Mauritania, Qatar Cut Diplomatic Ties With Israel Over Gaza Conflict

Mauritania's foreign minister says his nation is suspending diplomatic ties with Israel over the fighting in Gaza.

But Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou says Israel's embassy in Mauritania will remain and its ambassador is not being expelled.

Mohamedou spoke Friday by telephone from Doha, Qatar, where Arab League leaders have gathered for an emergency summit on the Gaza crisis. He said there would be no diplomatic, political or economic contact while fighting rages in Gaza.

Mauritania, which is overwhelmingly Muslim, is one of only three Arab League countries to have diplomatic ties with the Jewish state.

Earlier this month, the government recalled its ambassador from Israel amid street protests against Israel's attack on Gaza.

Also on Friday, a Qatari official said his country had also suspended political and economic ties with Israel because of its offensive in Gaza.

Mauritania said earlier Friday it too was suspending contacts with Israel after Hamas political chief Khaled Mashaal called on Arab states to sever any ties with the Jewish state.

Qatar's state minister for foreign affairs, Ahmed Bin Abdallah al-Mahmoud, made the announcement as part of a final statement at the Doha summit.

Mauritania has full diplomatic relations with Israel. Qatar has a trade office and lower-level political ties.