Ambassador Afif Safieh
Head of the Palestinian Mission to Washington D.C.
Afif Safieh is a Palestinian diplomat. He is currently the representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization to the United States, after serving fifteen years as Palestine's representative to the United Kingdom.
Safieh was born in Jerusalem in 1950. As a child, he attended school in Jerusalem's College Des Frères. In 1972, he obtained a degree in Political Science and International Relations from the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium. He continued his education at the Paris Institute of Political Studies in Paris, graduating in 1974.
Safieh became 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.
From 1976 to 1978 he served as deputy director of the Palestine Liberation Organization Observer Mission to the United Nations Office at Geneva. In 1978 he worked as a staff member in Yasser Arafat's office in Beirut, in charge of European Affairs and UN institutions. In 1981, he became a researcher at the Centre for European Studies in the Catholic University of Louvain, and from 1985 to 1987 was invited as visiting scholar at the Centre for International Affairs, Harvard University.
From 1987 until 1990, Safieh served as PLO representative to the Netherlands. During his service, he was involved in the 1988 Stockholm negotiations that led to the first official and direct American-Palestinian dialogue. In 1990, he became Palestinian General Delegate to the United Kingdom. In January 1995, he was invited to join the International Board of Trustees of the Vatican-sponsored Bethlehem University. Nominated Palestinian General Delegate to the Holy See, he presented his letter of credentials to Pope John Paul II on November 6, 1995.
On October 27, 2005 he was appointed to head the PLO office to the United States, Washington, DC.
**Webcast is available after this event for those who are not able to attend in person.
Public Forums with Consul Barukh Binah and Ambassador Afif Safieh, as well as the 2007 George F. Kennan Forum will be available via webcast (after the events).