The following statement by UN Secretary-General António Guterres was issued today:
I am deeply saddened by the death of Dr. Saeb Erekat, Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Secretary-General and Chief Negotiator for Palestinians in the Middle East Peace Process.
I am grateful to have known Dr. Erekat and to have called him my friend. He was dedicated to the peaceful pursuit of justice, dignity and the legitimate rights of Palestinians to self-determination, sovereignty and statehood.
Now is the time to continue his crucial work and end the conflict that has tragically affected the lives of so many. 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.