Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres launched the highest-level visit of an Israeli to the Gulf region in more than a decade on Monday by visiting the Arab state of Qatar, and Israeli official said.
Peres, who arrived in Qatar on Monday night, will spend two days in Doha where he will appear on a television show and answer "tough and controversial questions" from 300 Arab students, organizers of the TV show said.
The deputy prime minister also was the last major Israeli official to travel to any Gulf Arab country when he visited Qatar in 1996, as Israel's president, said Roi Rosenblit, the head of Israel's trade mission in Doha. The six Gulf Arab countries, all US allies, do not recognize Israel. But Qatar maintains low-level ties to the Jewish state.
Rosenblit described Israel's diplomatic ties with Qatar as "low-profile but good" and hoped to enhance relations.