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Meshal in Russia

Haaretz: Hamas political bureau head Khaled Meshal said Tuesday in Moscow that his organization was not willing to recognize Israel, saying that Israel must end the occupation and the suffering of the Palestinian people and "only then will the Palestinians make their position [on recognition] clear."..

Radwan clarified that Hamas' willingness to agree to a state within the 1967 borders is only one part of the multi-stage solution it envisions...

"We are willing to consider a possibility for a long-term hudna [cease-fire] if the Zionist enemy releases the Palestinian prisoners and the refugees return to their homes. No more. The Mecca agreement has to do with the government, not Hamas," he added.

A different spokesman of the organization in the Gaza Strip, Fauzi Barhum, said that "Hamas has decided to show a political horizon, but our position is clear. All the land of Palestine [from the sea to the river] belongs to the Palestinians and Israel is the enemy. However, our political horizon offers a hudna for 15-20 years, in return for the establishment of a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders, the return of the refugees and the release of the prisoners."

Also Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said his country would work toward lifting the international embargo on the Palestinian Authority and will support the new unity government.

"Russia supports the understandings reached between Hamas and Fatah over the sharing of power, because they are an expression of reason, wisdom and responsibility toward the Palestinian people," he said during a joint press conference with Meshal.

The senior Russian official added that his country was working to ensure that "all the members of the international community will support this process, including efforts to lift the embargo."..

Russia is a member of the Quartet - which also comprises the UN, the EU and the United States. The Quartet has conditioned the resumption of ties with the government of the PA and the renewal of aid transfers on Palestinian recognition of Israel, renunciation of violence and acceptance of earlier accords between Israel and the PLO.

France has also hinted recently that it may support lifting the embargo..

[Note to journalists: embargo n. 1. an edict or order of the government prohibiting the departure or entry of ships of commerce at ports within its dominion. Simply holding up aid payments, or jizyah in this case, is not an embargo. It would also be useful if journalists were aware of the Islamic definition of the word "hudna." Temporary truces are all that is allowed under Islam. Permanent peace is an impossibility.]