tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg January 24, 2014 10:00pm-11:01pm EST
>> vitaly churkin is here. he is russia's ambassador to the united nations. the country is also a key player in nuclear negotiations with iran. president vladimir putin -- russia prepares to host the winter olympics in sochi next month. president obama has offered full security assistance. i'm pleased to have vitaly churkin back at this table. >> thank you. good to be back. let's go back to a conference. there seems to be a dispute among some people over the object to of the conference and certainly what it means for
bashar al-assad. >> the conference is to end the crisis in syria, the killing. we negotiated the so-called -- geneva communiqué. now it is regarded as the basis of the negotiations. it is a complex document. the maindea the document is that the two parties should get together and discuss a transition to a future syria where everyone would be comfortable to live under all groups in the country. this is where we are coming from. this particular matter of the future of president assad is certainly complex and delicate. it is a thorny issue. the government is adamant that he should go -- the position is that he should go.
>> the u.n. >> talks have started today in geneva to try to find common ground on some issues first. maybe those of the humanitarian issues or exchange of prisoners or access to certain areas where humanitarian assistance has not come for a while. after they find common ground on those issues, they will keep disk issue -- keep discussing other issues. then hopefully they will have a clearer understanding of where things can go. >> here is what secretary kerry said. "we sealed one option transitioning a government born right consent. that means assad will not be part of that government?
>> the first part of the statement is absolutely accurate. the rest of it is not something that was directly addressed by the geneva community. in order to have a chance to move things forward, we believe we need to tackle matters first where agreement can be reached. >> president assad said the purpose should be to discuss ways to fight terrorism and that it is totally unrealistic to share power with the exiled opposition. >> both of the government and opposition groups made some pretty tough opening shots going into the conference. one position was saying to make
sure that assad will go. the government responded, including president assad, with strong statements to the country. this is something i suppose could have been anticipated. now that challenge is to try to make sure that they will find things to talk about and agree upon. >> there is also the introduction of these photographs of torture and killing. supposedly taken by someone who documented it. there is some official organization that says they have verified this. does your government have a position on this? >> we have no idea. we heard the news. it was rather strange that the announcement was made in a rather precipitous way on the eve of the conference.
obviously there was a political agenda behind it and trying to create a certain atmosphere for the conference. maybe even derail the conference. fortunately, that has not happened. there has been a lot of manipulation of public information here and a lot of propaganda and misinformation. this matter should be seriously investigated. >> these are serious allegations of torture and death. >> absolutely. >> awful photographs. >> awful photographs. >> if they are true and crimes committed by the syrian government, what is the conclusion? >> we are all on the security council, all the countries participating in this effort, we all believe that there should be no impunity. the geneva and the community does accept when parties enter into the political segment of the crisis that there must be effort to punish all those who might have been involved in the committing of various crimes in the course of the conflict.
it is clear from both sides, horrific things have happened. terrorist groups operate against syria. they have been particularly notorious and meeting mass executions and murders. all of those things need to be investigated. that is for sure. >> they are unacceptable. >> absolutely. >> find the facts. >> absolutely. no impunity. there was a mission put together by the secretary-general of the united nations. there was a discussion of the final report of this mission. we believe it would prove quite conclusively beyond reasonable doubt that there are opposition groups. two major -- >> they believe that the syrian government --
>> they did argue against arguments represented. >> you are not saying that the u.s. government does not believe the syrian did it, are you? >> you may have read the famous articles investigating this whole thing. i do not know what the u.s. government believes or not. >> what do they say to you? >> they say it was the syrian government, but do not give any proof. >> i would assume they believe it. >> it is a complicated world. lately those people who claim initially that it was the syrian government, obviously and quite visibly have a conviction and that. if proved beyond reasonable doubt that the syrian could have done it --
gas, it is very volatile. you have to prepare it a few days before you use it. it was a six-page statement made. you can read it. it proves quite conclusively that they could not have done it. they demanded an investigation. we prevented an investigation from taking place. so, you know, when you look at this tragic story, if you believe it was the syrian government who did it, there are many contradictions. if you come to the conclusion that it was the opposition, then everything becomes obvious and
clear what actually happened. red lines. they wanted the red lines to be crossed. >> russia said they could make a deal. you can get those chemical weapons somehow out of syria. where are we on that? has the syrian government done everything it can to meet the timetable and done all it can to get the chemical weapons out of syria? >> i think everyone, including this joint mission that are conducting the program, they're generally satisfied with the cooperation of the syrian government. the syrian government put the operation in place. the american vessel is on the way to its location that it has not reached a.
i think moves -- they are supposed to be destroyed by mid-2014. july 1 of this year. >> let me go back to the pictures. you are firm about it. if it turns out the awful crimes that the photographs represent were committed i the syrian government, would that affect your support of the assad government? we you would not support it if you found that that government committed those crimes? >> no impunity to those who commit crimes. >> no, no. interesting you say that. it depends on what part of the opposition.
they have so many aces. your government is very upset about this part of the opposition as well. right? some are much more jihadists. >> terrorist organizations, we are concerned about them. they should not have been invited to the geneva conference. they were. now who is in geneva? we are engaging the opposition. we are trying to engage them in the course of the conflict to bring the two parties together. >> you are the russian ambassador to the united nations. your secretary-general said you are inviting iranians. they took back the invitation.
what happened? >> the secretary-general was misled by some people and they were not necessarily -- he was not very happy with the iranians. they were not really people who may have misled him. those who are putting pressure on the secretary general -- >> is it the u.s.? >> i think this is behind us. it is not such a big deal frankly. things happen. i would not exaggerate the importance of this episode. what is important -- it was a cleverly written statement. it said the secretary general does not expect iran to participate in the one-day montréal event. it means that the secretary general kept open the door for
iran's participation in the process. >> did he had to meet certain expectations? >> it was completely artificial. referring to that geneva -- , if you accept the invitation, you accept the conditions that are there. >> when they asked if they accepted conditions, they refuse to say so. >> wait -- >> they said no. >> they did not say no. >> all other participants, some of them had interpreted that geneva communiqué. they were not required to swear a blood.
but requirement is only made exclusively of iranians. >> secretary kerry suggested they had troops on the ground and in syria. >> united states was very reluctant about iran. i have reason to believe that the united states understands the iranians need to participate in this. it is encouraging in interview that was shown yesterday on american television the foreign minister of iran indicated that the iranians are prepared to dissipate in this political process. i think everyone is interested in having. >> they have a vested interest and strong support of president assad. i want to come to the nuclear negotiations. the finance minister of france said -- >> foreign minister. >> i'm sorry. he said if this conference
fails, it will accentuate a crisis. >> of course. if the conference fails, the crisis will probably deepen further. >> they said it would be a real crisis. >> i think that there is a real crisis. of course, if the conference were to fail, we would have to start looking for some other approach. >> those people that i know or talk to, analysts but nonparticipants, believe it will not be successful. do you believe it will be successful? what will have to happen to declare it a success? >> there is a chance, a hope. the task is very daunting. we all agree it will take time.
it will require continued commitment from all those who can achieve it positively. we are encouraged that russia and the u.s. work closely. working with john kerry and talking almost every day on the phone. most of it on syria. we have hope that it can be a success. the obstacles are enormous. are some places where we do not want to have settlement of all. it is a way of working and trying to overcome obstacles. it is a good example that you alluded to briefly that is a deal on the nuclear program in iran. the u.s. and iran has had a history of animosity. progress was made on this agreement.
>> on that agreement, p5 + 1, those negotiations have produced this agreement. >> we contribute, all of us. the important thing is that this mechanism of six has been working well. they have produced joint positions and deal to bring common positions across. as a result, this agreement was concluded in november. >> we have had several interesting statements come out. president rouhani is in davas. he reiterated that they want to the peaceful use of nuclear energy. >> exactly.
>> other say it is not true that iran has agreed to his mental centrifuges. he said that they never agreed to that. you can tell me whether they agree to that are not. >> i watched this interview. i think it is being sensationalized. >> how is it being sensationalized? >> they're trying to discredit the view that is not actually used in the document. let's not engage in that. let us implement the agreement. this is what was said. >> how can you implement an agreement if you differ over the agreement you have reach?
>> on both sides, of course, they try to embellish their achievements. in the american officials have used terms that the iranians are not happy about. they're not happy because those terms are not used in their agreement. the agreement is completely clear. there was an expert discussion on how to implement the agreement which was successfully concluded. they start implementing that agreement on january 20. their arguments and discussions. who will do what is absolutely clear. they should move onto to the second stage of negotiations and to agree on a definitive solution. >> i what part will they begin to reduce the sanctions? >> they are ready reducing some unilateral sanctions. the thing to do is to implement the things of which have been agreed upon. >> everything would have talked
about is a difference in this -- for what the deal is. for the agreement -- photographs and what the deal says. >> this particular case with iran, there is a document in geneva. there is a technical document that was additionally negotiated specifying in step-by-step, and minute by minute, you know, centrifuges and what they need to do and how. >> tell me in your words -- are they required to dismantle centrifuges? >> let me put it this way, if the word "dismantle" is not used in the agreement, they are not required to dismantle. they are required to diffuse. everything is in the agreement. >> they would not have been enriched -- after this agreement was made?
>> i do not remember the exact terms. let me reiterate, everything is spelled out in credible detail. everything is clear. a roadmap is there. there is going to be a special commission between the six and iran. it does not something where you rely on the iranians and trust them. the whole thing will be observed. >> the olympics are going to take place in sochi. are you concerned about security? >> of course. >> are you open to the americans assisting?
>> i do not think "assisting" is the proper word. we have been cooperating. >> cooperation. >> i think the spokesman of the white house said yesterday or the day before that any major event requires serious effort to ensure that there are no terrorist attacks. the olympic games is a major event. >> my impression is -- i have been talking about this for a number of programs -- the concern has ratcheted up. of the security and the securities of the facility. we have some people who are suggesting that they intend to commit terrorist attacks. >> when there are major events, there are always people who
intend to commit terrorist attacks. and london olympics, they put up -- on the roofs in london. nothing should be left in chance. all measures are taken by russia, including cooperation with others who are interested in making sure that nothing goes wrong in sochi. >> one of the things they've point their finger at is [indiscernible] is he alive? >> there were reports he has been killed, but it has not been confirmed yet. >> important thing is that you take this seriously and you reassure those olympians that they will be secure and their families will come to these games will be secure and that the russian government will cooperate with everyone to make sure that happens. >> we are cooperating with everyone and taking all the efforts that can be taken.
>> ukraine -- there is conventional wisdom. russia did not want to see ukraine move forward the european union. therefore spent a ton of money to rescue its economy in order to prevent that. >> no. ukraine is very important to us. much more important. >> it used to be part of russia? >> it is part of our common history. over 1000 years of history. >> that is an interesting point. is it your wish and president putin's wish to restore the soviet union? >> it does not.
we are realists. we think economic integration is important. we think that ukraine will benefit if they were to work on integration with the russia. we believe and it is important to understand that the future anyway is common economic space between that union. under the current circumstances, we have been clear about that. it is the decision that ukraine needs to make on their own. the association agreement that was offered by the european union, consequences for the economy of ukraine. that could have a negative impact on the russian economy here. at the last moment, they realized what was offered was something that would bring about the collapse of the economy.
they change their mind. >> as you pointed out correctly, we give credit to the ukrainians. >> will they be able to pay it back? >> it is a big country. we believe they will. >> here we have russia and the united states. because of this relationship, secretary kerry being very active and labrov cooperating. does this signal a new era of cooperation? >> it might be. i hope it will develop into that. >> we will still have some different interests.
we still have things on where we have different attitudes. we do not have nearly the economic relations we need for the two large economies. there are plenty of things that need to be done. >> what would russia like to see from the united states? more trade? >> more trade and being more serious about taking a interest in each other. i think the europeans have understood that in their bid to drag ukraine into the association agreement was reckless. they were putting their finger on something that was extremely sensitive both for ukraine and russia. i do not see that from the u.s. i think that the u.s. is acting in a very provocative manner toward ukraine. like inciting violent acts. >> demonstrations in the streets?
>> not because of the u.s. government, but when the government has to take measures to prevent -- the u.s. says the riot police -- threatening sanctions on government officials. or completely disregarding the acts of those who are trying to destabilize the situation in ukraine. >> what is your government's position about gays in russia?
>> no discrimination. we do not discriminate. >> you have laws that are not enforced. >> we have a law. they ban gay propaganda among minors. >> why the associate those two things? >> those are things that we have seen in some countries. >> that is what president putin said. >> it is not about gay rights. there is no discrimination in russia. there is no discrimination of gays or any others. we believe human rights should be upheld. >> the conventional wisdom is otherwise.
as you know, the president has even spoken. president obama has spoken and said that is one of the reasons he appointed some people to lead as his representatives. >> the conventional wisdom in the u.s. is not always the conventional wisdom. it is often unconventional. >> you're saying president obama misunderstands what president putin leaves about gay rights? >> this is an issue that has been inflated. >> tell me. >> this is not true. >> there are no laws that are unenforced? >> there are laws. there are laws against propaganda of unorthodox sexual orientation among men.
there is one law that is on the books. there is such a law that was adopted last spring by parliament. this is not created in discrimination for anyone. >> how do you define propaganda? >> you know it when you see it. >> i know it when i see it, that is what he said. >> yes. >> russia is excited about their olympics? president putin has invested a lot in it. >> we have this expression. how much money was spent? >> my point is that you spent a
lot of money because the olympics are important to you. >> we spent a lot of money because we wanted to hold the olympic games. >> are you going? >> unfortunately not. >> thank you for coming. >> thank you. >> vitaly churkin is the russian ambassador to the united nations to the united nations. back in a moment. stay with us.
>> we focus tonight on the turkey prime minister. he is being accused of corruption. several members have resigned and the cabinet is being shuffled. some call it a coup. it is widely believed that some followers are involved. he a reclusive preacher residing in exile in pennsylvania. have joined forces as a series of trials one. many have accused the government of using the trial to curb the opposition.
joining is a former u.s. ambassador to turkey and iraq. in new york -- on the phone from istanbul, benjamin harvey. he is a bloomberg bureau chief on turkey. i'm pleased to have all of them here. ambassador tommy tommy what you think is happening at the moment in turkey and what it means -- ambassador, tell me what you think is happening at the moment and turkey and what it means. >> many of the institutions that have had a separate existence in a pluralistic system have been accommodated or otherwise shunted aside by the prime minister. it is probably a majority of the population behind him. he is doing his best to continue to expand his power that is normal in any democratic system
or other system. they are reacting against this or having people in the administration, particularly that judiciary and the police to unveil these corruption scandals that almost certainly are more or less correct. nonetheless, they're being exploited politically. >> you've often said that the revolution needs children. how does that fit into this context? >> we are in the late stages of an epic struggle. it has been going on for more than 10 years now beginning with the election of erdogan and 2002 in 2003. everyone represents a new guard and a new wave in turkish politics. he represents the lower middle class and the entrepreneurs. they have been struggling for now for more than a decade with the secular elite that has been entrenched in turkish society
for more than 80 years. it was put in power. that is an extraordinary struggle. erdogan gone after and prosecuted and marginalized a huge number. what is happening now is that the vanguard, the turkish vanguard led by erdogan, is starting to crack up itself. it is split into two wings. i think what is troubling to me is that turkey has been a stable place and democratic place for the last -- erdogan has brought economic growth it has not seen before. i think that is coming to an end.
>> has he changed because the power? >> i do not think erdogan has ever brought change to turkey. >> he is what he is. >> i think the things that made erdogan are the very things that are undoing him right now. >> which is? >> he is very mercurial. is very hot tempered. he plays soccer and he very much calls himself a black turk. as dexter pointed out, they were the people that came up from the heartland and the grassroots. they oppose the secular elites. they took that turkey for the turkish people. and who he calls a black turk. what he has done with this brandishment, he is willing to -- more importantly, economically that is the biggest risk in
turkey today. >> put together, benjamin, some sense of the trial that turkey has been having. what does all of that mean? >> the prosecutor has now been removed from the case that was part of a massive urge of the judiciary and the police. the numbers are in the thousands. officers have been removed from their posts. as far as the generals being put on trial, the government is in an uncomfortable situation. judiciary is independent and now that it is going after them, they're having to rethink things a bit. they are saying that the judiciary is corrupted. they need to do a massive purge and reform of the judiciary.
>> a look at these cases about year-and-a-half ago. i read while after file. what i discovered is that these prosecutions of that elite of the turkish military, newspaper editors, the owners of tv stations, evidence as far as i can see -- and i look at a lot of cases -- it is preposterous. what we are seeing is that it is coming back to bite him basically. the same prosecutors that were turned loose on the military and other institutions are now turning out in going after erdogan. >> what is the threat to erdogan?
>> he came to power with an alliance. the clerk that you mentioned that lives in pennsylvania. that is one of the largest unknown orders in the world. it is an islamic order. it is by and large that is restrained. and very secretive. >> they have 140 schools right here in the united states. >> it is an extremely powerful organization. it is very secretive. they have built an alliance with erdogan more than 10 years ago to come to power.
that is what we are witnessing right now. >> and they split over what? >> a couple of things. i think this is a classic fight over power. this is a knife fight. >> as you have heard, the underlying problem be it the military or the old elite, erdogan and his coalition, the judiciary and the police, all are tied to exploit their positions in society to establish control over the entire society in a system that is democratic. erdogan claims that the majority idea of who the people elect should call the shots applies to him.
thus, he's going after the police and the judicial figures who have uncovered this corruption scandal which almost certainly has a lot of evidence behind it. nonetheless, it is being politically utilized and exploded. erdogan needs to win this one if you want to become president of a politically more important -- powerful presidency. it requires him to win crucial municipal elections. this is a big agenda. he has lost an ally. he is in some trouble to expand his power. >> power rather than change has been the defining common denominator is your gone from decade to decade. >> absolutely. you're seeing that now. the power struggle that you are seeing now where erdogan is willing to risk the very thing that has kept him in power and garnered him even more power.
in 2002, erdogan won by a majority vote. in the last election in 2011, he won by 49.8%. fully 50% of the turkish population voted for another candidate. it is part of what they call -- and these are towns in the middle of the heartland that have come up and supported entrepreneurs and have really contributed to turkey's economic chain. it has an air force base there. there are is a lot of military presence there. it is very secular.
i was talking to people about who they would go for. i came across when gentlemen. he said, i'm going to vote for this candidate to win. it is not because i like him. it is because i do not like an unstable turkey. i remember turkey in the 1970s and the 1980s. we cannot go back to that. what we saw in his reaction and his reaction again when all of these corruption charges came up against him is that he is willing to unstablize the economy of turkey. he has allegations. people read into that. whether he is talking about -- that is unsettling to investors who have come into turkey pricey because they believe that erdogan has lost the stability.
>> there is also this relationship with the u.s. the president and the prime minister was said to have a good relationship. and yet now you're the prime minister blaming outside forces for some of the turmoil in turkey. >> that is exactly what is happening. outside forces blame the united states. it is a transactional relationship in his mind. nonetheless, america and turkey have a lot of common interest.
we had a falling out over syria. erdogan but we should've been more aggressive in going after the assad regime using military force over the chemical weapons issue and several other points. nonetheless, the u.s. and turkey share a lot of common interest in the region. it is important we keep this relationship as steady as we can. >> the ambassador might disagree with me on this. i think for that precisely that reason, erdogan got a pass from the u.s. on a lot of -- >> journalistic freedom. >> more than china or iran. >> where is business now and people who have benefited and promoted the idea of turkey as an emerging economy that one time had a healthy growth rate?
>> if you look at the markets, you can see the reaction has been pretty brutal. if you look at any major turkish aspect whether it is bonds are stock market, it has been one of the worst performing in the world. it has had an effect. it would be disproportionately affected by the tapering of the monetary stimulus and a country that runs one of the world's biggest deficits. because of that, when the u.s. talks about cutting down stimulus, turkey would be vulnerable. you have this political crisis on top of that. the market reaction has been brutal. >> talk to me if you will about this oil deal. >> it is a state-run lender. it was the bank that was authorized to do transaction with oil.
basically what happened is that there was an account and turkey would buy oil and gas from iran. because they were blocked off from the financial system, there was by physical gold and turkey and ship that fact into iran. one of the men at the center of this scandal, and iranian who is now in jail, the bank says it had no role in this. so far, no evidence to say that the bank itself is implicated. >> it is all coming to a head right now.
the corruption charges and allegations have been made in erdogan's government are pretty credible. i think there is a good chance it will lead back to erdogan's family. i think if the prosecutors follow those leads, it will be pretty nasty. >> i think in the longer-term, there are local elections in march. that will be the test for erdogan himself. there was a poll done a few weeks ago that show that his supporters dropped. the chp, the people's republic party, has gained in the polls. they are able to do take the key cities that the ambassador was talking about. that is going to be an indication on where erdogan stands.
he is really coming down hard now. he has introduced draconian internet laws. there was a report today that no one in the media to report on any of the corruption charges any longer. turkey is in for a roller coaster over the next couple of months. you will see what happens in march and the, nation will be in our guest when his presidency is up and turkey will for the first time you elect the president directly. >> i seems to be unraveling now. that could have an impact on elections. >> ambassador? >> first of all, my colleagues have hit the nail on the head. on the economy, it is important that erdogan and his people understand that their economic
success over the past decade is based upon integration into the international economy. and the ability to attract capital and innovate. that is based on the stability we have talked about and also the rule of law and predictability. that is being called into question. as we just heard, that can have an impact. the final thing to watch is if erdogan runs into a difficult patch with elections with corruption charges and economy, how will he react? to what degree will he try to seriously change that democratic constitutional system? that is the big question. >> thank you to all of my guests. >> thank you.
>> live from pier 3 in san francisco, welcome to the late edition of "bloomberg west" where we cover the global technologies and media companies reshaping our world. i'm emily chang. our focus is on innovation and the future of business. let's get straight to the rundown. facebook strikes back at a princeton study that says the social network will be largely abandoned by 2017. is there any proof to it? we discuss. it is not a matter of if but when paypal will be spun off from ebay.