A group from Hamas is heading to Moscow to discuss the situation of international captives in Gaza.

A group of senior Hamas leaders has journeyed to Moscow for a meeting with officials from the Russian foreign ministry. This marks the organization’s first prominent international visit since their attack in southern Israel on October 7th, where approximately 1,400 individuals were killed and 220 others were taken hostage.

Mousa Abu Marzook, a founder and political leader of Hamas, headed the delegation that met with Russian deputy foreign minister, Mikhail Bogdanov. Marzook, currently residing in Qatar as an exile, journeyed to Moscow following a previous meeting with Bogdanov and Iranian deputy foreign minister, Ali Bagheri Kani, in Doha.

The delegation was verified by members of Hamas and Russia, and a picture depicted the trio gathering at the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow.

The Russian foreign ministry released a statement stating that Abu Marzook, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, is currently in Moscow. The purpose of the meeting was to negotiate the prompt release of foreign hostages being held in the Gaza Strip, as well as address matters concerning the safe evacuation of Russian and other foreign nationals from the Palestinian territory.

In the beginning of this month, Bogdanov expressed his desire to have a meeting with Hamas members in Qatar to negotiate the release of Israeli hostages. According to the Israeli government, there are at least six out of the 220 hostages being held by Hamas who hold Russian citizenship.

“I am always in support of communication if they are open to it,” Bogdanov stated in an interview with state media earlier this month. “Given the circumstances, a meeting would be beneficial for resolving practical matters, such as the release of hostages.”

The meeting occurred amidst a rising global polarization between the east and west, as Russia appears to have formed an alliance with Hamas and its partner Iran.

This week, Vladimir Putin issued a warning that if Israel were to launch a ground invasion of Gaza, it could have serious and destructive consequences. He emphasized the importance of stopping the violence and bloodshed in order to prevent further escalation and potential conflict beyond the Middle East region.

According to Russian state media, Hamas representatives expressed their appreciation for Putin’s stance and the efforts of Russian diplomacy in the conflict during a statement to Bogdanov.

On Thursday, Hamas sent their third delegation to Moscow within the past year. Marzook, a member of Hamas, has frequently met with Bogdanov and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The Russian Foreign Ministry has been meeting with Hamas delegations since 2006, when the group participated in elections and ousted rival Palestinian group Fatah.

Source: theguardian.com

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