Maen Areikat, Chief Representative of Palestine Liberation Organization, Set to Visit OC

Stationed in the nation's capital, diplomat Maen Rashid Areikat wasn't invited to President Barack Obama's second inauguration. As he told The National, the oversight was relayed as unintentional, resulting from outdated contact information.

Whatever the case, the chief representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in the United States will be coming to Buena Park next month at the invitation of local members of the Palestinian and Arab-American community.

The meeting is set to take place at the Golden Nights Restaurant on February 16 and the topic of discussion will center around --what else?-- the issue of Palestine.


Areikat, who was born in the occupied

West Bank

in 1960, represents an office that local congressman

Ed Royce

would rather see closed. After an overwhelming vote in the

United Nations

saw the

Palestinian Authority

upgraded to 'non-member state' status in November, Royce

suggested in a letter to President Obama the following month

that one way the U.S. could express its disapproval was by closing the PLO office in D.C.

The State Department has decided to allow for the post to remain open for another six months in continuing a practice exercised by recent administrations from both political parties.

As for the future of Palestine, Areikat, who was once imprisoned in Israeli jails before going on to become part of the Madrid peace negotiations, remains optimistic telling the National, "Nobody can stand in the way of history, and no matter the strength of Israel, and its support in this country, eventually we will prevail."

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