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Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and entire people of Palestine over the demise of the “towering statesman and peace negotiator,” Saeb Erekat, the veteran Palestinian peace negotiator and one of the most high-profile figures in its leadership since the early 1990s.
Erekat, a former Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, PLO, was also a lawmaker from Jericho in the occupied West Bank, and senior adviser to the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, and his predecessor in office, Yasser Arafat.
The President noted in a tribute that Erekat was one the radical Palestinian leaders “whose wise counsel” led to the recognition of the legitimacy of the state of Israel as pathway to a two-state solution by which an independent Palestine would be created to exist side by side with Israel.
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President Buhari regretted the Saeb Erekat did not live long enough to witness an independent Palestine, a realistic aspiration, which the Nigerian leader said is realizable when there is full international support and cooperation.
“May his soul Rest in Peace,” said the President.