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Russia is not involved in any secret talks with radical movement Hamas
Russia is not involved in any secret talks with radical movement Hamas, a senior member of the upper chamber of parliament said Thursday. Russia provoked the anger of some countries in February when it invited a delegation of Hamas, which the elections in the Palestinian Authority in January, to Moscow for talks. But Mikhail Margelov, the chairman of the international affairs committee, said Russia was an honest partner in the Middle East peace process. "We are not playing any double games here," he said. "We have never had and never will have any secret agenda with Hamas." Margelov said he had had regular contacts with Hamas in his four years as a special rapporteur on the Middle East for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. "This is a real political force, which is why we were the first country of the Quartet of international intermediaries to begin a direct dialogue with Hamas," he said. The other members of the Quartet are the United States, the European Union and the United Nations. Margelov said Russia wanted Hamas to acknowledge Israel's right to exist, open a political dialogue and renounce terrorism as means to achieve political goals.
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