President Barack Hussain Obama's administration in Washington is secretly establishing relations with the terrorist group Hamas, possibly with the view to Washington's soon excluding Hamas from its terrorist list.

A senior Hamas figure said on June 25, 2010 that official and unofficial US sources have asked the Islamist group to refrain from making any statements regarding contacts with Washington, following report that a senior American official is due to arrive in an Arab country in the coming days to hand over a letter from the Obama Administration.

The Hamas figure told the London-based newspapaer Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper that the Americans fear discussing the talks publicly would "rouse the Jewish lobby and other pressure groups in the US and cause them to pressure the administration to suspend all talks with Hamas."

The Hamas figure, who is close to Ismail Haniyeh, the prime minister of the government in Gaza, added, "This is a sensitive subject. The Americans don't want anyone to comment on it because this would catch the attention of pressure groups [in the US] and cause problems."

He said that Hamas's exiled leadership in Damascus is overseeing the contacts behind closed doors.

On June 29, a Washington-based Arabic newspaper also quoted a senior official as saying that an American envoy is scheduled to meet with Hamas representatives in an Arab country and hand them a letter from the Obama Administration. According to the report, the official said that Washington has no choice but to work with Hamas, due to its influence in the Arab and Islamic world.

Meanwhile, Arab League chief Amr Moussa held talks with Hamas kingpin Ismail Haniyeh, who called the visit "historic." Moussa is the first senior Arab political figure to visit the Territories since Hamas seized control from Mahmoud Abbas in 2007.

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