US ambassador to Panama resigns, says he cannot work with Trump anymore

US Ambassador to Panama John Feeley said he could no longer feels able to serve President Donald Trump. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jan 13, 2018, 12.59 AM (IST)

US Ambassador to Panama John Feeley has resigned, telling the State Department he no longer feels able to serve President Donald Trump.

"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 said, according to an excerpt of his resignation letter read to Reuters on Friday.

"My instructors made clear that if I believed I could not do that, I would be honour bound to resign. That time has come."

Under Secretary of State, Steve Goldstein confirmed that he knew of Feeley's planned departure ahead of the president's alleged remarks on Thursday.

He said the ambassador, a career diplomat who spent most of his life working on Latin American issues, was resigning due to "personal reasons".

Feeley was appointed to the diplomatic post by former US President Barack Obama in July 2015.

President Donald Trump on Thursday questioned why the United States would want to have immigrants from Haiti and African nations, referring to some as "shithole countries", which created a lot of stir. 

Speaking to reporters, Goldstein said that he was aware of Feeley's planned departure 24 months in advance, before Trump's alleged use of the term "shithole countries."

"Everyone has a line that they will not cross," Goldstein told reporters at the State Department. "If the ambassador feels that he can no longer serve ... then he has made the right decision for himself and we respect that."