07:47 GMT +319 September 2019
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    Head of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Witold Waszczykowski (File)

    Polish Foreign Minister Lobbies Made-Up Country for UN Security Council Seat

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    Poland's Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski is facing ridicule after announcing his plan to meet "San Escobar" as part of Warsaw's effort to get a two-year stint on the UN Security Council.

    Polish Foreign Ministry Witold Waszczykowski made a stir in New York on Monday, when he announced plans to meet with representatives from several Caribbean countries as part of Warsaw's effort to get a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council next year.

    During a two-day trip to New York, where he met with new UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Waszczykowski revealed his itinerary for the rest of the trip. 

    To the confusion of observers, the Foreign Minister revealed that his plans include a meeting with "San Escobar," a country which does not exist.

    "We've got the opportunity to hold almost 20 meetings with different ministers. With some (countries), for example in the Caribbean, perhaps for the first time in the history of our diplomacy. For example, countries like Belize or San Escobar," Waszczykowski said, Polsat News reported.

    "Each of these countries has one vote in the UN General Assembly," he explained.

    There are ten non-permanent members of the UN Security Council, five of which are elected each year by the 193 members of the UN General Assembly. The seats are distributed on a regional basis, and the members serve a two-year term. In June, the General Assembly will vote on the Security Council members for the following two years.

    Following the surprise announcement, news about San Escobar was quick to spread across social networks, as well as the hashtag #SanEscobar. 

    The #SanEscobar hashtag reached 1.4 million internet users and was tweeted 1,400 times.

    A spokesperson for the Polish Foreign Ministry explained that Waszczykowski had made a slip of the tongue, and had had a different Caribbean country in mind.

    ​"#SanEscobar was a slip of the tongue. Minister Waszczykowski was referring to a conversation with the Foreign Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis at the EU-CELAC summit 25-25.10."

    "We already know where Minister Waszczykowski is choosing to vacation this year." 

    ​"Minister Waszczykowski is meeting with representatives of countries that don't exist, a great deal less harm to Poland than usual," wrote former Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak.

    Waszczykowski can take comfort from the response of San Escobar. The new nation has its own Twitter account, where it expressed support for Poland's UN Security Council bid.


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