Livni cancels Qatar trip over Hamas

Tzipi Livni, the Israeli foreign minister, has cancelled plans to attend a UN meeting in Qatar because of the expected presence of Palestinians from the ruling Hamas group.

    Israel has low-level ties with Qatar

    Mark Regev, a spokesman for the Israeli foreign ministry, said on Sunday that Livni had never finalised details for her trip, but stopped making plans after learning that two legislators from Hamas, the Palestinian ruling party, would be attending the convention.

     

    Regev said the ministry had instead sent Yaacov Hadas, its deputy director for Middle East affairs, to the conference.

     

    Roii Rosemblit, the head of Israel's trade office in Doha, said that Hadas would head a delegation of three to four members to the gathering.

     

    Regev said Hamas should not be given legitimacy until it meets demands to recognise Israel and renounce violence.

     

    Israel, backed by the West, has boycotted Hamas, which won Palestinian elections in January. Hamas refuses to recognise Israel and its charter calls for the destruction of Israel.

       

    Israel has low-level ties with Qatar, and Livni's invitation to a United Nations convention on democracy would have been the first visit by a leading Israeli government minister to the Gulf state in a decade.

     

    The last Israeli leader to visit Qatar was Shimon Peres who opened a trade office in 1996. 

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.