Several regional leaders have urged the administration to revive the Arab Peace Initiative, unveiled in 2002 and under which Arab states would recognize Israel in return for a Palestinian state in line with pre-1967 borders

If Donald Trump is going to pursue “the ultimate deal” between Israelis and Palestinians after his brief visits to Saudi Arabia, Israel and the occupied West Bank, the effort looks likely to be based on a 15-year-old peace plan that was barely noticed at the time, has been gathering dust ever since, but remains a rare green shoot in the arid landscape of Middle Eastern diplomacy.

That plan was the Arab Peace Initiative (API), unveiled by the then Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah at a summit in Beirut in March 2002. Its launch was soon overshadowed by a far bigger, bloodier drama: a Palestinian suicide bombing that killed 29 elderly Israelis celebrating the Passover holiday. The worst attack of the second intifada triggered Israel’s direct reoccupation of the West Bank, which it had partly turned over to the PLO after the1993 Oslo accords.

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