Fatah, Hamas praise Russia’s role in reconciliation, statehood bid

Palestinian movements Fatah and Hamas said they appreciated the support of Russia in their efforts to reach national reconciliation and establish a sovereign Palestinian state.

Representatives of the two rival movements, which signed a reconciliation agreement in Cairo in early May, arrived to Moscow last Friday on an invitation from the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

The leaders of Fatah and Hamas, as well as of the People’s and Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Palestinian People’s Party, Al-Shaabare, met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday and agreed a joint statement with Russia.

Envoys of the two factions, which split when Hamas seized power in the Gaza Strip some four years ago, “stressed the importance of Russia’s role in promoting the Palestinian cause on the international arena,” the Russian Institute of Oriental Studies said in a statement on the results of the visit.

The delegation also “praised Russia’s efforts to support inter-Palestinian reconciliation” and “reiterated their wish to strengthen Russian-Palestinian ties, including the [joint] promotion of the Palestinian cause and the protection of rights and interests of the Palestinian people,” the statement reads.

During their visit in Moscow, Fatah and Hamas representatives also “reiterated their appreciation to the role of Egypt in reaching the inter-Palestinian reconciliation, which led to the signing of the reconciliation agreement in Cairo on May 4.”

The Palestinians want the borders of their future state to be formed within the borders that existed before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. They are to seek the UN recognition as an independent state in September at the annual meeting of the UN General Assembly.

MOSCOW, May 24 (RIA Novosti)

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