Newly released telephone transcripts reveal that Colonel Gaddafi accused Tony Blair of supporting al-Qaeda as he refused calls to stand down during the height of the Libyan uprising.
Gaddafi also warned the former British prime minister about the rise of Islamic extremism
On Thursday, the former British Prime minister submitted a transcript of the calls he made to Gaddafi on February 25, 2011, to MPs as part of their investigation into the UK’s policy on Libya.
Records of two phone conversations between the pair on 25 February 2011 have been published by the Foreign Affairs Committee as its inquiry into Britain’s intervention continues.
Here is a link to Blair-Gaddafi transcript No. 1 https://t.co/VxIKppW9JP
— Foreign Affairs Ctte (@CommonsForeign) January 7, 2016
RT reports: Addressing MPs in Parliament, Blair insisted he contacted Gaddafi as a “concerned private citizen,” and confirmed he cleared the phone calls with Prime Minister David Cameron and the US State Department.
Blair accused of supporting Al-Qaeda
Blair appears to have been pressured to respond to a number of allegations during the phone calls, including claims he supported Al-Qaeda.
“People spreading rumors through the TV stations. Those people are from Guantanamo, we know them by name, they support Al-Qaeda – do you support Al-Qaeda?” Gaddafi asked Blair.
Blair, who drove the thaw in relations between the West and Gaddafi, replied: “No, absolutely not.”
Gaddafi then accused the ex-PM of attempting to recolonize Libya.
“It seems this is colonization, I will have to arm the people and get ready for a fight.”
Blair insisted: “No one wants to recolonize Libya.”
“Let me be clear, no one wants to recolonize Libya – Libya is for its people,” he said.
‘Get to a safe place’
During the conversation, the ex-PM urged Gaddafi to get to a “safe place” in order to promote a peace process in Libya.
The transcripts show Blair was attempting to convince Gaddafi to allow a peaceful resolution to the crisis engulfing Libya and avoid a protracted civil war.
— Naomi O’Leary (@NaomiOhReally) January 7, 2016
“The position of the leader is crucial, if he indicates that he wants this to occur now, and that he will stand aside and go somewhere safe I think this will resolve this peacefully,” Blair told Gaddafi, referring to him in the third person.
“He needs to signal acceptance of that change and he needs to stand aside to let that happen peacefully.”
‘We have no problem’
However, the deposed Libyan leader repeatedly refused to leave the country and insisted there was not much fighting going on in Libya.
“We have no problem, just leave us alone,” the Libyan leader told Blair.
“We are not fighting them, they are attacking us,” he said.
“I want to tell you the truth. It is not a difficult situation at all. The story is simply this: an organization has laid down sleeping cells in North Africa. Called the Al-Qaeda Organization in North Africa … The sleeping cells in Libya are similar to dormant cells in America before 9/11.”
He then warned Blair that jihadists would attack Europe if his regime was allowed to collapse.
“They [jihadists] want to control the Mediterranean and then they will attack Europe.”