Thursday 13 December 2018

US envoy to Estonia quits over Trump's 'hostility'

Mr Trump yesterday took a swipe at his European allies, saying any who were found trading with Iran would be sanctioned, and accusing the EU of trading unfairly with the US. Photo: Getty Images
Mr Trump yesterday took a swipe at his European allies, saying any who were found trading with Iran would be sanctioned, and accusing the EU of trading unfairly with the US. Photo: Getty Images

Julie Allen

The US ambassador to Estonia has resigned in frustration over Donald Trump's hostility to Europe, leaving a scathing review of the US president's treatment of America's allies.

James Melville, a 33-year career diplomat who was due to retire in a few months, wrote a damning Facebook post to friends in which he said: "it's time to go." He criticised what he regarded as Mr Trump's unfair attacks on Nato and the EU but signed off saying he was confident America would one day return to being "right".

"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," 'Foreign Policy' magazine quotes Mr Melville's post as saying. "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 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."

He continued: "So I leave willingly and with deep gratitude for being able to serve my nation with integrity for many years, and with great confidence that America, which is and has always been, great, will some day return to being right."

His comments reflect the growing uncertainty felt in Europe about its previously strong relationship with the US. Mr Melville will become the third US ambassador to leave a post prematurely in the last 12 months. In March, the American ambassador to Panama criticised Mr Trump as he left. John Feeley wrote an op-ed in 'The Washington Post' saying a betrayal of "the traditional core values of the United States" led to his resignation.

Mr Trump yesterday took a swipe at his European allies, saying any who were found trading with Iran would be sanctioned, and accusing the EU of trading unfairly with the US. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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