Mashaal plays 'extremely negative role'

Russian FM Lavrov tells Olmert that his country does not support Hamas.

October 19, 2006 14:16
olmert lavrov 298 88 ap

olmert lavrov 298 88 ap. (photo credit: AP)

In a meeting with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in Moscow on Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei criticized Hamas leader abroad Khaled Mashaal, saying he was "playing an extremely negative role" and influencing Hamas and its position. Lavrov went on to tell Olmert that his country did not support Hamas. "The fact that we invited Hamas leaders to a meeting points only to our desire to make clear to them the position of the international community," said Lavrov.

  • PM to Putin: Help resolve Iran crisis
  • Russia, Israel asked to stop trafficking Olmert responded to Lavrov's comments, saying, "Progress is inconceivable as long as the Palestinian leadership does not accept the conditions put forth by the Quartet." On Wednesday, Lavrov touched on the Iranian issue, saying that, "Reports from Iran do not indicate a real threat to peace and security." Lavrov said that although implementing some course of action against Iran was vital, it should be a measured response and "in accordance with the situation in Iran today." Olmert was scheduled to conclude his three-day visit to Russia by visiting members of the Jewish community there later in the day. with Herb Keinon reporting from Moscow

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