Thai FM visits Mideast for talks on hostages' release

Thailand's foreign minister is visiting the Middle East to hold talks in a bid to help Thai nationals abducted by the Islamic group Hamas.

Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara was heading to Qatar on Tuesday. Hamas has a political office in the capital Doha. Its top officials, including group leader Ismail Haniyeh, operate there.

Thailand's top diplomat will also visit Egypt, which borders Israel. Egypt and Qatar brokered the release of two elderly Israeli women last week.

The Thai Foreign Ministry says Parnpree will stay in the region through Thursday.

Thailand's government says Hamas abducted 22 of its nationals during the group's surprise assault in southern Israel earlier this month. It says 32 Thais were killed.

Bangkok is calling for an immediate release of all hostages in the Gaza Strip.