King Abdullah II of Jordan met the head of the Hamas Political Bureau, Khaled Mashal, on Sunday in Amman. Mashal is conducting his first official visit to Amman in twelve years; the official visit was conducted under the direct mediation of Qatar.Mashal arrived in Amman along with the Crown Prince of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, and were welcomed at the Amman Airport by Jordan’s Crown Prince, Hussein Bin Abdullah.

The officials then headed to Amman, and held a meeting with King Abdullah at the Royal Palace in Amman.

The Hamas leadership left Amman in 1999, and the movement opened its office to the Syrian Capital, Damascus.

Mashal was also accompanied by his deputy, Mousa Abu Marzouq, in addition to Mohammad Nasr, Izzat Al-Rishiq, Sami Khater and Mohammad Nazzal; all are members of the Hamas Political Bureau.

During the meeting, the officials discussed the situation in Palestine and the efforts to implement the national unity agreement in Palestine.

On his part, Mashal stated that Hamas respects Jordan and its security and national interests, and added that the movement rejects all attempts that aim at having Jordan as the alternative country for the Palestinians.

“Jordan is for the Jordanians, and Palestine is for the Palestinians,’ Mashal said, “The Palestinians must achieve their full and legitimate rights of liberation and independence.’

Meanwhile, King Abdullah said that Jordan supports the Palestinian legitimate right of establishing an independent state on Palestinian national soil, based on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

King Abdullah added that peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians are the only way to achieve peace, and to ensure that the Palestinians achieve their rights.
Furthermore, King Abdullah also held a meeting with Sheikh Tamim to discuss the bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries, and their efforts to maintain peace and stability in the region.

Meanwhile, Hamas spokesperson, Fawzi Bahroum, denied reports claiming that the movement is closing its office in Syria, due to the current situation in the country, and said that the visits conducted by Mashal to a number of Arab countries are political in nature, and aim at boosting the Arab support to the Palestinian cause.

Barhoum added that Mashal’s visit to Amman is very important, and will likely lead to reopening the Hamas political bureau in Amman.

Talking to Reuters under condition of anonymity, a Hamas political official stated that Mashal is spending most of his time out of Syria, as he has been holding talks with officials in Turkey, Qatar and Egypt, the Arabs48 news website reported.
The official added that the Political Bureau of Hamas in Damascus is still open, and that some officials are still there.

“Hamas will not declare its leaving Syria or closing its offices there,’ the official said, “Even if this actually happens.’