US President Donald Trump Sends Message to African Leaders Following "Shithole" Remarks

Howard TerryJan 29, 2018

The attitude change comes after Trump called a meeting to find out why extended visas are given out to El Salvador, Haiti and African nations he referred to as "shithole" countries.

Facing strong condemnation at home and overseas, Trump later denied using the word "shithole" to describe Haiti and African countries.

In a letter dated January 25, Trump paid glowing tribute to the African Union as it gathered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for the Peace and Security Council meeting at the 30th AU Summit.

The President insisted in the letter that the U.S.

Trump's reported comments decrying immigration from "shithole countries" prompted global backlash, particularly from African leaders, who blasted the remarks as a deep insult from the president of an otherwise friendly country.

He said the USA supports AU's fight against terrorism, something he said will collectively improve air transport security, foster better trade between the U.S. and the African continent and safeguard legal immigration.

He announced that Tillerson would visit Africa in March and said he looked forward to welcoming many African leaders in Washington. A State Department official said it was expected to include stops in four to six countries.

He also met current AU chairperson, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland and afterwards congratulated him on being chosen as the new AU chair.

Trump's vulgar comments, which he has denied, caused widespread outrage.

"Had very good bilateral meeting with @realDonaldTrump!"

In the letter, Trump also offered his "best wishes for a successful summit", and noted that his administration is committed to ensuring "free, fair and reciprocal trade" with African nations, while working to "safeguard legal immigration", according to NBC News.

Some who were in the room with Trump say he did not make the remarks while others disagree. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, however, countered by expressing his love for Trump and saying he should be praised for not mincing his words.

In the days that followed, USA diplomats scrambled to address the fallout from the comments.

The State Department's Bureau of African Affairs, trying to calm things down, has tweeted that "the United States will continue to robustly, enthusiastically and forcefully engage" with African countries.

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