Abdullah: Hamas-Fatah deal 'important step' toward relaunching peace process

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Hamas representative Saleh al-Arouri speaks after signing a reconciliation deal with senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad, during a short ceremony at the Egyptian intelligence complex in Cairo, Egypt, October 12, 2017.

Jordan's king on Sunday endorsed a fledgling Palestinian reconciliation agreement that is meant to end a decade-old political and ideological split between rivals Hamas and Fatah.

Ali Akbar Velayati, an aide to Iran's Supreme Leader, received al-Arouri on Saturday in Tehran and restated Iran's support for the "Palestinian people", Mehr News reported. "They do not serve the interest of peace and the goal of achieving a negotiated two-state solution".

Regarding the first and second demands, he said, "We're not in the stage of recognition; rather we are now in the stage of preparing to eliminate the Zionist entity".

The official reiterated requirements laid out last week by Jason Greenblatt, President Donald Trump's special envoy to the peace process, on a Palestinian government that includes Hamas, namely adhering to the Quartet principles: unambiguously and explicitly committing to nonviolence; recognizing the State of Israel; accepting previous agreements and obligations between the parties - including to disarm terrorists; and committing to peaceful negotiations.

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Hamas has controlled Gaza since 2007 with Iranian backing, but is expected to hand it over to the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority.

But Hamas deputy chief Salah al-Aruri, who is leading the delegation to Tehran, expressed hope that the movement would deepen its ties with the Islamic Republic.

Hamas has fought three wars with Israel since 2008.

Velayati, who also acts as the Head of Strategic Research Center of Iran's Expediency Council, told the Hamas official that he admires Hamas for taking a stance which he deemed "appropriate".

The King made the remarks at a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, where he said the deal will help enhance the Palestinian unity.

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