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Former PM Olmert meeting with Qatari emir
Photo: Avi Ohayon, GPO
Netanyahu, Qatari emir stay in same Parisian hotel
Two statesmen are simultaneously in same luxury hotel for few hours in prior to Israeli PM's meeting with French President Sarkozy. Officials at Prime Minister's Office say no meeting took place between Netanyahu, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Qatar's emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, were both in Paris last Wednesday and even stayed in the same hotel in the French capital.

 

However, there is no verification that the two met during the visit, and the Prime Minister's Office denied such an option.

 

The Qatari emir arrived in Paris last Monday, accompanied by his wife and a number of government ministers. He met with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and French Prime Minister François Fillon two days before Netanyahu's visit to the Elysée Palace.

 

Qatari news agencies reported that the emir left France on Wednesday night. Only a few hours prior to this, Prime Minister Netanyahu landed in Paris and drove straight to his luxury hotel in Concorde Square, where, according to reports, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani also stayed during his Paris visit.

 

Netanyahu and the Qatari ruler were in the hotel simultaneously for a number of hours, after which Netanyahu drove to his meeting with Sarkozy at Elysée Palace. It is not clear what Netanyahu did in the hotel prior to his meeting with the president, but the possibility that he met with the emir has not been confirmed.

 

Netanyahu's media advisor Nir Hefetz said that he knows of no meeting between the prime minister and the emir on Wednesday, when the two were in Paris. Unofficial sources in the Prime Minister's Office claimed that they also do not know of any meeting between the two leaders.

 

Previous meetings between Israeli leaders and members of the Qatari royal family have not been announced publicly in most cases. However, it is very likely that in this case was a result of pure coincidence.

 

Qatar and Israel have complex relations that are kept on a low profile. A number of Israeli officials, including former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, have visited Qatar, and, according to various reports, Qatari officials have visited Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

 

In the past, Qatar was ascribed with attempting to negotiate with Hamas in the Shalit affair in an effort to promote political dialogue with Israel in the Middle East. Israeli officials maintain regular relations with Qatar on commerce and trade issues.

 


פרסום ראשון: 06.28.09, 08:30
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