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Russia attaches an important significance to the talks with a HAMAS delegation
Russia attaches an important significance to the talks with a HAMAS delegation which is expected to arrive in the Russian capital on March 3, Foreign Ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin told Itar-Tass on Monday. Alexander Kalugin, special envoy for the Middle East settlement of the Russian Foreign Minister, told Tass that the HAMAS delegation is likely to be led by head of the political sector of the movement Khaled Mashaal. Kalugin did not rule out that Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will meet with the HAMAS officials. "This visit will be important." However, it is still unclear whether HAMAS is ready to recognize Israel, he said. The recognition of Israel, giving up of violence and compliance with the accords that have been reached are the points sought after by the whole international community, the envoy said. "These are the directions which will be discussed in Moscow. But nobody knows to what extent HAMAS is ready to make headway in these directions," he noted. It is important that the HAMAS delegation will arrive. "We'll be conducting talks in all the directions coordinated by the group of four international mediators in the Middle East settlement /Russia, the United States, the European Union, and the United Nations/," Kalugin said. Earlier, answering the question if Moscow will demand from HAMAS the recognition of the Israeli state, Kalugin said Russia "will not insist on anything." "We intend to confirm these crucial elements, in which we want to see a change in the position of this movement. It is their business - to take into account our opinion or not," he said. There are principles that would help break the deadlock in the process and start moving along the path of "the road map." "We wait for the HAMAS representatives to show understanding," Kalugin noted: "it's up to them to decide when and in what format it should be done. They bear a great deal of responsibility."
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