Russia will keep ties with Hamas: FM

Russia will continue to maintain ties with Islamist group Hamas to foster Palestinian peace although the West insists to see it as a terrorist organisation, Russia's foreign minister said Wednesday.

Russia will keep ties with Hamas: FM
Speaking after talks with Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Kurbi in Moscow, Sergei Lavrov said relations with both Hamas and its rival Fatah were essential to push the Middle East peace process forward.

"Russia has very good relations with Fatah, and its leader Mahmud Abbas as the overall Palestinian leader," Lavrov said.

"Russia has relations with Hamas and we use these, and we will actively use these, to help move towards the Yemeni initiative" to foster Palestinian peace, he said.

"It is impossible to resolve all of the problems without the unification of the Palestinians as a single people and as a single political-legal space," he said.

He said those taking part in the peace process should not try to "drive a wedge" between the two groups.

Fatah and Hamas penned a deal in Yemen last month to open their first direct talks since Hamas drove Fatah forces from the Gaza Strip in June.

Russia has carved out a unique position in Middle East diplomacy by maintaining contacts with both Fatah and Hamas.

Agencies
Last Mod: 01 Mayıs 2008, 16:04
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