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    Hamas delegation due in Moscow for talks March 3

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    MOSCOW, February 27 (RIA Novosti) - Leaders of the Palestinian radical Islamic group Hamas will come to Moscow for talks on March 3, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Monday.

    Москва, здание Министерства иностранных дел РФThe ministry's special envoy to the Middle East, Alexander Kalugin, said that at the upcoming talks, Russian officials would try to persuade the Hamas leadership to renounce violence as a way of attaining independence for the Palestinian National Authority, and to recognize Israel's right to exist.

    Hamas' compliance with Palestinian-Israeli agreements signed before the group's victory in the January 25 parliamentary elections would also be high on the agenda, Kalugin said.

    The delegation is expected be led by Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal.

    Владимир Путин на пресс-конференцииRussian President Vladimir Putin invited Hamas leaders for the talks at a press conference in Spain earlier this month.

    Putin's invitation stunned Israel and Western nations, who designate Hamas as a terrorist organization.

    Russian officials insisted, however, that the talks would help the international community to have Hamas transform itself into a political organization.

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