Fresh information has surfaced that suggests Tony Blair made contact with Libyan dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, urging him to find ‘a safe place to go’ before his eventual death nine months later.
In a newly released transcript from the US State Department detailing a private telephone call between the two on February 25 2011, Blair pleaded with his former ally to flee as the UN drew up plans to have him removed from power.
The phone call was transcribed in an email by Blair’s Head of Strategy Catherine Rimmer to one of Hilary Clinton’s senior advisor’s, Jake Sullivan.
In the message, Blair is quoted by Rimmer as saying:
The absolute key thing is that the bloodshed and violence must stop. If you have a safe place to go then you should go there, because this will not end peacefully unless that happens and there has to be a process of change. That process of change can be managed and we have to find a way of managing it. I have talked to people and everyone wants a peaceful end to this.
The call seems to suggest that Blair was in a position to intervene with UN and NATO plans to depose Gaddafi by force, begging him to accept a peaceful resolution.
The US and the EU are in a tough position right now and I need to take something back to them which ensures this ends peacefully… If this goes on for another day/two days we will go past the point. I’m saying this because I believe it deeply.
Colonel Gadaffi refused to give up power and as militant forces overtook the country, he went into hiding in August, only to be captured and killed during The Battle of Sirte in October 2011.
Blair is currently being asked to give evidence at a Commons enquiry into Britain’s policy towards Libya, following growing information that he repeatedly tried to meddle in the Government’s affairs after relinquishing power in 2007.