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Hamas invited to E.U. headquarters

European Union officials invited Palestinian lawmakers, including members of Hamas, to visit its Brussels headquarters next spring.

The parliamentary group issued the invitation on Monday during a visit to the Gaza Strip. The European Union, like the United States, considers Hamas a terrorist organization and boycotts the group because of its refusal to renounce violence and recognize Israel.

After winning parliamentary elections in 2006, Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in June 2007 after routing secular Fatah forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Kyriacos Triantaphyllides, the head of the European delegation, said all Palestinian lawmakers are welcome.

"We don’t care who they are as long as they are members of the Legislative Council," he said.

The gesture is being seen as mostly symbolic since most Hamas members are not permitted to leave the region.

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