Haley:Africa Important, But No Apology 01/19 06:12
U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley told African envoys Thursday that "Africa is
very important for the United States," but she didn't apologize for President
Donald Trump's vulgar comment about the continent as they had demanded, the
chair of the African Group said.
UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley told African envoys
Thursday that "Africa is very important for the United States," but she didn't
apologize for President Donald Trump's vulgar comment about the continent as
they had demanded, the chair of the African Group said.
Equatorial Guinea's U.N. ambassador, Anatolio Ndong Mba, told two reporters
after the closed meeting requested by Haley that "we do hope that that
(apology) will come," perhaps from Trump to African leaders at their summit in
Ethiopia on Jan. 28-29.
Ndong Mba said the 54-nation African Group at the United Nations gave Haley
a "specific recommendation" but he refused to disclose it. Other diplomats,
speaking on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak
publicly, said it was to have Trump send a message to leaders at the summit.
Trump referred to African nations as "shithole countries" last week in
dismissing a bipartisan immigration proposal, several participants at the
meeting said. The president denied using that language.
The African Group issued a statement last Friday condemning Trump's
"outrageous, racist and xenophobic remarks" and demanding a retraction and
Ndong Mba said Haley told the ambassadors she wasn't at the meeting and
wasn't sure what Trump said, but noted that "the president always has been
talking very high of Africa."
"But she regretted all this situation that has been created," Ndong Mba
said. "She said she regretted that a lot."
He called the meeting "very friendly" and "very frank."
"We appreciate the fact that she came, and she talked about all the
cooperation between the United States and Africa, and that Africa is very
important for the United States," Ndong Mba said.
Haley didn't mention anything about Trump's reported remarks in a tweet
about her visit.
"Thank you to the Africa Group for meeting today," she said. "We discussed
our long relationship and history of combatting HIV, fighting terrorism, and
committing to peace throughout the region."
The African Union, the 55-member continental body, and a number of African
nations have expressed shock and condemnation over Trump's remark.
Concern about the Trump administration was growing across Africa, the
world's second most populous continent, even before the president's comment,
over proposed deep cuts to U.S. foreign aid and a shift in focus in Africa
toward countering extremism.