is a senior Palestinian
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...
official who has held the following titles:
- Palestinian chief negotiator
- Palestinian cabinet minister
- Palestinian International Co-operation Minister
- Planning Minister for the Palestinian National Authority
The Palestinian Authority is the administrative organization established to govern parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip...
- Acting Prime Minister of the PNA
Shaath served as the Palestinian Authority's first ever foreign minister
A Minister of Foreign Affairs, or foreign minister, is a cabinet minister who helps form the foreign policy of a sovereign state. The foreign minister is often regarded as the most senior ministerial position below that of the head of government . It is often granted to the deputy prime minister in...
from April 2003 to February 2005. Shaath made news on 2005-10-07 by commenting for a BBC documentary that in a 2003 meeting with United States President George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....
, Bush told him and other Palestinian officials that Bush was "driven with a mission from God."
According to Shaath, the quotation was this:
"God would tell me, George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan. And I did, and then God would tell me, George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq... And I did.
"And now, again, I feel God's words coming to me, Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East. And by God I'm gonna do it."
Shaath later qualified his comments, saying that he and other world leaders at a Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...
summit two years ago "understood that he was illustrating [in his comments] his strong faith and his belief that this is what God wanted." Both the White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...
and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas , also known by the kunya Abu Mazen , has been the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation since 11 November 2004 and became President of the Palestinian National Authority on 15 January 2005 on the Fatah ticket.Elected to serve until 9 January 2009, he unilaterally...
, who was also present at the meeting, denies that Bush ever made such a statement.
On December 15, 2005 Shaath became Acting Prime Minister
An acting Prime Minister is a Cabinet member who is serving the role of prime minister, whilst the individual who normally holds the position in unable or unwilling to do so. The role of Acting Prime Minister is often performed by the Deputy Prime Minister...
of the Palestinian Authority after Ahmad Qurei resigned. He lost that position nine days later when Qurei returned to office.
In 1976, Shaath started Team International as one of the first large Multi Arab Consulting Companies. By the early 1980s, Team Int. was already established as a field leader.
Shaath will appear in the 2009 documentary "Back Door Channels: The Price of Peace
Back Door Channels: The Price of Peace, directed by Harry Hunkele,and produced by Arick Wierson, Donald Tanselle, and Matthew Tollin, is an American documentary film about the interplay between the official government channels and the men who acted largely behind the scenes during the course of...
" which deals with the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt. The film is being released by Channel Productions in New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...