James D. Melville Jr.’s resignation on Friday makes him the third ambassador in the last year to leave the State Department early, reports CNN.
“A Foreign Service Officer’s DNA is programmed to support policy and we’re schooled right from the start, that if there ever comes a point where one can no longer do so, particularly if one is in a position of leadership, the honourable course is to resign,” Melville posted on Facebook.
“Having served under six presidents and 11 secretaries of state, I never really thought it would reach that point for me.
“For the President to say the EU was ‘set up to take advantage of the US, to attack our piggy bank’, or that ‘NATO is as bad as NAFTA’ is not only factually wrong, but proves to me that it’s time to go,” he added.
In a statement, a State Department spokesperson confirmed Melville’s departure.
“Earlier today (Friday), the US’ Ambassador to Estonia, Jim Melville, announced his intent to retire from the Foreign Service effective July 29 after 33 years of public service,” the statement said.
The announcement of Melville’s departure was followed by that of Susan Thornton, Trump’s choice to be the nominee to be assistant secretary for East Asian affairs, later on Friday.
Melville and Thornton are the latest foreign service officer to leave in a department where the senior ranks have been deeply depleted and even rising stars have resigned rather than serve the President, reports CNN.
Last November, Elizabeth Shackelford, an award-winning US diplomat based in Nairobi, wrote to former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson a blistering resignation letter saying that the Trump administration had diminished the influence of State Department with its preference for military solutions.
This January, US Ambassador to Panama John Feeley resigned over differences with the Trump administration.
In March, US Ambassador to Mexico Roberta Jacobson, announced her decision to step down amid increased tensions between the US and Mexico.