Lavrov to hold talks with Hamas leader on January 15

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MOSCOW, December 28. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will hold a meeting with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, Russian Presidential Envoy for the Middle East and Africa and Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov told reporters on Friday.

“The meeting with Hanieyh is scheduled for January 15,” he said.

According to Bogdanov, during the talks the parties will discuss “the situation in the Middle East, the Palestinian-Israeli settlement, the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, particularly in the Gaza Strip, and the task of restoring the Palestinian unity.”

Lavrov earlier said that he had discussed with his Palestinian counterpart Riyad al-Maliki the expediency of holding a meeting in Moscow involving representatives of the Fatah and Hamas movements as part of the inter-Palestinian dialogue.

The Fatah and Hamas Palestinian movements signed a reconciliation agreement in Cairo in the autumn of 2017. The parties agreed that the National Accord Government would assume all powers over all Palestinian territories. The transfer of control over the Rafah Border Crossing on the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip to the West Bank authorities was due to take place as well. Later on, the factions held a few more rounds of talks in Cairo on forming the new government, organizing the elections, reforming the Palestine Liberation Organization and deploying the Palestinian administration’s forces in Gaza. However, the inter-Palestinian reconciliation process once again stalled because of constantly emerging disagreements.

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