tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg May 14, 2014 10:00pm-11:01pm EDT
around $172 billion. he abdicated in favor of his son. he has been seen as the key driver of the influence partially coming from the ownership of al jazeera. saudi arabia, united arab emirates protesting qatar's policies. i'm pleased to have hamad bin jassim al thani back at the table. welcome. you can correct any part of that introduction if you like. >> no thanks. i don't correct. >> let me begin with the fact that you were admired and a
powerful figure in qatar. all of this is sort of what has been said. then the emir abdicates. it was talked about for at least a year. what happened? >> it's very simple. it is exactly what happened. four years before the change happened, he was thinking seriously to give more power to his son when he was the crown prince to take over as soon as possible. he believed he needed to transfer the power when the crown prince is ready and at that time, the prince was capable and he did a good job during the last three or four
years when his father gave him a lot of responsibility, he proved that he is up to the job and he can do it right. this is why the change happened. it has not been done just like that. >> there's all kinds of speculation, as you know. >> conspiracy is the nature of the region. don't forget that we are not used to doing it that way and a civilized way. it is either done by debt, changing power by force. that is the nature of the region. what happens in qatar is power is moved to the sun. he is strong and healthy but he believes his son is capable and we believe so so he takes that position and we could see after almost one year that he's doing a good job.
>> come back to that in terms of what changes there may or may not be. it was not for health reasons. >> definitely not. >> it was not because of other conflicts. >> that is part of the talk in the region. it's just not true. yes, we have some differences, to be frank. between me and others and also differences with me. the emir father would like to have to listen to everybody and see the different opinion. we have been allowed to give our opinions freely to the emir before any decision. when there is two different opinions, they are not used to the region for different opinion but one opinion which is not helping, i believe. >> power.
you had a lot of it. it must be hard to give up power. >> let me tell you one thing. i am always frank. this sometimes bring me some difficulties. >> you promised this about a year ago. >> i promised you one year ago -- >> the first interview you gave would be here. >> i was thinking to take one year of rest, if you want to call that rest, from what happened. power is -- you become happy about power when you start having the power. but after a while, if you are wise enough, you have to move to give power were to step down from power or someone will let you step down from power before it is time.
no one can catch the peak but it is a better than trying to catch the down curve. i believe that nobody can give all his life in the same spirit, in the same capacity. for that, i feel now more happy by doing this. >> many people talk about how many billions you have. where does the money come from? >> people talk. sometimes they say that somebody has, i don't know how many billions when actually he does not have money. and someone is told they have little money but they have more. yes, i am not poor. i am rich. i am rich enough to live a very good life. you have to go back to my family and my father, how he got his wealth. my father was a merchant.
my father was a landlord. he did a lot of business during his time. i did a lot of business before i joined and after i joined the government because at certain times, it was legitimate. 10 years ago, i stopped any direct business with the companies. beside all the rumors that it was what happened. now i feel i can do better in my business because i can think enough. i can do things without inking that they would say i'm working with the government. the wealth which i have, like any qataris have, some of it might be legitimate in your standard. some you would say that there is a question.
it is legitimate and it is being done as a legitimate business. >> why are your neighbors so upset with you? with the government, the policies that came while you were prime minister. what is the conflict between the saudi's, the emirates, bahrain? they worry that the policies of qatar, the country, are large. they even say it is fighting above its weight. >> let me tell you in a very frank way. if you think your weight is 100 kilo, 200 kilo, 50 kilo, you have the right to think and to act according to what you think.
the weight of the country -- >> you would rather define yourself than have someone else define you. >> yes, we respect the big countries around us. they always look to have a good relation with their neighbors, especially with saudi arabia. this is a principal in the relation are in the policy of qatar. the problem is that we have to think that we should be more used to having different opinion in the region, to discuss it and try to reach a solution. that is not the habit in the region. what they say about the islamists, i will tell you one thing. we did not bring the islamists to egypt, to libya. if you go now to where you want to go, iraq, you know that 20
years ago, they were not having the same road. >> i don't mean to interrupt, but clearly you supported the muslim brotherhood. clearly the saudi government is supporting general cici. he is running for president and there is a very different approach to the future of egypt. >> let me go to this point. although i would like to explain it in a broadway, i know you want to get to the point that if we support them and the saudis support them, who will judge who is right? first of all, we did not bring the muslim brotherhood to power in egypt. they were elected by the egyptian people. qatar announced their help and aid to egypt.
we announced the backing of egypt before the islamists brotherhood came to power, way before. we stopped doing that before the islamist brotherhood came. they had been elected by their own people. we have no problem electing. some of our brothers don't like where they disagree -- that meet put it that way -- with the islamic brotherhood. it is their right to do that. some of them think that he is legitimate. what about if he comes to power, which he is going to come to power within a month or a two -- >> elections are in june. >> and six months later we have 2 million or 3 million in tahrir square and they say we need x or
y. and we say that this is legitimate. now we have changed the president again and we have to change the constitution again. we might have a case every one year if people do not like the president that they can change the constitution and change the president, change the parliament. this is what happened in egypt. i am not supporting the islamic brotherhood. i am not fond of them or the others. at least if i were to put it this way, we have to respect what the people choose. we are not a full democratic country in qatar. we are a monarchy. we accept to live together in this way. but after 20 years, a new idea
will come to develop this relation between the monarchy and the people. we are doing this since 40 years. much happened in our region or qatar in the monarchy within the next constitution, of parliament, many kinds of elections which people have not experienced that before in 20-25 years. but in egypt, if the people choose somebody and we support him and later they say, why do you support this guy? we not choose him. he was chosen by his own people. what happens to the general? >> it happened to mubarak. >> it might happen again. they could face within a year
somebody saying, we don't want you. shall we believe that it is legitimate and he has been elected? yes, let me say he had been elected legitimately. let me say the constitution is fair. there is a chaos in the region how to deal with the new era. >> it started the arab spring. >> it has changed completely. in some places, is going to chaos. in libya, we are being partnered with you and with the west because he was taking his people. we were not alone and we were not supporting the islamist
brotherhood and libya. we were supporting the people of libya at that time. with your people side-by-side, with the europeans side-by-side. now there is a mistake happening and they want to blame qatar for another agenda. i believe we should not have criticism among us more than to have a discussion about the situation with some evidence because right now, everybody is talking but there is no evidence for me to see. >> why are they upset? >> i don't know, but let me put it this way. i believe to be upset or not, that's not the problem. the problem, are you willing to sit at this critical time in the region to try and solve the problem and try to solve any fear you or i have? i believe we have a lot of
changes in our region. now you are in talks with iran which i support personnel a lot and it will change a lot in the region. we need to think now how to work together, how to defend ourselves together. politically, economically to defend ourselves and that's a problem we have. >> you mentioned the saudi's. let's assume they will have the same position with most of this as well with bahrain but not necessarily every issue. take iran. it is said that the political dynamic in the region is saudis, who are sunni, and iran, shia, that it is a competition between the two of them in the
saudis believe you are too close and too supportive of the iranians. >> let me tell you one thing. i said this in the beginning and i want to repeat it. if we want to choose, we have more closeness with arabia. for us, the stability of saudi arabia is very important. we would like to see saudi arabia strong because that would help all legitimacy. i always tell them that they are the main bone in our body. it's true. >> you say that because? >> let me put it this way. always we believe that we have to have a good relation with iran. it's no use to have a bad relation with iran. we have 30-40 years of war and our region that is more than enough. if we look at the development in
our region, it's back. it's a rich region that we have a lot of people who are jobless. we are almost -- almost -- reliant on our oil and gas in the region. is this healthy after 50 or 60 years of oil? we think we should have a plan. you have plans now to take the shell and oil gas. >> to become energy independent. >> and we should have plans to avoid the problem when you and the others are looking to be independent from us. what is our plan? >> what is it? >> that is something we have to ask. we cannot do it in qatar alone. all should have plans that within 10, 20 years, they should know that they could live without oil and gas. >> it is said all the reasons
for the investment significantly in european and american companies is because you want to have income outside of energy. >> that is true. >> if we can do it together, if our economies are more joined in the gcc. if we have more unity -- and this is king abdullah by the way. he mentioned that he would like to see the government more close. and we support this idea and i believe it is a good, genuine idea. but it has to be done in a way where the people in the industry could feel that there would be a difference when it happens. >> does the new emir represent anything different in foreign policy than his father or you? he announced early on in his inaugural speech that he wanted
to turn inward. i assume that's economic of -- economic development, relations with other countries. >> let me put it this way. i believe he is concentrating inside and he does a lot of development. they are doing a lot of things which we could not be able to do, which we are happy for it. in the end, i am a qatari. if we're talking about foreign policy and whether it will be the same or different, i believe the principal does not change. if there are mistakes, he is the emir now and he is free to make that decision. he has 100% power. he can do as emir what is the benefit of qatar. >> there are those who say the
emir, his father still in control. >> that's not true. he is 100% in power and 100 or send do what he wants. if he wants to consult his father or any other guide, he is free and that is wise to consult others. >> do you believe that all that qatar reached too far in terms of its foreign-policy and its ambition to be a principal player, its ambition to have influence? >> let me tell you one thing. we have ambition to have the name of qatar where everyone can see it. this is our right. you have the right to defend your country and i have a right to make my country look the most important. but we know our size. we know our capability. the problem at the time, there
are big arab countries which did not play their role enough. when we play the role, the people think that we are taking over. >> whose role are you talking about? >> let me mention egypt. they think that we take their role and that's not true. we know the size and capability of egypt. but tell me. egypt, what they did in terms of policy -- i'm not talking about the new guys because it is still in term of oil. i hope after the election we can see better policy, better results. i truly think a stable egypt is important for the middle east. i believe at the time, we had no alternative.
we have our opinion. we could see the opinion of most of the arabs about many policies being done for no reason. in the end, we find ourselves that taking a rule that we don't want to take, without about the principle. >> it is said you harbor in doha some people who are the most radical in terms of islamist power and rhetoric. >> as i told you, there is a lot of talk about us in the region. if we have somebody, it's publicly known. we do not have secret guys living in qatar that they are dangerous, not allowed to live, or let me put it this way, they
are a threat to any other country. >> some of them are enemies of the united states. >> i don't believe that. i believe that yes, they have different opinions. they don't agree with all of your policy here. you can accuse your president and you can accuse everybody and no one can ask you why you did that. they are trying to say what they need to say about what happens especially in our region. they think the united states is more effective than they can do better. for example, look what happened in syria. >> what is going on in syria? >> today or yesterday, brahimi
resigned. i admire the guy and you should have resigned one year ago. because i know that the regime in syria is going to play with everybody and they will not give power. we know that six or eight months after the revolution there was a solution to build a new syria. >> when was there an opportunity to do that? >> six or eight months after. >> why did it not happen? >> you put red lines and we saw syria across it you put the red line and they cross it. you told them to not use the warplanes. they use the helicopters. they defy their people. we cannot get the right help from the united states. >> in other words, you are the reason there has been a change in the near-term prospect in syria is because the united
states did not step forward. >> did not step forward and there were many promises. >> it allowed them to cross the red line. >> if we are talking about radicals in syria, yes. >> you are supporting the known radicals. >> that's not true. >> some of them are very, very extreme. >> i don't know anything. i know what i know. you know i always say what i know. if i don't want to say it, i will not. let me tell you that we work side-by-side with your governments and syria from day one. we did not support any radical. maybe one or two dumb mistakes happened without knowing, like what had happened in libya.
you are a big country and you can defend yourself. al qaeda and the radicals, all nationalities now came to syria because of what? >> you tell me. >> we relate to help the syrians. >> the free syrian army, if you supported them from the beginning they would have overthrown assad and it would be history now? >> that's what i believe. >> because the u.s. allow them to cross the red line and did not provide support, you are saying there was a flood of radical islamists and they were ready to pounce. >> unfortunately that's the case. >> you bear no responsibility to that. it is only the united states. >> you are the major country in the world. you and our allies in europe. you allowed this to happen
because you allowed -- not allowed but you did not act when you needed to act. little acts from your side, security council, blocked. we cannot to do anything. many times, the united states acted without the security council. when i say they act, we don't need an army. there was a big power there. it was just to help with a few things, the syrian free army. >> do you think the russians would have let that happen? >> they take permission from you. >> they would not have looked for permission from us. do you think it was a mistake to make a deal with russia to eliminate the chemical weapons and that the united states, once they crossed the red line, many people wanted them to do it and
they had been threatened. asking for power to do that, that would have changed what? >> it would not allow the radical to come to syria in this amount. maybe there were little, but there are more now. where is iraq now? part of it, we have to blame our friends in the united states, our allies in the united states. you need to consult with the region more. sometimes you consult earlier or later, but the decision is different. you have to make your own decision but you also have -- >> saudi arabia? >> saudi arabia, qatar, all of those in the region.
i think they should be consulted more. >> is there an arrogance? >> it is not arrogance. we need more understanding and both sides should be more reasonable in their demands. both sides, not only the united states but also the gcc. you cannot in the united states act in our behalf every time. you cannot defend us in the united states every time. we all need to do something and i think this is part of your anxiety here. >> you can shut this down, the idea. there's an idea that qatar is ready to support extreme islamists. your argument seems to be it is not true and we would not do that because we fear them trying to come and overthrow the royal family in qatar.
>> not only that. qatar is a country in the united nations and will respect any resolution from the united nations. we know that there are many radical groups and let me put it this way, they are not allowed to act in any political action through the united nations. also, there are some list from the united states which we are respecting and we believe that if something happened to you, it would be a negative for us. we believe we are in a partnership but it has to be a respectable partnership. it has to be the long-view partnership. it has to be that we don't use you and you don't use us. we have to work together. first of all, we need to put the priority for our people in the region. like you put the priority for
the americans. >> you expect a nation to act in its own interest and that's one of the principles of state governance. you must know this that there is a great concern in the united states government at the state department and at the cia, and the white house about how qatar is expressing its power in terms of who it supports. there is some concern about that. they had to express that to you, the prime minister. >> i cannot talk about whether someone told me something or not but what i can tell you right now -- let me put it like this. our relationship with the united states, it is a good relationship. we consult each other with integrity, not and are faring,
and equality. we know the size of the united states but i believe qatar is wise enough not to do something that would harm the united states. i'm sure that in many cases during our time, we informed the united states about important things or important information. let me put it this way, it is not in our favor to see anything -- this is my own position. it is not in our best to see you with a problem. >> and having a base in qatar works out fine for everybody? >> it was done at a time where there is respect and an agreement and it ruled your presence in qatar. i believe that the qatari people are happy.
i cannot say all the qatari people. but i can say a big majority of the qataris have no problem with this. >> the world cup in 2022 is in qatar. tell me why that is important and whether you will be paired for that. all of these questions about this being beyond her spots ability now about foreign workers and all of these issues that have brought the world cup to qatar. >> these events should happen everywhere. in africa, and asia, america, europe. i believe that there is maybe some mistakes, but i can tell you during our time and now, especially, the government is working hard to do what is needed to be done, what is
necessary to have a good standard. let me tell you -- if they say that the salary is laid, that's not true. i know from three or four years, there is a law if someone does not pay. the worker would be in jail. >> you would put him in jail? >> that was the law. there was no excuse in this. usually, the company's pay. the safety is being improved a lot and it is as good as it is everywhere. if you are talking about where they live, the labor, the standard is picking up and yes, there are some mistakes that happen but it is not being done deliberately, these mistakes. it was like that. but now, qatar has the 2022 and because, let me tell you one
thing. a lot of people -- let me put it this way. i don't want to say jealousy, but there is a focus in this focus -- i don't know. i'm not in government. i don't know if it is being talked about politically or if it is a case by itself. i think there is something politically. if you make a scan in the region and you can see the laborers. i think qatar would be maybe the best standard of living at the moment. why the focus in qatar, that's a big question. >> you worry about natural gas and you've made a big change in gas prices. you're making these investments to give you a revenue base
beyond natural gas. is there a race there between how fast you can make investments and how fast prices decline and competition rises? >> i wish we would know when the prices decline because there are many instruments to avoid that if we know. i believe it is not a race but a challenge and i know his is taking this challenge to try to have qatar be independent from the oil and gas as the father was, to also have this policy. >> how one would it take? >> that's the challenge. it depends with the oil price will do for the next 10 years. if it is in this range, i think it could be 10 or 15 years. if the prices drop, it could be longer. but i know that from what i read
in the newspaper and what i see that the emir is keen to do that. >> are you close with him? >> we are from the same family. >> are you cousins? >> yes. >> what is it about him that says to you that he's the right person other than the fact that his father selected him? >> first of all, he's a serious guy. he's clever. >> not a playboy, you mean. >> not a playboy. he had been trained by his father. he had been given the last four years a lot of missions which he did extremely well. i believe as a citizen it's a good choice. of course, when you talk about
his leader in our region, you have to say everything is good and right. it's not like here. but i mean what i say. i think qatar with the leadership to sheikh tamim is a shift. for 18 or 19 years, when he took qatar, with hard work -- >> what is the mission? >> to make sure that qatar is a wealthy, happy wealth, culture. >> culture, he did a lot for culture. >> sheikh tamim is doing the same with big momentum. he's young. he's going to, i'm sure, put qatar in another higher state.
>> his father will still play a role. he will not disappear. >> he has a lot of respect in qatar, his father. all the responsibility is shifted to him and that's true. also, let me tell you, his father if he has any role, it is because sheikh tamim wants him to. if he does not want him to have a role, he is free to do that. >> he has that kind of power. saudi arabia. king abdullah is, what, 90 something? >> i don't know exactly. >> the revolution that took place in the middle east in tunisia, libya, egypt, some
think it has gone from the spring to the winter, it has said, in some places. how secure are the monarchies in the middle east? >> i will tell you one thing. a monarchy is not 100% secure. i always say that i have my one theory. every king, every emir, every ruler, they know the pulse of the seat more than the ex-president anywhere else because he cared about his family. he cared about his monarchy. he wanted his son to stay in power and he wants his generation to stay in power. they are trying to communicate with the people more. are they doing everything right? no. are they doing everything excellent? no. can they do better? yes.
if you compare what happened in countries like the gcc monarchies, where they have the wealth, if you compare it with other countries in the middle east with oil, agriculture, water, civilization, population. you see where they are and where we are, you will see that we did it wisely. i cannot say that all of the money has been spent wisely. i cannot say that there are no mistakes, but i think we have been more successful than i want to compare oil with oil countries. i don't want to compare a country with a poor arab country where they have no oil. >> but on the other hand there's israel and they have sort of let the technology revolution in the middle east. >> they have technology and democracy. >> they have the united states, that is true. ♪
>> i met him once before when he was in charge of nuclear things. i think he is looking to change policy. if it is all in his hands, part in his hands and other hands and other hands in iran, that's another question. i believe that he is a moderate. there is a decision that this is the new way in iran to be taken. >> meaning that if he is a moderate, the supreme leader has approved that's the direction to go. >> exactly. if he does not approve that direction, he will have a lot of difficulties to do what he should do. >> do you think the supreme leader is giving him a chance? >> maybe. also, anyone elected has to be accepted by the leader.
that is their system. that is the system that they have started. i am very happy to see that between iran and the west that there is an understanding to solve the problem peacefully. >> are you hopeful? their meeting in vienna next week. >> i have to be helpful. -- to be hhopeful. the other solution is devastating. i believe that our region cannot take any more tension. some of them are in our region and they should not do so. i believe it iran is a neighbor and they should be part of our operation in the region. i do not mean in the gcc. we have to have a good, serious cooperation economically, politically with iran.
we hope the problem between iran and the west, america, will be solved. in the long-term it will be in our favor. it might not be in our favor for a while, but we should look to the long vision. >> it would be a disaster if they had a nuclear weapon not only because of what they might do but everyone else would immediately have their own program and proliferation -- >> it would explode in our region. >> do you support hamas? well, your government. >> i cannot talk on behalf of the government. let me put it this way. hamas is part of -- >> do you see hamas and qatar coming together that might change?
>> and hope they work together and that's the only way for them, to work together. no one expected when they would get elected. >> in gaza. >> elected as the government of palestine. if we need a moderate islam we , should not push them to the war. we need to fight the people, the islamic, anti-christian, jews, attention they want to do , something to harm the others or do things by force. if there are moderate people, they should have their chance. if they are a democratic country, why do you avoid an election, for example. >> define for me the threat
today to peace, a radical extreme islamists as you see it. >> radicals want no peace. they want to do it a different way. all the radicals and al qaeda, they are happy when there is a problem and they go and they try to make problems from problems and escalated because they live in that kind of environment. this is in our hand. if we need peace, there is a price for the peace. i cannot understand when we hear that the price should be paid by both sides. i think palestinians already paid the price. now the israeli needs to pay or give what they promised whether it is from united nations or the security council, a resolution has not been done. >> john kerry has tried hard.
>> i know that he works hard at this, but it needs more than that. >> my point is not so much in israel. my point is whether it is africa , and you look at what bush boko haram is doing -- >> that is not moderate. >> exactly. radical, extreme islamists. how big of a threat is radical islam? how is it growing? what is it feeding off of? >> defeating, first of all, the lack of good education, lack of democracy. also, the palestinian-israeli issue is a big reason for everyone to believe there is one way to do things with the west and there is no other way. i believe also that they want power in the end.
they need to gain power. i do not believe there working for islam purely for islam. there are people working for islam truly and i respect them, but not these people who use guns and bombs, kill women and children. >> it is about power, not religion, power, not a law. >> i am a muslim and i am proud to be muslim. there are many moderate muslims. unfortunately, we are fighting for no reason. >> are you hopeful? >> i'm a little bit cautious to say hopeful. i believe our region will have 5 to 10 years -- five, i would be very helpful. 10 years is a lot of turmoil, a lot of up and downs, upside down.
i hope that this will end and we will have a normal -- not a normal life but a normal country where they respect and they can take care of other people and they can use their wealth to help the people directly and to create jobs, create more kinds of civilized -- >> and democracy. >> and democracy, yes. i know what you're thinking, charlie. [laughter] it does not mean my say democracy that we do not want to see qatar as a democracy. it is going in that direction. the constitution is a big move. and there will be an election for parliament. all of the other acts being done are in that direction.
i believe the people -- truly, if you make a vote and qatar now, they do not want the parliament. they are happy like this. >> how many people are there in qatar? >> less than 300,000. they are happy and they believe in their leaders or they believe he will do his best for the country. he will do mistakes. all of us do mistakes. but they believe in their leader and i hope it stays like this. i believe that people would like to stay like this. they saw about examples. >> thank you for coming. >> my pleasure. >> i look forward to doing this again. thank you for joining us. see you next time. ♪
>> live from pier 3 in san francisco, welcome to "bloomberg west," where we cover innovation, technology, and the future of business. i am emily chang. google makes glass available to everyone, at least everyone with $1500 to spare. with glass on the market and the self driving car hitting the road in urban areas, and the robot acquisitions, is google becoming a hardware company? and a stretch of coastline that lands a venture capitalist in court on whether he is illegally e
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