It is with great sadness that I learned that Saeb Erekat, Secretary General of the PLO Executive Committee, passed away today.
His passing away represents a great loss for the Palestinian people and for the Middle East Peace Process. During his life Saeb Erekat tirelessly sought to fulfil the legitimate aspirations of his people. As a key participant to the negotiations for the Oslo Accords, he always advocated a just and lasting negotiated two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
He personally contributed to developing close relations between the EU and Palestine. I am grateful to him for his contribution in this regard.
I extend my heartfelt condolences to his family, to the Palestinian Liberation Organisation and to the people of Palestine.