President Donald Trump listens as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson speaks during an event to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Johannesburg — South Africa summoned the United States' senior diplomat in the capital Pretoria on Monday over President Donald Trump's recent disparaging comments about African nations and Haiti.

Trump has been accused of describing African nations as "shithole countries" during a meeting with U.S. senators last week. 

He has denied making the statements as well as ensuing accusations that he is racist.

South Africa's foreign ministry said in a statement that it would call on the U.S. Chargé d'Affaires on Monday to provide an opportunity "to explain the statement that African countries constitute 'shitholes' from where migrants into the United States are undesirable."

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The U.S. Embassy confirmed receipt of the government's request on Monday and said that relations between South African and the U.S. must be based on mutual respect.

Associated Press