Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal met in Doha, Qatar, this week to discuss ways to implement a Palestinian state.
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“We would like to see the Palestinians — all of them — have their permanent home,” declared Lavrov.
Meshaal made his home in Doha and then Syria after the Jordan government expelled him in 1999. He returned to Doha in 2012 after Syria broke out in a civil war.
Lavrov invited Meshaal to Moscow. “The (Russian) foreign minister extended an invitation to the leadership of (Hamas) to visit Moscow and the movement accepted the invitation and the date will be determined later,” stated the terrorist group.
The terrorist group also mentioned that Mesgaal told Lavrov about the alleged “Zionist terrorism in the West Bank and its assaults on Muslim and Christian sites in Jerusalem.”
Hamas has been growing closer to Moscow since they no longer receive funds from Iran. They also appear to be seeking close ties to “other regional powers such as Saudi Arabia in an attempt to both internationalise the conflict with Israel and find another financial sponsor for its military activities.”
“Internally these diplomatic successes may serve to alleviate the likely pressure that Hamas’s military wing is putting on the political echelon regarding the absence of operations against Israel,” explained Michael Horowitz, a security analyst at the Levantine Group. “This pressure is likely high at a time when other salafist-jihadist groups inspired by the Islamic State are accusing them of collaborating with Israel. By meeting with high-ranking officials of regional or global powers, the political wing can legitimise such relative absence of military activities.”
Kerry is in Qatar on Tuesday to speak with six other countries’ representatives about the Iran nuclear agreement. Another meeting with Lavrov will include Saudi Foreign Minister Abdel al-Jubeir to discuss the civil war in Syria. Since the outbreak in 2011, Russia has supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.