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Boris Johnson's international gaffes

Boris Johnson, on a visit to China in 2013. Credit: PA

Boris Johnson was appointed Foreign Secretary on Wednesday, forming part of Theresa May's new Cabinet.

His promotion to the front bench raised eyebrows, given how many high-profile gaffes and controversies he has caused on the international stage.

Below are his most infamous incidents.

  • May 2016: Spectator magazine competition
Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of Turkey. Credit: PA

Boris Johnson won £1,000 in a competition for a limerick he composed and sent to the Spectator magazine.

In the piece, he described the Turkish president Mr Erdogan having sex with a goat and calling him a "wan*erer", to rhyme with the Turkish capital, Ankara.

  • April 2016: Described Obama as 'part-Kenyan'
US President Barack Obama. Credit: PA

Earlier this year, Mr Johnson described Mr Obama as a "part-Kenyan" who harboured an "ancestral dislike" of Britain, after the president came out in favour of the Remain campaign.

He was widely criticised at the time, but on Wednesday, Labour MP Chuka Umunna - whose father is Nigerian - said Mr Johnson's first meeting with Obama "will be interesting", suggesting it starts "with the word 'sorry'".

  • November 2015: Officials call off visit to Palestine
Boris Johnson was on a trade visit to Israel in November 2015. Credit: PA

Local officials were forced to cancel a visit to Palestine on safety grounds, after Boris Johnson told an audience in Tel Aviv that a boycott of Israeli goods was "completely crazy" and supported by "corduroy, jacketed, snaggletoothed, lefty academics in the UK".

Palestinian officials said his comments risked creating protests if he visited the West Bank, and accused him of adopting a "misinformed and disrespectful" pro-Israeli stance.

Mr Johnson said his comments were "whipped up" on social media.

  • October 2015: Tackled a 10-year-old boy
Boris Johnson played street rugby in Tokyo. Credit: PA

Boris Johnson, then London Mayor, visited Tokyo in 2015, and made a light-hearted gaffe when he was filmed taking down a Japanese schoolboy during a game of street rugby.

The boy, Toki Sekiguchi, said afterwards: "I felt a little bit of pain but it's OK."

  • 2008: Derogatory comments
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II is greeted by Boris Johnson. Credit: PA

Eight years ago, Boris Johnson, as MP for Henley, was forced to apologise after saying the Queen was greeted in Commonwealth countries by "flag-waving piccaninnies" - a derogatory term for black children.

In the same column, he described then Prime Minister Tony Blair being greeted by "tribal warriors who will all break out in watermelon smiles" on an upcoming visit to the Congo.

  • 2008: Offended Chinese officials ahead of the Beijing Olympics
Mayor of London Boris Johnson meets the Mayor of Beijing Guo Jiniong. Credit: PA

On a visit to China earlier that year, Boris Johnson offended officials by saying table tennis wasn't invented by the Chinese - but had in fact been developed from a Victorian English game called "whiff whaff".

  • November 2007: Described Hillary Clinton as a "sadistic nurse"
Boris Johnson shakes hands with Hillary Clinton. Credit: PA

In a column for the Daily Telegraph, Mr Johnson described Hillary Clinton - the Democratic candidate to replace Mr Obama, as having "a steely blue stare, like a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital".

The piece described Mrs Clinton as the best candidate to replace George W Bush in the 2008 presidential election, but he also described Obama as "plainly brilliant".

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