Jul 31, 2007

Putin Downgrades Relations with Hamas for Palestine

Putin, you continue to confuse and amaze me.

CNN: Russia said on Tuesday it had downgraded its ties with the Hamas Islamist group, in a show of support for visiting Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.

Russia established high-level contacts with Hamas after it won Palestinian elections last year, even though Western powers shunned the militant group because of its refusal to recognize Israel and renounce violence.

"Recently, we have somewhat downgraded the level of contacts with Hamas. Now we are pursuing a pragmatic goal of trying to influence them directly and indirectly to resume national unity," First Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Denisov told reporters after Putin and Abbas met in the Kremlin.

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