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Posted: 4/15/2006 7:03:15 AM EST

Palestinians to get Russian aid

Russia has said it will grant the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority urgent financial aid, in opposition to the policy of the EU and the US.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made the pledge to authority President Mahmoud Abbas in a telephone call, Moscow said.

The US and EU cut off aid after Hamas took power on 30 March because the militant group refused to renounce violence or recognise Israel.

Iran on Friday urged the Muslim world to help fund the authority.

A Russian foreign ministry statement said: "Mahmoud Abbas stated his high appreciation of Russia's intent, confirmed by Sergei Lavrov, to grant the Palestinian Authority an urgent financial aid in the nearest future."

Mr Lavrov said on Tuesday withholding aid to the Palestinians was a mistake.

"Hamas should... recognise Israel and sit down at the negotiating table. But for that it's necessary to work with them," Mr Lavrov said.

The US Treasury this week further tightened the screws on Palestinian cash by banning American nationals from doing business with the Hamas-led authority.

However, the US is making exceptions for government entities under the direct control of Mr Abbas, whose Fatah movement is a rival of Hamas.

Palestinian PM Ismail Haniya, of Hamas, vowed on Friday that the cuts in funds would not weaken the people's resolve.

Israel 'a rotten tree'

In Tehran, the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, opened a three-day forum on Palestinian solidarity by calling on the Muslim world to help the Palestinian people and their Hamas-led government.

Ayatollah Khamenei said all Muslims had a duty to help and should not remain indifferent to tyranny.

Both he and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad launched strong attacks on the West.

Ayatollah Khamenei said its liberal democracy was like a poison.

He said global imperialism led by the US president openly threatened the Muslim world by talking about launching a crusade against it

President Ahmadinejad widened the attack to include Israel, which he said was "a rotten, dried tree that will be eliminated by one storm".

The president provoked an international outcry last October when he cast doubts on the Holocaust and said Israel should be "wiped off the map".

On Friday he said there were no doubts about the "holocaust" suffered by the Palestinian people in the past 60 years and that the Palestinians should not pay the price for what the West said were crimes against Jews.

"Believe that Palestine will be freed soon," he said.

Oil and olives

Mr Haniya said on Friday the suspension of Western aid to the Palestinians would never defeat the Hamas-led administration.

He said the West would not succeed in isolating the government because it had the full support of Palestinians.

"We will eat cooking oil and olives," he said.

Mr Haniya was addressing Friday prayers in Gaza before the start of a series of rallies aimed at demonstrating support for the Hamas-led administration.

The militant group's political leader in exile, Khaled Meshaal, is attending the Tehran conference to gain funding pledges.

Iran has said it will fund the Hamas-led government but so far no figures have been publicly pledged and no concrete deals have yet been announced at the conference.
Link Posted: 4/15/2006 7:43:03 AM EST
Link Posted: 4/15/2006 7:45:11 AM EST
Russia's always been anti-semetic, so it doesn't surprise me that they want to offer 'aid' (despite being damn near broke themselves).
Link Posted: 4/15/2006 7:59:46 AM EST
I guess the school children weren't a harsh enough demonstration of who these people are huh?
Link Posted: 4/15/2006 12:28:42 PM EST
russians have always supported hamas. Like they have always supported just about any nation hostile to US and the western world.
Support the enemies of your "competition" to weaken him. Only when your "competition" becomes weak enough, start to make direct moves yourself. Oldest strategy in the book.
Link Posted: 4/15/2006 12:33:29 PM EST
Russia can't even deal with their own muslims.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 3:26:35 AM EST
Just saw this on Fox News this morning and fortunately I searched the site before I commited one of the deadly sins of "duping".

No big surprise. I fully expect Russia to continue supporting Iran if we go against them as well. The Russian Bear is NOT our friend. And their intestinal fortitude is no stronger then Germany or France. They're soluton to the problem of Radical Islam? Simple - join them and appease them and somehow they THINK they'll be left alone. Morons.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 3:43:18 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/16/2006 3:43:38 AM EST by Madis]
recently Putin said in a speech that "russia has always been the most loyal ally of the muslim world and is dedicated to help them get their rightful place on the world stage."

Just about all anti-western elements in the world are armed with russian weapons. That alone speaks for itself.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 3:53:24 AM EST
It was Russia and France who built Iran's nuclear program, with some help from Pakistan (maybe not official help).
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 4:10:57 AM EST
Russia has always been our enemy and always will be.........we just had a period of pretending they were not our enemy the last 15 years.
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