Russia nixes Hamas chief’s visit to Moscow

Hamas politburo head was to meet Russia’s foreign minister. The reason for the visit’s cancellation was not given.

By World Israel News staff

Hamas politburo head Ismail Haniyeh’s planned visit to Moscow next week has been cancelled by Russia, the Palestinian Authority ambassador to Moscow told the Interfax news agency Thursday.

No new date was given for the terror kingpin’s visit and the reason for its cancellation was not given. Haniyeh was scheduled to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Musa Abu Marzouk, a senior official in the terror group said Thursday that he and Mikhail Bogdanov, Russia’s deputy foreign minister and President Vladimir Putin’s Middle East envoy, had spoken over the phone about the postponement of Haniyeh’s visit “to another time because of the [Russian] foreign minister’s busy state of affairs.”

In late December, Bogdanov announced that Haniyeh and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov were scheduled to meet in Moscow on January 15.

Israel’s Ambassador to Moscow, Gary Koren, had then reportedly delivered a strongly worded protest to senior Russian officials over Haniyeh’s invitation.

According to Israel’s Channel 10 news, Israel’s protestations were dismissed by the Russians, who noted that Israel, too, speaks with Hamas, about issues such as ceasefires in Gaza, missing in action and hostages.