Envoy says Russia will try to change Hamas policy as Israel slams Moscow ”weakness”
Russia's special Middle East envoy, Alexander Kalugin, on Friday addressed President Putin's invitation to Hamas to visit Moscow, saying that Russia would try to convince Hamas to change its "extremist" path, to take up peaceful dialogue, and to recognize Israel's right to exist. "We want them to respect all of the past agreements to avoid terror attacks," Kalugin told the Russian news agency Interfax.
Israel, however, expressed deep concern and dismay regarding Moscow's move. Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni warned that some members of the international community were "attempting to compromise" with Hamas in an interview published Friday by the New York Sun.
"There is a tendency sometimes among some in the international community to try and understand, to reach agreements, to take a backward step," said the Israeli minister.
She warned of a "slippery slope" embarked upon by Russia, which could grant legitimacy and compromise with Hamas. "Any weakness… will result in a negative effect - not only for Israel, but also for the Palestinian people and for the international community," Livni added.
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