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Top career diplomat at US embassy steps down

David Rank was supposed to deliver formal notification of the USA intention to leave the pact, but he reportedly said that as, quote, "a parent, patriot, and a Christian", he could not in good conscience play a roll in implementing Mr. Trump's decision.

"Mr. Rank made a personal decision", said a spokesperson for the East Asian and Pacific Affairs Bureau.

The past weekend was Rank's final one as charge d'affaires at the embassy in Beijing, the top job until former Iowa Governor Terry Branstad arrives to take the post of ambassador.

According to Pomfret, Rank stepped down because he "could not back Trump on climate" and had been dismayed by the decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord.

Rank, citing the Paris climate agreement, announced the resignation during a town hall meeting on Monday with embassy employees.

Former Ambassador Dan Feldman, Rank's supervisor for five years, called him a "quintessentially professional foreign service officer", adding that he was "thoughtful, calm, judicious, non-political" and someone "you want representing the USA government overseas". "We appreciate his years of dedicated service to the State Department". Rank was serving in China when President Xi Jinping and then-US President Barrack [sic] Obama jointly declared their commitment to the Paris agreement.

A senior USA official confirmed the account given in the tweets but added that after Rank announced his intention to retire on Monday in Beijing, he was told by the State Department to leave his post immediately. A handful of senior diplomats with years of experience have retired, even as many top roles at the State Department remain unfilled by the Trump administration.

ABC News was first to report that the dissent channel was used in January to express opposition to Trump's original travel ban executive order.

Trump announced his decision Thursday to leave the Paris climate treaty, which was negotiated in 2015, took effect last November and seeks to prevent the earth's temperature from rising more than 3.6 degrees Farenheit - an increase that scientists warn could trigger devastating impacts.

The State Department confirmed that Rank had left his post but wouldn't say why.

Among those is the top US diplomat for the Middle East, acting assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern affairs and former ambassador to Iraq Stu Jones, who is leaving with his decades of experience in Middle Eastern policy at a time when the challenges to the region and the confusion about America's agenda are both great.

Chacon could not immediately be reached for comment.

"The world has paid attention to the USA withdrawal from the Paris agreement", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular news briefing on Tuesday, but added that personnel changes were the United States' "internal affairs".

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