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Blunt Brit PM causes a stir

[ 2010-07-30 10:32]     字号 [] [] []  
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British Prime Minister David Cameron has revealed a plain-speaking streak during a tour of Turkey and India that raises questions over whether it is down to youthful inexperience or a bold new approach to diplomacy.

He caused anger in Israel by saying in Turkey that Gaza was a "prison camp," and went on to offend Islamabad when he suggested in front of an Indian audience in Bangalore that Pakistan "promoted the export of terror."

While in Ankara, he also dismissed opponents of Turkish membership of the European Union as "protectionist, polarized or prejudiced," an analysis which will not be shared in Paris or Berlin. France and Germany oppose Turkish entry.

"I think it's important, as I say, to speak frankly about these things to countries that are your friends," Cameron said on Thursday in an interview with British broadcasters, adding that he would "do so in the future" as well.

At 43, Cameron is the youngest British prime minister in nearly two centuries. He has been in office since May.

His comments on Pakistan delighted the Indian media, which devoted much of its coverage of his visit to the subject, to the detriment of his core message that he wanted to boost trade and business links between Britain and India.

Pakistan's high commissioner to Britain, Wajid Shamsul Hasan, called Cameron's comments "completely contrary to the realities on the ground."

"A bilateral visit (to India) aimed at attracting business could have been conducted without damaging the prospects of regional peace," he wrote in a column in Thursday's edition of the British newspaper The Guardian.

The Israeli ambassador to Britain, Ron Prosor, was equally unimpressed. "The people of Gaza are the prisoners of the terrorist organization Hamas," he said in a sharp retort to Cameron's "prison camp" comment.


1. What countries did the British PM tour?

2. How old is David Cameron?

3. What is the name of the Israeli ambassador to Britain?


1. India and Turkey.

2. 43.

3. Ron Prosor.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Blunt Brit PM causes a stir

About the broadcaster:

Blunt Brit PM causes a stir

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.