A delegation of senior members of the Islamic Resistance Movement, led by Khaled Meshaal, has held talks in Cairo with the Swiss envoy to the Middle East peace process, Jean-Daniel Rukh. They addressed the current developments in the region as a whole, as well as the latest progress in Palestine. In addition to Mr. Meshaal, the Hamas delegation included Mohammed Nasr, a member of the political bureau; Osama Hamdan, the movement’s international relations official; and Hamas officials Ahmed Yousef and Ghazi Hamad.
According to Egyptian diplomats, the discussion was within the framework of developing the European dialogue with Hamas in the light of the rise of the Islamic movement post-Arab Spring. They believe that Meshaal’s meeting with Mr. Rukh “will encourage many European countries to open channels for dialogue with Hamas, regardless of Israeli efforts to prevent it happening.” The Meshaal-Rukh meeting is “of particular importance” say the Egyptians, “being the first of its kind at this level”. It is known, however, that a number of European governments have held talks with Hamas representatives in secret.
The Cairo meeting came while a group of Hamas parliamentarians were visiting Switzerland. The delegation will be meeting their international peers during the International Parliamentary Conference.
While in Cairo, Mr. Meshaal met with a number of Egyptian officials and discussed the progress of the reconciliation process, along with other political issues.