Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater Global and a well-known supporter of Donald J. Trump, denied when he responded to the UN investigators’ allegations that he violated the international arms embargo Play any role in the $80 million mercenary operation in Libya in 2019. He insisted that the main conclusion of the UN investigation was completely wrong.
In an interview with The New York Times, he said: “Eric Prince has not violated any arms embargo and has nothing to do with sending airplanes, drones, weapons or personnel to Libya.”
The Times submitted a confidential report to the UN Security Council on Thursday, accusing his prince of participating in an unexplained mercenary operation in 201
Mr. Prince is a contractor of the Blackwater Company. His blackwater contractor was subject to international scrutiny after the massacre of 17 Iraqi civilians in 2007. In recent years, Mr. Prince has been an important supporter of Mr. Trump. His sister, Betsy DeVos, is Mr. Trump’s education secretary.
On the phone, Prince questioned the main claims in the UN report, attacked critics, and downplayed his ties with the former president. He said that he only met with Mr. Trump during the Veterans Day event and never discussed Libya or any other policy issues with Libya.
He added: “I am not the President’s foreign policy adviser.” Obviously referring to news media articles using the description. “So stop describing me like that. It’s not true.”
Mr. Prince and his lawyers admitted that they did not see the UN report, nor did they see many of the specific allegations listed in it, including dozens of pages of PowerPoint presentations, contracts, bank transfers, text messages and other evidence. Mr. Prince did not provide any conclusive evidence to refute these allegations.
The report quoted Gregg Smith, who worked with Prince from 2014 to 2016. He said that the mercenary actions described by investigators in Libya were related to Prince. There are many similarities in the projects in South Sudan in 2014.
Smith said: “This is the same person, the same plane.”
Mr. Prince’s widespread denial increased the stakes on this confidential report, which is currently under consideration in the Security Council and may be published next month. The report opened up the possibility that Mr. Prince may be punished for asset freezes and travel bans, although the United Nations rarely imposes such sanctions.
The main allegation of the report is that Prince promoted a $80 million mercenary plan to Libyan militia commander Hallifa Hifter at a meeting in Cairo in April 2019. Shift launched a full-scale military operation to capture Tripoli, the capital of Libya, a few days later.
Mr. Prince insisted that it was impossible. He said: “I have never met General Shift.” “Not in Egypt in 2019. He didn’t even speak to that man.”
According to the report, this meeting coincided with a sudden change in the Trump administration’s attitude towards Libya.
The White House said in a statement that, on the second day of the meeting described in the April 15 report, Mr. Trump called Schifft and publicly admitted that his “fighting terrorism and ensuring Libyan oil The important role of resources”. time.
Four days later, Mr. Trump’s public support for Schifft’s march in Tripoli surprised his aides, which is tantamount to a sharp reversal of the US policy towards Libya. Prior to this, the United States supported the government that Schifft was trying to overthrow.
Mr. Prince said that he just wanted to influence the president through newspaper articles. In 2017, he proposed in the Financial Times to set up a private border force to stop illegal immigration from Libya, and in the Wall Street Journal he suggested a private contractor to fight in Afghanistan. Mr. Prince said: “I hope he listened.” “I hope he listened to the advice I gave him in the article.”
Mr. Prince also stated that he had never discussed Libya with two other figures close to Trump: the former president’s son and adviser Jared Kushner, and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
The United Nations report on the mercenary operations related to Mr. Prince is only the most recent episode, highlighting the role of foreign troops in the chaotic war that spread after the expulsion of Libya’s long-time dictator, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. Spring of 2011.
The United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Russia, Egypt and other countries have taken a stand in this struggle, sending money, fighter jets and powerful weapons to try to influence the future of this oil-rich North African country.
Sivet controls most of the eastern part of Libya, and he may be the country’s most powerful commander. When he began to capture Tripoli with the support of Emirates and later Russian mercenaries, he faced severe international criticism in April 2019.
UN investigators said this was a secret deployment to Libya in June 2019 by a team of 20 British, Australian, South African and American mercenaries as part of a $80 million plan designed to help Mr. Shift then proceeded to capture Tripoli.
According to the report, mercenaries arrived with planes and warships smuggled from South Africa and Europe and proposed to set up a squad with a hit rate to find and assassinate Schifft’s main enemy commander.
However, when Jordan refused to sell U.S.-made Cobra gunships to mercenaries, the operation ran into obstacles. The subsequent dispute with Schifft forced the mercenaries to flee Libya by boat across the Mediterranean Sea, which turned into a disaster.
Mr. Prince said that he was in the mountains of Wyoming at the time and later went to Alaska and Canada with his son.
He said: “It is difficult to conduct mercenary operations from remote areas in the northern Yukon.”
The UN report stated that Mr. Prince transferred three of his planes to Libya for use in Mr. Schifft’s campaign.
Investigators said a paper clue took them from Bermuda, Bulgaria, and a company controlled by the American prince, which owned the plane to the battlefield in Libya.
Mr. Prince’s explanation of his company failed. Mr. Prince’s lawyer contradicted him. At the time, Mr. Prince said he was the owner of Bridgeport, a British investigative company, and UN investigators said it was to provide cover for Prince’s military career.
He said he didn’t know or care who ended up buying the plane that ended up in Libya.
He said he refused to cooperate with UN investigators. This is a group of six experts who specialize in illegal weapons and financial transfers because he believes they intend to smear him. He said: “There is no due process.” “This is a tough job.”
A Western official said that UN investigators have formally recommended sanctions on the Prince’s friends and former business partners because of his involvement in the mercenary plan.
Now, at least at the United Nations, Mr. Prince is facing a fight for his reputation, saying that he is a victim of the dark and secret image he himself has long established.
Prince said: “For those who like to weave conspiracy theories together, my name has become a decoy.” “If they add my name, it will always attract people’s attention. This is really impressive. nausea.”