US envoy working on Qatar dispute Anthony Zinni resigns

Anthony Zinni, seen here in Kuwait in 2017, failed to make headway in mediating the dispute between Qatar and its neighbors. (AFP)
Updated 10 January 2019
0

US envoy working on Qatar dispute Anthony Zinni resigns

LONDON: The US envoy working on the Qatar dispute Anthony Zinni has resigned from his position with the State Department.

The retired US Marine General announced his resignation after a “viable mediation effort” to solve the dispute between Qatar and other Gulf and Arab countries failed to materialize, CBS News reported.

Zinni had originally agreed to work as a special adviser to the then secretary of state, Rex Tillerson in 2017. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt launched a boycott of Qatar in June that year over Doha's linkes to extremist groups. 

The US, which sees Saudi Arabia as one of its its closest allies in the region but also has thousands of troops stationed at a vast military base in Qatar, has been keen to resolve the dispute. But attempts both by Washington and Kuwait to mediate a way forward have failed.

A State Department spokesman thanked Zinni for his work, which included discussing with regional leaders a regional military organization similar to NATO called the Middle East Strategic Alliance.

Zinni is the latest high ranking general to exit Donad Trump's administration. Defence Secretary Gen James Mattis said last month he would resign after Trump announced he would withdraw US troops from Syria.

Zinni formely served as commander of US Central Command, which oversees US military operations in the Middle East. Following his military career he served as the US special envoy to Israel and the Palestinian Authority during the George W. Bush administration.


 


Rocket hits site of foreign oil firms in Iraq’s Basra

Updated 9 min 9 sec ago
0

Rocket hits site of foreign oil firms in Iraq’s Basra

  • The rocket hit Burjeisa residential and operations headquarters west of Basra
  • Police said the rocket was a short-range Katyusha missile

BASRA: A rocket landed at the headquarters for several global major oil companies, including US giant ExxonMobil, near Iraq’s southern city of Basra early on Wednesday, wounding two Iraqi workers, police said.

The rocket hit the Burjesia residential and operations headquarters west of the city, they said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

A security source said Exxon was preparing to evacuate some 20 foreign staff immediately.

Other companies operating at the site include Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Italian Eni SpA, oil officials said.

Police said the rocket was a short-range Katyusha missile that landed 100 meters from the section of the site used as a residence and operations center by Exxon.

Burjesia is near the Zubair oilfield operated by Eni.

Exxon evacuated staff last month after the United States cited unspecified threats from Iran for a decision to take hundreds of diplomatic staff out of Iraq.

Exxon had begun returning staff to Iraq, however, before Wednesday’s incident.

(developing)