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Hamas's political office remains in Qatar... for now

1 min

Qatar said on Tuesday that Hamas's political leadership would stay in Doha as long as their presence remained beneficial to mediation efforts aimed at ending the war in Gaza. 

Interior of Villaggio Mall, a shopping mall located in the Aspire Zone in the west end of Doha © Mena Today 

Qatar said on Tuesday that Hamas's political leadership would stay in Doha as long as their presence remained beneficial to mediation efforts aimed at ending the war in Gaza. 

"As long as their presence here in Doha, as we have always said, is useful and positive in this mediation effort, they will remain here," foreign ministry spokesperson Majed al-Ansari told a press conference, adding that Qatar continued to reassess its role as mediator. 

Qatar, which has hosted Hamas's political leadership since 2012 with the blessing of the United States, has been engaged in weeks of behind-the-scenes talks on a possible truce in Gaza and the release of Israeli hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails.

But after mediators, also including the United States and Egypt, failed to bring about a pause in fighting during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani said last week that Qatar was reassessing its role.

The announcement prompted speculation that Hamas could be asked to quit the gas-rich Gulf state.

According to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, he said that he does not think that the Palestinian group Hamas will leave Qatar, where some of its political leaders are based.

Erdogan, who made the comments to reporters while returning from a visit to Iraq, said he had heard no signs of Qatar wanting the group to end the presence of its political bureau in Doha.

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