Imaginary friends: Polish minister in non-existent nation gaffe

12 January 2017

Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski has recently found himself the butt of many geography and diplomacy-related jokes. His mistake? Apparently claiming to have a productive meeting with officials from an imaginary country is a bit of a faux pas.

Earlier this week, Mr Waszczykowski told reporters he had met with representatives from various nations in aid of Poland’s bid to join the UN security council, “such as Belize or San Escobar”.

San Escobar does not exist, although Twitter users have done their best to change that. One user created an official account and a flag for the non-existent nation, which has subsequently been posting policies and photos of beautiful landscapes, while another designed a currency for San Escobar. The tone was changed slightly when the user added, “It’s funny until you realise your only allies left are Belarus, Hungary and an imaginary nation state.”

Mr Waszczykowski has asked that we cut him some slack.

“Unfortunately after 22 hours in planes and several connecting flights you can make a slip of the tongue,” he said, adding that he had intended to name the Caribbean country of Saint Kitts and Nevis, which is known in Spanish as San Cristóbal y Nieves.

Source: BBC