"We agreed with President Assad to turn the page on the past," Khalil Al-Hayya, a senior official in charge of Hamas's bureau of Arab and Islamic Relations, told a press conference following a meeting between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and a delegation made up of representatives from Hamas and several Palestinian factions in Damascus.
He added that the movement's decision to sever ties with Damascus and its support for the anti-government rebels was a "mistake," adding the decision to restore relations with Syrian government was unanimously made by Hamas leadership.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad reiterated his support for the Palestinian cause, while members of the Palestinian delegation expressed their gratitude for Syrian government's support of the Palestinian people and the sacrifices Syria has made in that regard.
Damascus had served as the headquarters for Hamas since 1999. The movement's leadership left Syria after the start of the Syrian Civil War in 2012 and is now based in Qatar and Türkiye. Al-Hayya said both Qatar and Türkiye did not oppose after being informed by Hamas of its decision to restore relations with Damascus.
Other Palestinian factions in Damascus, who, unlike Hamas, stayed in Syria throughout the Syrian crisis, have welcomed the normalization of relations between the movement and Damascus.
"We are happy with the restoration of relations between Syria and Hamas," said Talal Naji, the secretary of the General Command of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
After unsuccessful contacts, the Hamas movement, which rules in #Gaza and the Palestinian nationalist Fatah party, have met with the Algerian president. - #Videopic.twitter.com/xYPX7WPYNE