Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Blackwater founder Eric Prince denies support for Haftar


Prince did not see the accusations in the UN report (Sol Loeb / France Press)

The founder of the former “Blackwater” security company, Eric Prince, denied that he had any role in providing military support to the retired Major General, Khalifa Haftar, during 2019 in Libya, days after US media released leaks from a report of UN investigators that indicated Prince, who is close to former US President Donald Trump, violated the arms embargo imposed on Libya.
The confidential report obtained by the “New York Times” and “The Washington Post” earlier stated that Eric Prince brought in a force of foreign mercenaries and weapons in 2019 in support of Haftar, who launched a military aggression on the capital, Tripoli, to topple the Libyan “reconciliation” government backed by United nations. The operation, which cost $ 80 million, included plans to form a squad that would carry out assassinations, to track down and kill anti-Haftar Libyan military leaders, some of whom hold European nationalities.
In an interview with the “New York Times” on Sunday, Prince denied this entirely, saying, “Eric Prince has not violated any arms embargo, and he has no role in sending airplanes, drones or people to Libya.”
The spotlight came as a result of these allegations on Prince, a former member of the elite unit of the US Navy (Navy Sales) and brother of Betsy DeVos, Trump’s education minister, who headed the “Blackwater” company (now an academic) whose contractors were accused of killing unarmed Iraqi civilians in Baghdad in 2007. Trump pardoned four of those convicted in this case last year. The indictment exposes Prince to possible UN sanctions, including a travel ban.
The “New York Times” indicated that Prince, during the telephone interview, questioned the validity of the accusations contained in the UN report, and denied any links between him and Trump, saying that he had met the former US president once during a military celebration, and that he did not discuss with him about Libya or anything. Another politician.
In this regard, he added, “I was not an advisor to the president’s foreign policy,” in criticism of the media reports he presented in this capacity, “Stop calling me that. It is not true.”
In addition, the “New York Times” newspaper indicated that Prince and his lawyer had admitted that they had not seen what was stated in the UN report, or the specific accusations contained therein, nor had they provided any evidence to refute the report.

The newspaper said that Prince had sought military trade in Libya since 2013, especially through Haftar, and that in 2015 he provided the retired general with a private plane, owned by the “Frontier Services Group” in Hong Kong led by Prince, which Haftar used to travel to hold meetings in Egypt. And the region, according to the report.
The New York Times reported, quoting UN inspectors, that Prince made his offer to Haftar’s $ 80 million mercenary operation in Cairo, 10 days after the latter launched his aggression to control Tripoli, noting that the mercenary operation turned into a disaster after several months.
On the other hand, Prince stressed in the interview that this is impossible. “I never met General Haftar, I was not in Egypt in 2019, and I never spoke with the man,” he said.





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