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Hamas Voices Readiness to Leave Qatar as Haniya Visits Iran - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Ramallah – The Hamas movement announced that its officials and affiliates were ready to leave the Qatari capital Doha in what appears to be a precursor to the movement lessening its presence there.

Hamas justified its decision by saying that it wants to avoid Arab disputes, calling for ending them with dialogue.

At the same time, Hamas politburo chief Ismail Haniya was preparing to travel to Iran soon as part of a tour that includes other countries that have not been revealed, said the movement’s foreign affairs official Osama Hamdan.

Politburo member Moussa Abou Marzouq said that Hamas will not be a side in the inter-Arab disputes because it is committed to the central Palestinian cause.

He made his remarks after holding talks in Lebanon with Speaker Nabih Berri.

“We will not clash with any side and we will not meddle in affairs, regardless of the circumstances and developments,” he added.

“We also do not want anyone to have differences over backing the Palestinian cause. We will persevere against these changes,” he vowed.

Abou Marzouq’s comments come at a time when Hamas is enduring great pressure given that it is hosted by Qatar that recently saw a number of Arab countries sever diplomatic ties with it over its backing of terrorism.

Hamas found itself in the eye of the storm after Qatar was accused of funding the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood groups.

In this light, Hamdan said that Hamas does not mind easing the pressure off Qatar, saying the decision to have its officials leave the emirate was linked to the recent elections results in the movement.

Among the officials who left Qatar was Saleh al-Aaroury. Israeli Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that he has arrived in Lebanon with two other Hamas leaders in order to bolster ties with “Hezbollah” and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to work against Israel.

Efforts should be exerted on the Lebanese government to make him leave the country, added the minister.

Beirut is one of the capitals that Hamas has placed as an option should it leave Qatar. Hamas has a good presence in Lebanon that has witnessed attempts in the past to create rapprochement between the movement and Iran through “Hezbollah”.