UNITED NATIONS, Nov 10 (APP): UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was “deeply saddened” by the death on Tuesday of Dr. Saeb Erekat, Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Secretary-General and Chief Negotiator for Palestinians in the Middle East Peace Process, saying he was dedicated to Palestinian statehood.
“He (Erekat) was dedicated to the peaceful pursuit of justice, dignity and the legitimate rights of Palestinians to self-determination, sovereignty and statehood,” the UN chief said in a statement.
Erekat, 65, died on Tuesday due to complications from coronavirus, media reports, quoting the Israeli hospital where he has been hospitalized, said.
Erekat was taken to Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital last month after several days of being treated by his daughter at his West Bank home, according to the reports.
“Now is the time to continue his crucial work and end the conflict that has tragically affected the lives of so many,” Guetters said.
” I reiterate my own and the United Nations commitment to support all efforts to bring the parties together to achieve a long-awaited, just and sustainable two-State solution, with Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security.
“On behalf of the United Nations, I extend our heartfelt condolences to Dr. Erekat’s family, President (Mahmoud ) Abbas, the people of Palestine and his many friends and supporters around the world.”
Erekat led successive Palestinian negotiations with Israel for decades, including talks that led to the signing of the 1993 and 1995 Oslo Accords, the first major peace deals between Israel and the Palestinians.