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tv   Middle East Institute Annual Conference - David Hale Remarks  CSPAN  November 30, 2018 3:12pm-3:35pm EST

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the trip as news becomes available. join american history tv this weekend for live all-day coverage of the international conference on world war ii from the national world war ii museum in new orleans starting saturday at 9:00 a.m. eastern with authors and historians discussing d-day june 6, 1944. the world with japan, world war ii's greatest unheralded commanders and lessons learned from the war. watch the international conference on world war ii live saturday starting at 9:00 amp m. eastern on american history tv on c-span3. >> now remarks from undersecretary of state for political affairs, david heal. he spoke recently at a policy conference at the middle east institute in washington and he outlined the policy toward iran and the u.s.-saudi arabia
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relations and he also provided an assessment on russian and chinese influence in the middle east. mr. hale previously served as ambassador to pakistan and jordan. this is about 20 minutes. >> good morning, everyone. my name is paul salem. i'm president of the middle east institute. it is my great pleasure to welcome you all today to the 72nd annual conference entitled the middle east in 2019, challenges and opportunities for u.s. policy. i thank you all for joining us today, and want to thank in advance all our panelists, moderators and keynote speakers. our annual conference is our opportunity to bring together some of the leading
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approximately see makers, leaders to middle east relations to examine together the challenges and the opportunities lying ahead. this event is being covered by a number of tv networks as well as being live streamed. please silence your phones and you are encouraged to tweet at meiconf for conference, meiconf. we are nearing the end of a very exciting year at mei and we will move into it n year and the new building will have a contemporary art gallery, state-of-the-art classrooms and ample office space for various policy, educational, communicational and cultural programs. in the meantime, our temporary home has been a busy hive of activity every week with panel discussions, conferences and expert round tables on the region's issues and a vibrant schedule of arts and cultural events and the nightly language
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and regional studies courses and a vigorous communication outreach and track to diplomacy agenda. to keep up with mei's publications or to sign up for upcoming events and the podcast and other multimedia output, please visit the website 2018 was a turbulent year for the middle east and 2019 promises to be no less challenging. despate pockets of stability and economic growth, the middle east is still in the throes of regional proxy confrontation and several ongoing civil wars and dire refugee and humanitarian needs and down, but not out terrorist organizations, and the u.s. itself is going through a period of transformation in its politics, both domestic and foreign. how will states and leaders in the middle east address the challenges facing the region and how will the u.s. administration as well as the new congress
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shape approximately see in the year ahead. the four panels of today's conference will explore various aspects of these questions and the first panel looking at challenges facing u.s. policy. the second panel explores how to end the region's civil wars. the third examines the regional powers in global and the fourth highlights the horzness on of economic development and we have an excellent group of panelists and moderators to help us explore these issues. to provide a keynote address to start off the day. we are very honored to have the u.s. undersecretary of state for political affairs, ambassador david hale. ambassador hale is a career member of the senior foreign service, class of career minister and he's served as ambassador to pakistan, jordan and lebanon which is where we first met. in washington, d.c., has served as the special envoy and deputy special envoy for middle east
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peace and is deputy assistant secretary of state in the bureau of middle eastern affairs and he's the recipient of state department awards including the distinguished service award and the presidential rank award of meritorious service. ambassador hale will deliver his keynote address and has to leave us to attend to official business. david, thank you for taking the time to be with us today and we look forward to hearing your views. the floor is yours. >> thank you. [ applause ] >> well, thank you. thank you very much, paul, for that introduction and allow me also to offer my congratulations for your recent appointment and your deep understanding of the region will be an invaluable asset for amerimei. as paul mentioned i served in lebanon, and it's been a big part of my life and you may have not noticed, but in each of the three assignments the salem
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family played a big part of my life, and when i first arrived there i was wet behind the ears political officer his mother phyllis was a pillar of the american-lebanese community and was a leader in amid east beirut and was one of the few institutions still surviving that was linking america and lebanon together at that time. then when i came back as dcm paul was my primary interaction and the u.s.-lebanon relationship was getting stronger and we had more interactions which meant more visitors from congress, from ngos and from around town and they were hungry for information and so we often took them to paul who was willing to spend his time in order to help educate american visitors on the realities of lebanon and what would be the best way to promote american on lebanese interest and relations and when i went to ambassador i had the honor to interact more with his father, distinguished statesman and foreign minister of lebanon in
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the '80s and had one of the prob them educational institutions in the north, but we had a special instinct and way to bring whoever the current arriving american ambassador was, sit down and tell him home truths in a very avuncular way about issues he played deeply about. so the salem family has been a big part of my life and it's great to reconnect with you. >> i know that you'll hear vigorous debate about what the united states should be doing in the middle east to address the many challenges and i would like to start you off with a look at what the united states is doing in the region with a focus on some of the issues in which i spend some of my time. governments across the region face tough decisions. my job is to help our leaders use the full range of american power and influence to encourage regional leaders to make choices that advance our shared objectives and consistent with
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the president's foreign policy a agenda, we are promoting u.s. leadership through balanced engagement throughout the middle east. we are working actively with our partners to counter the threat of terrorist groups and states that sponsor terrorism. as the president has made clear we cannot and should not bear the sole responsibility for stabilizing and securing the region. we continue to urge our partners to do their part to promote regional stability and the challenge lies to responding to breaking conflicts while addressing the long-term trends shaping the region's future. one of the flash points is the killing of journalist jamal khashoggi. many of which i'm sure you knew. i was with secretary pompeo when he traveled to saudi arabia to hear directly from bin salman and the crown prince to hear how they would handle the investigation of khashoggi's murder. we asked that they uncover the facts and hold accountable those responsible.
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so far we've seen some positive steps and clearly more needs to be done including identifying a number of individuals responsible. we are taking strong action in response including revoking visas and revoking the a mrib applicability under the magnitsky act. our relations remain strong. as secretary pompeo said, we continue to see achievable, holding accountable those responsible for the killing of mr. khashoggi. one of our most critical shared objective is to impose maximum pressure on the iranian regime until it changes its maligned behavior and threats. iran remains most significant threat to regional stability. in new york, secretary pompeo had ongoing assistance to proxy militia. support for terrorist organizations and the development and proliferation of ballistic missiles and
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destabilized the region and threaten our partners. we also remain deeply concerned with the iranian regime's serious human rights abuses against the iranian people. they continue arbitrary arrests of individuals solely exercising their rights to fred om of expression, belief, association and peaceful assembly as well as its detention of foreigners and dual nationals. we seek international support to change the iranian bev hafior for effort and support for the iranian people and this is among the top diplomatic priorities. >> in the wake to cease participation, countries now face a choice about doing business in iran. earlier this week we completed the reimposition of the sanctions that had previously been lifted under jcpoa. most significantly we reimpose said sanctions on iranian petroleum, petroleum products
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and petrochemicals from iran. the sanctions that the trump administration has placed on iran over the past two years oar the toughest sanctions ever on the iranian regime. these sanctions target the iks rainian regime, and i would underscore its enablers. our economic pressure is directed at the regime and its maligned proxies and not at the iranian people. the regime's longest-siferring victims are its own people and america supports them in their quest for a better life. militias in places like syria and yemen prolongs conflicts and exacerbates human suffering. we are pressing iran to end its role while we increase our own efforts to reduce and resolve these conflicts that if left unaddressed can open to extend it's maligned influence. in syria, we have three critical priorities. the enduring defeat of isis which requires not just battlefield victory, but stabilization so isis can't re-emerge. ending the military presence of
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iran and its proxies which are significant dporses of instability and conflict in syria and the neighborhood, and we want to see a syrian political process progress because without it syria will not achieve stability, security and prosperity. syria will end its support for terrorism and verifiably eliminate its wmd stockpiles and programs and it's essential to create conditions for the safe, voluntary and dignified return of refugees and interior displaced persons and we join in a political resolution include g missile and strucks in houthi-controlled areas in saudi arabia and the united arab emirates. we support the efforts of u.n. special envoy martin griffiths and encourage all sides to work through the u.n. for a peaceful resolution to the conflict. as secretary pompeo said,
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substantive consultations must commence this month in a third country and implement confidence-building measures to address the underlying issues of the conflict and the demilitarization of borders under international observation and we urge all sides of the conflict in the saudi-led coalition to avoid civilian casualties. we are also working to address yemen's humanitarian tragedies and more than 18 them is who do not know where the next meal could come from. this lack of food can become some of the instant famine. we provided humanitarian assistance, including safe assistance and shelter protection and medical care. we urge all sides of the conflict to allow all yemenis unfettered access to humanitarian aid including food, fuel and medicine. >> our engagement with partners in iraq and the gulf is helping to mitigate iran's maligned
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influence. the defeat of isis includes a stable, inclusive and democratic government and free of maligned foreign influences and incapable of providing security, and prosperity for the iraqi people and following democratic elections iraq is experiencing a transition of power and i urge secretary pompeo in congratulating speaker muhammad al busi as they assume their new offices. these leaders are supportive of coalition efforts and we look forward to working with them. iraq is not now nor should it be another nation's vessel, based on the foundation of the strategic framework agreement and we will have the institutional capacity, politically, economically and while fully respecting iraqi sovereignty. ultimately, a united iraq is to forge peaceful solutions to
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their differences. the continued arab gulf rift not only opens the door to increased meddling, but to address crises including syria and yemen and reduces the ability to deal with the external challenges. we have a more positive region for the collaboration in the gulf. it's called the middle east strategic alliance. in new york, several weeks ago the president outlined it. the regional strategic alliance for us with the gcc, jordan and egypt to advance and build security in the region. it holds the potential to improve the way these states work together on the region's defenses against intentional and external threats and economic and trade linkages and energy security. secretary pompeo brought the gcc together with egypt and jordan for the first time since the rift began to deepen this discussion on regional unity. our work to resolve these regional conflicts that we just reviewed and build partnerships
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help us to stabilize america iran is using to expand its influence. we're addressing some of the region's other regional conflicts and as we've seen, these conflicts radiate stability and the security of our closest allies in europe and elsewhere. in libya, we're working with the u.n. support mission in libya and the u.n. special representative salamy, for a reconciliation process, toward a kritible, peaceful ask we support elections. artificial deadlines and a rushed res is would be prushgive sfp they lay the technical bound work for, and we speak in one voice in support of mediation to
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curb any at.s which would only plunge libya into chaos. it highlights that the political track alone is insufficient. it must be coupled with security and economic reform. without stability in tripoli, no effective political mediation and much less a solution can happen. instability opens the door for isis and al qaeda resurgence and currency and subsidy reform to revitalize libyan economy and reducing stability and we collaborated a much-needed libyan-led dialogue and fiscal transparency and longstanding grievances of the resource distribution. >> the administration has also stepped up its engagement on the western sahara conflict. i recently met with moroccan and algerian officials and i'm encouraged by their agreement to participate in upcoming talks in geneva. direct negotiations under the auspices of the secretary-general koller with a
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just, lasting and acceptable political solution for the people of the western sahara and it will unlock greater regional integration and cooperation. so as you just heard we certainly have our hands full and the many conflicts and outdoing crisis. ? we can't neglect it for the years to come. there are two 20s in particular to which i pay close attention. the first is the slow, methodical a methodical and renewed effort vying for power in the region. the president identified an era of world politics. the middle east is one of the prime arenas for that competition just as it has been historically. russia seems to undermine the institutions of international order worldwide and the middle east is no exception. russia's intervention in syria saved the assad regime from certain defeat, although american and russian objectives in syria are by no stretch,
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wholly aligned we do see common ground in russia to end the conflict and advance the world of a syria free of the proxy and syrian security forces. >> those forces serve only it is interest of tehran and not those of the syrian people and its neighbors. despite the low level of trust and followed through to implement the u.n. security council, and run r continues, rather than allow meaningful discussions and how russia will continue fighting just as the rest of us are urging them come to the negotiating table. china is also seeking to expand its influence in the region primarily through investment, trade and infrastructure deals. while the road initiative is foc
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focused on east and south asia, already china is the largest cut of for for saudi arabian oil. saudi pledged a record $1 billion in the khalifa port free trade zone. as we've seen elsewhere, chinese trade and investment comes with strings and can produce a death trap. a deliberate strategy to create long-term dependencies that benefit the interest of the chinese tate a chinese state and not the recipients of these loans. they run counter to our model in which we incentivize market based reforms and build local capacity without jeopardizing their own sovereignty. in contrast, we've encouraged commercial ties within the u.s. private sector in the region. they're helping the u.s. company invest in iraq to make gas and produce oil wells in libya, algeria and iraq. american investments in the region help us and help our partners. the socioeconomic and demographic pressures are great
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which is the second long-term challenge that i'm focused on. >> corrupt systems that serve, leets have taken a toll. ? lasting stability is possible only when the governments of the middle east face up to the challenges. >> america can always do so much and those are is up posupportiv of american growth. only the private sector can create the level of job growth needed by an ever-burdening population. it can move from the model that protects the status quo it a sensibly regulated environment that encourages private sector growth and opportunity. we support reforms to unlock that opportunity, increase transparency and improve the delivery of basic services. so we stand ready to work with our partners who have the courage and leadership to do just that and address the
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challenges as we seek the peace and prosperity that the people of the middle east so desperately want and that their leaders and sometimes their neighbors have all too often failed to deliver. thank you very much for your time today. i enjoyed it very much. thank you. [ applause ] president trump is in buenos aires, argentina for the g20 summit. the president will hold one-on-one meetings with several world leaders including shinzo abe and angela merkel and he has a dinner scheduled with xi jinping. he canceled his meeting with vladimir putin and we will continue to update you on his trip as news becomes available.
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join american history tv this weekend for live, all-day coverage of the international conference on world war ii, from the national world war ii museum in new orleans starting saturday with authors and historians discussing d-day, 1944. the war with japan, and the unheralded commanders and lessons learned from the war. watch the international conference on world war ii live saturday starting at 9:00 a.m. eastern on american history tv on c-span3. now members of the public including a group of jail law students testified before the u.s. judicial conference which is a policymaking arm for the federal courts on sexual harassment. the hearing's purpose was to hear about proposed changes to sexual misconduct policy on the code of conduct for u.s. judges and the role for judicial conduct and judicial


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