The Polish foreign minister has been mocked for saying he had a meeting with the representative of a nonexistent country as part of Poland’s bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council.
Witold Waszczykowski was in New York during the week to lobby for a seat on the council from 2018-19. He told reporters while there on Tuesday that he 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.”
There is no country called San Escobar.
Waszczykowski explained Wednesday that it was just a slip of the tongue made while he was tired and that he had had in mind Saint Kitts and Nevis, a two-island Caribbean country known in Spanish as San Cristobal y Nieves.
“Unfortunately after 22 hours in planes and several connecting flights you can make a slip of the tongue,” Waszczykowski said.
That hasn’t stopped an eruption of jokes on social media under the hashtag #SanEscobar, including an invented flag and a slew of fake news about the fictional place.
One Tweet said that San Escobar “fully supports Poland’s candidacy to the Security Council.”
— San Escobar (@rpdsanescobar) January 11, 2017
— Ola Cichowlas (@olacicho) January 11, 2017
— Ewa Lalik (@ewqaewqa) January 10, 2017
— San Escobar Times (@SanEscobarTimes) January 10, 2017
A Facebook page adorned with maps and photographs of the imaginary country was set up, including pictures purportedly of work on a huge statue of Waszczykowski being built to honour his contribution to bilateral relations between the two countries.
Other social media posts designed San Escobar currency, while one added: “It’s funny until you realise your only allies left are Belarus, Hungary and an imaginary nation state.”