tv Worlds Apart RT October 27, 2018 11:30pm-12:00am EDT
get accepted or rejected. so if you want to be president and you. want. to do it to be first which is what. three of the ten people. come on of welcome to worlds apart the killing of saudi journalist jamal khashoggi in istanbul introduced a compelling task into the middle east policies of several key players forcing all
to take a hard look at both the values and strategic interests will the current geopolitical alignment in the gulf and beyond survive this sordid challenge to discuss that i'm now joined by yuri barmen the middle east and north africa expert of the russian international affairs council here is good to talk to you thank you very much for coming over thanks for having me after two weeks of denying the death of the journalist the saudi leadership has finally acknowledged that it had taken place although it's still denying the grisly details or the grisly allegations of what happened to the body what is the scope of plausible deniability for the house of south here or do they even need to come up with a bill of a bill story. sort of question i mean the saudis have sort of have been doing it for so long and they thought probably that once they admit to the killing of. that would be the end of the story but clearly that is not the keys. you know the story
going to keep spinning you know the the turks keep putting more pressure the americans keep coming up with more pressure so at this point it doesn't seem that it's the end of the story the saudis will have to fight back will continue to i think it's a very rare case when the sheer fact. of the killing or of the murder is less egregious than. dismemberment callousness. if mr howe. resurfaces in the piece a cynical as it may sound coming from me do you think it would provide some sort of relief if not exoneration for the saudi authorities this point i don't think it's going to be a sort of relief for the saudis the fact that they were able to produce the body in the sheer fact that they were determined to get rid of the body that is already terrible enough to. put a lot of pressure on them politically this story has
a very determined for sure at this point president. security services continue leaking the most blood curdling details without providing any public evidence or releasing the tape that they keep referencing why do you think turkey so. you come up with the charges this reserved all the evidence i think the strategy. for the saudis and for the americans i think is sort of building up his game gradually hoping that he could get something in return politically from the americans and the saudis here so we were going to see what it's going to result but my problem with this strategy is that the longer he waits. the saudis and the americans are determined to give something back to the turks now present himself is hardly. human rights there are numerous reports of his own security services being implicated in the kidnap. of turkish nationals have brought their numerous reports
of people dying in turkish jails waiting for trial for months sometimes years on and do you think there is any person. you present in the most possible way. that could be the case. of human rights maybe that's one of the one of the elements of his trying to whitewash a little bit with the west and is clearly working because a lot of the media outlets a lot of politicians in the west are taking his claims at face value so that is clearly working towards the benefit of the moment whatever was planned i'm still the choice of locations or carried out because turkey and saudi arabia had a pretty rocky adversarial relationship even before that even if we take the saudis had to believe that these fifteen man squad. purely for
interrogation wasn't that still exceedingly risky for the saudis something like. it was the. question is the kind of political thinking of. what exactly. that was intentional to kind of turkey in the spotlight with this with this because the. amount of evidence that resurfaced it seems that it was intentional while it was intentionally. present there that one is definitely back because he is squarely putting. the crown prince on the spot speaking of whom the saudi crown prince has many enemies within his own extended family who have. good reasons for either wanting to prevent him from succeeding to the throne or wanting to you take revenge for his past deeds
what do you personally find more plausible that the crown prince is behind it or that there is somebody in saudi arabia with enough leverage enough influence to frame him in such a fashion from what i understand the people who. perpetrated this murder those were the people very close. and if somebody else managed to get these people very close to. what they did that raises a lot of questions. politically and saudi arabia at the moment if that was the case . is a lot of trouble but i think more likely. people around him were plotting this now you wrote recently that present air though on by going very public with this allegations may be hoping to rehabilitate the turkish relationship which. has been damaged by disagreements over syria by the detention of an american pastor but from my point of view he doesn't make it any easier for. you because. you know.
to me it looks more like an effort to put trump in a very difficult position rather than the time that any reference surely it's a challenging situation but at the same time he has an option give back something to turkey turkey to be quiet about this. murder and get the saudis and the turks to talk to each other and deal with this quietly. for the time being but that was still really resolved out quietly was that really an option once came for a. public allegation you cannot. go on is building up pressure on the saudis it feels like he is expecting some kind of actions from the americans in my opinion now president. already hinted at some sort of response on the part of the united states what's the possible range here. expelling
a couple of saudi diplomats to what exactly one of the responses i think this is something that americans are discussing at the moment sanctioning those fifteen thousand people who came to istanbul and perpetrated the murder that of course is not. significantly however there's a lot of. traction in the united states to try and make a sort of an international parea and to come to a we're not going to deal with we need to deal somebody with somebody else you need to replace them. so if there's a movement in that direction i could see how. that kind of commentary because i came across something completely opposite but before we can discuss that let me ask you one more question about the possible represents as far as the united states is concerned because for the time being. much of the discussion has been. arms deals and possible economic fallout it is clear that saudi arabia the american policies in the region do you think there could be.
reexamination. this major scandal where you see american policy making is not coherent i'm sure you've seen that has been coming up with a lot of statements saying that states of the gulf should take care of the middle east or other we're still committed to the middle east so there's a lot of incoherence there but i think. hugely important to the united states and i think trump understands that. this is exactly what was driving his kind of. on the . killing so. i think that's going to change the status quo of america's policy i mean if we consider both possible. it is the crown prince who is behind the murder or second it is somebody who is strong enough and powerful enough in saudi arabia to you challenge him in
such a way that makes saudi arabia inherently dangerous. to put any bets on you think this is not something we've seen the yemen policy we've seen the. kidnapping of. has been explained by geo political or geo strategic interest this is something very different in a way that it is extremely brazen i mean whoever thought of this crime definitely could have. and other political shenanigans of a really feeding is. political thinking and are really thinking into his personal vendettas and he thinks that if geopolitically he's allowed to do so much has given so much space domestically ordinary saudis he can do the same but it's not exactly a domestic situation first and foremost because it took place in that country and it also involved not a citizen of the united states but from what i understand
a permanent resident you definitely should have considered those implications if. the crown prince is behind that's a big if at this point it is not a. domestic issue i think. or whoever purpose of very strong signal domestically but if we can do this abroad we can surely do this at home and nobody will react now saudi arabia and the crown prince in particular have or used to have a very strong lobby in the united states particularly in the think tank community in some media circles who are traditionally very hostile towards trying but i think in this particular case it's going to be a pretty challenging for them to pin this entire saudi gate scandal on the current american administration as for example they attempted to do with. at the russia gate this is a bi partisan challenge from what i understand for the american political isn't it . i think the. a lot of american institutions think
tanks as you mentioned will have to accept that they have to kind of bash the saudis for this because this is this is the case where. you know all those nice it is about. they can afford to leave it at the bashing because obviously we all agree that it's a horrible crime is that enough to save your indorsing saudi arabia. linchpin of the american policy in the region. of think tanks declaring that they will not continue to accept saudi money and i think the first days after the mission of guilt i think was the most the most terrible thing that's going to happen i think from now on we're not going to see more media outlets or think tanks we're not dealing with the saudis anymore and i think the investment conference that took place in saudi arabia. is pulling out it's already.
people from from their companies going to to replace them in the conference nobody nobody wants to be. part of the. i think the scandal also touches on the values narrative that. americans and just the other day i heard a veteran american diplomat martin indyk suggesting that the crown prince needs to come up with something take the focus away from this crime for example as he. flowed possibility of pulling out a few young men or female political prisoners but you know those things are. something well i think it's a very very cynical approach you're with probably agree with me on that do you think that americans going forward seriously here the same values. sort of the basis. their foreign policy. interesting question i think i think moments among is definitely going to take such steps the ones that you described
because they would be very indicative of him given into pressure that's not how the saudis do their foreign policy. i think that the saudis were hoping that the investment conference would somehow off a lot of the criticism but didn't happen. speaking about the u.s. kind of value it's never been about values the problem and then part of their foreign policy i mean they they they do have that with regard to saudi arabia it's always been about national interest not values and i think it will continue to be the same the still the around perceived around threat and they steal based on their national interests both countries will have to control to confront that well we have to take a very short break now but we'll be back in just a few moments. i
will prefer to say. the human space is. terri wish me instead so we have leaving in the solar system. and. we show that. all this all the solar system i see the way all bring in and developing more technology technology so that we can even. increase. improve the quality of life. welcome back to world. north africa. and international affairs. just before the break we have touched upon the. three each after it's been american
think tank and media circles and just yesterday i had a chance to read that famous column by thomas friedman of the new york times in which he's got about how. mohamed bin some months after is going to reshape the entire islamic world teaches indeed part of the saudi ambition how much of an obstacle is the case to the broader saudi agenda. will be even more. well i think. and i think it's likely that he's going to stay in power i think you'll have to show that he was undermined but he will i think you'll be kind of geopolitical geopolitical ventures and. your reference earlier on. in the desert i think was designed in part to facilitate brawl in the future. of that country you mentioned that a number of companies had to pull out under the pressure from the public which kind
of shifted the spotlight onto the very relatively small russian delegation there do you think it was wise on the part of the russians. rather than pull out. i think it was was a lot of chinese a lot of a lot of. americans still came. i think. for a businessman to pull out of an event where a lot of money is at stake. at the moment. between business. doing business and social stuff human rights all of the. values and that's ok that's business as business now you wrote before that the russian relations are highly come. mentalizing beach is another word for saying that they're extremely extremely complicated and president putin made it clear that he's not going to throw what has been so painstakingly achieved under the bus but
there is one thing of trying to preserve what you have and then there's another thing when you try to capitalize on the scandal or on the. former or current allies do you thing russia to do the latter. trying to i think russians are trying to stay under the radar even though they sent a delegation to saudi arabia and gave a lot of space and coverage to the russian delegation and. of course but i don't think. they already have a good strong relationship with. russia at the moment is to try and guard that that's the only goal you wrote in an. russia saudia reference more months became possible because president putin and the crown prince speak the same language both as you wrote prefer to use hard power to resolve issues domestically and internationally both see the world in
a black and white do you think if they're so similar do you think president putin would authorize a similar interrogation let's say of some former chechen militant in their russian consulate in istanbul. or couldn't. i don't know it's all speculations to be honest i think that the russian government is so. that the domestically and abroad in. order that somebody in the intelligence apparatus same as in saudi arabia so that i think it's still not clear as to whether the reason i'm asking this is because i do see this line of argument developing in both western and arab media all trying to establish. this comparative similarity between the russian and the saudi regime sent to me that bunkers because say what you want about the authoritative nature of
the russian government it's nowhere near in terms of the concentration of power in one hand as it is. and i would also add let me know if you disagree that i think the kremlin is far more diligent and sophisticated in calculating the risks and possible. to. think when we speak about the similarities between put think it's about it's about the kind of the vision of the world not necessarily the instruments that you and i think what. drives. is the fact that. go ahead with his domestic policy foreign policy disregarding the international backlash i think. that's really the case because obviously russia has many adversaries but never goes on record saying you know. i mean whenever it comes to ukraine the united states great britain it's always
couched in the much more polite risk averse terms to keeping the door if not open them you know at least not fully logged in terms of walking bash or. to do with cultural differences between russia and saudi arabia. kind of. sort of more of a populist. resonates at home this is the reason why the leadership . type of rhetoric. as well as in some other middle eastern states is just not the way the russian policymaking works now for the time being the kremlin position is that we don't really know what happened which is at odds with ankara's seemingly absolute conviction of what really happened there that you wrote recently that the kremlin should be. turkish sensitive it is on the case but i wonder if there isn't really a way of doing that without fully buying into
a narrative which is totally self-serving. i think it's not russia's fight to pick the fight between turks and saudi arabia which is why i'm saying russia's trying to stay under the radar i think. expressing sympathy. exactly happened that a little bit of a soft outreach to the saudis but at the same time i'm afraid russians are the same towards turkey that's what really. what exactly. would satisfy mr rather than saying that they. have that evidence because from what i've heard nobody has heard those tapes even though we keep hearing about it until somebody actually reported earlier today that . those tapes were shared with the russians with the americans and with the europeans so it looks like turks are trying to reach out to the russians and get them on their side but i don't see much movement in that direction in russia now
whenever there is anything contentious involving the russians get very anxious about. the. agreement you also voiced some concerns and. betrays the general russian. president there on in particular but i'm wondering if you think self could afford to abandon or cheat on the agreements that he reached with putin regarding the i think you're making a very good point. to to throw russia under the bus easily in favor of some kind of an alliance with the united states because turkey personally is in a very difficult position of the moment there's a lot of pressure on him at home over the syria policy there's a lot of people at home saying why are you not returning all those syrian refugees back to syria and of course. that agreement over is probably the. you know straw. polls which has been disastrous to be honest while we're still on the subject of
syria publicized details of the journalist murder are extremely disturbing but not in the context of syria because. there are things much worse that have been done in that country by the rebels that were supported either by saudi arabia or i'm afraid . but speaking about saudi arabia do you thing that is going to in any way limit its bargaining position when it comes to these specific conflict. conflicts. as you mentioned the russians have been i wouldn't describe them as sympathetic but at least ask critical as everybody else surely they would want to preserve that kind of goodwill. i think the impact of this murder on the. power on the team to be honest that is a. separate issue in russia turkey relations and i think there is a different set of factors that is driving that relationship with the saudi
position. at the moment. to be honest i think the saudis have decided to abandon syria in favor of being more proactive in yemen and that is now working. on the ground. difficult to say yes they do the moment yes and also. the saudis may have offered the americans to invest more in the kurdish areas in syria. will have a lot of leverage in syria that's true now the discussion. for regional players would be incomplete without israel the same as with the trumpet ministration saudi arabia is very sensual israeli strategic picture of the region can do damage to prince reputation. there.
so what is. the pressure on iran. and i don't i don't see how the murder of could impact saudi poll see of putting pressure confronting around in the region so i think. this convergence on confronting around between iran and. saudi arabia the united states and a bunch of other countries just the other day the new york times ran an editorial. suggesting that there are some nervousness both in israel as. among the israeli community in the united states with regard to where. it could leave the israeli policy that's why i'm asking but one one more implication i think of this whole affair is that we all know that there has been some. saudi arabia but the reason it has been kept on official from what i understand it because of. the arab world do you think there would be
a similar saudi sentiment within the israeli larger israeli public reach the. decision making that the country i think there's a difference. in the arab world is very personal i think and very historic the. sentiment in israel this is something that i can't even imagine because for israel dealing with saudi arabian partnering with saudi arabia is a very. calculation of how israel should go ahead world because they see that saudi arabia at the moment is the most potent ally that put a lot of. premised on the believe that saudi arabia is rational actor and control is not only its own decision making but also its proxies but all of that has been called into question by the recent events i think i think the saudi
paul. for example. focused a lot on the intelligence intelligence which is very pragmatic which is closer to israel i would say. there's a very strong link between the israeli intelligence operatives on the saudi intelligence operatives and i would say. overall here. we have to leave it there but i really appreciate your coming in. thank you very much . thank you he's our viewers to keep this conversation going in our social media pages and. same place same time here on worlds apart.
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a really was very european in his approach he would be very well suited is an m.e.p. in brussels for example doesn't represent america is america for better or worse and i think what we're trying to do here is to let the world see. here. the headlines the leaders of russia type hegemony and fronts me to lay the groundwork for peace in syria a serious differences remain. the how to tackle extremists creates the northwest of the war torn country if radical militants opposed this if they make provocations from inside the it live zone but russia will reserve the right to help the syrian government eliminate this threat and military offensive by the syrian.