President Putin Briefs Israel’s
Acting PM Olmert on Hamas
RIA Novosti Photo
Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert spoke with Russian
President Vladimir Putin, who telephoned in order to update
him on Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s recent
talks with Hamas leaders in Moscow.
Putin emphasized several times that Russia would not take any
step against Israeli interests and would not harm Israel’s
security. He said that, during the talks in Moscow, Russia’s
representatives had presented the Quartet’s demands to Hamas.
He explained the Russian position, which supports holding contacts
with Hamas, and said that negotiations are always held with
interlocutors whose positions are harsh and complicated.
Minister Olmert said that Israel’s position is very different
from Russia’s and added that Israel would not negotiate with
a terrorist organization such as Hamas. He said that it was
a mistake to meet the Hamas leaders before the organization
committed itself to accepting the three principles approved
by the Quartet, of which Russia is a member. He said that Russia’s
contacts with Hamas would only encourage the organization not
to make the changes that the international community is demanding
of it in order for it to become a partner for dialogue.
that when a Hamas-led government is established, it will be
impossible to make the artificial distinction between the Palestinian
Authority government and the Hamas-controlled PA parliament,
and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
The two leaders
also discussed the Iranian issue and agreed to be in continuous
contact in order to deal with regional challenges.