US to send representatives to solve Qatar crisis

Manama: The US is sending a diplomat and a retired general to the Gulf in a new attempt to help defuse the Qatar crisis.

Tim Lenderking, deputy assistant secretary for Arabian Gulf Affairs in the Near East Bureau, and Retired General Anthony Charles Zinni are expected to arrive in the Arabian Gulf next week.

Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt severed their diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting extremists and funding terrorism.

The quartet issued a list of demands and said they were willing to talk with Qatar, but after it responds positively.

Qatar has denied the charges and said that it was willing to discuss the issues but only after the demands are dropped.

Mediation efforts, led by Kuwaiti Emir Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, so far, have not succeeded in overcoming the gap between the two sides.

The trip by the two US officials comes three weeks after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made field trips to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar in his bid to bring the parties involved in the standoff to sit together and start a dialogue.

Tillerson came up short in his bid to resolve the crisis and at the end of his shuttle diplomacy efforts, he made no announcement of any incremental progress.

“I’m tired, I’m tired, been a long trip,” Tillerson was quoted as telling reporters as he left the Qatari capital Doha in July, the last leg of his trip.

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