Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh met Thursday with party leaders, including the two main opposition Independence Party and the Authenticity and Modernity Party, on the second day of his visit to Morocco.
At his arrival in Rabat on Wednesday, Haniyeh attended a reception held by Moroccan Prime Minister Saad Dine El Otmani in his capacity as leader of the Justice and Development Party (PJD), the biggest party in the governing coalition.
But unlike Wednesday’s meeting, which was held at the Prime Minister’s seat and had received major media coverage, the meetings of the Haniyeh-led Hamas delegation with political parties on Thursday were kept in the dark.
The Authenticity and Modernity Party had invited the media to cover Thursday’s meeting with Haniyeh at its offices in Rabat. However, it later withdrew the invitation saying both sides would hold talks privately, and that the meeting will take place where the Palestinian delegation is staying.
The Hamas delegation’s visit to Morocco aims to build support for the Palestinian cause after the North African nation improved diplomatic relations with Israel.
Last December, Morocco became the fourth Arab country to normalize diplomatic ties with Israel.
On Wednesday, Othmani said the PJD’s invitation came six months ago, adding that the Kingdom of Morocco has repeatedly affirmed its support - King, government and people - for the struggle of the Palestinian people until their independent state is established with Jerusalem as its capital.
Haniyeh thanked Othmani for the invitation, stressing that it reflects the depth of the relationship between Morocco and Palestinians, as well as the people of both countries.