US envoys arrive in Abu Dhabi to discuss Qatar

Retired US general Anthony Zinni and deputy assistant secretary of state for Arabian Gulf Affairs Timothy Lenderking arrived in Abu Dhabi on Thursday morning as part of a tour of the region to break the stalemate in the Gulf dispute.

The envoys landed in Kuwait on Monday with plans to visit the countries involved  – the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and Qatar – and try to bring them to the negotiating table.

Kuwait has taken the lead in mediating in the dispute between Qatar and its four fellow Arab nations who accuse Doha of supporting terrorism and other policies that destabilise the region.

The US ambassador to Kuwait, Lawrence Silverman, said Washington’s deployment of negotiators reflected its concern.

“We want to see an end to this dispute as quickly as possible, for the sake of the region,” Mr Silverman said.

Mr Zinni, a widely respected and well-connected figure in the region, joined the American diplomatic team this month.

The team’s job is to “maintain a constant pressure on the ground,” US secretary of state Rex Tillerson said when announcing Mr Zinni’s appointment on August 3.

Mr Zinni served as commander of the US Central Command between 1997 and 2000, a position that saw him cement US military relations with all the GCC partners.


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