Cameron branded a disgrace for taking arms dealers on Egypt visit

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

LONDON - British Prime Minister David Cameron was last night branded a ‘disgrace’ after it emerged that he has taken eight defence firms with him on a four-day visit to the Middle East.

Cameron is the first world leader to visit Egypt since the historic overthrow of President Mubarak.

Cameron said he wanted to offer Britain’s help in creating the ‘building blocks of democracy’ in the country and the wider Arab world, the Daily Mail reports.

Critics, however, expressed amazement that Cameron was promoting a mission to sell arms to Arab dictators shortly after it emerged that Colonel Gaddafi may have used British weapons to kill hundreds of his fellow countrymen in Libya.

They accused Cameron of using a high profile visit to Cairo’s Tahrir Square - Ground Zero in the Egyptian popular uprising - as a fig leaf for peddling military equipment.

Bosses from major arms and aerospace companies such as BAe Systems, Qinetiq and Thales joined Cameron on the plane which last night arrived in Kuwait.

Other defence contractors present included bosses from the Cobham Group, Ultra Electronics, Rolls Royce, Babcock International Group and Atkins.

At the same time, Defence Minister Gerald Howarth and 50 British companies were flying the flag at an arms export show in the United Arab Emirates, also attended by Libyan generals.

A Downing Street source, however, said: “We have among the toughest arms export regimes in the world. We take our human rights responsibilities very strongly.” (ANI)

Filed under: Politics

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