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tv   Inside Story 2018 Ep 28  Al Jazeera  January 29, 2018 2:32pm-3:01pm +03

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five of the attackers were also killed the same site was the target of a suicide bombing in october in which fifteen officers died rights groups are warning that right hander refugees particularly girls are being increasingly targeted by human rights traffickers at camps in bangladesh more than six hundred fifty thousand people have left me and mara since a military crackdown began in august sporadic fighting continues and even after what yemen's government calls an attempted coup by separatists backed by the united arab emirates their share ministry says the government forces are now in control of the city including the office of the prime minister on sunday at least twelve people were killed and one hundred others wounded as southern secessionist fought the army for control of government buildings. elsewhere in yemen the government is battling who the rebels and. dozens of hit the fighters have been killed in airstrikes as ground forces push to take control of the eastern part of the city aid group oxfam warns of civilian casualties and is calling for an immediate cease
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fire. the second and final day of the african union summit is underway in the ethiopian capital the meeting is focusing on tackling corruption and conflict across the continent leaders have also been discussing ways to fan the fifty five member bloc that's mostly financed by foreign donors but members want to become completely self-sufficient. those are the headlines news continues keep it here al-jazeera this next. saudi princes detained in an anti-corruption drive some have been released after deals with the government of which mohamed been summoned is a key figure to the crown prince has ambitious plans for his country so was the
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crackdown only about money and what comes next this is inside story. was hello and welcome to the program i'm richelle carey it said that money means power despite their riches several saudi princes and businessmen were locked up in the capital riyadh for months albeit in a five star hotel they were arrested for alleged corruption and have been released over the past few days after giving in to certain demands guitar guests and a moment but first on the hawks are reports on the latest high profile detainee to be free prince a leap into law. just hours before billionaire saudi prince and waleed bin assad was released from the ritz carlton hotel in riyadh he conducted an interview with the reuters news agency from the suite where he'd been confined in town is one of
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saudi arabia's most prominent business men and one of the world's richest men but he's been held for more than two months accused of corruption in the interview he described the entire situation as a misunderstanding no charges ok just some discussion between the government you know i mean but the rest assured that this is. you know protection that we have and we're just in discussion with the government on the various matters and that i can't divulge right now because we are going there to discuss with them the mark perry and his likeness was just one of the many objects known as the prince gave a tour of where he'd been detained been tellers arrested in a van that was part of what the government called an anti corruption campaign ordered by crown prince mohammed bin. the government says one hundred twenty four billion dollars is expected to be seized for more than two hundred individuals a group that is said to include the owner of the n.b.c. television network as well as several other senior princes observers say the
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crackdown has allowed been someone to do far more than simply consolidate power i think there are two things here it's about money because the saudi. government is facing financial difficulties because of the collapse of the oil prices over the past few years and the missile man is having very ambitious economic plan actually three from the kingdom so he needs the cash money in order to carry on with this project but this is not the only issue the other issue in my opinion here is that he's trying to create a popular base of support for him because all these people are in fact caught up. in tell his farm hold stakes in companies like twitter citi group and apple is estimated to be worse. seventeen billion dollars his release could potentially reassure investors but analysts believe the timing of his interview with reuters as the world economic forum met in davos was no coincidence having someone like prince
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to allow for example speak out publicly as he did yesterday shows that you know the saudis are trying to use him as somewhat the poster child of liberalism they're trying to appeal to investors overseas saying we realize that what we did and the way we did it with that last year we saw a completely undermined big business confidence and investor confidence in saudi arabia in time has told reuters he expects to remain in full control of his global investment without being required to give up his assets to the government how to use their. crown prince mohammed bin someone has big plans for his country which he calls the saudi vision twenty thirty m.b. s. as he's known wants to reduce the country's dependence on oil by diversifying its economy and abella public service sectors such as health education infrastructure recreation and tourism the thirty two year old has announced plans for
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a new five hundred billion dollars city that will run entirely on alternative energy is also push for social reforms allowing women to drive and opening about movie theaters for the first time in almost forty years. let's bring in our guest now and joining us from london is sami hamdi editor in chief of the international interest in beirut joseph christian a senior fellow at the king faisal center for islamic studies and in paris. a lecturer at the paris institute of political studies thank you all for joining us i appreciate it sammy i want to start with you so obviously one of the most high profile of all these people that i've been detained as prince had been to law he's known around the world what do you make anything of the timing of this very unusual interview that he gave to orders right as davos was was wrapping up do you see any type of connection there with any messaging coming from saudi. i think it less to
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do with the messaging coming from saudi but more to do with the deal that perhaps a ligament has made with mohamed bin so meant now there are reports saying that more than one hundred billion has been raised for some of the deals that he's made with the other princes but where we'd been followed issue and what have been said mon is more than money it's about the rulership it's about being king it's about political competition from what we've been follows message it seems like one part of the deal that's been made is that he will follow mohammed bin cements political line he will fall in line with promoting vision twenty thirty four and in line with trying to bring investors into saudi arabia who will fall in line with building these cities only exchange will get to keep his particular assets in other words if he's mama been so men may have got what he want to getting what he'd been following to give up his political ambitions let's remember what mohamed bin so many has been doing alongside these investigations which is these changes of advisors in the government changes of key personnel within the government creating stablish in loyalists essentially removing any base on which we could possibly become king and
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stick a threat to my have been so many power so now it seems that the fact would have been followed is able to be released now and keep all of his assets so just mohamad been so man has cut off his wings politically and make sure he's been followed can no longer be a political threat so now we've been following would dismiss it as saying hey world that i'm with you have been so many i believe in his vision i'm going to use all my contacts to bring you guys to saudi arabia and bring and invest in the kingdom ok so in fact what he said what. into our said he said rest assured this is a clean operation that we have been we're just in discussion with the government of various matters that i cannot divulge right now but rest assured we are at the end of this story just of do you agree with sami success meant that and this particular round it seems like m.b.'s want to get somebody as powerful in this internationally known as prince charlie. it's a bit more complicated than that prince what he'd been had given his loyalty his
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allegiance to him i'd been sad man when he was appointed heir apparent over six months ago so therefore. was not a political threat it fact will lead but the law has a better chance of becoming prime minister of lebanon than ever becoming king of saudi arabia but that's a different issue i think that there is one one aspect of this whole discussion that is absolutely correct namely that prince mohammed bin sandman is trying to put order at home he would like to have not just what he'd been but all the wealthy individuals and a kingdom to actually fall behind his very ambitious vision twenty thirty economic plans to change the way business is conducted in the kingdom of saudi arabia in that sense he has succeeded even though the going has been tough and there has been there has been some errors made along the way but nevertheless i think that at the
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end of the day this is part of a learning process that he's going through when he becomes king and there is absolutely nothing that will prevent that from occurring unless there is an unforeseen circumstance that none of us can see when he becomes king he has to really learn how to manage his family poor for us in a different way but again as i say this is part of the learning process so part of this learning process though it would seem would be fairly humiliating for some of these three hundred fifty people that have spent the last few days albeit locked up in the ritz but still not able to come and go right so pierre let me bring you and speak you know the hajj us of god well i mean i think that this humiliation business is something that is part and parcel of political life people are humiliated all over the world we live in very strange times when leaders be. they've in strange to put it mildly in strange ways but i think that in
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a in an environment like saudi arabia where family ties are very important it's not a question of humiliating one or the other it's a question of saving face and i think at the end of the day when they've been part of the family he is not part of the opposition he is part of the family and he will remain part of the family because that's his source of all too much strength and that will not change pierre do you see the tactics that were used as i said some of it being humiliating. do you see that there could be some some blowback some pushback against him b.s. because of the way he went about this and if so who is in a position to do that. yeah you know i of one was in mind the same question regarding that to corruption complaint so eurabia the question is what is it exactly corruption in saudi arabia i mean did the only country in which you know
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they were you arrest people result in the low defining what's corruption so you know it's a word in a way it's comparing that which probably more immediately care facts on the middle class of so you're it which means that b.s. is quite popular in the part of the society but the question this or that prince they have not been the rest they have been kidnapped between that they are free because they are paid which means that for the future to question. the main the main way to correct in saudi arabia is sponsorship you understand because you do good you get to the saudi prince as possible and you make a deal with him and you get money always opening anything in sure the question is do b.s. wants to give up. sponsorship that's a good pick and the question the second question is what about the prince for the future even though that they are always a sward hanging on their heads you know for the business they are going to do in
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the future i mean that they will put all their assets abroad i mean it's a this probably this is not by lies ing complain in the so the economy for the future so what does mean they mean the vision to twenty thirty ok you know here you make a good point you have to it is old on just one moment here when i'll come back to that tipping point sammy what about that what if really all he did was use force and arrests to get what he wanted and it wasn't a transparent process is that truly an anti-corruption move is that really a change or is it a shifting money from one place to another if there is no transparency. i don't think this was ever about an anti corruption move i think this was more mohammed getting everybody together and saying look we've had it good for many years you know we all know we're involved in corruption and the like but times are a bit different and i need a bit of money so some of the money that you guys creamed off the government i'm going to need to take it back it was never about corruption and usually in an ideal
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world of a world a very principled world we would say that these principles apply a lack of transparency investors will get scared no money will go to saudi arabia but the reaction of the international community has been very interesting it's been very different we've read words in typically in a respected newspaper saying a jarring but necessary move by mohammed bin cement to change the landscape has been a very strange international reaction we've seen big investment forums with some of the richest men in the world being very excited about what mohamed bin so many is doing and this is only at night electing the impact sami that's not that's by no means universal i mean that sure maybe some investors see it that way but but i would imagine that this might scare off a lot some people because he decides one day i need money back from you and then who knows what it may be the next day i think that's i think we have to be able to address that we need to understand how the saudi economy operates saudi arabia everybody knows about the corruption that takes place but what is the key message
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that men sent here and one of the biggest problems investors had in saudi arabia was the monopolies that many of these family members have in the industries what actually deters some of these investors from saudi arabia is the monopolies that the likes of mr bin abdullah when he'd been following the others have in the economy now when they're seeing what have been so many is breaking up some of these monopolies he's forcing these guys to back down and reduce their grip on the contrary for many of vestas contrary to popular belief many of us are saying this is good for us finally we have a chance to get involved in saudi arabia moreover when you couple that with the fact that saudi arabia needs this investment it needs this money it's not in a position to compromise on it that only bolsters the confidence of these investors it's a very. crewed it's very wrong it's a very despicable world that we live in but this is the reality this is where the money flows rockefeller has his famous saying where there's blood on the streets there's money to be made the fact of the matter is when you look at side of it it's a very unique context there is much to be hopeful for for investors and that's
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disappointing from a very democratic human rights perspective ok ok you said a lot there sammy sosa's let me let me get you into this so in b.c. the huge behemoth broadcasting company. there they're a factor in this in some way the push and pull for winning control of n.b.c. what role does that play and potentially what m.b.'s its plans are. if we want to take sammy splint a step further which i think he has really began to decipher it i think what we're talking about is a complete overhaul of the saudi economic system saudi social system that has been prevalent for the past eighty years or so i think mohamed been said man is very much aware that the time is long overdue for fundamental changes to occur this is not this is not going to be a clean process it's going to be relatively ugly sometimes humiliating for some
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people but at the end of the day there is a transparency process that has been introduced into the system is it being forced down the throats of a lot of people yes it is including when he'd been including the family the patrols and b.c. including a lot of other very wealthy individuals who have really milk the system to their benefit for decades to come now the time has come to actually look at which at the way things are going to be different in diffused and from the western investor perspective this is actually quite good simply because we're going to be increasingly aware of the a rules that are going to be in place here was saying a moment ago that in fact these individuals were not. accused of and their corruption they were kidnapped and that corruption is prevalent in the system whatever we want we might want to label things corruption by the finishing cannot
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be good and therefore even if individuals were harassed they were kidnapped they were taken perhaps outside of the law for several months even but put up at the ritz carlton nevertheless all of this put together i think that what we are seeing now is a fundamental way of thinking that is different from what everyone has been have beach waited when it comes to saudi arabia ok a new page has been opened. ok whether or not this will lead to more positive things we'll have to wait and see ok so that pierre so about that about this this new way of thinking that just says it's being introduced ten there can there be a new way of thinking whether it's about corruption or the economy can there be a new way of thinking if the if it isn't also tied to political reform. when in a way to win a new way of thinking anyways that's a first corruption complaint in the oral history of saudi arabia but my question is
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regarding regarding you the foreign investors if they want to invest in saudi arabia the main condition was to get a good sponsorship i mean mainly if it's was possible to prince or a member of the ruling family etc now you don't have any legal system in saudi arabia so if you want to invest in that country are you obliged to take a sponsor with a risk to for him to beat. off a new and to corruption contain do you are you sure that your for funding and investment will be guaranteed by what the legal system when there is no legal system once a year and to privatize five person yeah so you're saying that you're saying that you know if you feel like investors will still see saudi arabia is just too volatile too to not stable not not enough certainty. to to invest in is that what
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you're saying you think things have been shaken up so much of their actions too much instability for an investor. what you mean i mean. you know that for example when the m.b.a.'s want to privatize five percent of the aramco the question was what's the the system the contractual system in their own code there is no one i mean it's a it's a property of the royal family which means that if you want to attract for the implementation of vision twenty thirty you are to govern size two for a foreign investment coming from abroad that you will be practicing you know international systems of business and now with this anti corruption system you are is this to be lies ing i would say the relationship with all the foreign investor then the second is what about the mediation of all this member of the very most of the poor fool families of the kingdom i mean it's a very interesting new situation i am not sure that the m.b.a.'s has the. estimate
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has checked all the consequences is facing for the future sami what are what are the limits of reform be it economic or political reform what are the limits of reform when we're talking about a country like saudi how far can it actually go. i'm very worried with in the sense that i mean listening to some of the guests and perhaps maybe i've given this impression as well that somehow we're talking about an overhaul like it's a positive thing that somehow we're saying that m.b.a.'s were implying he's some sort of visionary or revolutionary coming in this is not the case mohamed busy man is doing what he needs to stay in power saudi arabia is surrounded by a growing uranium threat in the north and to the east and to the south and it's got no allies because egypt is reneging on agreements and so is the u.a.e. so saudi is very isolated that's on the external front on the internal front one hundred been seven men needs to maneuver himself to become king before his father
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dies every time his successor struggle we see situations like this we see will be working for had died talks of reform when king khaled died talks of reform when king abdullah died talks of reform this is the same story we hear over and over again so let's not go overboard here the reason why mohamed bin said man needs money is because he needs to gain popular support domestically that's the only reason he wants to become king it's nothing about making saudi arabia this great economic power or whatnot one of the cement is playing the short term game we can only talk about a long term game when he becomes king so i think when we're talking about what he needs to do economically this is not the primary purpose of what muhammad bin so many is doing and the reason why i mention this point is because it directly links to your question how far can reforms go they will go only in so far as they make mohammed bin so man the undisputable power in saudi arabia all any lord that implies looking in king crimson critser in cringes or hinders his power or his
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influence will not be implemented every company ever goes through saudi arabia must go through and what have been somalian in company every company that wants to thrive in saudi arabia must go through one hundred been so many middlemen that's the reality of the saudi arabia that he's seeking to create so let's be very careful in terms of how we analyze saudi arabia there is a very good saying in arabic that sums up what mohammad been said many is doing it's have to be he bought them this is. true this is the correct thing to do but for the wrong purpose here's a tackling corruption but look to deal with corruption ok even with the big shots and trying to secure power but not because he wants to create a democratic transparent system all right sammy all right let me like rick in here does the first i can tell you want to respond but my question to you was going to be how much further do you think this purge if you will is going to go. well you know i mean i think that you've heard one point of view that is all gloom and doom but on the other hand there is a different point of view i fundamentally disagree that saudi arabia does not have
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a legal system there is a legal system in place and code is not a property of the ruling family this is really hogwash are of course part of the saudi system and if saudi arabia belongs to a family then obviously every saudis member of that family i think that we should really step aside from these kinds of epithets that mean absolutely nothing saudi arabia is a huge economy in this part of the g. twenty system it has plenty of allies around the world from doing out at states to south africa to brazil to japan to china you name it everybody would love to have good relations with mohamed bin said man who is going to become king whether people like it or not and there's another big saying that says the dogs bark when the caravan is passing it's just a matter of time everything will eventually take care of itself however the challenge is on him personally. to actually prove to all these naysayers
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that he is a capable individual he can rule the country he can unite the family he may be he may be making mistakes along the way perhaps as a matter of his youth and his inexperience but this is part of the learning process as i said at the beginning of the show and he will come out of this not because he is an exceptional individuals but because saudi arabia requires as a monarchy to be in the hands of a stable individual who knows where he has taken the country time will tell whether i'm wrong or not. all right joseph that will be the last word gentleman thank you for amie a feisty important conversation we will continue the dialogue because it does really remain to be seen how all this is going to play out so thank you very much joseph and pierre knesset and thank you for watching you can see the program again anytime go to our website very easy to find al-jazeera dot com for further
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