US Sends Retired Gen. Zinni to Qatar to Seek Dialogue

Former Mideast Envoy Will Try to 'Restore Unity' Among States

With no sign of any progress forthcoming in the diplomatic crisis surrounding Qatar, the US State Department has announced they are sending retired Gen. Anthony Zinni to the Persian Gulf to try to make some sort of effort to get everyone to the negotiating table.

Since the blockade of Qatar began in early June, there have been no direct talks between them and any of the four blockading states, with the US, Kuwait, and Turkey all having tried to indirectly negotiate settlements, but all failing so far.

Gen. Zinni spent three years as Centcom commander, and then two and a half years as a Special Envoy to the Middle East, trying to make progress in the Israel-Palestinian peace process. This was long ago, but officials hope Zinni’s experience will enable him to do what no one else seems able to, start some sort of dialogue

The expectation seems to be that if the sides are able to be brought together they could find a common position to try to restore unity. This may be overly optimistic, however, the blockading states have conditioned talks on Qatar agreeing to all their demands, and Qatar has ruled out doing so.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.