Hamas chief's Jordan visit not to affect Hamas' situation in Syria: spokesman
The visit by Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal to Jordan will not affect the situation of the Palestinian Islamic movement in Syria, a Hamas spokesman said Sunday, Xinhua reported.
Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza, told Xinhua that Mashaal's visit on Sunday is a historical one.
It is the first time that Mashaal officially visits Jordan since Amman expelled him in 1999. Since then, Mashaal and Hamas leadership have been hosted by Syria.
Earlier reports said that the visit is part of Hamas' efforts to find a foothold outside Syria, where an ongoing revolt against President Bashar al-Assad has left thousands dead.
Hamas has hailed Arab revolts that toppled former regimes in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, but found itself embarrassed when Syrians moved against al-Assad.
In 2007, Hamas took over the Gaza Strip after routing forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Since then, Abbas' rule has been confined to the West Bank.
For Hamas, Mashaal's visit to Amman "contributes in correcting the relation" between Jordan and the Palestinian movement. Qatar arranged the visit and Qatari officials accompany Mashaal, who will be seeing King Abdullah II.