Amid diplomatic crisis, U.S. Ambassador to Qatar to step down

Washington [U.S.], June 14 : United States ambassador to Qatar, Dana Shell Smith yesterday announced that she will step down later this month, after being in the post for last three years.

Smith's decision comes in the middle of a major diplomatic crisis in the country, a week after major Gulf nations detached their ties with Doha.

"This month, I end my 3 years as U.S. Ambassador to #Qatar. It has been the greatest honor of my life and I'll miss this great country," she tweeted. US ambassadorships usually last for three years and a source told CNN that she is leaving Qatar as her post is over.

Smith will conclude her 25-year career in the Foreign Service once her post ends, the source said. In the month of May, Smith made headlines after taking the unusual step of expressing frustration with the Trump administration for complicating American diplomats' work overseas.

Soon after, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey was fired, Smith tweeted: "Increasingly difficult to wake up overseas to news from home, knowing I will spend today explaining our democracy and institutions." The exact target of her comment was unclear, but it was widely interpreted as criticism of U.S.

President Donald Trump's dismissal of Comey. Smith's exit comes days after Trump called on Qatar to stop financially supporting terrorism, claiming credit for and endorsing the decision of Gulf nations to exclude their neighbor, even as US Cabinet officials said their barrier is hurting the campaign against ISIS.

"We had a decision to make," Trump said, describing conversations with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries.

"Do we take the easy road or do we finally take a hard but necessary action? We have to stop the funding of terrorism." Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Qatar Ryan Gliha is likely to serve as "Charge D'Affaires ad interim" until a new ambassador is nominated, confirmed, and sworn in.

Source: ANI