Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov has ignored a direct request from his Israeli counterpart Avigdor Lieberman for severing contacts with Hamas movement.
Lavrov told a joint press conference with Lieberman that contacts should be made with Hamas in view of its wide popular support in the Palestinian street especially in the Gaza Strip. He added that Hamas should participate in the political process in the region.
Moscow has contacts with Hamas because a portion of the Palestinian people voted for it in the last elections, which all testified were free and democratic, the Russian chief diplomat said.
He noted that reconstruction of Gaza could not take place without direct contact with Hamas, adding that Moscow, during talks with Hamas, asks the movement to abide by the PLO agreements and the Arab peace initiative.
Hebrew daily Ha’aretz that carried the news said that acute contradictions were noticeable between the stands of both men, noting that Lavorv told Lieberman that Russia was doing the right thing when it opened contacts with Hamas and that severing relations with it would not help anyone.