The resignation of Retired General Anthony Zinni, the Trump administration’s envoy to resolve the Qatar’s crisis, from his role at the State Department does not mean the end of the US role in assisting to end the standoff, a Kuwaiti official has said.
“The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries were hoping for the continuation of Zinni’s efforts and support to the mediation efforts exerted by the Emir Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad,” Kuwaiti daily Al Jarida on Thursday quoted the source that it did not name as saying.
Zinni resigned on Wednesday.
Two State Department officials told CNN that Zinni left because he felt he had reached a dead-end, believing there was no forward movement on resolving the stalemate between Qatar and its Gulf neighbours.
The GCC, founded in 1981, comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
“It is very likely that the US would soon name another personality to continue the US role,” the source added.
The crisis erupted in the open on June 5, 2017, when Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt severed their diplomatic, trade and travel relations with Qatar after they accused it of supporting extremists and interfering in the domestic affairs of other countries in violation of the Riyadh Agreement that Doha signed.
The Quartet issued a list of 13 demands and asked Qatar to respond to them. However, Doha dismissed the accusations and rejected the demands.
Mediation efforts, led by Kuwait and heavily supported by the US, have failed to make any incremental changes, resulting in the crisis.
The Quartet has insisted that Qatar knew exactly what to do in order to resolve and said they were ready to wait for decades for its end.
In Manama, the Saudi ambassador to Bahrain said that the settlement of the Qatar crisis would be through the GCC and the Kuwaiti mediation.
“The resolution of the Qatari crisis will be only through the response of the Qatari government to implement the demands of the four countries calling for the fight against terrorism and an end to Qatar’s support of terrorism and interference in the internal affairs of other countries. This would make Qatar a neighbour and a close partner,” Abdullah Bin Abdul Malik Al Shaikh said in a press statement.
In Brussels, Michèle Alliot-Marie, Chair of the Delegation on Relations with the Arabian Peninsula in the European Parliament, has underlined the role of Kuwait in mediating in the crisis.
“We need Kuwait. We need the actions of Kuwait. Kuwait has a special role to play especially to resolve the Gulf crisis,” she told Kuwait News Agency.
“We want Kuwait to find solutions. We cannot be the mediator in the crisis but Kuwait can do it. We are here to help Kuwait and assist and guarantee the solution when it will be found,” said the French MEP who was the first woman in France to hold the portfolios of Defence (2002–2007), the Interior (2007–2009) and Foreign Affairs (2010–2011).