Hamas claims contacts with Obama advisors are ongoing
Dr. Ahmad Yousef, a political adviser to the prime minister of the Hamas-led government, Ismail Haniyah, revealed Tuesday that prior to the US presidential elections, a secret meeting was held between senior officials from the Palestinian movement and President-elect Barack Obama's advisers in the Gaza Strip.
"We were in contact with a number of Obama's aides through the Internet, and later met with some of them in Gaza, but they advised us not to reveal this information as it may influence the elections or become manipulated by [Republican candidate John] McCain's campaign", Yousuf said in an interview with London-based Arabic-language newspaper Al-Hayat, published Tuesday.
According to Yousuf, Hamas' contact with Obama's advisors was ongoing, adding that he personally had friendly relations with a few of Obama's advisers whom he had met when he lived in the US. "Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh will draft a congratulatory letter to Obama for his victory in the elections," added Yousef.
"The policy Obama will instate in the Middle East will differ from that of his predecessor George W. Bush, although it is clear that the region and the Palestinian issue will not be at the top of his agenda," Yousef told Al-Hayat, "(Obama) will focus more on the economic crisis, Iraq and Afghanistan."