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Hamas promotes ties with Moscow

Hamas’ visit to Moscow raises questions about the movement’s objectives and about Russia’s increased influence in the Middle East and in the Palestinian arena.

A delegation of Hamas leaders visited Russia on Sept. 18. The delegation was headed by the deputy head of Hamas' political bureau, Mousa Abu Marzouk, and included Hamas political bureau members Saleh al-Arouri, Hossam Badran, Sami Khater and Mohammad Sawalha. They met with Mikhail Bogdanov, Russia's deputy foreign minister and special presidential representative for the Middle East, as well as other officials at the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Badran told Al-Monitor, “The visit is an important milestone in Hamas' foreign ties, because Russia is a great power, at a time when the United States wants Hamas to be labeled as a terrorist group and be isolated. The meeting with Bogdanov at the ministry’s headquarters focused on the [Hamas-Palestinian Authority] reconciliation and Russia’s support for Hamas' positive stances. We met also with Russian politicians who are close to the decision-making circles; there is no need to reveal who they are.”

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