Hamas delegation arrives in Saudi to seek aid | india | Hindustan Times
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Hamas delegation arrives in Saudi to seek aid

Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter and birthplace of Islam, has been one of the biggest financial backers of the Palestinian Authority.

india Updated: Mar 11, 2006 00:52 IST
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Leaders of Palestinian Islamist group Hamas on Friday arrived in Saudi Arabia on a visit they hope will ensure political and financial backing from the wealthy Islamic country, a Hamas official said.

Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter and birthplace of Islam, has been one of the biggest financial backers of the Palestinian Authority.

Hamas leaders have been on a tour of Arab and other countries seeking support after their surprise win in elections in January. They are in the process of forming a new government.

The five-man delegation, headed by Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, was to have talks with Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal this evening and King Abdullah, probably on Saturday, Hamas official Ezzat El-Resheq said.

Hamas' prime minister designate Ismail Haniyeh, who Israeli Interim Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Friday said could be a target for assassination, is not part of the delegation. It is the first official visit by a Hamas delegation since 1998.

Resheq condemned a statement by Olmert this week promising to settle Israel's borders unilaterally by 2010, including land in East Jerusalem and the West Bank which Israel has occupied since 1967, if his Kadima party wins elections this month.