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Fatah denies Russia mediating to return Dahlan

Former Palestinian security minister Mohammed Dahlan [THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images]
Former Palestinian security minister Mohammed Dahlan, 19 September 2020 [THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images]

Fatah has denied reports that Russia is working to return its dismissed former leader Mohammad Dahlan to the movement, Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported yesterday.

A senior Fatah leader completely denied there was a connection between Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas' planned visit to Moscow and Dahlan's trip to Russia last week.

On the weekend, Dimitri Diliani, a former Fatah leader and close aide to Dahlan, told Anadolu news agency that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was making efforts to end the "Fatah rift" between the "Dahlan stream" and main Fatah Movement, led by Abbas.

Diliani said: "We expect that the Russian side will discuss the issue of reconciliation with Abbas, and we do not know what his reaction to that will be, but we hope that the efforts will be crowned with success."

Fifty-eight-year-old Dahlan was expelled from Fatah's ruling body in 2011 on allegations of plotting to overthrow Abbas and has been living in exile in the UAE since 2012.

He was the former head of the Fatah-dominated Preventive Security Force in the Gaza Strip.

In 2016, the Palestinian Corruption Crimes Court sentenced Dahlan to three years in prison for embezzling $16 million during his tenure as Security Affairs Coordinator for the president.

In December 2019, Turkey added Dahlan to its most wanted terrorist list, with a $1.7 million bounty on his head, due to his alleged involvement in perpetrating the attempted military coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his government on 15 July 2016, in cooperation with followers of the exiled Turkish cleric, Fethullah Gulen, who remains in the US.

READ: Egypt refuses relocation of Dahlan office from Abu Dhabi to Cairo

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