Warsaw, Nov 19 : Following a wide coverage by the international media quoting Polish foreign minister Radek Sikorski as jokingly saying that US President-elect Barack Obama's grandpa was a cannibal, the country's foreign minister has come to his rescue claiming that he never passed the racist jibe about Obama's lineage.
The episode could potentially strain relations between Warsaw and Washington.
Sikorski, an Oxford-educated politician who has lived in the US, was reported to have made the jibe by an Opposition politician Ryszard Czarnecki, who quoted the foreign minister as saying in his blog: "Have you heard that Obama may have a Polish connection? His grandfather ate a Polish missionary."
Reacting to this, a Polish foreign office spokesman conceded that Sikorski had made the controversial comment, but denied that the foreign minister had intended to insult Obama, whose father was Kenyan.
"Sikorski did not tell a racist joke. He was only giving an example of the unpalatable and racist jokes that surround President Elect Obama," The Telegraph quoted Piotr Paszkowski, the spokesman, as saying.