Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: US to appoint Qatar ambassador amid Gulf row

The United States has said it would appoint an ambassador to Qatar, after a 16-month gap during which Doha has been at the centre of a regional diplomatic crisis. The White House announced that US President Donald Trump intends to nominate Mary Phee, who previously served as US ambassador to Sudan, after Dana Shell Smith resigned last year. Smith – who has criticised Trump’s handling of the State Department – stepped down from her post just days after the diplomatic crisis erupted between Qatar and its neighbours. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed ties with Doha on June 5, 2017 over allegations it seeks closer ties with Saudi Arabia’s arch-rival Iran and supports radical Islamist groups.


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