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Hamas Delegation Continues to Look for Arab Support

  • Noel King

The political bureau chief of radical Palestinian Islamist organization Hamas is in Sudan as part of a trip to gain the support of Arab nations. Khalid Mashal told reporters the international community must respect the results of controversial elections that brought Hamas to power.

Khalid Mashal, political bureau chief of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance movement, known as Hamas, is in Khartoum as part of a tour of Arab nations. He hailed cooperation between Sudan and Palestine, while criticizing Israel and the United States.

Hamas, which calls for the destruction of Israel, won a highly contested election in January, taking a majority of seats in the next parliament.

Mashal said Hamas faces many challenges. He called for a new political era that will rehabilitate Palestine.

"Israel is the problem," he said. "The American administration is the problem, along with those who were surprised by the results of the elections. We tell the international community to respect the results of the elections. You calls for democracy and now you must respect its results. The Palestinian people have chosen."

The Russian government recently invited Hamas to Russia for talks. Mashal says Hamas will accept that invitation, but did not say when the visit would take place. He called Russia's invitation a way to begin shaking those who oppose Palestine.

Hamas says its delegation will also visit Turkey, Iran, Malaysia, and Saudi Arabia. The tour will conclude with the beginning of the Arab summit, which is slated to begin next month in Khartoum.

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