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US General Quits as Envoy to Resolve Gulf Dispute with Qatar

US General Quits as Envoy to Resolve Gulf Dispute with Qatar

Wednesday, 9 January, 2019 - 06:00
Retired US general Anthony Zinni. (Getty Images)
Washington - Heba El Koudsy
Anthony Zinni, a retired US Marine general, who served as envoy to resolve the dispute between the four boycotting countries and Qatar has resigned.

Sources said that he stepped down after he failed in efforts to end the dispute that erupted in 2017.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt announced in June 2017 a diplomatic and economic boycott of Qatar over its support for and financing of terrorism, as well as its meddling in the internal affairs of its neighbors.

Zinni had carried out several visits to the region to meet with its leaders in order to bridge the divide between them. He had coordinated his efforts with Kuwait, which had acted as a mediator in the dispute.

He had last paid a visit to the region during the summer when he was met with insistence by the boycotting countries on Qatar to adhere to the list of conditions they had made to end their boycott. Among those demands were ceasing its funding of terrorism and interfering in the internal affairs of other countries.

Zinni, 76, is a former commander of US Central Command who retired from the Marine Corps in 2000.

He had previously served as special envoy to Israel and the Palestinian Authority under the term of former President George W. Bush.

He was appointed as envoy to resolve the Qatar dispute by now resigned Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

The two officials had quit over sharp policy differences with President Donald Trump.

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