A Hamas leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniya, said he hoped the expansion of the European Union would "reflect positively on the Palestinian cause."
Haniya urged the EU to reconsider its earlier decision to put Hamas on its terrorist list, saying "Hamas is a national liberation movement that defends the rights and aspirations of the Palestinian people."
He told reporters he hoped the European expansion would "create a balance in international policies that would reflect positively on Palestinian rights, ending the (Israeli) occupation and ending the aggression."
The Hamas leader said the EU's "intention of distancing itself from the biased American political hegemony contributes to strengthening its position and effect on international and regional policies, especially regarding the Palestinian cause."
Haniya also called on Arab and Muslim countries to "learn from the lessons of expanding the EU and to practically work towards consolidating the unity of the nation."
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