Hamas denies Qatari pressures after détente with Egypt

GAZA CITY – A leading member of the Palestinian faction Hamas on Saturday denied the presence of Qatari pressures on his movement in the wake of a recent rapprochement between Egypt and Qatar.

"Rapprochement among Arab states is in the best interests of the Palestinian cause," Mahmoud al-Zahar said.

He was quoted by the Hamas-linked news site Al-Bayan as denying rumors about the presence of Qatari pressures on Hamas to change its position to the current leadership in Egypt.

Relations between Cairo and Doha had been strained almost to the breaking point soon after the Egyptian army ousted elected President Mohamed Morsi in July of last year.

Earlier this month, however, Saudi Arabia's efforts managed to bring the two Arab countries closer together.

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi met in Cairo a few days ago with a special envoy of the Emir of Qatar for the first time since al-Sisi came to power in June of this year.

There are also reports about a potential Egyptian-Qatari summit in Saudi Arabia soon.

"We have good relations with Egypt," al-Zahar said denying Egyptian accusations that Hamas interferes in Egyptian affairs.

Earlier on Saturday, an unnamed Palestinian source was quoted by Palestinian media as saying that Qatar would stop its support to Hamas to force it into changing its stance toward Egypt.

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