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Moscow ready to host Hamas and Fatah reconciliation talks, confirms Haniyeh visit

Russia's Middle East policy chief Mikhail Bogdanov confirms visit by Hamas top chief [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 21 December, 2018

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Moscow ready to organize reconciliation talks between rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah
Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh will visit Moscow at the start of next year, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov told Russian reporters on Friday.

Bogdanov said Moscow was ready to organize reconciliation talks between Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, and rival group Fatah, which is led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and runs the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.

Last month, the Hamas leader said he received an invitation from a visiting Russian diplomat to make an official visit to Moscow.

Russia maintains high-level contact with Hamas, which Israel, the US and the European Union classify as a terrorist group.

Israel has slammed Russia for inviting Haniyeh to visit Moscow, but the Kremlin snubbed Israel’s comments.

Haniyeh was elected as Hamas' top leader last year. His predecessor, Khaled Mashaal, visited Moscow frequently.

Hamas won 2006 parliamentary elections but Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah and much of the international community refused to accept the result, leading to increased strife.

A year later, Hamas seized control of Gaza during bitter fighting. Since then two separate Palestinian civil administrations emerged.

Russia has hosted several rounds of talks aimed at forging reconciliation between Hamas and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party.

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