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U.S. President Donald Trump boards Air Force One upon departure from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, U.S., January 12, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque


(Note: Language that may offend some readers)

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa has protested to the U.S. embassy in Pretoria about reported remarks by U.S. President Donald Trump that some immigrants from Africa and Haiti come from "shithole" countries.

South Africa's foreign ministry called the remarks, which sources said Trump made earlier this week during a meeting on immigration legislation, "crude and offensive" and said Trump's subsequent denial was not categorical.

"Relations between South Africa and the United States, and between the rest of Africa and the United States, must be based on mutual respect and understanding," the foreign ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

It said it would ask the second-in-charge of the U.S. embassy to explain Trump's comments on Monday.

Trump was widely condemned by many African countries and by international rights organisations for the comments. Botswana's foreign ministry earlier summoned the U.S. ambassador in protest.

(Reporting by Alexander Winning, editing by Louise Heavens)

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