Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Cameron Embarrasses World Leaders Visiting London | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page
Media ID: 55350725

British Prime Minister David Cameron addresses the media after a European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium, February 19, 2016. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez/File Photo

London- David Cameron has admitted that Nigeria and Afghanistan are “two of the most corrupt countries in the world” in a private conversation with the Queen.

The Prime Minister was caught on camera telling the Queen about an anti-corruption summit he is hosting in London on Thursday which will see “leaders of some fantastically corrupt countries coming to Britain”.

“We had a very successful Cabinet meeting this morning, talking about our anti-corruption summit,” Mr Cameron said as the Queen approached.

“We have got the Nigerians; actually we have got some leaders of some fantastically corrupt countries coming to Britain.”

For his part, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari says he is not demanding “any apology from anybody” after UK Prime Minister David Cameron labelled his country “fantastically corrupt”.

Speaking at an anti-corruption event in London, Mr Buhari said he was more interested in the return of stolen assets held in British banks.

President Buhari praised the UK government for its help in efforts to repatriate stolen funds held in the country.
He cited the case of disgraced Nigerian state governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, who fled the UK disguised as a woman while on bail for corruption charges.

British police found £1m ($1.8m)-worth of cash in his London home in 2005 and subsequently charged him with laundering a total of £1.8m.

“What would I do with an apology? I need something tangible,” President Buhari said, referring to efforts to recover the money.

It is worth mentioning that Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari and Afghan President Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who are both planning to attend the summit, have acknowledged corruption in their countries and have pledged to clean it up.

It is not clear yet whether Cameron was aware he was caught on video during the meeting in Buckingham Palace; notably, he is one of the political leaders who were mentioned in the Panama Papers’ scandal.