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Russian FM Meets Hamas Chief, Invites Him to Moscow – Official

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal in Qatar on Monday and invited him to visit Moscow, a Hamas official said, extending a diplomatic welcome to the Palestinian group shunned by the West.

GAZA — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met Hamas leader Khaled Mashal in Qatar on Monday and invited him to visit Moscow, a Hamas official said, extending a diplomatic welcome to the Palestinian group shunned by the West.

Mashal, who is based in Doha, last traveled to Moscow in 2010, four years after his first official visit to the Russian capital.

In a statement released in Gaza, the Hamas official said a delegation led by Mashal briefed Lavrov on conditions in the Gaza Strip, which the Islamist movement rules, in the aftermath of last summer's war with Israel.

Mashal also discussed with Lavrov "Zionist terrorism in the West Bank and its assaults on Muslim and Christian sites in Jerusalem," the official said, three days after an arson attack by suspected Jewish militants killed a Palestinian toddler.

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