The organisation representing African countries has demanded that US President Donald Trump apologise after he reportedly called nations on the continent “shitholes”. The group’s mission in Washington DC expressed its “shock, dismay and outrage” and said the Trump administration misunderstood Africans.

The US leader made the alleged remark in a Thursday meeting on immigration. But Mr Trump has denied using the language reported. He has been backed by two Republicans who were at the White House meeting, but Democratic Senator Dick Durbin said Mr Trump called African countries “shitholes” several times and used “racist” language.

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It said the “remarks dishonour the celebrated American creed and respect for diversity and human dignity”. It added: “While expressing our shock, dismay and outrage, the African Union strongly believes that there is a huge misunderstanding of the African continent and its people by the current Administration. “There is a serious need for dialogue between the US Administration and the African countries.”