Backgrounder: Profile of members of Palestinian delegation to Washington (2)

10:33, September 03, 2010      

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Saeb Erakat was born on April 28, 1955, in Jerusalem. He currently resides in Jericho.

Political career: Erakat began his political career in 1991, as vice chairman of the Palestinian Negotiating Delegation. He then served as head of the Palestinian Election Commission (1993-1996). In that time, he also served as Chairman of the Palestinian Negotiating Delegation for Elections.

He was appointed as minister of local government in 1994, a position he held until 2003. Since 1996, Erakat has been an elected member of the Palestinian Legislative Council. Also in 1996, Erakat was selected to lead the Palestinian side of the Steering and Monitoring Committee. In 2003, President Abbas named Erakat as chief Palestinian negotiator and head of the PLO's Negotiations Affairs Department.

Career: Erakat was a professor of Political Sciences at Al Najah University in Nablus between 1979 and 1991, when he took a leave of absence. He was also a member of the editorial staff at Al Quds newspaper between 1980 and 1992 and was the secretary general of the Arab Studies Society between 1989 and 1994.

Education: Erakat holds a Ph.D. in Peace Studies from Bradford University in Britain, an M.A. in International Relations and a B. Political Sciences, both from the University of San Francisco. He has authored nine books and has conducted extensive research on foreign policy, oil, conflict settlement and negotiations.

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