GAZA CITY, Palestine

Delegations from Palestinian groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad held talks in Moscow with Iranian Ambassador to Russia, Kazem Jalali.

The discussions dwelt on recent developments in Palestine regarding the announcement of general elections as a means to end Palestinian rift, Hamas said in a statement on Saturday.

The two sides also reviewed recent Israeli violations in the occupied Palestinian territories, the statement read.

Hamas’ delegation to the meeting was headed by Mousa Abu Marzouk, while Islamic Jihad Secretary-General Ziyad al-Nakhala led his movement’s delegation.

Last week, the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov met with both delegations separately and discussed the developments in the inter-Palestinian reconciliation and the upcoming Palestinian elections.

According to a decree by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in January, parliamentary elections will be held May 22, presidential elections July 31 and Palestinian National Council elections Aug. 31.

The last Palestinian presidential election was held in 2005 which brought Abbas to the Palestinian Presidency, while the parliamentary polls, which were held in 2006 gave the Hamas group the majority.

*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

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