The South African government on Monday summoned United States officials, seeking explanation on President Donald Trump’s statement apparently denigrating African and other countries, and to express Pretoria’s displeasure.

“It was noted [in the meeting] that Africa and the African diaspora has contributed significantly to the United States, and to its development into the country that it is today, and that the African and international reaction to the alleged statements clearly serve as a united affirmation of the dignity of the people of Africa and the African diaspora,” a statement issued in Pretoria by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) spokesperson Clayson Monyela after the meeting.

“The United States Embassy and the United States Charge d’Affaires responded to the concerns of South Africa by stating that ‘there has been no change in the United States’ dedication to our partners across the [African] continent’ and that ‘the United States deeply respects the people of Africa and the people of South Africa, and values its partnerships with them.”  

Monyela said the US officials also indicated that their country “will continue to move forward with Africa” by focusing on the goals that truly reflect the strong bilateral ties shared by the United States and South Africa and the United States and African countries, and that “progress forward will not be diverted by anything contrary to those goals”.

“It was reiterated that relations between South Africa and the United States, and between the rest of Africa and the United States, must be based on mutual respect and understanding,” said Monyela.

On Sunday, Pretoria indicated that US Charge d’Affaires — the second in charge of the embassy — in South Africa would be called to explain Trump’s recent remarks.

– African News Agency (ANA)