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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 
apology.

   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.


(KA)

 
 
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