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Moscow stands to gain from Hamas-Damascus reconciliation

While claims that Russia is playing a large role in reconciliation talks between the Palestinian movement Hamas and the Syrian regime may be overstated, Moscow could benefit in several ways if the two sides restore relations.
Palestinian supporters of the Islamist movement Hamas wave their flag and a pre-Baath Syrian flag (C) during a demonstration in the West Bank city of Hebron on November 21, 2012, against the ongoing Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip. Israel launched its offensive on November 14 with the targeted killing of a Hamas military chief. Since then, 147 Palestinians and five Israelis have been killed. AFP PHOTO/HAZEM BADER        (Photo credit should read HAZEM BADER/AFP via Getty Images)
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As talk intensifies about the prospect of reconciliation between Damascus and the Hamas movement, which has been a supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s opposition, the question arises: What is Russia’s position on the issue?

Generally Moscow’s opinion is left out of these discussions on a potential rapprochement. And strangely so, especially given many analysts' and commentators’ knack for exaggerating Russia’s role in the Israeli-Palestinian dialogue. Within Russia, such exaggerations are a reflection of a desire to shore up the country’s image on the world stage, while the outside observers often lack complete information about the real situation.  

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