US Ambassador to Mexico Roberta Jacobson announced on Thursday that she was stepping down as the two countries' problems grew.
Much of her time in Mexico has been spent managing rocky US-Mexico relations under President Donald Trump.
She served in numerous roles in Washington, including as deputy secretary for Western Hemisphere affairs for five years before she moved to Mexico, where she was a key broker in the agreement to re-establish relations between Cuba and the United States during the Obama administration. "This decision is all the more hard because of my profound belief in the importance of the US-Mexico relationship and knowledge that it is at a crucial moment", Jacobson said. Last week, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto called off his first official visit to Washington D.C., scheduled for March, after a testy phone call with Trump.
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Though Jacobson chose not to elaborate on the details behind her decision, she later tweeted that she would be pursuing other job opportunities and did not know who would replace her at the embassy.
He said Jacobson informed Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonFormer WH adviser: Trump will want to rejoin Paris climate pact by 2020 Why the USA should lead on protecting Rohingya Muslims 'Bolivarian Diaspora' can no longer be ignored MORE of her decision last month, while he was visiting Mexico City.
During her time as ambassador, however, Jacobson was generally well-regarded, Mexican diplomats told Reuters.
At the same time, diplomacy on Mexico was being routed through the White House, via the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, which left Mrs. Jacobson with less authority. Last week, Trump and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto postponed plans for Nieto's first visit to the White House, after a testy phone call involving Trump's border wall, a senior US official said.
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Officials in Mexico, as well as former colleagues, lamented her departure, calling is the latest blow to strained Mexican-American relations.
"This will become a more complicated relationship with the new ambassador", Jorge Chabat, a professor at CIDE, a research institution in Mexico City, predicted.
Jacobson joins the ranks of high-profile figures who recently stepped down from the State Department. She later added, "Together we are stronger!" Shannon, the undersecretary of state for political affairs who previously served as an ambassador to Brazil, Guatemala, and Venezuela, announced his retirement last month.
In her letter to staff, Mrs. Jacobson focused mostly on the work she and her team had done during her tenure, and did not take any shots at the president.
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