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(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Saturday night canceled her planned visit to Qatar.
Livni was expected to meet with Qatari officials on Sunday, but was then informed that the meeting would include two Hamas Parliament members.
The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that as long as Israel was pressuring the international community not to hold talks with Hamas, an Israeli minister could not be expected to participate in a meeting of this nature.
Livni received the invitation to attend the conference earlier this week. The trip would have made her the highest-ranking Israeli official to visit Qatar since Shimon Peres opened up the Israeli trade office in Doha when he was prime minister in 1996.
Although it was the UN, rather than the Qataris, who extended the invitation, Livni would likely have met with Qatari leaders while she was there.
Qatar has been involved in recent negotiations for the release of kidnapped IDF soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit.
Herb Keinon contributed to this report.