other's names and quoting them directly. Therefore, the insights from the conference will not be attributed to specific participants.

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