U.S. ambassador to Estonia resigns over Trump's Europe comments
James D. Melville is the 3rd U.S. ambassador to leave in past year
The U.S. ambassador to Estonia has resigned after more than three decades of public service over frustrations with U.S. President Donald Trump's comments about the European Union and his treatment of Washington's European allies.
James D. Melville announced his resignation in a private Facebook post on Friday.
"For the President to say EU was 'set up to take advantage of the United States, 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."
Melville was referring to Trump's recent comments at news conferences and on social media.
Melville stressed that a U.S. 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 is a senior U.S. career diplomat who has served as the American ambassador in the Baltic nation and NATO member of Estonia since 2015. He has served at U.S. embassies in Berlin, London and Moscow, among other postings.
"Having served under six presidents and 11 secretaries of state, I never really thought it would reach that point for me," he wrote, referring to a career with the U.S. State Department that started in the mid-1980s.
The U.S. Embassy in Tallinn confirmed Saturday that Melville "announced his intent to retire from the Foreign Service effective July 29 after 33 years of public service." It did not elaborate.
Foreign Policy magazine said the news of Melville's early retirement came as a shock to several U.S. State Department officials, who described the career diplomat as a "consummate professional" and someone who "never let domestic politics impact his job."
His is not the only resignation in the diplomatic corps in recent months.
In January, the U.S ambassador to Panama, John Feeley, quit, saying he was no longer able to serve under Trump. And in December of last year, Elizabeth Shackelford, seen as a rising star in the U.S. diplomatic corps in Africa, also resigned after reportedly claiming the U.S. had abandoned human rights as a priority.
With files from CBC News