The United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Ms Nikki Haley, has resigned her appointment.
Haley made the announcement at the Oval Office in the presence of President Donald Trump, who said the envoy had “done a fantastic job”.
The ambassador would, however, remain on the job till the end of the year, Trump announced.
Haley said: “It was a blessing to go into the UN with body armour every day and defend America, and I’ll always do that.
“I’ll never truly step aside from fighting for our country.
“But I will tell you that I think it’s time. Being the United Nations ambassador has been an honour of a lifetime’’.
Haley, who had long been speculated as a potential presidential candidate, said she had no intention of running for the presidency in 2020, as has been speculated.
The ambassador said, on the contrary, she plans to campaign for Trump’s re-election.
“I think you have to be selfless enough to know when you step aside and allow someone else to do the job,’’ she said.
Trump said Haley had informed him roughly six months ago that she wanted to take a break after finishing two years with the administration.
The president, however, said: “Nikki is going to be staying to the end of the year. It’ll just be’’.
He said he hoped Haley would return in a different role and would name her successor within “the next two or three weeks’’.
“She’s done a fantastic job and we’ve done a fantastic job together.
“We’re all happy for you in one way, but we hate to lose you,’’ Trump said.
He hailed her achievements at the UN within two years, including the progress on the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, the re-imposition of Iran’s sanctions and for protecting the U.S. interests at the UN.
Shortly before the meeting, Trump had announced on his Twitter handle: “Big announcement with my friend Ambassador Nikki Haley in the Oval Office at 10.30 a.m.’’