straight to Qaddafi

Now that everyone is probably scrambling for deniability if not cover, let's revisit David Rose's piece on New Labour, New Libya. It's something worth a second reading into the record.

Libyan sources insist, however, that Blair has visited Libya half a dozen times since stepping down as P.M. (Doyle declines to comment on this assertion, but does say that Blair visited Libya once in the 18-month period ending November 2010.) But Blair’s employer, J.P. Morgan, does have commercial relationships with Libya. Three senior British officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, say that Blair has made numerous trips to Libya since leaving Downing Street, at least partly on behalf of the bank. “The Blair magic still works with Qaddafi,” one of these officials observes. “Qaddafi will drop everything to see Blair.” Saif al-Islam, Qaddafi’s probable heir, said last summer that Blair was “a personal family friend” and added that Blair had visited Libya “many, many times” since leaving office.

One such visit took place in June 2010. “His plane landed at Mitiga airport”—a few miles east of Tripoli and used by V.I.P.’s—“and a car took him straight to a minister with whom he had private business,” according to a well-placed source. “Then he went straight to Qaddafi.” There he briefed the dictator about what to expect from the new British coalition government led by David Cameron. Afterward, he spent the night at the British ambassador’s residence.

Neither Blair nor the bank will say anything about what he does to justify his salary, either in Libya or elsewhere. Executives at other banks with Libyan interests say that J.P. Morgan now handles much of the Libyan Investment Authority’s cash, and some of the Libyan central bank’s reserves.

3 thoughts on “straight to Qaddafi

  1. Don’t forget that we also sent the SAS out there to train their forces :

    “A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said: “We have an ongoing co-operation with Libya in the field of defence”. This had been the case since the former rogue state announced in 2003 that it would abandon development of weapons of mass destruction. The Ministry of Defence refused to comment.

    The first moves towards setting up the training agreement are believed to have begun after Tony Blair visited Libya as Prime Minister in 2004. However, the deal was only finalised and “signed off” by Gordon Brown this year. “

  2. Given how Qaddafi has had to rely on mercenaries to try to maintain control, perhaps those military ties have been a good thing.

  3. Pingback: A Libya et al. roundup. “Who depends the most on Libyan oil?; “Challenges for foreign journalists in Libya… | Erkan's Field Diary

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