tv Qatar Foreign Policy CSPAN December 1, 2017 3:49pm-4:56pm EST
beings. they have to recognize that they could be wrong. each one has to recognize -- even about my most cherished beliefs. i could be wrong. and if, in fact, one has that attitude and understanding -- not in a merely notional way but a deeply appropriated way, one will begin to develop a virtue that is indispensable for truth-seeking. >> among the books is "race motors" and "brother west." mr. george's books include "making men moral" and "conscious and its enemies". we'll take your calls, tweets and facebook questions. watch "in depth" with cornel west and robert george, live, sunday from noon to 3:00 p.m. eastern on book tv on c-span 2. . the deputy prime minister of
qatar recently spoke about the middle east and other foreign policy challenges, including the economic boycott against qatar, implemented by several countries in the region back in june. the center for the national interest hosted the event last week. welcome to the center for the national interest. we have a very special guest today. the minister of foreign affairs and vice prime minister of the state of qatar. his excellency -- a very young man. a very impressive career. and already was in his position for more than a year. and somewhat familiar with washington. i assume washington is becoming somewhat familiar to you. i have to say that however, a
little difficult to understand his region. things are constantly happened. in addition to qatar, there's a small state called saudi arabia and there's another small state called iran. they interact in a whole variety of places and there's russia and of course the united states. it's a very important and very complex region. and we count on you, mr. minister, to explain to us what is going on. i have just read your statement about recent saudi moves as far as lebanon is concerned and my impression was that you found some reasons for concern. welcome. >> thank you, sir. >> you can speak from here or here. whatever you prefer.
>> good morning, everybody. thank you for hosting me this morning. ladies and gentlemen, lately the world watch ts the news and sees images from my region. which are full of drama and discourse. it wasn't always that way. we were at a place of prosperity, thanks to shared to coexist. that time was lost. and dark period of close mindedness, totalitarianism and aggression set in. the middle east went from a center of connectivity and enlightenment to being a region of turbulence. during the edge of aggression, extremism has flourished.
government seeking domination, centralizing power and intimidating smaller countries. into submission. these dark ages are not happening in the distant past, they are happening right now. the illegal blockade launched against my country is just one more in the aggressive power play. the blockade was not really about those demands or you will ta mat items. rather about regimes threatening freedom, liberty and sovereignty. ladies and gentlemen, this threats are being played out in a dangerous game of power. against many in this cases in the region. yemen, somalia, libya, and now lebanon.
aggression gone wild. it seems this power are willing to use unbridled means of intimidation, silencing the centers, shutting down communication, manipulating financial markets, bullying smaller nations, black mailing, fracturing governments, trerizing citizens, strong arming the leaders of other nations and spreading propaganda and all the while, some journalists and think tanks sacrifice their journalistic favor for and why is qatar one of the countries and sights of the regime? we are a tiny nation. in the middle east. sandwiched between two powerful forces in the region. iran to the north.
and saudi arabia to the south. then there is the uae to the east. the largest trade partner with iran. but at the same time acts as an accomplice with saudi arabia. 20 years ago, qatar decided to make bold move. for independence. as our neighbors reverted to the dark ages of diplomacy and power, qatar decided to change course. the best way to seek peace, would be through international cooperation and sharing. we implemented policy changes that we thought would be resisted in our region. and we ended up being correct. the right to have independent foreign policy that might differ
from closed position of the neighbors has been hard to achieve for the past two decades. the punishment for independence has begun. the public reason given by the blockading states for the current crisis is and was a smoke screen. qatar is actually a global leader in the fight against terrorism. and the blockading stalts are well aware of the reality. the gulf crisis is and was blockade against my country in an attempt to chalk our efforts to resist the centralization of the power in the region. ladies and gentlemen, what started six months ago as a crisis of betrayal. today looks much worse. i visit the u.s. with a perspective as more crisis
unfold every day in my region. the blockading states have been trying to twist the truth. with a scheme to flood the media with lies. about my country. but now over the past six months the truth is surfacing. little did we know that behind the scenes the efforts of the blockading states are deeperment cyber attacks, market manipulation and the plots plots of economic -- [ inaudible ]. the disrespect of international law and the absence of enforcement mechanism made the region an experimental field for the power seekers adventures. regional players are acting irresponsibly. taking political gamble with the lives of other nations citizens. with no exit strategy.
not even wisdom prevails. aid for starving children is being used as leverage while otrosties of syria are being tolerated and in the same way that yemen is being put in a meaningless stalemate, now these powers makes their attempt in lebanon. the systemic behavior, a reckless pattern for seeking power. with a complete disregard for the suffering left in the wake. that suffering includes lost opportunities, in the war against terror. the blockading states who are among the power players are in the region. have systemic behavior which distracts the u.s. and global partners from our shared
antiterrorism efforts. the blockading states. hunger for power and their unpredictability. this power players are helping terrorism thrive. these are not blockading states run by institutions with checks and balances. but by individuals who seek power. through a range of techniques from cyberattacks to tribal incitement and i can share with you as a native of this turbulent region, those who seek power create crisis. the political maneuvering and aggressive counterpredictive measure damage regional security allowing vacuum for extremist to fill, the dark age of totalitarianism in the middle east is at our doorstep.
when share this with reckless leadership takes hold in the middle east. the aggression must end. so where do we go from here? i would be adding to the problem if i failed to offer constructive suggestions for the path forward. while we are a tiny nation, we have undergone enormous changes over the past 20 years. we are a work in progress, but i wanted to share some of the lessons we learned from qatar and within qatar. one, practice good governess. for a trust to be -- a social
contract must be accord. this can only be created through respect for dignity of each citizen giving them the floor and transparentness. leadership ship in the capital sews the seeds of prosperity. two, conduct with moderation. reforms should continuously happen. and each nation has the right to define its culture and decide what change is needed. deciding what to preserve, what to advance, and what to change takes thoughtful leadership. through force stalemate, create a ticking bomb. extreme reforms forced into populations creates a bitter backlash.
a -- of reform medication through moderation expires wise and lasting reforms. three, exhaust all diplomatic means. war on violence, create suffering. tragedy unfolds when needless suffering could have been avoided through peaceful means. we can find ways to live together peacefully and at the very last -- at the very least we must keep trying. in qatar we believe in these principles and have worked to achieve them. we see these values played out here in the united states and with our -- with our other international partners. and that is why we form alliances with them. in closing, i hope that power players in my region seeking
domination and control of other countries, those powerful nations instead seek to serve their neighbors. qatar wants more than just stability for the region. we want the middle east to flourish. qatar's vision for the middle east is to live a peaceful coexistence where the east and the west can come together and where qatar can serve as a hinge of peace in a more enlightened time. thank you very much. [ applause ] >> thank you very much, mr. minister, it was a very powerful presentation. but i would like to start with specific questions. i want you to broaden your statement regarding saudi position in lebanon. in particular remarkable saga of
lebanonese. you said some very interesting things, significant things about that. can you explain your view of what happened and what may be more broadly of what happened recently in saudi arabia? >> well, what we found in the case of lebanon, because first of all i cannot give you the two sides of the story because of the cutting off the communication between us and the saudis. but what i can tell you and what we hear from the lebanese and what we're watching and how we're assessing the steps being taken, first of all the resignation of a prime minister who was head of state of different country from different city and this way without any awareness from his leadership is
an in intervention of lebanon. not allowing him go back to his country, we hope that he will be allowed soon. it is also an intervention in the country, i fear. so what we see that this intervention is exactly the same method used against qatar trying to pressure the countries in order to get them into submission. and this is the risk we have in the region. that powerful countries are trying to take control of other nation's decision. we cannot have a system within the arab world that the power would be consolidated in one or two countries. this cannot be accepted in the
21st century. so that's why we see any other country in the region to fall into submission will present a growing risk for everybody not in the region but in the world. >> so the ultimatum to qatar, it's a very interesting document, very ambitious, and most observers suggest that they could not expect that you would comply. do you agree and if so, what do you think was the objective in presenting the you wiultimatum? what are they trying to get from your country? >> well, because of the cutting off communication i cannot talk to you on their behalf but we're still guessing what they want exactly. so mainly what we saw that there is any -- there is a desire for
full submission from qatar and to compromise the sovereignty of the country in favor of saudi, uae, the blockading states and listing those demands just a clear presentation for the attitude they are having there. and interfering in the country's affairs, imposing decisions on countries is not acceptable, as i just mentioned in the 21st century, but also it's really undermining the entire world order when we have big countries trying to impose such demands. if their expectation that to present those demands just not to be complied and not to be negotiated or not to be discussed, it means that they want to create this instability and maintain this instability in
the region because of other reasons which we don't know. but also let us look at it from a different angle where we see how countries are imposing demands on another independent country. this cannot happen. if they have concerns with another country, they have to come and discuss those concerns but not to impose demands or to ask for something from an independent nation. this is cannot happen and this need to stop. we need to change this understanding from countries who are in position to impose demands on other countries to opposition where there are -- if there are any concerns, those concerns need to be arbitrated or need to be discussed in a civilized manner. >> we'll now take a few questions. please identify yourself because even if i know you well, because
of the lights, i would not necessarily see you as well as i should. yes. you. okay. >> i'm rachel, a reporter with congressional quarterly. the house foreign affairs committee in congress last week approved a bill that would impose mandatory secondary sanctions on foreign governments and individuals determined to be financially support hamas. given your past comments about saudi arabia's efforts to suppress the sovereignty of qatar, do you see actions like this by the congress as attack on qatar's foreign policy and what is your current level of support for hamas? >> just first of all to set record straight, qatar has never supported hamas and would never support hamas. the support going to the people who are in need there and all
the support is following a transparent process and the results of the supports are realized by the people there -- in the west bank. so the reconstruction of the -- of the homes, of the people which was destructed because of the war, the reconstruction of the schools, the supplies for the hospitals there which being all done by -- carried out by other government is all realized there and the people are also welcoming any foreign guests to go there and see what kind of support and how these supports are helping and stabilizing the situation there. so this is just to clear the stereotype about support for hamas and the continuation of this narrative which is -- which has no basis at all. but what we are seeing here in
the bill regarding hams is one of the results of the propaganda because what is inspired there and the bill was referencing to other parts which were inspired by this -- by this same propaganda. what we see, we have no concern about our -- that this bill or any other action will affect our relation with the united states because we are dealing in full coordination and transparency with the -- with the government of the u.s. and they know very well what other steps qatar is following there and what are the steps and what is the contribution of qatar to the peace process there between israeli and the palestinians and how those aides are contributing to these efforts. >> thank you. yes, please. back row.
>> thank you your excellency. alex fisher. i have two questions for you. first of all, are you concerned that the turmoil in saudi arabia at the moment may lead to this situation with your country being extended for a greater period of time and secondly, are you concerned that the state department seems to be taking a fairly neutral view in trying to get a solution to this crisis whereas the president is tweeting a much more pro-saudi line? >> regarding the u.s. position in this -- the president, he wants to see an end for this. this has been expressed several times by him and the president, he delegated all the efforts to be carried out by the secretary
of state and we highly appreciate the role of united states in this. and they've been trying with the blockading states to come to the table and to discuss what are their concerns. and the blockading states kept refusing all the offers, including the offer of the president when he invited everybody to camp david for -- to meet together and to address the concerns between -- between the countries. so other accepted, all those attempts from the president, while the objection is coming from the blockading states. we cannot push them to come and engage in a dialogue. we see that this crisis is affecting the regional stability and we see the necessity for the engagement and we see the necessity to preserve the gcc as
an organization. but from the other hand, we see another party who disrespected and disregarded everything by the international community to bring them to the table and they are just trying to continue this crisis and trying to create another crisis now with what's happening with other countries. so in conclusion, our position, we are commented for to engage in dialogue. in the last six months we have 50 times qatari officers from different levels stated their readiness for -- to engage in a dialogue. from the other hand, you can count how many times they have mentioned that -- mentioned the dialogue or mentioned the kuwaiti mediation or mentioned the efforts of the restoration of the relationship.
so we see that there is the same attitude is continuing and we are carrying on. but we see the importance of the regional security so that's why we are still open for -- for this dialogue. and we when they are ready to come engage, they will find us at the table. >> yes, please. >> from the university of maryland and brookings. just two quick questions. one relate to the demands that are asked of you and you suggested that they're really just a -- it's not specific while they're specific they're indicative of an attitude suggesting that they're designed not to be met, suggesting that this is therefore indefinite. so how do you see this then playing itself out if there's nothing that qatar can do to satisfy them? how do you see that playing out? second you referred to the blockading state put
specifically talked about saudi arabia, you didn't mention egypt. and i'm wondering if you're sensing any nuance differences between the blockading states? what is the role of egypt? egypt obviously has taken a position on issues like yemen and lebanon that differed from its coalition partners in the gulf. is there a nuance difference on this issue as well? >> well, regarding the demands, i just mentioned to you that the concept of demands shouldn't be -- shouldn't be there in a place between -- between countries, between different independent nations. so the entire concept is not right and it's not proper to be addressed. for us, we mentioned that there is any shared concerns, it would be our concern as well and we can discuss it and we can engage in this.
and we have put this very clear in different statements as well. and if you are going to look at that time when they are talking -- they talked about 15 demands and then 60 principles and what they mentioned 60 principles others responded right away that those six principles are acceptable for everybody and qatar is willing to engage to discuss what area of concerns on those principles and to engage in a serious dialogue why those -- they see that those principles being violated of any of the countries, not qatar only but any of them. which has been the normal principles for the international law fighting terrorism, stopping interference in other countries, et cetera. so we remain committed to any civilized way to solve this
problem. for them, they -- they prefer the stalemate, they imposed the measures, they have collectively punished qatar as they think. we cannot change them. and for us, we -- we have been the country which was subject for this aggression. they need to obey to the international law and to retreat from all the legal measure and come to the table and discuss their concerns. that's the only thing we can provide. regarding egypt and the blockading states, for us, we see that those measures carried out by the four countries mainly came from the gcc and we see that also all the lines of communication we have that the leadership is with the two
countries in this blockade. regarding egypt, egypt they have their own issues with -- with qatar which was before this and those issues were their issue we have been very much open toward egypt since -- since the revolution when we supported egypt and then after the koo even we condemned the coo as the united states condemned the coo, egypt, other countries, they condemned. they consider this a condemnation by qatar. and they continued carrying on their policy based on this condemnation without any -- try to seek for solution. while, from our side, qatar remains consider egypt as an important country in the region, as a center of power in the arab region and the stability of egypt is important for all of
us. and we don't want to see any part of egypt is collapse and we continue our investments there. so it's in our interests to maintain egypt's security and stability. and we have nothing against them. if they have any issues and we don't know about them, they have to come to address it in the same way and to engage in a dialogue. other than that, also we cannot push them to come to engage with us. >> what about iran? another important countries and you know that the saudis are critical of your country's -- i shouldn't say ties, contacts with iran and offer a very serious explanation of what's going on? what's happening? >> sure. regarding iran, first of all, we need to understand that the
uniqueness of qatar position here. and as i just mentioned, that qatar is really between iran and saudi and both of them are rivalries. and for us, we are bordering with both of them and we are a small nation. we cannot -- we have to maintain the stability of our country, this is our priority for our people. so that's why we have to manage a better relationship, had is number one. number two, we are sharing with them our largest gas field with iran. and this also represent a main source of income for the country. and the fear, when it comes to the difference between our region and iran, we never took the position of iran against the region. and we have been -- we are confronting each other in syria, we've been confronting each other in iraq, we have been
still with all what's happening we had commented that yemen needs to comply with security council's resolution and that the government need to have the support. but we encourage the people of yemen to engage in international dialogue which will result in stability and put an end for this continuous war. so, in term policies we have this difference with iran and it remains there. regarding saudi accusation, was just part of their propaganda and lies. and this is the problem here. with the ambassador from iran as a solidarity with saudi arabia after the aggression against the embassy. and the ambassador just returned a couple of months ago when saudi, the only land border we have and ua and bahrain blockaded the skies and only land access. 90% of our food and medicine
supplies coming through this land border. so from where i can get access? if i had a bad relation with iran, then qatar will be under -- under siege and we cannot get neither food nor medicines for our people and we cannot bring any supplies for the country or export our -- our products which is main source of energy for the entire world. qatar represent 30% of the energy of japan, represent 25% of the energy of south korea, which are the united states allies which are important for everyone that to maintain the stability. qatar supplies united kingdom with more than 20% of their requirement of energy. around 10% of poland requirement of their energy. all those countries are relying on qatar. and qatar tried -- we tried our
best not to affect all of those supplies by those measures being imposed against us. and now we are accused that we have a strong relation with iran. we have no strong relation with iran. we have communication and we have more communication because of the crisis, thanks for the blockading countries for blockading the skies from -- blockading the skies from our plane. >> so since, like, the oppression is counterproductive in terms of -- you pose to iran, is that correct? >> this is what we see it's not only pressuring us as counterproductive. we see that most of the policies they have implemented is counterproductive. >> yes, please. >> i'm david palmer with npr. do you see the u.s. doing more
to resolve this price crisis? could it do more and do you feel that the u.s. has your back in this dispute and also what is the significance of the u.s. military presence in qatar for your sense of stability? how important do you see that as a guarantee for your country? >> regarding the u.s. role in this crisis, we see that united states and the administration here are putting a tremendous effort in to see an end for this crisis. unfortunately, it didn't go anywhere yet and this -- and the statements of the state secretary has been very clear in
his last visit in qatar it seems that there is one part of the crisis is not willing to solve the problem. so they cannot provide anything without both parties willingness. and our position in qatar, we have been expressing our willingness to everyone, including the u.s. and we appreciate the role all our allies are playing with us. and it's important for the u.s. and for our -- for our allies that this crisis see an end very soon. because, as i told you, it is affecting the regional security and also undermining the importance of the gcc as an organization and as a collective effort to fight any common threat among those countries. so it is very important that the u.s. and the rest of the
countries stay engaged to put a stop for this baseless crisis which started just with cyberattack and created all these consequences. there is one important point here also, which i would like to highlight, that also we need to look at are the danger of the cyberattack, how it can create such a big crisis. so this is very important. regarding the u.s. forces in qatar, we appreciate the good relationship we have together and the partnership we have together with the united states, but this base is not protect qatar, this base is to save the region. and for us our main protection is coming from our own people and our own army. the presence of the u.s. and
other allies there is -- should be in the calculation for anyone who wants to think about qatar, yes, maybe. but it won't be the guarantee against any aggression. we hosted the u.s. base after -- after the saudis asked them to leave. we've been the only country which received them. and we have now around between 11,000 to 12,000 u.s. troops are there. but nevertheless, we have much stronger relationship than only defense, defense, education, economic relationship which is -- it's developing very well and it's growing in the same -- in the same pace and wasn't affected by the current crisis. >> mr. minister, you mentioned that qatar needs to improve its own defense and to be responsible for its own security. in that connection correct that
russia deputy prime minister was recently in your country and if that this is the case you can tell us a little bit about this visit? >> defense minister? >> deputy prime minister is the man in charge of the russian military in the complex. >> we have -- we have -- the defense minister visited us, yeah. >> but the prime minister also was in your country vent. >> i maybe as a follow-up for the defense minister. >> maybe. >> what we have, we have signed with russia a technical cooperation agreement. so there is -- there is an agreement between qatar and russia to also work on some areas of -- of defense improvement together. but the main -- the mainstream supplies for qatar defense equipment is from united states and from france. >> but is there -- and you don't -- russia from to have more extended military
cooperation? >> well, it's still an area stage cooperation. >> thank you very much. >> yes, please, the lady in the silver, i think. >> i'm from bloomberg. i have a quick question you talked about the leadership and saudi arabia, do you have any sense of the leadership between these two princes, so the relationship, how, you know, directing policy, what's driving some offfff these moves that we seeing especially, you know, in terms of their communication relationship, your sense of that? >> i cannot talk about their relationship as individuals, but what i'm here in position to talk about is how they are accomplished together in
different causes. one of them mainly wishes affecting qatar the blockade that was imposed against us. and we see that they are continuing their escalation together in full synchronization. the same thing in yemen what's happening there we see a strong alignment together but does it -- does the means -- do the means which are -- they are following, they are serving the objective of the initial objective of the war? it's not anymore. so we see that there is -- they are working together and implementing those policies and we are happy when we see countries cooperating together to implement policies together from our region. but those policies need to be right. need to create stability and rather than destabilizing the region.
it's not about the partnership is it good or not good. partnership is always good. but is it good -- is it -- does it have a good result or not. what we see, there is no good results here. >> thank you. a former ambassador to iraq and also former director of international intelligence. >> good morning, mr. minister, thank you for speaking to us. i had two questions, the first you referred earlier to the middle east peace process, very briefly. i was just wondering how you assess the chances for peace at this particular moment between israel and the palestinians? and the other was, i was curious as to what your assessment is, what your government's assessment is of the current situation in iraq.
>> regarding the middle east peace process, we see that there is -- first of all, there is important step being achieved, which is the reconsolation. and we hope that it sustain in order to serve the main purpose, which is the peace process. and we see also a commitment from the u.s. leadership here from the president himself in order to have a deal between the palestinians and the israelis. and we are in favor of any peace process would take place which is based on the other peace initiative which already laid the ground for future relation between the israelis and the
arab nations if peace is in place. so we see that there is a growing chances for the peace because of the commitment of u.s. as taken the mediation, taking -- carrying on the mediation effort, but also from the palestinians whom they want to engage in peace and this is from our dialogue with them. but we don't see the latest steps being taken by the u.s. government about the pl office is going to be helpful because they need the line of communication open with the -- with the palestinian authority. and this office represents an instrument and tool for this communication. regarding iraq, we see that
situation and we are hopeful that the situation will be stabilized soon. what we have seen that iraq suffered now for the last 14 years. and now the fight against terrorism is coming to an end. and we see that there is a tremendous opportunity for development of iraq. and there is a tremendous opportunity to stabilize the country and to create a better life for the iraqi people there. what it needs, it needs a collaboration between different nations in order to invest in the reconstruction and helping iraq building their institutions and investing in their economy which everybody believes it's promising economy because of all those opportunities which are presented there. so we are maybe iraq is one of the places where we have been
optimistic in the region that it will flourish and we hope that it continue in the same pace and the development. but it's very important also and it's an important responsibility by the iraqi government to care -- to carryout national reconstellation effort and really integrate all the people from the different backgrounds together. uniting them for one national objective, which is iraq. other than that, they will continue the sectarianism and the marginalization, this will create a worse problem in the future. >> washington institute. you were saying that, you know, that qatar's support has been more for the people of gaza than for hamas.
can you understand why other people might have a different perception because it was based in doha, the leader of hamas during the 2014 war in particular was known with a very close relationship with the amir. can you see why people might see it differently than you do and can you say something a little bit about the gaza reconciliation and now what's going on with the p.a. coming back to gaza led by egypt? do you see this as a positive development? thank you. >> regarding our support to hamas as being a claim, there's no support to hamas and we have been very clear in this that our support goes to the people of ressar. there's a perception that we
support hamas because we have office in doha and this office opened earlier at the request of the united states. and it's been -- it's been opened also for dialogue for engagement for the reson sul -- reconsulation and also it's helped in our efforts in stopping the different wars. in 2008 and 2009, the wars stopped with negotiation in the office in brazil. the war in 2014 stopped from the same office. so we offer them just the platform to negotiate and to engage with others. we don't endorse the activities, we don't -- we are not associated as qatar with hamas or other parties. qatar wants to see peace, wants to support the palestinian people. so this is our only desire. the perception being created
because hamas people are in qatar, this is something which is not in our control because what we have, we are dealing with this matter in full of transparency. when the we are supporting ressar, we are supporting the people of ressar. they are saying since you are stabilizing ressar then you are stabilizing hamas presence. we have to stabilize this city in order not to have anymore coming out of control or coming up from the city. there are continuous efforts by -- because of the presence of hamas office in doha that when any conflict or any dispute is happening or any confrontation between people and between them and the israeli forces to diffuse those confrontations,
otherwise it might lead to another war. can we afford another war in the region? we can't afford if the we have enough crisis on our table. now hamas are dealing with egypt and they have presence -- continuous presence there in egypt. does that mean that egypt support hamas or did we hear this accusation that egypt accuse hamas? why egypt accuse us that we are supporting hamas from the other side? regarding the reconstellation, the reconstellation was a work now for years. it's not something which been achieved in week or two. and this work, the leadership was with egypt and still with egypt. qatar, when we helped in the reconstellation we were helping these efforts. we were helping and bringing the parties closer because we believe it's critical for the peace process and we believe that there is no state and no palestinian without ressa. so we have to keep this country together.
we have to keep it to maintain the integrity and to unite the leadership of the country in order if we want to achieve a long lasting peace. other than that, if we are not helping in the reconstellation because we hate one party or we favor the other party, then we will keep the situation as it is, very fragmented and we will never achieve peace and we will keep it -- we will keep it subject for very high risk in the region. >> what about syria? isis seems to be defeated almost defeated at least on the ground. what was uniting russians in states, the common enemy, i shouldn't say is no more, but appears to be somewhat less threatening. russian and the american objectives are fundamentally different in syria. the russians are more supportive of the regime than they were before and they should say the
united states has less of a priority in changing the regime in syria but certainly is not prepared to accept current president indefinitely. and then, of course, there they have their own objectives and unique diplomacy. what's going to happen there? >> well, we are very concerned, actually, from what's going on in syria. and, look, i just -- because the complexity of the syria situation, because of the different players, international players and this crisis is really making it very complex and very difficult to be resolved. but what we know, we have to go back to the basics. the basics that we have one person with his army killed more than 500,000 people.
displaced more than 12 million people. and we are seeing a level of tolerance with this person right now because there were another threat grew there, which is daesh in syria and we diverted the focus from the cause of the people of syria to fight daesh and focus on daesh and we didn't care about that. i think that the biggest mistake that we didn't address the two things together on the same -- on the same level. and our concern that the people who especially the city and children now who have been like 5 years old when the revolution started, they have witnessed number of atrocities and crimes. they have been seeing their families killed front of them, they've been seeing their sisters raped front of them.
they've been seeing all this happening front of them. what would we expect from those children when they grow up ten years from now? how can we expect that we will see a normal people whom are not going to represent another threat ten years from now? so postponing the addressing of the issue of the syrian people would really have a long term effect. just, i had received that one of my dear colleagues from one of the blockading countries talking about that the blockade of qatar helped in resolving the situation in syria. it's actually the contrary. the blockade of qatar is -- is not helping in solving the situation of syria but the change of your policy is tolerating all the crimes and all the principles which you have been standing for for long time.
so i think we need syria issue, we need to look at it very seriously because it might present are the biggest future threat. we need to look at the cause of the people, we need to restore stability, yes, but we need to hold all criminals accountable for all the crimes they have committed. otherwise, they are going to run away, then we will have those issues repeated by maybe difference dictators or different people. >> the problem is, of course, that to do what you want to do, you have to force the government in syria to become more flexible and one reason they are not so flexible about their own future is because they rely on the iranian support. the government in syria is not
really syrian -- cause if you talk about who, they have hezbollah, they have obviously iranian s they have now shah tie from iraq and the russian air force. so if you're talking about finding solution in syria, how do we perceive the russians and particular lit iranians that become somewhat less supportive from the government because otherwise very little is going to happen in terms of diplomatic solution. where am i wrong? >> everybody needs to understand the future concern of what's -- of the current position there's in syria. otherwise, we are going to pay the price and we are going to pay very high price. all the countries who are involved, whether it's russia or the united states, whether it's iran or turkey, everybody's going to pay a big price for this. so that's why we need to really put everything, all our interests aside and think about the issue of syria and the syrian people. >> thank you very much.
anymore questions? yes, please. sir. >> what happened to the kuwaiti initiative? is it still valid? you still talking about it? because i see some attacking lately from blockade countries to the effort. and we heard that the gcc summit would be responding definitely, we know that. so how do you see it? how long is it going to be postponed and what's the future of the gulf? the future is to build a new gulf gcc summit? thank you. >> well, regarding the mediation effort by the mayor of kuwait, we are very thankful for his efforts and we have been in
touch with -- with our brothers there in kuwait in order to find a solution for this. but, as just the secretary of state mentioned if there is two parties to the conflict and one of them is not willing to solve the problem, then even if anyone will come to the dialogue he will never come with good faith. so for us the kuwaiti mediation will remain, the leadership of all the environments which is trying to restore this relation together between the gulf states, but, right now they cannot -- the kuwait -- neither the kuwaitis or any of the international community can force others to come and solve the problem or even if they will come they will come in good faith. so we cannot -- now, the kuwaiti initiative for us is still alive and we believe if there's any
initiative effort will be led by them. the gcc it's a very important organization. it's meant to be for collective security. right now, after this blockade, can the gcc operate with the same efficiency as before? i think there is some time needed to rebuild the trust which been lost because of this crisis, but also we believe that there is an importance now to address all the issues in this relationship between the gulf countries and do the proper strengthening the government system of the gcc as an organization in order to put a proper arbitration mechanism in place, an enforcement mechanisms for the decisions so all the
things that which we are lacking we have to look at and consider seriously if we care about the restoration of the gcc and make it stronger. >> the next question from me. you have covered an enormous amount of ground. one country we did not ask you about. it's another country. it's another country was the saudi. they see human rights violations. no plan i'm aware of. what is happening and what is -- at least according to your position. >> what's the continuous
humanitari humanitarian, which is happening there. what we see is that there is a continuation of forward statement in the political process. and the restoration of the government back to yemen in order to operate from it. it doesn't mean that we continue this war without a particular path forward. so that's why we see that possibilities of north ready to engage in dialogue or they are not willing to engage in dialogue and they're willing to just to continue with the war to get bigger for negotiations. and the yemeni people, those are the people who are paying the price of this continuous policy. since the national dialogue was in a place and the especially
enjoy to -- was in position. we have an outcome which resulted, the government then the coup committed by the houthis. so right now, i think that we have to go back to the basis of the dialogue and bring all of the parties together. and engage in a serious dialogue which will result in stability at least. >> the perception of washington, the trump administration is more supportive from the saudis with few reservationreservations. do you think it's a correct -- is it hard to find peace in yemen or the contrary a kind of encourage iing the south to thi that they have a carte blanche from washington? >> we see the u.s. is remaining with the same policy. they are supporting this. the situation of the government position, but they are c
condemning the human rights violations, which is also our position. so we didn't see any cont contradicti contradiction. the european partners are encouraging everybody to go back to the table. we didn't see this as deviation between the international consensus. >> thank you very much. he needs to go. he's going to have a meeting with secretary tillerson. i think you will find the conversation very, very interesting. one announcement. there will be a minister speech formally marks outside those interested, please pick up and thank you so much. sunday night on afterwards,
man of the hour. about her grandfather, director of the manhattan project. she's interview ed by bruce darling of the national academy of sciences and the national research council. >> because of his entire wartime experience, he became convince that had the only way for democracy to survive, the best way to boat our enemies and be a strong country was to have a great school system where we showed that democracy was better than dictatorship and that we would have sufficiently brilliant people, talented people in government and science. and the way to do that was to have the s.a.t., which he helped invent and implement in schools across the country to produce what he felt were the kind of leaders, the kind of technically advanced people that we would need in positions of power, if we were going to be a great
nation in the high-tech world that he foresaw. approach ng the '50s and the '60s. he had an extraordinary impact on american life. watch sunday night at 9:00 eastern on cspan 2's book tv. next, private sector development in afghanistan. panelists talked about access to capital, transportation issues and economic opportunities for women entrepreneurs. the center for strategic and international studies host ed this event earlier this week. >> let's get started. i'm dan rundy. we're going to have having a cop ver sags about the private