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Senior Russian diplomat, Hamas delegation discuss developments around Al-Aqsa Mosque

Mikhail Bogdanov called useful and constructive consultations with representatives of the Palestinian movement

MOSCOW, May 5./TASS/. Deputy Foreign Minister and Special Presidential Representative for the Middle East and Africa Mikhail Bogdanov met on Thursday with Hamas representatives to discuss the situation in the Palestinian territories, the developments around Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque and the task to achieve Palestinian national unity.

"The situation is so turbulent in the Palestinian territories, in the Gaza Strip, which is largely controlled by Hamas," Bogdanov told TASS. "And the developments around Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem - all this is also worrying. So, it is on these issues that we shared our assessments, our considerations. And also regarding the main task - to achieve Palestinian national unity," the senior diplomat said.

Besides, representatives from Hamas spoke about their contacts with other Palestinian political forces and organizations, about the efforts that certain countries are making to settle the Palestinian problem. "For example, Egypt and Algeria, especially ahead of a summit of the Arab League due in Algeria in autumn. The Palestinian problem is among the focal points to be discussed by the heads of state of the LAS states," Bogdanov stressed.

Focusing on Moscow’s efforts towards easing tensions, the diplomat stressed "We have active contacts, including with various Palestinian forces". "We have already had several delegations here. And we are waiting for more delegations to come - from the Fatah movement and from other organizations that are based in Ramallah and in neighboring countries. They are due to arrive shortly. [Their visit] is expected in May and in summer," the senior diplomat added.

Bogdanov called useful and constructive consultations with representatives of the Palestinian movement. He also said that the delegation included three members from the Hamas leadership, including Deputy Chairman of the Hamas Political Bureau Mousa Abu Marzook.

"We, on our part, reaffirmed our unwavering principled stance - to support the establishment of an independent Palestinian state within the borders of 1967 with the capital in East Jerusalem. And this position is based exactly on the well-known international legal framework of the Palestinian-Israeli settlement," the presidential envoy summed up.