COMMONS

Unseen phone transcripts between Blair and Gaddafi published

07 January 2016

The Foreign Affairs Committee is publishing transcripts of two telephone conversations between Tony Blair and Colonel Gaddafi which took place on 25 February 2011.

The transcripts were forwarded to the Committee by former Prime Minister Tony Blair, following evidence given to the Foreign Affairs Committee inquiry into Libya: Examination of intervention and collapse and the UK’s future policy options.

On Friday 11 December 2015, the Foreign Affairs Committee took evidence from Tony Blair, who explained his actions in response to the collapse of the Gaddafi regime in Libya. Mr Blair offered to supply the Committee with contemporary, uncorrected, transcripts of his telephone conversations with Colonel Gaddafi in February 2011.

Chair's comments

Crispin Blunt MP, Chair of the Committee, said:

"The transcripts supplied by Mr Blair provide a new insight into the private views of Colonel Gaddafi as his dictatorship began to crumble around him. The failure to follow Mr Blair’s calls to "keep the lines open" and for these early conversations to initiate any peaceful compromise continue to reverberate.
 
The Committee will want to consider whether Gaddafi’s prophetic warning of the rise of extremist militant groups following the collapse of the regime was wrongly ignored because of Gaddafi’s otherwise delusional take on international affairs. The evidence that the Committee has taken so far in this inquiry suggests that western policy makers were rather less perceptive than Gaddafi about the risks of intervention for both the Libyan people and the western interests."

Further evidence sessions

There are further oral evidence sessions for this inquiry on 19 January and 9 February. Witnesses include former Chief of the Defence Staff Lord Richards, Jonathan Powell and FCO Minister Tobias Ellwood MP.

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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