Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has revealed that he used to discuss political theories with the late Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi. Appearing before the Foreign Affairs Committee in Parliament on Friday to answer questions about his relationship with the dictator, Blair opened up about the personal connection Gaddafi felt he had with him.
According to Blair, who led Britain from 1997 to 2007, Gaddafi liked to tell him about his theories on everything from Islam to politics. Blair said:
“For some reason he [Gaddafi] felt that I was his route into the West into being able to re-engage with the Americans and put the past behind him. And so he would speak very frankly with me about his views. He was an individual who had been shut off from the world for about 30 years, in the sense of our world. And so he had theories on resolving the Israeli-Palestinian issue, he had theories on third way politics he would talk to me about, he had theories about Islam and how it should develop.”
It is very interesting that Gaddafi, who ruled Libya as a dictator, used to tell Blair what he thought about third way politics. The third way is a political ideology that advocates both fiscal conservatism and social liberalism. Blair is commonly thought of as a third way politician.
Blair was responsible for the “deal in the desert,” a controversial deal agreement he made with Gaddafi in 2004 that saw British firms sign huge oil deals with Libya. In return, Gaddafi promised not to try and get hold of weapons of mass destruction.
Blair also revealed in his appearance that he phoned Gaddafi several times within 24 hours in an attempt to get the dictator to step aside and leave the country during the West’s 2011 military intervention in Libya. Blair said he contacted Gaddafi in his capacity as “a concerned private citizen” in an attempt to secure a peaceful transition of power. Gaddafi failed to take Blair’s advice and was killed after being discovered hiding in a drain.
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