Retired general picked by Trump admin to resolve Qatar dispute resigns

Retired Marine Corps Gen. Anthony Zinni, who was picked by the Trump administration as a special envoy to resolve ongoing disputes in Qatar, has resigned.

Zinni resigned from his post at the State Department Monday due to the fact that he could not find a solution to the issues surrounding Qatar "because of the unwillingness of the regional leaders to agree to a viable mediation effort that we offered to conduct or assist in implementing," he told CBS News.

ADVERTISEMENT

A Saudi Arabia led-coalition of other Middle East countries issued a trade blockade against Qatar in 2017 over accusations that it supported terrorism, sparking a diplomatic crisis. Qatar denied the allegations, saying it assisted the U.S. and other countries in the war on terror and the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoTop North Korean official to meet with Trump this week: report The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi asks Trump to postpone State of the Union | US troops killed in Syria blast | Day 2 of Barr confirmation US calls China's death sentence for Canadian man 'politically motivated' MORE is currently in the Middle East on an extended visit to address counterterrorism efforts and discuss the possibility of the U.S. pulling troops from Syria.

Zinni was chosen to lead the Middle East Strategic Alliance at the request of former Secretary of Defense James MattisJames Norman MattisFox's Griffin: Was told by diplomat that Syria attack was 'direct result' of US pullout decision GOP reasserts NATO support after report on Trump’s wavering Overnight Defense: Trump faces blowback over report he discussed leaving NATO | Pentagon extends mission on border | Senate advances measure bucking Trump on Russia sanctions MORE, who recently left his post in the Trump administration as the Syrian pullout was announced.

Task & Purpose reports the four-star generals are longtime friends.

Zinni told the publication that while he was “disappointed” by Mattis’s exit last month, “it didn't really affect [my] resignation."

Regarding the situation in Qatar, Zinni told Task & Purpose he "just could not get the parties out there to engage in some sort of mediation process that we offered, and I felt that I couldn't do it much further."

Special envoy to ISIS Brett McGurk also left his post at the State Department following President TrumpDonald John TrumpPentagon update to missile defense doctrine will explore space-base technologies, lasers to counter threats Giuliani: 'I never said there was no collusion' between the Trump campaign and Russia Former congressmen, RNC members appointed to Trump administration roles MORE's announcement that he would be pulling U.S. troops from Syria.