World Bulletin / News Desk
A leaked letter has revealed that former British Prime Minister Tony Blair gave Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev PR tips for a speech defending the killing of unarmed protesters by police ahead of a visit to the University of Cambridge in July 2012,
In the letter obtained by the Daily Telegraph, it was confirmed that his firm Tony Blair Associates, which was founded in 2011, was employed by Kazakhstan’s government to help defend its human rights record.
Tony Blair Associates was in charge of helping Nazarbayev's administration clear its name over the death of at least 14 protesters and injury of 80 others in the town of Zhanaozen in December 2011 when police allegedly shot at protesting oil workers.
Several opposition figures were also arrested after what became known as the “Zhanoazen massacre.”
“The fact is you have made changes following it; but in any event these events, tragic though they were, should not obscure the enormous progress that Kazakhstan has made,” Tony Blair advised Nazarbayev in the letter.
“Dealing with it in the way I suggest, is the best way for the western media. It will also serve as a quote that can be used in the future setting out the basic case for Kazakhstan,” Blair wrote.
The Telegraph reported that Blair had also written two paragraphs for Nazarbayev to read in a speech, one of which read: “There are issues of democracy and human rights which it is essential to address.
“I understand and hear what our critics say. However, I would simply say this to them: by all means make your points and I assure you we’re listening.
“But give us credit for the huge change of a positive nature we have brought about in our country over these past 20 years... We are going to have to go step by step.”
After reading Blair's speech almost word for word, Nazarbayev then promised to carry out reforms in the former Soviet nation.
A spokesperson for Tony Blair said responded to the newspaper regarding the letter, saying “Tony Blair believes Kazakhstan is a strategically important country for the West and will continue to support it.
“The letter you refer to, was simply making these points, namely that the events of Zhanaozen were indeed tragic and they had to be confronted in any speech, not ignored.”Güncelleme Tarihi: 26 Ağustos 2014, 16:07