Romania announced on Saturday that it was recalling its ambassador to Kenya, condemning racist remarks made recently in Nairobi, the country’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

The incident occurred during a meeting organised on 26 April at the United Nations. According to a note from the South Sudanese embassy consulted by AFP, a monkey appeared in the window of the conference room.

“The African group has joined us”, joked Ambassador Dragos Viorel Tigau, sparking indignation.

Bucharest says it was only informed of the incident this week, and “has initiated a procedure to recall its ambassador”,

“We deeply regret this situation and apologise to all those who have been affected”, the ministry said, describing any racist behaviour or remarks as “absolutely unacceptable”.

In a tweet, Kenyan diplomat Macharia Kamau, former number 2 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said he was “appalled and disgusted”.

“It is a disgrace to have tried to cover up this ignominy. It is intolerable and unacceptable in any age, and even more so in the 21st century!”

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