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

    Life after death row: The pastor praying for Nigeria's prisoners

    The Nigerian pastor adapting to life after death row

    Clinton Kanu spent 27 years in prison for a murder he did not commit, but life on the outside feels far from free.

    What it means to love a dead child

    What it means to love a dead child

    You must forget all you thought you knew about grief when the landscape of your life has been demolished.

    'Butchered': The Kenyan FGM clinic serving Europeans

    'Butchered': The Kenyan FGM clinic serving Europeans

    Kenya banned FGM in 2011, but Europeans still bring their daughters to underground clinics there to be cut.