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Arabia’s kafir whore Tony Blair wanted $35m payback to help build UAE’s Islamic influence in the West


Tony Blair wanted $35m to build UAE’s brand and influence

Tony Blair on a trip to Abu Dhabi in 2011

Tony Blair on a trip to Abu Dhabi in 2011

Robert Mendick, Chief Reporter
Adrian Gatto, Telegraph

 

Tony Blair’s consultancy asked for $35 million from an oil-rich Arab state to provide advice, The Telegraph can disclose.

The proposal with the United Arab Emirates’ ministry of foreign affairs was worth almost $7 million a year and was due to run for five years, according to company documents.

Tony Blair Associates (TBA), the business set up by the former prime minister on leaving Downing Street, asked for “professional fees” of $6,210,000 a year and an additional $688,000 to cover the company’s annual expenses.

The expenses cover a “contribution towards the transportation costs” for visits by Mr Blair and his team. For the money, Mr Blair promised to fly to Abu Dhabi at least 12 times a year.

Mr Blair will allocate dedicated days to be in Abu Dhabi and to work with you… Mr Blair will visit Abu Dhabi at least once a month during year one TBA proposal.

 

The scale of the deal shows how lucrative Mr Blair’s consultancy business has become. Its existence will raise concerns of a possible conflict of interest since at the time the deal was being put together Mr Blair was Middle East envoy.

His main job in that role was to improve the economic plight of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, which included attracting international investment from the likes of the Gulf states.

It will also infuriate the families of soldiers killed in Iraq who have accused Mr Blair of making a fortune from contacts made during a decade in Downing Street.

Following the publication of the Chilcot report, which was deeply critical of the ex-Labour leader, the families are hoping to sue Mr Blair for abuse of power in taking Britain to war in Iraq.

The financial proposal put together by Mr Blair’s team in London was submitted in a four-page document entitled “Strategic Partnership between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates and Tony Blair Associates”.

It was dated September 8 2014 and followed a 24-page proposal submitted to the UAE five days earlier. The proposal suggests a total fee in the first year of $6,980,000 excluding tax and additional costs of support services and infrastructure.

A “furnished” office is also to be paid for by the UAE’s ministry of foreign affairs, including costs such as phone bills. For the professional fees of more than $6 million, TBA promises to put in place a full-time team in Abu Dhabi. It includes support from Mr Blair’s “senior staff” in London.

The fee also pays for “Mr Blair’s time”. The proposal adds: “Mr Blair will allocate dedicated days to be in Abu Dhabi and to work with you.”

It stipulates that “Mr Blair will visit Abu Dhabi at least once a month during year one”.

Tony Blair in Abu Dhabi in 2008
Tony Blair in Abu Dhabi in 2008

The expenses cover administration costs, travel costs for consultants to fly from London to Abu Dhabi and a contribution to Mr Blair’s travel costs.

In the letter of proposal that accompanied the financial demands, Mr Blair explains in a foreword that his consultancy “can help create networks of connection that capitalise” on the UAE’s strong leadership and financial clout.

“There is a big opportunity for it [the UAE] to build its brand and reputation, and to establish powerful networks of influence.”

Mr Blair boasts of an extensive network he has built up that operates “in around 25 different countries”.  He goes on to say that if his work with the Tony Blair Faith Foundation is included, “it would be over 50”, adding: “There is virtually nowhere in the world right now where we could not work or provide the necessary contacts either politically or commercially, should we want to.”

Since leaving Downing Street Mr Blair has made a fortune estimated at up to £70 million – although he insists he is worth no more than £10 million – through a series of connected companies based at his London headquarters in Grosvenor Square.

A month after leaving office, Mr Blair flew to the UAE for talks with senior officials and members of the royal family, in his then new and unpaid role as Middle East Quartet representative.

In July 2007, he met with Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE’s foreign minister and the brother of the Crown Prince. Sheikh Abdullah and Mr Blair are understood to be extremely close.

As previously disclosed by The Telegraph, the UAE’s foreign ministry already pays for teams of Mr Blair’s advisors in Mongolia, Serbia, Colombia and Vietnam.

It is thought that the money to fund those teams is additional to the $7 million a year TBA was asking for the 2014 partnership but is linked.

Mr Blair has insisted that his companies are offering good governance advice on the ground to emerging nations such as Vietnam and Colombia and that taking money from the UAE to do so is no different than if the funding was from the UK’s Foreign Office or Department for International Development.

“Any work related to specific investment opportunities and introductions will require separate mandates and contractual arrangements between the parties concerned,” states the proposal letter.

In other words, TBA can expect a further fee for investment deals between UAE and third parties, in which it is involved.

Mr Blair’s spokeswoman said: “That is old news and that proposal went no further… In any event fees would not go to Mr Blair but to invest in the business and pay for staff and costs. Mr Blair does all his work in the Middle East on a not for profit basis.”

 


 

27 June 2007

After a decade in office, Tony Blair steps out of Downing Street as prime minister for the last time. The same day, he announces that he will be the Quartet’s envoy to the Middle East, representing the UN, US, EU and Russia.

July 2007

UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan meeting Blair

Mr Blair flies to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for talks with senior officials and members of the royal family, his first official visit as Quartet Representative.

October 2007

Mr Blair sets up two companies: Windrush Ventures Limited and Windrush Ventures No.1 Limited. It is later understood that Windrush Ventures Limited pays money for Mr Blair’s Government Advisory Practice.

November 2007

A real estate firm hired Blair to speak at a ‘VIP banquet’

During a tour of China, Mr Blair is hired for £200,000 to give a speech to businessmen and government officials. He is criticised by local media for charging a huge sum of money yet apparently failing to say anything interesting.

2008

Blair and Paul Kagame, the Rwandan president

The Rwandan government becomes the first to be advised by Mr Blair’s new charity, the Africa Governance Initiative (AGI). Mr Blair also begins advising the government of Sierra Leone through AGI.

In January, it emerges that Mr Blair is earning around £2million a year from the Wall Street bank JP Morgan, providing “strategic advice and insight on global political issues”. The Swiss financial services company Zurich separately announces that it has signed up Mr Blair to advise on “developments and trends in the international political environment” in a deal thought to be worth £500,000 a year.

In August, he strikes a deal to advise South Korea’s UI Energy Corporation, which is said to have extensive oil interests in the US and in Iraq.

2009

Blair shakes hands with Gaddafi

In January, Mr Blair visits Muammar Gaddafi. It later emerges that Mr Blair had six private meetings with the Libyan dictator within three years of leaving Downing Street and on at least two occasions Mr Blair flew to Tripoli on a private jet paid for by the Libyan regime.

In May, Mr Blair sets up Firerush Ventures Limited and the following month Firerush Ventures No.1 Limited is incorporated. It is later understood that Firerush Ventures Limited administers the funding for Mr Blair and his team’s work advising companies and sovereign wealth funds.

Around July, TBA strikes a lucrative deal to advise Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund, Mubadala, which has a portfolio worth more than £44 billion. Mr Blair also begins advising Liberia’s president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf through his AGI charity.

November 2010

TBA secures a contract with PetroSaudi, an oil company founded by a senior member of the Saudi royal family, for a fee of £41,000 a month and a two per cent commission on any of the deals he helps broker.

November 2011

Blair and Nazarbayev Photo: AFP/GETTY

Mr Blair strikes a deal to advise Nursultan Nazarbayev, the autocratic president of Kazakhstan. The deal is thought to be worth millions of pounds.

Mr Blair later advises him on how to manage his image after the slaughter of unarmed civilians protesting against his regime.

December 2011

Alpha Conde shakes hands with Blair. Photo: AFP

Mr Blair begins advising Alpha Conde’s government in Guinea through his charity AGI, later offering advice on how to improve the government’s image following mass civil unrest, in which nine protesters died and hundreds were injured in clashes withgovernment.

August 2012

Banda presents a gift to Blair. Photo: AFP

AGI begins work in Malawi, advising President Joyce Banda’s government. Mr Blair’s team later pulled out of the country amid a corruption scandal, but the president’s office insisted the events were not linked.

Separately Mr Blair’s consultancy strikes a deal worth almost £4 million a year to advise the state government of São Paulo, the economic powerhouse behind Brazil’s rapidly growing economy. However the sum is disputed by Mr Blair and a key organisation in the deal said he had never started work because the money was never found to fund his team.

September 2012

Mr Blair is reportedly paid $1 million to broker deal to create world’s largest mining company, Glencore Xstrata, in which Qatar had a sizeable stake.

October 2012

Nguyen Tan Dung, Prime Minister of Vietnam, shaking hands with Blair.

On a trip to Vietnam, Mr Blair reportedly offers to advise the government on issues including reforming the country’s economy and attracting more foreign investment.

He later reaches an agreement for TBA to provide a team of consultants to work in the country, funded by UAE.

January 2013

Mr Blair strikes a deal at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to advise the Peruvian government on issues including public-private partnerships (PPPs).

TBA also begins advising Myanmar’s government, where his office says his work is pro-bono.

March 2013

Blair is greeted by a Mongolian official.

Mr Blair negotiates a contract to advise the Mongolian government just as the country strikes it rich from a vast copper and gold mine in the Gobi desert.

June 2013

TBA begins advising Edi Rama’s government in Albania. Mr Blair insists his firm is not paid by the Albanian government. Albania is also part of the World Bank-backed Global Network of Delivery Leaders, led by Mr Blair.

October 2013

Blair and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.

Two of Mr Blair’s most senior aides fly to Bogota, Colombia’s capital, to sign a deal under which his consultants would monitor the redistribution of billions of pounds earned by Colombia from mining deals.

TBA’s consultancy fees are paid for by the UAE, as part as the firm’s deal with the Gulf state.

September 2014

Mr Blair proposes a deal to advise the UAE, which one source claims could be worth £30 million.

His team discusses the proposed deal with the UAE’s foreign ministry, which is headed by the minister with whom he works in his role as Quartet Representative.

February 2015

Blair and Vucic shake hands.

It emerges that Mr Blair is advising Kenya’s president, Uhuru Kenyatta, through AGI. Kenyatta was indicted by the International Criminal Court for the deaths of hundreds of his countrymen in post-election violence in 2007, but later cleared.

The same month TBA confirms that has struck a deal to advise Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, with his work in the country believed to be funded by the UAE.

March 2015

An audio recording of senior Egyptian military officials suggests that the now- president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s rise to power was partly funded by the UAE.

Mr Blair reportedly agrees to advise the Egyptian government as part of a UAE-funded programme promising to deliver huge “business opportunities”.

27 May 2015

Mr Blair steps down as Quartet representative amid criticism that his diplomatic role had been compromised by his lucrative consultancy work and business deals with governments around the world.

 

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