Russia clarifies ties with Hamas


(MENAFN) In an online forum held in Doha on Sunday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov provided insights into Russia's relationship with Hamas, emphasizing that their contact is restricted to the political branch of the Palestinian militant group based in Qatar. Lavrov addressed the audience, shedding light on the nature of Russia's engagement with Hamas following a terrorist attack carried out by the group on October 7.

According to Lavrov, Russia condemned the October 7 attack promptly and engaged in discussions with the political branch of Hamas operating in Doha. The Foreign Minister specified that Russia's interaction with Hamas is limited to this political wing and reiterated the immediate contact made to address the fate of individuals taken hostage during the attack.

During the subsequent weeks of negotiations brokered by Qatar, a temporary truce and hostage exchange agreement were reached between Israel and Hamas. Notably, Russia played a role in securing the release of over 750 of its citizens, including 300 children, who were evacuated from the conflict zone and flown back to Moscow.

The temporary truce involved the release of 110 captives taken hostage during the October 7 attack, resulting in the exchange of 240 Palestinian women and children from Israeli prisons.

Outside the broader hostage agreement, Russia successfully facilitated the release of several of its citizens from Hamas captivity. Moscow hosted at least one Palestinian delegation during the course of the negotiations.

The article explores Russia's diplomatic efforts and engagement with Hamas amid the recent hostilities, highlighting the challenges and complexities involved in navigating the dynamics of the conflict. Additionally, it delves into the broader context of the hostage crisis and the role played by international actors in reaching a temporary truce in the region.

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