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Russia Pledges to Help Hamas Secure Political, Economic Support
By Lisa McAdams
27 February 2007
Russia says it supports the lifting of political and economic sanctions imposed on the Islamic militant group Hamas over its refusal to recognize Israel's right to exist. The offer of support came during a final day of talks in Moscow with the exiled political leader of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal. VOA's Lisa McAdams is in the Russian capital with details.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says Moscow supports the Palestinian power-sharing agreement that has been reached between Hamas and the rival Fatah party because he said it shows wisdom, reason and responsibility. Lavrov told Meshaal during their talks in Moscow Tuesday that he could count on Russia's continued support.
Lavrov said Russia would be pushing the other members of the so-called Middle East Quartet, the United States, European Union and United Nations to support the power-sharing process agreed to during crisis talks in Mecca earlier this month. Lavrov said support from the Quartet should include the lifting of international sanctions, imposed after Hamas won last year's Palestinian election.