Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal has told Britain's Channel 4 News that the Islamic Resistance Movement decided to leave its base in Damascus after failing to persuade the Syrian government to adopt a non-military approach to internal conflict.
The head of the movement's political bureau confirmed its rejection of foreign intervention in Syria, stressing that Hamas does not interfere in the internal affairs of any other country, including Syria, even in the current crisis, and its belief that people have a right to self-determination. He suggested that there are hidden agendas at play which are prolonging the conflict.
The Syrian leadership was not satisfied with Hamas's stance, Meshaal explained, and wanted to gain the Palestinians' support for President Bashar Al-Assad's military approach. This, added Meshaal, made it impossible for Hamas to stay in Syria.
When asked about threats from Hezbollah in Lebanon, Meshaal said that they added to the pressures to move from Damascus and evacuate most of its representatives from Beirut. The political bureau of the movement is now based in Qatar.