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Cameron Hosts Anti-Corruption Summit to Stem Panama Leak Fallout

  • U.K. prime minister plans global declaration signing Thursday
  • Afghan, Colombian, Nigerian and Norwegian leaders to attend

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron will host a summit in London Thursday aimed at beating corruption, weeks after admitting he had a stake in an offshore fund set up by his father.

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari and Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani are among a handful of leaders confirmed to attend the gathering at Lancaster House, next door to Buckingham Palace, according to a statement by the prime minister’s office.

Corruption is “an enemy of progress and the root of so many of the world’s problems,” Cameron said in the statement. “It destroys jobs and holds back economic growth, traps the poorest in desperate poverty and undermines our security by pushing people towards extremist groups.”

Leaders will be asked to sign a global declaration that promises to expose corruption, punish those responsible and help its victims, in a bid to tackle an issue that Cameron said has been a taboo for too long.

The summit marks the latest attempt by the U.K. leader to deal with the political fallout of millions of documents leaked from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, one of which revealed he once owned a stake in an offshore fund linked to his father.

The revelations drew accusations of hypocrisy for Cameron and come as he fights to win a referendum over Britain’s membership of the European Union on June 23. The documents also led to the resignation of the Icelandic prime minister and two European bank executives, prompted street protests in Norway and caused problems for Argentine President Mauricio Macri, who subsequently pledged to put his assets in a blind trust.

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos are expected to attend the summit, along with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, and Christine Lagarde, International Monetary Fund managing director, according to the statement. A spokesman for Number 10 wouldn’t say if Macri had been invited, but said more details about the guest list will emerge over the coming days.

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