Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani met Hamas leader Ismail Haniya in Doha on Monday to discuss the latest developments in Palestinian affairs.
It was Haniya’s first official visit to Qatar since he succeeded Khaled Meshaal as the head of the Hamas political bureau in the May 2017 elections, after Egypt granted him permission to travel for the first time in three years.
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His previous position of prime minister was filled by Yahya Sinwar, a former Palestinian prisoner who spent 22 years in Israeli jails.
Sheikh Tamim expressed his country’s steadfast and supportive stance to the Palestinian people in achieving their legitimate national rights.
According to the Qatar News Agency (QNA), Haniya briefed Sheikh Tamim on the latest developments in Palestinian affairs, with special focus on the 12-year blockade on the Gaza Strip.
Other issues of importance discussed included Jerusalem, the rampant Jewish settlement building in the occupied West Bank, and the status of Palestinian refugees and their right of return.
The Hamas leader also thanked the emir for Doha’s efforts in supporting the Palestinian people.
The Gaza Strip receives a monthly grant from the gas-rich Qatari government amounting to $30m, with the aim of providing aid to 109,000 Palestinian families living in poverty.
Additionally, the grant is used to finance fuel imports for the coastal enclave, which as a result of the blockade is subject to frequent power outages.
Haniya met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul on Saturday and, according to the Anadolu news agency, is expected to travel to a number of countries such as Kuwait, Lebanon, Mauritania and Russia.
He is also scheduled to visit Malaysia to participate in a summit attended by Indonesia, Pakistan, Qatar and Turkey, at the invitation of the Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.