Ex-UK PM Blair says he urged Gadhafi to quit Libya in 2011

Ex-UK PM Blair says he urged Gadhafi to quit Libya in 2011

LONDON (AP) — Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair says he telephoned Moammar Gadhafi & tried to persuade him to leave Libya as the Arab Spring erupted in 2011.

Blair said Friday he was not trying to "save" the Libyan dictator yet "to obtain him out of the situation so that a peaceful transition could take place."

Blair, prime minister from 1997 to 2007, was instrumental in ending Gadhafi's international isolation in return for giving up nuclear & chemical arms programs.

p>The U.K. participated in a NATO-led 2011 military intervention that led to Gadhafi's ouster. Libya has since descended into chaos, with Islamic State group-linked militants gaining strength.

Blair told Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee that without the earlier rapprochement there was a risk IS in Libya would now have access to chemical weapons.

Source: “Associated Press”