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EU leaders struggled Tuesday to bridge their often contradictory messaging on the Israel-Hamas conflict, with warnings that Russia seeks to profit from rifts caused by the war.

But in a sign of the bloc's divergences, officials said Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban — who met Russian leader Vladimir Putin in Beijing on Tuesday — skipped the talks.

Officials in Brussels have been at loggerheads with each other and member states over the bitterly divisive issues that have long split opinion in the bloc.

While there has been widespread condemnation of the slaughter of Israelis by Hamas, there have been disagreements over calls to rein in retaliatory strikes on Gaza and maintaining aid to the Palestinians.

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