Officials around the world paid tribute to Palestinian diplomat Saeb Erakat on Tuesday, after Erakat lost his battle with coronavirus disease at age 65.
Jordan’s King Abdullah II expressed his condolences over the passing of Erakat in a phone call to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, according to the Royal Hashemite Court.
Former Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri called the passing of Erakat “a big loss for the Palestinian presence in Arab and international forums,” in a post on Twitter.
European Union foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said the passing of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)’s Secretary General was a “great loss for the Palestinian people and for the Middle East Peace Process.”
“During his life Saeb Erakat tirelessly sought to fulfill the legitimate aspirations of his people… he always advocated a just and lasting negotiated two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Borrell said in a statement.
Saeb Erekat, Secretary General of the PLO Executive Committee, will be truly missed.— Josep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF) November 10, 2020
I always admired him for his tireless efforts for peaceful #Israel-#Palestine relations and a two state solution.
My thoughts are with his family and the people of Palestine. https://t.co/ltB8FYqczL
Former US ambassador Dennis Ross said he was “saddened” to hear the news about Erakat, whom he first met in 1989.
“He was a devoted husband, father and passionate representative of the Palestinian cause. We might disagree, but I always knew Saeb believed in peace, non-violence, and coexistence with Israel,” Ross said in a tweet.
Saddened to hear that Saeb Erekaet has died. I met him in 1989. He was a devoted husband, father and passionate representative of the Palestinian cause. We might disagree, but I always knew Saeb believed in peace, non-violence, and coexistence with Israel. Rest In Peace, Saeb.— Dennis Ross (@AmbDennisRoss) November 10, 2020
Erakat’s PLO colleague, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, said that his passing marked “a significant transition in Palestinian history & reality,” in a post on Twitter.
“He was firmly committed to his people’s rights, unwavering in his pursuit of a just peace, & totally undaunted in his quest for freedom & rights. Rest in peace & power my friend,” she said.
The passing of Saeb Erakat is a significant transition in Palestinian history & reality. He was firmly committed to his people's rights, unwavering in his pursuit of a just peace, & totally undaunted in his quest for freedom & rights. Rest in peace & power my friend.— Hanan Ashrawi (@DrHananAshrawi) November 10, 2020
Former US Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk said Erakat’s “commitment to pursuing freedom” for Palestinians through peaceful means “will shine forever as a beacon.”
“Rest In Peace my peace brother,” Indyk said in a post on Twitter.
Rest In Peace my peace brother. Your commitment to pursuing freedom for your people by peaceful means will shine forever as a beacon that will guide them onwards. May your memory be a blessing to Naema and your family and all those who loved you. https://t.co/Q1q8CBKcjM— Martin Indyk (@Martin_Indyk) November 10, 2020
UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab lauded Erakat as a “champion of dialogue and Palestinian rights.”
“I am saddened to hear the news of his tragic passing,” Raab said in a post on Twitter.
Dr Saeb Erekat was a champion of dialogue and Palestinian rights. I am saddened to hear the news of his tragic passing. My thoughts are with his family and the Palestinian people at this difficult time.— Dominic Raab (@DominicRaab) November 10, 2020