Mahmoud Abbas was a founding member of the Palestinian National Liberation Movement (Fatah), the largest political group of the Palestinian Liberation Organization Abbas was instrumental in initiating the 1965 Palestinian revolution for national independence.Updated: Jul 10, 2003 19:48 IST
Abbas is the Secretary General of the PLO Executive Committee and since 1968, has been a member of the Palestinian National Council (PNC). The Executive Committee and the PNC are the top two decision-making bodies of the PLO. Abbas was the primary force behind the PNC's decision to work with Israeli peace groups.
As secretary general of the PLO Executive Committee, Abbas was signatory of the 1993 Declaration of Principles that launched the Palestinian-Israeli peace process. Two years later, in 1995, Abbas signed the Interim Peace Agreement with Israel.
Abbas is a constant participant in Palestinian-Israeli negotiations and on several occasion has held top-level meetings with Israeli officials to try to bridge gaps that stand in the way of reaching a just and comprehensive peace.
Born in 1935 in the village of Safad in northern Palestine, Abbas left his hometown with his family to Syria in 1948 when the Jewish state was created.
Abbas earned his Ph.D in history from Moscow's Oriental College. He holds a B.A in Law from Damascus University.
Palestine Liberation Organisation,
Negotiations Affairs Department
First Published: Jun 26, 2003 19:23 IST