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Gulf diplomatic crisis: US ambassador to Qatar Dana Shell Smith steps down after three years

Doha: The United States ambassador to Qatar said on Tuesday she is leaving her post in Doha, in the midst of the worst diplomatic crisis involving America's Gulf allies in years.

File image of Dana Shell Smith. Wikicommons

File image of Dana Shell Smith. Wikicommons

"This month, I end my 3 years as US Ambassador to #Qatar. It has been the greatest honour of my life and I'll miss this great country," Dana Shell Smith said on Twitter on Tuesday. However, Shell Smith did not say why she was stepping down, if she was staying within the diplomatic service or who would replace her.

Many United States ambassadors leave their posts after serving around three years.

Her departure comes with Washington sending mixed signals over the Gulf crisis, which saw Saudi Arabia and several of its allies cut ties with Qatar claiming that Doha supported extremist groups.

Qatar strongly rejects the allegations.

United States president Donald Trump has signalled his support for the Saudi-led move but other United States officials have been more cautious and called for dialogue to end the crisis.

Shell Smith was appointed the ambassador to the Gulf emirate by Barack Obama in 2014.

In May, she appeared to express dissatisfaction with political events back home in another message posted on social media.

She took to Twitter in the hours after Trump's dramatic sacking of FBI director James Comey, tweeting: "Increasingly difficult to wake up overseas to news from home, knowing I will spend today explaining our democracy and institutions."

Qatar is home to Al-Udeid, the largest United States airbase in the region, which houses around 10,000 troops.

Published Date: Jun 13, 2017 21:07 PM | Updated Date: Jun 13, 2017 21:07 PM

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