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Ian Explains: Why Israeli-Palestinian peace talks at Camp David came close but failed in 2020
Ian Explains: Why Israeli-Palestinian peace talks at Camp David came close but failed | GZERO World

Ian Explains: Why Israeli-Palestinian peace talks at Camp David came close but failed in 2020

The last best chance at peace between Israel and Palestine included bowling and baseball at a wooded retreat in rural Maryland.

Twenty-three years ago at Camp David, US President Bill Clinton welcomed Palestinian Liberation Organization chairman Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak for a two-week summit in a bucolic setting. The goal: find an enduring solution to the Israel-Palestine crisis.

But as Ian Bremmer explains, as the three leaders strolled together down a leafy Camp David road, they couldn’t have been further apart in their expectations for the summit. Ehud Barak, the young, leftist Israeli Prime Minister—fresh off a series of failed negotiations with Syria—had pushed hard for the summit, arguing that it was the “pressure cooker” that would require him and Arafat to make real progress on a two-state solution. His strategy was to either secure a deal or expose Arafat as an unreliable partner.

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The Camp David summit
The Camp David summit | Quick Take | GZERO Media

The Camp David summit

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Hi everybody. Ian Bremmer here and a Quick Take on the Camp David Principles, the historic meeting taking place in Camp David today between President Biden, the Japanese Prime Minister Kishida, and South Korean President Yoon. It's historic. It's a big deal. It's worth talking about. And frankly, I consider this to be the most significant successful piece of diplomacy of the Biden administration to date. It is roughly equivalent in my mind to the Abraham Accords of the Trump administration. In that case, this was leading to direct diplomatic engagement, opening relations between Israel, America's top ally in the region and the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco, other American allies in the region. With the Saudis, not signing, but certainly getting closer. It's important in part because it stabilized a region that matters to the United States. It also allows for better strategic coordination long-term, and it is broadly speaking, supported by both sides.

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Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, U.S. President Joe Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol.


Biden brings South Korea and Japan together

Nestled in the woods of Maryland outside Washington, DC, the Camp David estate -- the president's country retreat -- looms large in international diplomacy as a place where serious business gets done.

On Friday, President Joe Biden will host South Korea’s President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida for a summit at the famous campsite where, in 1978, Jimmy Carter helped broker peace between Egypt and Israel.

While it might not seem like a big deal for Washington to facilitate a summit with America’s two closest Asian partners, it is monumental that South Korea, in particular, appears ready and willing to enlist in a new US-led trilateral alliance with Japan.

Despite a rapprochement, relations between the two East Asian giants have remained strained since Japan ended its 35-year occupation of the Korean peninsula in 1945.

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