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  1. ITV Report

Nikki Haley offers no apology for Trump's 'racist' remarks during meeting with UN Africa Group

Haley: "Africa is very important for the United States." Credit: PA

US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, has not apologised for Donald Trump’s “racist” comments while speaking to a group of African envoys, telling the 54-nation African Group at the United Nations, "Africa is very important for the United States."

Equatorial Guinea's UN ambassador, Anatolio Ndong Mba, told two reporters after the closed meeting that "we do hope that that (apology) will come."

The issue is likely to be discussed during by African leaders at their summit in Ethiopia on January 28-29.

Ndong Mba said the African Group gave Haley a "specific recommendation" but he refused to disclose it, though some diplomats later said it was a recommendation that Trump send a message to leaders at the summit.

Trump is reported to have referred to African nations as "shithole countries" last week in dismissing a bipartisan immigration proposal, several participants at the meeting said.

Despite two witnesses confirming the remarks, 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 was not at the meeting and was not 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 did not mention Trump's reported remarks in a tweet about her visit.

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The African Union, the 55-member continental body, and a number of African nations have expressed shock and condemnation over Mr Trump's alleged 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 US foreign aid and a shift in focus in Africa toward countering extremism.