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Palestinian Authority seeks to strengthen ties with Iran
August 9, 2015 18:02
PA official meets with Zarif, delivers letter from Abbas to Rouhani.
Abbas and Rouhani

PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. (photo credit:REUTERS)

The Palestinian Authority is looking forward to developing its relations and strengthening mutual trade with Iran, a senior PLO official, Ahmed Majdalani, said Sunday after meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif in Tehran.

Majdalani said he delivered a letter from PA President Mahmoud Abbas to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, which was relayed through Zarif, that deals with the current situation in the Palestinian territories and “Israeli assaults against our people and their holy sites, as well as bilateral relations between the two sides.”

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Majdalani said he also discussed with the Iranian foreign minister the ongoing dispute between the PA and Hamas, expressing hope Iran would use its influence to end the dispute.

Palestinian sources said Abbas dispatched the senior PLO official to Iran also to discuss the recent nuclear deal between Iran and the world powers.

The PLO official’s visit to Tehran came amid reports that Iran has cancelled a planned visit to Tehran by Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal. The Iranians, according to the reports, are unhappy with the recent rapprochement between Hamas and Saudi Arabia. Mashaal recently visited Saudi Arabia and held talks with King Salman bin Abdulaziz and other government officials in the first visit of its kind in three years.

However, Hamas’s representative in Tehran, Khaled Qaddoumi, denied the reports, saying contacts were under way to arrange a visit by Mashaal to Iran.

Qaddoumi denied that relations between Hamas and Iran have been strained as a result of Mashaal’s visit to Saudi Arabia, saying meetings between Iranian and Hamas officials have been continuing at various levels inside Iran and other countries.
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