US & Canada

San Escobar: Polish foreign minister's slip invents a country

In this photo provided by the United Nations on Monday Jan. 9, 2017, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, right, and Poland"s Minister for Foreign Affairs Witold Waszczykowski, left, pose for a handshake during their meeting at U.N. headquarters. Image copyright AP
Image caption Witold Waszczykowski (left) met UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. There are no known pictures of his meeting with officials from San Escobar.

Do you know the way to San Escobar?

Probably not, it doesn't exist, but that didn't stop Poland's foreign minister claiming to have had a productive meeting with its officials this week.

Witold Waszczykowski told reporters he met with various nations for Poland's bid to join the UN security council, "such as Belize or San Escobar".

Mr Waszczykowski has been roundly mocked on Twitter, the one place San Escobar does now exist, flag and all.

He said that he had had meetings with officials from nearly 20 countries, including some Caribbean nations "for the first time in the history of our diplomacy. For example with countries such as Belize or San Escobar".

He put the slip down to tiredness. "Unfortunately after 22 hours in planes and several connecting flights you can make a slip of the tongue," he said.

He said he had in mind Saint Kitts and Nevis, a two-island Caribbean country known in Spanish as San Cristobal y Nieves.

Twitter users responded in customary style, creating an official account and a flag for the island nation.

One tweet said that San Escobar "fully supports Poland's candidacy to the Security Council".

Another designed some currency, but added: "It's funny until you realise your only allies left are Belarus, Hungary and an imaginary nation state."

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