US president-elect Barack Obama has telephoned Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, but the two did not discuss Berlusconi's apparent racial insult earlier in the week, the premier's staff said Saturday.
Obama has been calling world leaders since his victory Tuesday in the US presidential election. He called the Italian premier Friday evening and had a "very cordial conversation," the staff said, reported dpa.
Obama, who will become the first black leader of the US in January, did not talk about Berlusconi's comment on Thursday that he could get on well with the incoming US president as he was "young, handsome and suntanned," his aides said Saturday.
Berlusconi has not apologized for the remark and snapped at a US reporter on Friday for asking him if thought he should.
The Italian premier is known for his verbal gaffes. Upon assuming the presidency of the EU in 2003, he likened a critical German member of the European Parliament to a concentration camp guard.
The Rome-based daily La Repubblica reported Saturday that Italians had sent a flood of e-mails to Obama to apologize for their prime minister's remarks.
"We are not all like Silvio," they said.