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Hamas Leaders Meet Sudan's Bashir

Hamas' Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and other Hamas officials meet President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 12/30/2011, 7:14 AM

Ismail Haniyeh
Ismail Haniyeh
Flash 90

Hamas’ Gaza Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh, visited Sudan on Thursday, where he held talks with President Omar al-Bashir, AFP reported.

The visit to Sudan was part of Haniyeh’s first official regional tour since Hamas seized power in Gaza in 2007.

According to AFP, he was joined in the meeting with Bashir by other high-ranking Hamas leaders, including politburo chief Khaled Mashaal, Hamas co-founder Mahmoud al-Zahar and Moussa Abu Marzouk. It was the first time they had met as a group with Bashir, whose country has close ties with Hamas.

Haniyeh was quoted as having told reporters after meeting, “From the Arabs and Islamic countries we want finance and political support to confirm that Jerusalem is the capital of the Palestinian state.”

AFP reported that Mashaal said his delegation briefed Bashir on Hamas’ reconciliation efforts with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

Reconciliation talks between Fatah and Hamas in Cairo last week resulted in an announcement that Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other terror factions would be joining the PLO. Mashaal later said that for the time being Hamas intends to focus on popular protests in the spirit of the Arab Spring, rather than armed resistance against Israel. Hamas’ co-founder Mahmoud al-Zahar later confirmed this.

Earlier this week, however, Haniyeh called on Arab leaders to stop the 'Judaization' of Jerusalem. He also recently said that Hamas may work for the “interim objective of liberation of Gaza, the West Bank, or Jerusalem,” but added that Hamas' long-term “strategic” goal is to eliminate all of Israel.