A delegation from the Islamic Resistance Movement, led by its political bureau head Khaled Meshaal, has arrived in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur for an official visit. The Hamas delegation was invited by the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), Malaysia's largest political party.
According to the Palestinian Information Centre, a senior source within Hamas has said that Meshaal is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Dato Seri Najib Razak, as well as the Secretary General of UMNO, Dato Seri Tengku Adnan bin Tengku Mansor and other leading politicians.
"Meshaal will deliver a speech on Tuesday in the international forum hosted by UMNO ahead of the opening session of its annual conference," said the Hamas source. "He is also scheduled to speak at the International Islamic University in Malaysia, which has students from more than 100 countries, including Palestinians."
The Hamas delegation includes officials Mohamed Nasr, Sami Khater and Osama Hamdan. The visit is the first to Malaysia by the head of the Hamas political bureau, a clear sign of the development of the relationship between Hamas and Malaysia. Earlier this year, the Malaysian Prime Minister visited Gaza to contribute to breaking the siege imposed by Israel and its allies on the beleaguered territory.