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US Gulf crisis envoy resigns

AFP  |  Amman 

A US tasked with trying to solve the dispute between and a Saudi-led group of countries announced his resignation Tuesday, as toured the region.

Retired told US network he had quit "because of the unwillingness of the regional leaders to agree to a viable mediation effort that we offered to conduct".

His resignation was confirmed by State Department

"Zinni's mission was to help introduce the concept of the Strategic Alliance and start a conversation with leaders in the region," Palladino told AFP.

"This is happening and well underway thanks to his efforts. The administration... will carry the mission forward," Palladino said in where he accompanied on the first leg of his regional tour.

The Strategic Alliance (MESA) is a NATO-style security pact which Zinni had been asked to introduce to regional leaders.

Zinni, according to CBS, felt there was no need for his involvement in MESA since other members of the of were already involved in implementing it.

Zinni was appointed by former in August 2017, two months after the dispute between and the Saudi-led bloc erupted.

On June 5 of that year, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the and cut ties with key US ally Qatar, accusing it of supporting "terrorist groups" and advocating improved ties with their rival

Qatar, home to a huge US air base, has denied the claims.

Sustaining a regional coalition to counter Iran, is a major focus of Pompeo's tour of eight Arab capitals in as many days.

The trip will include stops in the six countries that form the (GCC) -- Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and -- as well as and possibly

State Department officials have said hopes his trip will fortify the GCC which has been weakened by the Gulf diplomatic crisis, and organise a summit of its leaders in the later this year.

Zinni once commanded US forces in the After the military he served as to and the

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, January 09 2019. 00:35 IST