Annan "profoundly saddened" by death of Palestinian official Faisal al-Husseini

Annan "profoundly saddened" by death of Palestinian official Faisal al-Husseini

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today said he was "profoundly saddened" by the sudden death of Palestinian leader Faisal al-Husseini, who died of a heart attack in Kuwait.

Mr. Annan paid tribute to Mr. al-Husseini as a leader who "embodied the aspirations of his people, and infused their cause with integrity and justice," a spokesman for the Secretary-General said in a statement.

"The Secretary-General calls on leaders on both sides of the conflict to pay tribute to Mr. al-Husseini's legacy by redoubling their own efforts to end the violence and work towards a just and secure peace for both peoples," spokesman Fred Eckhard added.

Mr. Annan also extended his condolences to Mr. al-Husseini's family, and to the Palestinian people "for the loss of one of their most distinguished and principled leaders."

UN officials described Mr. al-Husseini as a "trustworthy man" who had participated in key multilateral talks. A long-time minister of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Mr. al-Husseini is credited for his role in secret peace talks which led to mutual recognition and unprecedented agreements reached between Israel and the PLO in 1993, according to a spokesperson for the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine Mission to the UN.