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Israeli Foreign Minister to Visit Qatar

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni will become the highest-ranking Israeli officials to visit a Gulf state if she attends a U.N. conference in Qatar next week. Livni’s office has made conflicting remarks about the visit, but at least one aid confirmed this week that the foreign minister had decided to make the trip. The last time an Israeli of equal rank visited the Gulf was in 1996, when then-foreign minister Shimon Peres traveled to Qatar and came away with a breakthrough in low-level diplomatic relations including a deal to open a trade office in Doha. Israel sees Qatar as a possible intermediary with Hamas in its efforts to get kidnapped soldier, Cpl. Gilad Shalit repatriated.