Anthony Zinni, tasked by US President Trump to resolve the Gulf crisis, steps down
Anthony Zinni, who had been assigned by US President Donald Trump to try and resolve the ongoing Gulf diplomatic crisis, resigned from his post yesterday.
Zinni quit the post citing ‘unwillingness’ of regional leaders to engage in dialogue, reported Al Jazeera.
Zinni, a retired Marine general, resigned after realising he could not help resolve the Qatar dispute “because of the unwillingness of the regional leaders to agree to a viable mediation effort that we offered to conduct or assist in implementing,” he told CBS News.
He also felt there was no need for his involvement with the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA) concept, a security alliance that he was asked to introduce to regional leaders, since other members of the administration are carrying it forward, according to Qatar Tribune.
Robert Palladino, a spokesperson for the US State Department, confirmed Zinni’s resignation.
However, Palladino said the Trump administration would continue to pursue Zinni’s work.
Zinni’s resignation coincides with a Middle East tour by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that includes stops in the six countries that form the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), as well as Egypt and Jordan.
State Department officials have said Pompeo hopes his trip will fortify the GCC, which has been weakened by the Gulf crisis, and organise a summit of its leaders in the United States later this year.
Zinni had earlier also served as former President George W Bush’s special envoy to the Middle East.