Hamas Delegation to Visit Moscow with ‘New Ideas’

File Photo: Palestinian group Hamas’ top leader, Ismail Haniyeh (Reuters)
File Photo: Palestinian group Hamas’ top leader, Ismail Haniyeh (Reuters)
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Hamas Delegation to Visit Moscow with ‘New Ideas’

File Photo: Palestinian group Hamas’ top leader, Ismail Haniyeh (Reuters)
File Photo: Palestinian group Hamas’ top leader, Ismail Haniyeh (Reuters)

Palestinian group Hamas' top leader, Ismail Haniyeh, will visit Moscow early next week to hold “very importance talks,” Asharq Al-Awsat learned on Wednesday.

A source in the Russian capital said Haniyeh’s meetings will be significant at the level of their nature and content.

“A large delegation from the Movement’s leadership will arrive in Moscow next Sunday, and will hold meetings with the Russian side starting Monday,” he said.

According to the same source, Haniyeh is accompanied by a number of members of the Political Bureau, including deputy head of Hamas Political Bureau Moussa Abu Marzouk.

“Haniyeh carries new ideas that he intends to present during his meetings with Russian officials as part of an integrated work program,” the source stated.

The new ideas will include a detailed discussion of Hamas’ plans to establish a Palestinian national front against the Zionist regime's acts of aggression.

In Moscow, the delegation wants to discover how the Russians view this project, and also to discuss issues related to the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip and the role that Moscow can play to accelerate and advance this path.

Meanwhile, the source focused on the level of meetings that Hamas officials are expected to hold in Moscow, including a possible meeting with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

A Hamas delegation last visited Moscow in May this year.

The delegation was then led by Abu Marzouk and it included leaders Fathi Hammad and Hussam Badran, as well as the Movement’s representative in Moscow.

The visit came at a remarkable time, against the backdrop of escalating tension between Russia and Israel.

Talks last May focused on the situation in Jerusalem, the field developments in the Palestinian Territories and the Russian-Palestinian ties.

At the time, Israel and Russia had tensed relations over “unforgivable” comments by the Russian foreign minister about Nazism and antisemitism - including claims that Adolf Hitler was Jewish.

In a sign of sharply deteriorating relations with Moscow, the Israeli foreign ministry summoned the Russian ambassador and demanded an apology.

The tensed relations directly reflected on the Palestinian situation and the situation in Syria.

Moscow strongly condemned the Israeli raids on Syrian areas while its Foreign Ministry issued a strongly worded statement on the situation around Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, the last contact between Moscow and Hamas happened last month, in the midst of the Israeli military escalation in the Gaza Strip.

Russian Special Presidential Envoy for the Middle East and Africa and Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said in a phone call with Haniyeh that Moscow supports the immediate restoration of a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

"Russia confirmed its support for the immediate restoration of the Gaza ceasefire and welcomed related mediation efforts,” a Russian Foreign Ministry statement said following the phone call.

At the same time, it was emphasized that new cycles of violence between Palestine and Israel can be effectively prevented through the creation of an independent Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, which would leave in peace and security with Israel.



White House: Qatar and Egypt Plan Talks with Hamas on Gaza Ceasefire

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, US, May 22, 2024. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo Purchase Licensing Rights
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, US, May 22, 2024. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo Purchase Licensing Rights
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White House: Qatar and Egypt Plan Talks with Hamas on Gaza Ceasefire

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, US, May 22, 2024. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo Purchase Licensing Rights
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, US, May 22, 2024. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo Purchase Licensing Rights

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Saturday that mediators for Qatar and Egypt plan to engage Hamas militants soon to see if there is a way to push ahead with a Gaza ceasefire proposal offered by US President Joe Biden.

Sullivan spoke to reporters on the sidelines of a Ukraine peace summit and was asked about diplomatic efforts to get an agreement for Hamas to release some hostages held since Oct. 7 in exchange for a ceasefire lasting at least six weeks.

Sullivan said he had spoken briefly to one of the main interlocutors, Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, and that they would speak again about Gaza on Sunday while both are in Switzerland for the Ukraine conference, Reuters reported.

Hamas has welcomed the ceasefire proposal, but insists any agreement must secure an end to the war, a demand Israel still rejects. Israel described Hamas's response to the new US peace proposal as total rejection.

Sullivan said that US officials have taken a close look at Hamas's response.

"We think some of the edits are not unexpected and can be managed. Some of them are inconsistent both with what President Biden laid out and what the UN Security Council endorsed. And we are having to deal with that reality," he said.

He said US officials believe there remains an avenue to an agreement and that the next step will be for Qatari and Egyptian mediators to talk to Hamas and "go through what can be worked with and what really can’t be worked with."

"We anticipate a back-and-forth between the mediators and Hamas. We’ll see where we stand at that point. We will keep consulting with the Israelis and then hopefully at some point next week we’ll be able to report to you where we think things stand and what we see as being the next step to try to bring this to closure," he said.