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Blair’s ties to Libya drawing scrutiny
British and European leaders are questioning Tony Blair’s role as Middle East peace envoy following reports about the former British prime minister’s business links to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and the Middle East.
Some have criticized Mr. Blair’s past consulting deals in the Middle East, such as with Kuwait, and with the South Korean oil company UI Energy Corp., as cashing in on his connections as prime minister.
And two recent articles in London’s Daily Mail and the Telegraph have suggested Mr. Blair has business interests in Libya, indirectly linking him to a tourism company with multimillion-dollar deals in Tripoli and to the Gadhafi regime.
Mr. Blair “has certainly been riding two horses,” Mr. Stevenson said, mentioning his role as peace envoy and his business-advising deals, including those with Tesco and JPMorgan. “And he’s earning a lot in the meantime.”
According to published reports, Mr. Blair has amassed a fortune of $30 million since leaving office in 2007.
“It does raise the question why we are still paying my previous leader, Tony Blair, to be some kind of peace envoy, because I’m not quite sure what he’s doing,” Ms. Hoey said, according to the London Express.
Ciaran Ward, Mr. Blair’s media manager, said the former prime minister “does not have any role, either formal or informal, paid or unpaid, with the Libyan Investment Authority or the government of Libya.”
Youssef Sawani, executive director of the Gadhafi International Charity and Development Foundation, said Col. Gadhafi “talks regularly to Blair as a friend,” adding that Col. Gadhafi “consults [Mr. Blair] on many issues.”
But he and other Libyan activists could only point to anecdotal evidence.
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About the Author
Michelle Phillips is a student intern with the Washington Times through the National Journalism Center covering international affairs.
After growing up overseas, Ms. Phillips returned to the U.S. to attend Rice University for her bachelor’s degree, and is entering her junior year there. She discovered her love of journalism in college while working for the school newspaper, the Rice Thresher, ...
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