Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
News, May 2010
Medvedev-Mesha'al Meeting in Damascus Highlights Hamas Role in the Region, Says Shamil Sultanov
[ 12/05/2010 - 05:57 PM ]
Dr. Shamil Sultanov, the head of the Russia-Islamic world center of strategic studies, said that Russian president Dmitry Medvedevís meeting with Palestinian political leader Khaled Mesha'al in Damascus further vindicated that the Movement of Hamas has political weight in the region and must not be ignored.
A meeting between president Medvedev and head of Hamasís political bureau took place on Tuesday in Damascus at the conclusion of a visit considered the first of its kind to Syria.
Dr. Sultanov told the Islamic news agency on Tuesday that this meeting is a message sent by Russia to the concerned parties in the region that the current situation in the Middle East is likely to explode and it is time to find a strong replacement for Mahmoud Abbas and his movement.
He added that the meeting tended to say that Russia, regardless of its good relations with Israel and Fatah faction, believe that the voice of Hamas should be heard in light of serious changes that might happen in the future in the region.
Dr. Sulatanov pointed out that the Russian president highlighted during his visit to Syria the need for ending the Israeli blockade on Gaza, where he said that this issue concerns all human beings and promised to help the besieged Palestinians and to make all efforts to break the siege imposed on them.
Sultanov also underlined that Mesha'al is one of the most prominent political figures in the modern world and heads Hamas Movement which enjoys popularity amongst both Muslims and Christians and the Russian society is also a mix of followers of Islam and Christianity, which means that such meetings and contacts with a movement close to the Russian civilization is a right long-term political approach.
In a press statement to the same news agency, noted Russian political analyst Maksim Shevchenko said that the Russian leadership wanted to confirm through its meeting with the Hamas leader that its positions is balanced and reasonable.
Shevchenko stressed that Russia, because of the torrent of criticism directed to it due to the Zionist lobbyís clout in the country, also wanted to say that it gradually returns to the historical picture of its relations with the Mid-Eastern countries.
He added that this picture is centered on supporting the civilizations and the traditional religions in the region and not on supporting extraneous entities seeking on behalf of different peoples to impose their alleged values in this ancient area.
In the same context, Dr. Naji Sharab, a professor of political science at Al-Azhar university in Gaza, said that Medvedevís meeting with Mishaal indicated that Russia believes in the effective role of Hamas in the Palestinian arena and the region.
Dr. Sharab told the Palestinian information center (PIC) on Wednesday that Russia was among the first major countries that opened direct channels of communication with Hamas, adding Russia is seeking to restore its role as a powerful and influential country in the region.
For his part, Hamas lawmaker Dr. Yahya Moussa told the PIC that the meeting would increase the international recognition of Hamas and make it able to be an effective decision-maker in the international arena.
Dr. Mousa added that this meeting is in the interest of the Palestinian people and will help them to restore their usurped rights.
Palestinian writer and political analyst Wisam Afifa, for his part, said that Russia is trying to get advantage of the waning US role in many Middle East files and act as a firefighter in the region, adding that it is trying to convey reassurances to Syria and Hamas at the same time following the last Israeli threats.
Afifa stressed in a press statement to the PIC that Russia reads the political changes in the Palestinian arena well and wants to be the first major country to have relations with Hamas because it believes that this movement represents the Palestinian future.
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