Hamas denies plan to move Damascus office

January 9, 2012

Hamas has denied reports that it planned to open an office in Tunis.

“The movement has no intention to set up an office in Tunis,” Salah Al Bardwell, a Hamas leader, said. “There has never been talk within the movement about this issue,” he said.

The movement has offices in Damascus, but there have been several reports about plans to relocate them out of Syria as the country faces a deep political crisis, with Hamas refusing to take sides publicly.

Reports about the Tunis office surfaced following the warm popular and official welcome given to Hamas leader Esmail Haniya as he arrived in the North African country on Thursday.

Abdullah Zouari, from Al Nahda, the Islamist party of the country’s prime minister, reportedly said there was no doubt about Hamas opening an office in Tunis and that, in fact, the move should have been taken years ago.

“We welcome the opening of a Hamas office in Tunisia,” he was quoted by the Arab daily Al Sharq Al Awsat on Saturday. However, Al Haniya’s visit to Tunisia has reportedly split the country.

“We would like to know who extended the invitation to Haniya to visit Tunisia,” Eyad Dehmani, from the Progressive Democratic Party, a member of the tripartite coalition ruling the country and a deputy, said.

‘Baseless allegations’

“If Haniya was invited by the state, then we would like to know why Rashid Ghannouchi, the head of Al Nahda party, was there, but none of the other party leaders. And if he was invited by Al Nahda, why was Hammadi Jabali, the prime minister, at the airport? We would like to know what is going on,” he said.

In April, London’s Al Hayat daily reported that Hamas had decided to leave Syria and that Qatar had approved to host the political wing of the movement after Egypt and Jordan refused to host it. Hamas however rejected the report as “baseless allegations”.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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