Egypt mourned the death of top Palestinian peace negotiator Saeb Erekat, who passed away on Tuesday after contracting COVID-19.
According to an official statement, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry extended his condolences and sympathy to Erekat’s family, and the Palestinian leadership and people over the loss.
“The Palestinian cause and the entire Arab world have lost a steadfast patriot, who had clear and legitimate case and goals. Erekat has devoted his life to defending [the cause] through all diplomatic and negotiated means in order to restore the rights of the Palestinian people despite of the obstacles and difficult circumstances faced by the Palestinian cause in the past decades,” the statement said.
It added that Erekat’s name will remain a “beacon and symbol for honorable resistance and the Palestinian national project."
Erekat, who was the chief negotiator in US-brokered peace talks with Israel that collapsed in 2014, died today after contracting the virus at age 65, according to a senior member of his Fatah party.
He first contracted the virus on October 8, and was rushed last week from his home in the West Bank city of Jericho to Hadassah Medical Center in Israel as his condition worsened.
He was also the secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
Erekat was a strong advocate of a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine, and a vocal critic of its settlement policy on occupied land.