The delegation of the Islamic resistance movement, Hamas, with Khaled Mashaal at the head, has arrived in Moscow on Friday. Palestinian officials are to hold talks at the Russian Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
According to the leader of the Palestinian delegation, “occupation” will be the key subject of discussion at the talks with the Russian administration in Moscow. “The problem is not about Hamas’ position on the road map. It is about Israel’s stance. Israel has virtually turned the document down and accepted Sharon’s plan. It was not Hamas that put obstacles on the way of the road map. It was Israel that set forth 14 claims,” Khaled Mashaal said.
“The road map is virtually Ariel Sharon’s plan which rejects the right of the Palestinian nation for Jerusalem and for the return of refugees. Israel will have to acknowledge the rights of the Palestinian nation before it requires its implementation,” Mashaal said.
“We have arrived in the Russian capital after the invitation from President Putin to discuss the situation in the Middle East and conduct consultations with Moscow without any preliminary conditions,” Mashaal said.
Hamas’ delegation, which represents the government and the legislative power of Palestine, pins big hopes for Russia’s assistance in the execution on UN resolutions on the Palestinian problem. “We hold gratifying feelings for Russia’s respect towards the democratic choice of the Palestinian nation,” a member of the Palestinian delegation said.
According to Khaled Mashaal, Hamas intends to set up the Palestinian government on the base of the national unity. The official added that the movement was negotiating with all Palestinian movements and groups, including Fatah.
In the meantime, the new Palestinian Ambassador to Russia Bakir Abdel Monem has recently stated that Russia and Palestine would most likely exchange opinions during the talks in Moscow. “There is no certain agenda for the talks yet. It will be a friendly exchange of opinions. No one will be insisting on anything,” the ambassador told Interfax Thursday.
The ambassador said that the Hamas delegation would stay in Moscow for three days, although official meetings would take place only on March 3rd. “Hamas delegates will also hold meetings with non-governmental organizations and spokespeople for Muslim communities. One should bear in mind the fact that they are visiting Russia. It is their first visit to a non-Arab, non-Muslim state,” the ambassador added.
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov