US envoy to Estonia resigns over Trump’s comments on EU

Washington: The United States Ambassador to Estonia, James D. Melville Jr has resigned in “frustration” with President Donald Trump’s remarks on key European Union (EU) allies, particularly in regards to the trade tariffs.

According to CNN, Melville is the third envoy to leave the US State Department ever since Trump took over office last year.

The State Department, while confirming Melville’s resignation, said in a statement, “Earlier today, the United States’ Ambassador to Estonia, Jim Melville, announced his intent to retire from the Foreign Service effective July 29 after 33 years of public service.”

In a Facebook post, Melville wrote, “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 honorable course is to resign. 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 European Union (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 added.

Trump has been a vocal critic of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in the past, claiming that the “US has been treated very badly”.

In the G7 summit held last month, Trump reportedly told his fellow leaders that the NATO, World Trade Organisation (WTO) and EU are the “worst of deals and very bad for America.”
Relations of the US with key EU allies have been strained in the recent months due to the US President’s imposition of trade tariffs.

The EU has slapped retaliatory tariffs in a tit-for-tat move.
On a related note, Trump is scheduled to attend the NATO summit in Brussels on July 11 and 12, before flying to Helsinki for a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 16. (ANI)