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Saeb Erekat, Longtime Palestinian Chief Negotiator, Dies at 65

When he burst onto the worldwide scene in 1991, because the deputy head of the Palestinian delegation on the Madrid peace conference, he stood out amid the ocean of dark-suited diplomats in his black-and-white checked keffiya draped round his neck. The headband, a logo of Palestinian resistance and solidarity, was seen by the Israeli delegation and others as a provocative publicity stunt.

However the Madrid convention, brokered by Secretary of State James A. Baker III, was the beginning of the primary viable peace talks between the Israelis and the Arabs because the Camp David Accord 13 years earlier, and the primary time Palestinians participated brazenly in direct negotiations with Israel.

Separate, secret bilateral talks led to the Oslo accords, a collection of interim agreements between the Israelis and the Palestinians, beginning in 1993.

Mr. Erekat was instrumental in negotiating the Oslo II Accord in 1995, the Hebron Protocol in 1997 and the Wye River Memorandum in 1998, all of which transferred Israeli-controlled territory to the Palestinians. He was answerable for drafting the texts of the agreements on behalf of the Palestinians. At different instances, although, he was sidelined by his bosses, who most popular to barter by means of again channels.

The Oslo course of, a supply of nice optimism on the time, by no means arrived at its supposed conclusion: a closing and complete peace settlement that the Palestinians had anticipated could be between two sovereign states, Israel and a Palestinian state within the West Financial institution and the Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Negotiations for a everlasting deal continued on and off till 2014.

In December 2013, in the course of the last round of serious negotiations, brokered by Secretary of State John Kerry, Mr. Erekat took his American counterpart, Martin S. Indyk, on a tour of Hisham’s Palace, the stays of an Eighth-century compound mentioned to have belonged to the 10th Umayyad caliph, close to Jericho.


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