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tv   News  Al Jazeera  February 4, 2016 12:00pm-12:31pm EST

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let's go live to jordan's foreign minister who is speaking. let's listen in. >> translator: we have heard from other dignitaries there. it began with david cameron announcing that $11 billion had been pledged to help syrian refugees. it is 1700 gmt, you are watching al jazeera with special coverage of the donor conference on syria, taking place in london. >> translator: -- which has no precedent and of course the relies were positive. we appreciate them. and we say now we are thinking of the road. we have come to a cross road. the first step is that the road should respond to find a political solution to the syrian crisis. having this generosity of heart and hand, everybody who fears
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for his life has come to us. everybody who wants to find a home has found a home in jordan. so, therefore, we give all of our thanks to great britain and we have to continue -- we have to continue in achieving this political solution, because there is no other solution for this basic problem, for this syrian problem. must be a political solution. we have to raise every effort in order to achieve that political solution, by coordinating our efforts and our actions and our [ inaudible ]. once again thank you very much, mr. cameron, and thank you for this co-host. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you very much indeed, gentlemen. [ applause ] >> thank you. [ applause ] >> thank you. we have some questions now. i think we're going to start with the british media. and bridget kendall from the
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bbc. >> reporter: yes, prime minister, secretary general, distinguished guests, there have been previous donor conferences for syria, and every time it seems as though the refugee crisis gets bigger and worse. isn't there a danger that is happening again this time around? and if i might add a specific question to you mr. cameron. after your meetings here today, how confident are you in getting the backing of e.u. leaders for your plans for e.u. reform? >> all i would say about the conference today is that it will make a difference. it will make a difference in terms of saving lives, in terms of providing medicine. in terms of providing shelter and food, and these are important, because we're fulfilling our moral responsibility as countries to those people who are caught up in this terrible conflict. so today will make a difference, but, yes, you are absolutely right, what is required is a
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political solution. that needs to start with ceasefires and then move to a transitional government, and then we need a government that can represent the interests of all of the people of syria. but before that happens and even after that happens there will be millions of syrians in the region who will going to need our help. and we have raised the pledges, now we need to see the money, to ensure that those people have a chance at a future. and because of the way this conference has been organized they are able to provide themselves for themselves and their families in the regions near syria. as for the second issue, i have had the opportunity of lots of very positive meetings. but today is about syria. it's about syrian refugees and
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how we help them. and i think we have gone a long way to raising the money that is going to be needed this year in advance of what we hope is a political solution. i think the second question is from the german media. i think from [ inaudible ]. >> translator: miss merkel whatever was decided today, is this going to help the germans? and is this a kind of liberating coup, where we saw how people in syria suffer, and how difficult it is for the refugees to leave their home country and how they find refuge in the neighboring countries, and therefore that's the top priority for me. but nobody leaves the country without thinking about it.
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there are 6.5 million people, at least who have been displaced within syria, who have to move. there are more than 5 million outside of syria who have been displaced. and we do everything possible to make sure that they don't need to be away from their home country, and the conference here made a significant contribution to this. nevertheless it does not replace the humanitarian responsibility of europe. if we see here what the neighboring countries are making available that are very small in terms of inhabitants who accommodate a lot of refugees, i think it's important that europe makes a contribution. something we were able to demonstrate is that we contribute to the fact that it's not just smugglers, people smugglers and illegality that do business to the detriment of the poor people, but it is about a legal way to fight against the reasons for fleeing and for
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exodus to offer jobs, to offer prospects for the future, and we will keep working towards making sure that europe can meet its other obligations. >> finally a question from kuwaiti tv. >> translator: now is there any difference on the philosophy [ inaudible ] to be taken in order to help the syrian people. i would like to ask mr. cameron, what are your thoughts [ inaudible ] in order to alleviate the suffering of the syrian, people? thank. first of all at the very outset, i would like to thank all of those countries which have applauded what kuwait has done,
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and of course there are other co-hosts, yeah. now the position of kuwait as far as its commitment towards its brethren, syrian brothers and sisters, in order to alleviate the suffering of those people -- now the philosophy of this conference, of course, the basic concept is to have opportunity for education, to have jobs, which will be created, of course as far as the humanitarian matters are concerned, there is a responsibility, which falls on us all together where the united kingdom, germany and others to offer those programs, and we -- yes, we were capable of submitting those ideas to the conference, and his excellence cameron has told you what has been achieved.
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but the see conferences held in kuwait, yet kuwait wanted to go even further. kuwait wanted to go further to [ inaudible ] by those conferences. the second and the third conferences, there was a question of special treatment for the neighboring countries which have within bearing a tremendous weight of receiving syrian refugees, and therefore, we earmarks a very large part so we can help our brothers in jordan and lebanon and turkey, but we went even further. we went to egypt and iraq, and what we concentrated on was opening the opportunities for help and education in order to help those host countries [ inaudible ] appreciation for what they are doing to receive those huge numbers.
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so i believe that this fourth conference today has taken into consideration the actual need of the syrian people as far as education and opportunities of work, and we hope we're going to find the political solution soon after, so we can put annen to the suffering of the people of syria. thank you. >> the government and people of kuwait have played an absolute superb role in bringing together the people of the world to raise these pledges. i think it's important to build on that work, and that's why i was so honored to co-chair this conference because this does not just effect the region. this effects us all. it effects us all as human beings, but it also effects us right here in europe, and i
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think it's important to bring the world together and to ask people to do what they can to raise the money and also support the neighboring countries, and look at new ways of helping with the refugee crisis, because of course people' first choice is to go back to syria. the second choice is probably to stay in the region and work if they can, and sustain themselves, so i think that it is right that this crisis affects us all, that european countries have played such an important role today, but absolutely applaud the role that kuwait has played. can i thank everyone who has come so far to this conference today, can i thank all of the again aresty, and can i thank all of those who have successfully organized this conference. and i declare this conference closed. thank you. [ applause ] >> wrapping up the supporting
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syria in the region conference, david cameron, there you see angela merkel shaking hands with ban ki-moon, so too the norwegian prime minister, all of these countries involved in giving pledges. they are promises of money of over $11 billion, 6 billion next year, 5 billion or thereabouts in the years leading up to 2020, food, medicine, aid, money for syrians living abroad in exile, refugees to give the children they said a better education not to leave a lost generation. james bayes is here with me. let's walk away from the money, and talk about the turkish prime minister. he was talking about the aid that was going to be given, the burden that has been put on his country, and he specifically
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said the russians have done nothing to help the cause. 350-plus air strikes in the time where there have been talking going on in geneva and here. he was the only one that was pretty pointed about it, though, wasn't he? >> yes, and do remember the context of relations between russia and turkey nflt other countries, i think, are avoiding absolutely naming russia in their public statements. but behind the scenes the whole of this conference, which has done a very good job to try to raise money to deal with the crisis on the ground in syria, people are talking about the failure of the talks. because as you heard the turkish prime minister say, if you don't solve the actual war, you are going to have donor conferences like this every year. this is the fourth of these conferences that have taken place on syria. i remember covering the first one in kuwait, they were after
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$1.2 billion. now they are after $9 billion. and that shows you the international scale of how the international community has had to respond to syria. the best chance the u.n. will tell you to stop the war is the talks that were to take place in geneva, and many will blame the russians for military action that stopped those talks. >> and we have got what he had to say, and we'll be back with you in just a minute, james. >> the humanitarian message today was a message of hope. we are grateful to all of those who have contributed to this conference and these pledges, because this is a message to all syrians that they are not alone. we the world leaders are together united to help them. but message from geneva was not promising at all. because the talks did not continue due to the situation on
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the ground. but we have to know -- all of us we have to know, if there is no good message from geneva next time, we will be having many more donor's conferences in the future without any solution. >> and he is talking about the failure of the geneva talks which when they were postponed were painted as a temporary cessation, but the sense we have got since then with the opposition refusing to take part with the accusations being leveled by those members of the regime, the government delegation, it is going to be hard to pull these people back together. >> yeah, how easy it is going to be to get them back together. i put that question to staffan de mistura, and he said i can't tell you. i have to give my assessment to ban ki-moon. but then i spoke to insiders who
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said it was going to be very difficult. >> a cessation to the bombing, the lifting of sieges -- >> yeah, maybe even early, early stages they were hoping for a release of prisoners. instead what did they see? a massive on slot. now they are going to hear from the people you failed us. so are they going to come back in three week's time when the russian and syrian offensive is intensified. i think it will be very, very difficult. >> james thank you. this is coinciding with a new syrian government offensive against opposition fighters in the country, and we have been saying by russian air strikes, the regime appears to be making major territory gains. let's hear from zana hoda. she is in the turkish city on the syrian border, and around
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about 85 to 100 kilometers north of where those assaults are taking place. >> reporter: the government's offensive in aleppo is not ever. yes, they have managed to lift the siege on the towns, but what the government wants to do is encircle the opposition-controlled districts of aleppo city. aleppo is a divided city. the opposition controls the east, the government controls the west. what the government has managed to do is cut the supply lines from the rebel-controlled part of the city to the turkish border. now it wants to lay a siege. and we understand there is heavy fighting in towns and villages north of aleppo city. in that road is vital for the opposition survival. the government wants to cut that road to encircle aleppo city. undoubtedly this -- the government offensive has been a setback for the opposition. they are now on the defense.
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they are defending territory as much as they can. the northern countryside of aleppo is strategic on both sides. the turkish border has been the lifeline for the opposition for the last few years. civilians are caught in the cross fire. we understand from the syrian observatory for human rights more than 40,000 people have fled their homes over the past few days, some went to a kurdish area, and others went to the turkish border, but they haven't crossed to turkey. the turkish border remains sealed. we do know that turkey has 2.5 million refugees in this the country, but they allow emergency cases to cross. 40,000 people, mass displacement. the opposition now on the defense, while the government continues this massive offensive in the countryside of aleppo. >> talk about some of the besieged towns, the humanitarian situation there, it's pretty
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desperate for them. take a look at these pictures obtained by al jazeera inside madaya. recently, in fact in the last couple of days two women are said to have died from starvation on thursday. at least 19 people are reported to have died mall nushished there. doctors without borders estimates more than 300 people in madaya are malnourished. coming up in this program in just a couple of minutes, we will report on the isil car bam which has hit army barracks in ramadi, despite the government saying it controls most of that city. and how nigeria's economy is trying to diversify to offset the impact of tumbling oil prices. ♪
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>> even though we're in here, we're still human. >> how harsh conditions affect people on both sides of the bars. >> why did scott take his own life? >> the jail. >> some people might be scared to speak out but i'm not. i'm telling the truth.
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♪ quick recap for you. international donor conference in london has raised more than $10 billion in pledges to help syrian refugees. more than half of the money will be used this year. speaking in the last hour, the u.n. secretary general says parties are still divided but should unite for humanitarian reasons. italy wants an investigation into the death of a student in cairo who's body was found bearing signs of having been tortured. he disappeared on the 25th of january. the italian government is ur againly summoned the egyptian ambassador to a meeting to
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express concern. at least 28 iraqi soldiers have been killed in isil suicide attacks in ramadi. that is where fighting has continue for months despite the government's claim that it controls 95% of the city. the second attack was in fallujah, also targeting a government base. now fallujah is under siege by iraqi forces, and the people who live there could be facing a humanitarian crisis. our correspondent imran khan reports. >> reporter: these pictures from august are the last time any footage was seen from inside fallujah. back then heavy shelling from government forces hit civilians who buried their dead. now the situation is even worse. iraqi security forces have completely cut off the town, and supplies of food and other basic necessities are running out. by phone, we spoke to a fallujah resident trapped inside the
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city. he has taken a great risk speaking us to, as isil has banned all communications with the media. >> translator: nowadays fallujah does not have the basic necessities for life. imagine a sack of 50 kilos for wheat would cost nearly $900, and sometimes it is not available at all. some residents have to sell their cars just to buy wheat for their families. there's no source for income. medicine ran out. last month ten people died for a lack of insulin. >> reporter: one analyst says the government has little choice. >> translator: there are no alternative plans. all of the available plans by security forces are either to break into fallujah and cause huge civilian casualties or shelling it by mortars or air strikes, and that would cost basic frurture and human lyes. >> reporter: not all agree.
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the governor of anbar has been a plead for food supplies to be dropped into the city. so far aid agencies haven't commented on the siege of fallujah, also isil and the government aren't allowing journalists to visit the town. what is very clear is the situation is desperate, and if it continues it will become a humanitarian disaster. two israeli teenagers found guilty of murdering a palestinian teenager have been sentenced. the 16 year old was kidnapped, beaten, and burned to death in 2014. one of the convicted israeli teens received a life sentence. we other was given 21 years in prison. the united nations legal panel will rule that the wick key leaks founder is a victim of arbitrary detention so says the swedish government. assange has been in the ecuadorian embassy in london for more than three years. ecuador granting him asylum,
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because he was afraid of possible extradition to the united states in connection with the publication of secret diplomatic cables. he is wanted in sweden for questioning over sex assault allegations. the panel officially announces its findings on friday. neave barker is outside that embassy in london. give us an idea what this ruling means. it's not legally binding. so what does it mean? >> reporter: well, yes, that's is a very big question. it's a critical time for julian assange, he is waiting for the official conclusion, although, we do have a very strong idea that it will rule in his favor. already we have heard from the swedish government who have rejected these findings saying their conclusion is very different to the one the u.n. is
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about to officially make on friday. julian assange said if the ruling was in his favor, he would call for his passport and be able to travel to ecuador. if he said the appeal failed, then he would come out any way on midday on friday, potentially facing arrest, because this would have been the last ditch appeal that he could possibly make. but the big question is, what influence, if any, really, will this united nations conclusion have in whether or not the u.k. and sweden continue to push for his arrest, extradition, and of course, the swedes aren't desperate to interview him. he faces a barrage of accusations associated with these rape charges that have been hanging over him for many many years now. the indication of course is the
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government here in the u.k. will stick to their original plans that they will because of the extradition treaty, still go ahead and hand over assange to the swedish authorities. the british authorities says this hasn't been an arbitrary detention at all. they say he has voluntarily decided to stay here to avoid arrest. assange believes at the end of all of this, the extradition to sweden is something of a pretext to be handed over to the americans where he has been accused of violating state secrets there. >> thanks, neave. oil producing countries are reeling from the record fall in oil prices. shell announcing it is laying off 10,000 people. in nigeria oil accounts for a third of the country's gdp.
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and the government does want to broaden the economy. >> reporter: mohamed is hoping for better days ahead. prices for his country's main export, oil, have fallen. and the impact is being felt in nearly all parts of the economy. a shortage of foreign exchange and subsequent fall in the value of the local currency has driven inflation up, but the dairy producer sees an opening, his products are competitive. >> this offers an opportunity, because the competitors [ inaudible ] products into our country, they sell in foreign exchange, and we buy ours locally at local -- with the local currency. before now, we could not compete with the european farmer in our own environment. >> reporter: the government is looking to entrepreneurs like
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him to boost the economy. this factory processes 3,000 liters of milk a day. nigeria imports $1.3 billion worth of dairy product each year. so the government is setting aside millions of dollars in loans to nigerian farmers to produce more. if they can help reduce the independence on imports and conservative the fewer dollars now being earned by government in all revenue, because of low prices. >> reporter: the variety of milk that is processed here sell out quickly. the government says businesses like this will save the day. but others have warned that a golden opportunity to diversify the economy has been missed. >> we had, you know, [ inaudible ] surpass many other developing countries, and even compete with advanced countries. but we missed that opportunity. but hope is not lost.
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>> reporter: for now his business is growing. he is in talking with two potential foreign investors, and the supply of materials is no longer limited to his ranch. that's what the government hopes can be replicated all over. but with poor infrastructure, everyone knows the odds are stacked against businesses for now. ♪ international donor conference in london has raised promises of more than $10 billion to help syrian refugees. while the u.n. secretary general acknowledged syria's warring parties are divided in this talks, he urged them to unite for humanitarian purposes. >> i welcome the shared commitment of today's attendees to use their influence to