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Romania Says Sorry To Kenya Over Ambassador’s Undiplomatic Language.

By Editor, June 11th, 2023.

Dragos Viorel Tigau allegedly compared a monkey that peered through the window of a conference room with Africans while attending a meeting in Nairobi. He later said it was just a joke.

Dragos Viorel Tigau was at a United Nations building in Nairobi on April 26 when a monkey appeared at the window of the conference room.

“The African Group has joined us,” Tigau said, according to a note from the South Sudanese embassy in Kenya seen by the AFP news agency.

“The African Group would like to condemn in strongest terms possible the insulting, racist and degrading utterances,” wrote Chol Ajong’o, South Sudan’s ambassador to Kenya who leads African diplomats in Nairobi.

The Romanian foreign ministry said on Saturday it had only been informed of the incident this week, after which it “began a procedure to recall its ambassador”.

Two apology letters were sent by Tigau to African diplomats four days apart. Tigau initially said that his comments came during “a long, heated and highly debated meeting” and were an attempt at “relaxing the atmosphere.” He later withdrew that section.

CNN has approached Tigau for comment but has not heard back.

A European diplomatic source close to the Ambassador told CNN that the Romanian ambassador “doesn’t have any racist inclinations” and meant the comment as a joke.

He spoke on condition of anonymity, adding that “if a bird, a lizard, or a snake came out, I’m sure he would have said the same thing,” the source claimed.

Sources AFP, Al Jazeera, CNN, agencies.