Saeb Erekat was born on April 28, 1955 in Jerusalem. Erekat received a BA and MA in Political Science at the University of San Francisco, and he received a doctorate in Peace Studies at the University of Bradford in England. Erekat was a lecturer on political science at An-Najan Univeristy in Nablus and also served for 12 years on the editorial board of Palestinian newspaper al-Quds.
As a politician, Erekat has been supportive of Yasser Arafat while also working on some peace agreements, such as the Oslo Accords of 1993. Arafat appointed Erekat to lead the Palestinian Negotiation Steering and Monitoring Committee in 1996, and he was also elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council as part of Fatah in 1996. Erekat also serves as Minister of Local Government in the Palestinian Authority.
Erekat has participated in numerous peace negotiations with Israel, including Camp David meetings in 2000, and negotiations at Taba in 2001. When Mahmoud Abbas was nominated to serve as Prime Minister of the Palestinian Legislative Council in early 2003, Erekat was slated to be part of the new cabinet and was assigned as the Minister of Negotiations, but he soon resigned after he was not included in a delegation to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
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