The head of the Hamas government in Gaza, Ismail Haniya, will leave next week for a regional tour that includes a stop in Iran, the Islamist movement has announced.
"From the 30th of this month, he will begin a tour to a number of countries, including Kuwait and Iran, as well as other nations," said a Hamas statement released late on Wednesday.
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In a separate statement, Hamas spokesman Taher al-Nunu said Haniya "has received a message from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that included a formal invitation to visit Iran."
Sources in the Hamas government told AFP that Haniya's trip was likely to also include stops in Qatar and Bahrain.
The trip will be Haniya's second since Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, after routing Fatah forces from the territory in violence that broke out a year after the Islamist movement swept legislative elections.
His first trip out of Gaza came in December, when he made stops in Egypt, Sudan, Turkey and Tunisia.