Press Advisory

Palestinian Ambassador Afif Safieh will arrive in Washington, DC on Oct. 26 to assume his duties as Palestine’s representative, replacing Palestine National Authority (PNA) Representative in the United States Hasan Abdel Rahman, who will become the PNA’s Ambassador to Morocco. Ambassador Afif Safieh served as the Palestinian General Delegate to the United Kingdom and to the Holy See from 1990-2005.

According to Israel’s Haaretz newspaper:

Afif Safieh is considered the most articulate Palestinian diplomat in Europe, and possibly the world. The most experienced speakers the foreign ministry can muster have been sent to face off against him in international conferences and on BBC talk shows, and they have run into difficulty opposite the Jerusalem-born Palestinian with the rich vocabulary and smooth delivery.

—Akiva Eldar, Haaretz, July 22, 2002

The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs is proud that Ambassador Safieh has been an eloquent and frequent contributor to our magazine over the years. Examples of his powerful pen and words include:

SOME OF THE ARTICLES BY AMBASSADOR SAFIEH PUBLISHED IN THE WASHINGTON REPORT:

In Memoriam Yasser Arafat
Our Own Palestinian De Gaulle
January/February 2005, pages 38-46
http://www.wrmea.com/archives/Jan_Feb_2005/0501038.html

Children of a Lesser God?
Four Views on U.S. Foreign Policy, November 2001, pages 13-14
http://www.wrmea.com/archives/november01/0111012.html

LETTERS WRITTEN BY AFIF SAFIEH “OTHER PEOPLE’S MAIL”:

America and the Arabs
December 2002, pages 43-46
http://www.wrmea.com/archives/december02/0212043.html

Israel Harming U.S. Interests
July 2001, pages 43-44
http://www.wrmea.com/archives/july01/0107043.html

COVERAGE of AFIF SAFIEH IN THE WASHINGTON REPORT:

Afif Safieh Tells Holy Land Foundation Dinner Guests of Grave Problems Facing Christians in the Holy Land
July 2000, pages 94-102
http://www.washington-report.org/backissues/072000/0007094.html

Palestinian Christians "Alarmed" Over Prospects in Holy Land
January/February 1998, pages 120-122
http://www.washington-report.org/backissues/0198/9801120.htm

Afif Safieh Addresses NAAA
July/August 1998, Pages 65-69
http://www.washington-report.org/backissues/0798/9807065.html

Palestinian Delegate Barred
April/May 1995, Pages 22-25
http://www.washington-report.org/backissues/0495/9504022.htm

Afif Safieh’s Biographical Information:

  • Afif Safieh was born in Jerusalem in 1950
  • Studied in Jerusalem at the "College Des Fre'res".
  • In 1972, he obtained his license in Political Science and International Relations from the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium.
  • In 1974, he finished his cycle superieur (3eme cycle) en Sciences Politiques from the foundation Nationale des Sciences Politiques, Paris.
  • He was President of the Belgian section of the General Union of Palestinian Students from 1969 until 1971, then President of the French branch in 1974-1975.
  • Between 1976 and 1978, he was deputy director of the Palestine Lebration Organisation Observer Mission to the United Nations, Geneva.
  • Between 1978 and 1981, he was staff member in President Arafat's office in Beirut, in charge of European Affairs and UN institutions.
  • Between 1981 and 1985, he was a researcher at the Centre for European Studies in the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium.
  • Between 1985 and 1987, he was visiting scholar at the Centre for International Affairs, Harvard University.
  • From 1987 until 1990, he was PLO representative to the Netherlands.
  • He was involved in November-December 1988 Stockholm negotiations that led to the official and direct American-Palestinian dialogue.
  • September 1990- October 2005 - the Palestinian General Delegate to the United Kingdom.
  • In January 1995, he was invited to join the International Board of Trustees of Bethlehem University, the Vatican-sponsored University in Palestine.
  • Nominated Palestinian General Delegate to the Holy See, he presented his letter of credentials to His Holiness Pope John ll on November 6, 1995.
  • Compilations of his articles have appeared in two books:
    • Self determination, published by Al-Fajr printing press, Jerusalem, 1986 (jointly with his wife Christ'l Leclercq) and
    • One people Too Many—published in the Hague in 1987. He has also published three booklets: 1-Children of a Lesser God? 2- The end of pre-history, 3- On Palestinian diplomacy, published by the Palestinian General Delegation to the United Kingdom, by GA-Type Printers.
  • He is married to Christ'l Leclercq and has two daughters: Diana and Randa.

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