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Hamas courtship of Russia could lead to win-win romance

A Hamas delegation recently visited Moscow to discuss various issues, ranging from the anticipated US peace plan to Moscow possibly brokering a Palestinian reconciliation.
From L: Abed al-Hafeez Nofal, the Palestinian ambassador to Moscow, and exiled Hamas deputy leader Mussa Abu Marzuq give a press conference along with other representatives of Palestinian political parties and movements in Moscow on January 17, 2017. / AFP / Alexander NEMENOV        (Photo credit should read ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Hamas’ relations with Russia have improved and grown in recent years, with movement leaders regularly visiting Moscow since 2015. A delegation headed by Hamas political bureau member Moussa Abu Marzouk most recently made the trek, meeting June 25 with Mikhail Bogdanov, Russian deputy foreign minister and special presidential envoy to the Middle East. Hamas noted on its website that Marzouk and Bogdanov explored bilateral relations and exchanged opinions on issues in the region, Palestinian developments and Hamas' faltering attempt at reconciliation with Fatah.

Marzouk told Al-Monitor that they also covered issues pertaining to “alleviating the Gaza blockade, reducing the Palestinian Authority [PA] sanctions against the enclave and exploring potential Russian aid.” The so-called deal of the century, US President Donald Trump's forthcoming Middle East peace plan, was also brought up.

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