Hamas leader talks to Russian foreign minister

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Associated Press

Posted on December 11, 2013 at 10:32 AM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 11 at 10:36 AM

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Gaza's Hamas government says its prime minister has held a rare phone conversation with Russia's foreign minister.

Government spokesman Taher Nunu says Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh spoke with Sergey Lavrov for 35 minutes on Wednesday. He says the men discussed Israel's peace talks with the rival Palestinian government in the West Bank, the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of Gaza and "common relations."

Hamas, an Islamic militant group committed to Israel's destruction, is largely shunned by the international community. Although Russia has in the past hosted Hamas officials, the phone call was the first high-level conversation in months.

There was no immediate Russian comment.

Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007 from the forces of President Mahmoud Abbas. Repeated attempts at reconciliation by the two governments have failed.

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