The United States ambassador to Panama has resigned, citing differences with the Trump administration as reasons for leaving office.
John Feeley, the American ambassador to Panama, has informed the White House, the Department of State, and the Government of Panama, of his decision to retire from his office for personal reasons. His resignation will be effective on March 9.
In his resignation letter, Feeley wrote that he could no longer faithfully serve the administration.
“As a junior Foreign Service officer, I signed an oath to serve faithfully the President and his administration in an apolitical fashion, even when I might not agree with certain policies,” Feeley wrote. “My instructors made clear that if I believed I could not do that, I would be honour-bound to resign. That time has come.”
Feeley noted that he leaves the embassy in good hands, and that the U.S. and Panama’s relationship is strong.
The news comes following an international uproar over Donald Trump’s comments about poor nations, which he called “sh*thole.” However, Feeley’s decision to resign was made even before the controversial comments.
According to Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Steven Goldstein, Feeley’s resignation letter was submitted to the White House on Dec. 27.
“Everyone has a line that they don’t want to cross and we respect that,” said Goldstein. “We are sorry to see him go.”
Meanwhile, 54 ambassadors from Africa demanded an apology from the White House after Trump’s “sh*thole” comments toward various nations including Haiti, El Salvador, and African nations during a meeting with Congress members at the White House.
The African Group of ambassadors to the United Nations, which is composed of representatives from 54 countries, called for an emergency session and demanded a retraction and apology from the U.S. president.
The group said it was appalled at Trump’s statements and was “concerned at the continuing and growing trend from the U.S. administration towards African and people of African descent to denigrate the continent and people of color.”
Trump denied that he used that language during the meeting but admitted that the language he used “was tough.”