JERUSALEM – Saeb Erekat, the secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, or PLO, began on Tuesday a six-day official visit to Argentina and Chile, where he will meet officials and figures from the Palestinian communities in both countries.
Erekat arrived in Buenos Aires on Tuesday, while he will begin his two-day visit there on Wednesday.
During the course of his visit, the PLO official will meet Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner along with members of Parliament and the deputy minister of Foreign Affairs.
Erekat will also deliver an academic lecture at the Argentine Council for International Relations, or CARI, and meet with members of the Palestinian community and Palestine Solidarity Committee in Argentina.
Erekat is expected to honor several Argentine figures for their constant support to the Palestinian cause, including Nobel laureate Adolfo Perez Esquivel, PLO officials told EFE.
On Friday, Erekat will head to Chile, home of the largest Palestinian community outside the Middle East, for a four-day visit.
There, the Palestinian official will meet with President Michelle Bachelet, Foreign Affairs Minister Heraldo Munoz, representatives from the Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate and Congress, and the congressional Chilean-Palestinian Committee of Friendship.
Erekat is also expected to lay a wreath at the grave of late Chilean President Salvador Allende.
The Arab School in Santiago and the Palestinian soccer club will be next on the docket, while he will deliver a lecture at the University of Chile’s School of Law regarding the role of Palestine at the International Criminal Court and another lecture at the Diplomatic Academy.
During his visit, Erekat will equally honor Chilean public figures and members of the country’s Palestinian community in recognition of their efforts for the community.
This is Erekat’s first official trip abroad since he assumed the post of PLO secretary general in mid-July; a position that could, according to several analysts, make Erekat a possible candidate to succeed current Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the future.