This week Khaled Meshaal, the Hamas leader, has been in Moscow. He met Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, and his visit has been closely watched by all parties involved in the Middle East peace process.

Meshaal said Hamas wanted to reconcile with rival Palestinian group Fatah and blamed the US for preventing this from happening.

He also said he believes Israel is planning further military action in the region.

Israel, for its part, has strongly objected to talks in Moscow with what it labels a terrorist group.

Russia is part of the Middle East Quartet - along with the US, the UN and the UK - but is the only member prepared to hold public discussions with Hamas.
Could Moscow play a role in kick-starting a stalled peace process in the Middle East?

Inside Story, with presenter Mike Hanna, discusses with guests: Osama Hamdan, a Hamas senior representative in Lebanon and part of the delegation to Russia, Claire Spencer, the head of the Middle East and North Africa programme at Chatham House, and Vyacheslav Matuzov, a former Russian diplomat.

This edition of Inside Story aired from Wednesday, February 10, 2010.

Source: Al Jazeera