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US General Joins Diplomatic Endeavor to Resolve Gulf Crisis | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia July 12, 2017. Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via REUTERS

Dammam – After failing to resolve the Gulf crisis, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has resorted to US generals to join the diplomatic endeavor.

In this regard, Retired General Anthony Zinni will be dispatched to the Gulf in an attempt to defuse the Qatar crisis, a move announced by Tillerson late on Tuesday.

The US secretary of state said Zinni would be accompanying Tim Lenderking, deputy assistant secretary for Arabian Gulf Affairs in the Near East Bureau to the Gulf next week.

The trip comes almost three weeks after Tillerson conducted a visit to Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with the aim at bringing all sides to the negotiating table.

Meanwhile, Qatar has forged a 5 billion euro deal with Italy for seven navy vessels, the Qatari foreign minister said on Wednesday, part of a military cooperation agreement between the two countries.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani met on Wednesday in Doha with his Italian counterpart Angelino Alfano, with whom he discussed efforts to end the dispute between Qatar and the Arab quartet, which includes Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt.

In a news conference held following the meeting, Al Thani said: “I am pleased to announce the conclusion of a deal between the Qatari Emiri Naval Forces to buy 7 naval units from Italy in the context of the joint military cooperation between the two countries.”

The Qatari foreign minister renewed his country’s readiness to resolve the crisis based on three principles, namely, the “non-violation of the sovereignty of any state”, the agreement over “mutual obligations rather than orders”, in addition to reaching a “solution in accordance with international law”.

Alfano, for his part, stressed his country’s support for the Kuwaiti mediation to resolve the Gulf crisis, and said: “We do not want escalation and we want to resolve the Gulf crisis diplomatically.”

He urged all sides to confront the common enemy that is terrorism.