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.