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tv   HAR Dtalk  BBC News  July 20, 2017 4:30am-5:01am BST

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before congressional committees as part of investigations into russian interference in last year's presidential election. his eldest son donald junior, former campaign manager paul manafort, and son—in—law jared kushner will give evidence next week. mr trump has said he'd never have madejeff sessions attorney general if he'd known he'd stand aside from the russia investigation. in a new york times interview, he also accused james comey, the fbi director he sacked, of trying to exert pressure on him, and said special counsel robert mueller would be crossing a red line if he began looking into the trump family's finances. the office of arizona senator john mccain has revealed he has brain cancer. he's 80 years old, a vietnam veteran, and was republican nominee for the us presidency in 2008. it's time now for hardtalk. welcome to hardtalk i am sarah
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montague. the fall arab nations that cut all ties with qatar because they accused it of funding and supporting terrorism have toned down their demands of the gulf state. they have replaced a list of 13 specific demands with six principles. they include combating extremism and terrorism, preventing financing and safer havens, and suspending all a cts safer havens, and suspending all acts that incite hatred or violence. so, will it resolve the crisis that has gripped the gulf? my guest today is from one of those four countries, omarsaif is from one of those four countries, omar saif ghobash, who is one of the uae's top diplomat. is his country guilty of copper —— hypocrisy and what have they achieved by isolating qatar? omar saif ghobash, welcome to
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hardtalk thank you. 13 demands replaced with six principles. what has changed ? replaced with six principles. what has changed? well, the 13 demands we re has changed? well, the 13 demands were actually presented in a confidential manner to the mediator to the mayor of kuwait. they were never meant for publication. it was qatar who within an hour of receiving the least publicised that. and so we really feel that that was kind of undermining the mediation efforts. the principles on which of those demands are based on what we have now come up with. and presenting that to qatar underworld ina public presenting that to qatar underworld in a public manner. is it a toning
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down of the demands?” in a public manner. is it a toning down of the demands? i don't think it isa down of the demands? i don't think it is a toning down, no, the principles are the same. it may be a question of how the principles are worked out in reality. so, there is no, i don't think there is dispute about the need globally to prevent the funding of extremism and terrorism. no, these were specific demands. what was wrong about going public with them ? demands. what was wrong about going public with them? were you embarrassed about them ? public with them? were you embarrassed about them? no, we were not embarrassed. what happens in the eastis not embarrassed. what happens in the east is the desire to its —— save face. we engaged in a confidential manner in passing on their demands. this is the same reason why in 2013 and 2014 the agreements with signed with qatar were also kept confidential and secret on the request of the qataris government. in the spirit of preserving the face of the qataris we kept the demands secret. 0k, well they have those 13
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demands made public. you stand by them, do you? the principles are an explanation as to what the demands are based on. so the demands are still there. your charge against the qataris is that they were supporting and funding terrorism. what evidence do you have that they funded terrorism? i cannot present you evidence here. we have recordings, voice recording. we have video evidence that we've managed to pick up evidence that we've managed to pick up in the field, whether that is in libya, in yemen. everybody knows for the last few years qatar has had a close relationship with al—nusra, which is referred to as al-qaeda affiliated. my assumption, our assumption is if you are affiliated with al-qaeda, you are al-qaeda. he recordings show what? and we have detailed what evidence you have? there will be voice recording. of what, though? people giving
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instructions, known individuals giving instructions to known individuals in libya, yemen and syria on carrying out certain acts. for example, a specific example i would like to give you, which is on yemen. we were in the process of engaging with al-qaeda, the qataris well alongside us. we have information, i don't have, but we as a government has information that oui’ a government has information that our qatari allies informed al-qaeda of our precise location and what we we re of our precise location and what we were planning to do. then we received four suicide bombers at our tour —— doorand received four suicide bombers at our tour —— door and we were injured. they deliberately sabotaged the attack and try to kill uae soldiers? we have had them dying as a result of qatari activities. why don't you make the evidence public? because this is a cultural issue where we really don't like to have this kind of public confrontation. there is
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a lwa ys of public confrontation. there is always the desire to continue...m isa always the desire to continue...m is a legal issue, isn't it? absolutely, yes. so is all of the stuff that is going on, this conversation on the funding of terrorism, extremism and protein narratives. it could very well convert into a legal issue. you have made some very serious allegations. you, surely, need to go public with the evidence for that? you know, what is funny as we have gone public with a whole set of issues. what we find is that the receptivity is not quite there. for us in the middle east to begin to speak about changing the narrative of extremist islam, to cut the source of funding, to pull back on those platforms that have been promoting this extremist thinking, when we in the middle east ta ke thinking, when we in the middle east take that responsibility, we would expect the global community to come and stand by us. it is extremely important. if you put information in
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the public domain, that shows what you are saying happens, then large parts of the world, the whole world will understand why you are saying what you are doing and they will —— there will be some response to it. our understanding is many governments in the west do understand in operational terms what the qataris have been doing. you won't make a public? this is not the time to make a public, no. one of the concerns that some people have not least is when this row blew up in may there was a newspaper, a number of newspaper reports, not least in papers which attributed comments to the emir of qatar, saying he was speaking favourably of iran, hamas, the muslim brotherhood and has the last. it was reported in the washington post that various us intelligence to show those reports we re intelligence to show those reports were a hack —— hezbollah. were a result of a hack orchestrated by
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your country, the uae. what do you say to that? well, our ambassador in washington has come out with a statement saying that's not true. the government has come out and said the same thing. i think that, you know, what is truly important here is not whether there was or was it a hack, it is the situation. i don't think the emir of qatar or deny he has a strong relationship with...m absolutely matters! if the uae hacked qatar to suggest... the uae did not ask, orchestrate or plan or ask someone else to hacked qatar? not at all stop what categorically no? no. do you accept someone categorically did? i don't think that there was any hacking. so, you think that the amir of qatar did say those things, you don't accept those denials? we don't accept their denials? we don't accept their denials but we know that they have established links with hamas and the
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iranians, they met with the head of the brigade, a guy famous for slaughtering sunnis in iraq and syria. what denial is there? you are of course ambassador in russia, have you asked the russians on this? no, i haven't. why not? it simply didn't come up. are you not curious to establish what information there is? on what precisely? on what exactly was said and whether there was any hacking. the russians, if there was hacking, then, you know, it may have been non—government parties. this is not the kind of stuff people would admit or talk about openly, certainly not at my level. you're the one who suggested it might have been the russians. no, this is a newspaper report from the united states. i am just picking on what i had heard. you believe it was the emirof qatar had heard. you believe it was the emir of qatar who was saying these things that were reported as
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inflaming, creating tensions and dividing the gulf? it is a position we have witnessed for many years, so, yes, i believe it is entirely within his politics and his character to have said something like that. the fact the us intelligence services are reported as saying that the uae was behind the attack at white... ? as saying that the uae was behind the attack at white. . . ? it was a newspaper report quoting intelligence officials. we don't have anything official from the white house or the state department 01’ white house or the state department or anything else. for the time being we can put that to rest. you don't trust anybody, anything said about that, but you absolutely believe that, but you absolutely believe that the emir of qatar said those things? we believe it is in keeping with his political positions and with his political positions and with his political positions and with his act of engagement in the region, yes. ok, so, we come to the demands it had set out. now, you say, you are suggesting that they still remain, these effectively 13 demands? yes. one of them on the
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list of 13 demands was that qatar stop all means of funding for individuals, groups or organisations that have been designated as terrorists by saudi arabia, uae can't ——, egypt and other countries. what gives you, saudi arabia, other countries have the right to decide in qatar's terms who is a terrorist? it is very interesting. we are focused, especially in the list of demands we gave them, not on particular groups we have decided on. we have looked at what is internationally recognised as a terrorist. if you are looking at a un list, european union list, or an american list, we are fairly certain. if you are talking about funding al-qaeda, or the people who say al-qaeda affiliated groups, it is fairly clear they are terrorists. iam not is fairly clear they are terrorists. i am not talking about that. it is clear in the 13 list, the third point specifically mentioned well—known groups. the fourth point
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was these individuals, groups or organisations. the reason i say this is that with the extra information that came with those demands, there we re that came with those demands, there were three qatar —based charities who the un itself says has over the yea rs who the un itself says has over the years built a strong partnerships with these organisations based on shared humanitarian principles which are strictly nonpolitical? they say that. do you accept that actually you have probably swept in people who shouldn't be on there?m you have probably swept in people who shouldn't be on there? it is quite possible. what is also possible is that the un doesn't have full information and maybe we should ta ke full information and maybe we should take it up with them and pass on all of the information that we have to clarify this issue. because the suspicion is that what you and saudi arabia and others are doing is labelling political opponents as terrorists because you don't like what they are saying and you want to silence them. no, i don't think that is the case. actually, if you look at gulf — arab social media, public media, there is vigorous debate taking place around events every few
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days. you can see a kind of sudden surge of very kind of polarised debate between liberal voices, and extremely conservative voices. so, you know, i don't think that is the issue. the issue here is when we are talking about very motivated extremist agendas. that is one of the problems we are dealing with here. there is a charge of hypocrisy that could be levelled at the uae over this. the us department of state said in 2015 the terrorist organisations exploited the uae to send and receive financial support and that sometimes your country was loath freezing assets because of political situations. i don't know what that is about and i find it interesting that the term used was exploiting the system. i understand exploiting the system. i understand exploiting the system taking place. ican exploiting the system taking place. i can assure you exploiting the system taking place. i can assure you over exploiting the system taking place. i can assure you over the last few yea rs i can assure you over the last few years we i can assure you over the last few yea rs we have i can assure you over the last few years we have increased our monitoring through the central bank and other financial mechanisms to increase the monitoring on exactly
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what is going on in ourfinancial system. because there was a problem. not least uae support for the taliban. i don't think we ever supported the taliban. we recognised the taliban for wa kely supported the taliban. we recognised the taliban for wakely reason. we are one of three who recognise the taliban. we needed an administrative partner to deal with the afghan population we have in the country working as workers. we know that when us embassy cables were leaked in 2009 that the taliban related finance officials went to the uae to raise or move funds and there was even a suggestion of arms and procuring arms, at which you may be 110w procuring arms, at which you may be now on top of, the problem may have gone away, but it was a problem than. these problems never go away because you have to qamshili monitor and make sure. it is actually an effort to make sure you are on top of it. it is clear that the emirates, dubai and abu dhabi are pubs that bring people from the
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region together. and it is absolutely possible that someone met someone absolutely possible that someone met someone else in our territory to discuss those kinds of issues. i know through my own work and through the government's work that we are very, very focused on this. we are not interested in supporting... and saudi arabia? saudi arabia sits alongside you pointing the finger at qatar and the response has been very widespread criticism. tom wilson, fellow at the centre to the response to radicalisation at terrorism at the think tank the henryjackson society says saudi arabia is undoubtedly at the top of the list of countries who have been of advancing extremism. it isa it is a very interesting distinction i would like to make between qatar in saudi arabia. with the revolution in iran and the desire to build a more cohesive sheer understanding.
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because of that, american charitable organisations have set up schools and educated pupils. in 2017, under the current leadership of saudi arabia, is that still the case? there are so many ways in which the saudis have clipped the wings of the clerical class to make sure that they understand that there is a limit to how much influence and decision—making by clerics can have. i would say there is a very big difference. the clerical class is becoming self—conscious about the messages. . . becoming self—conscious about the messages... the new york times, last year, you can tell me this is out of date. the kingdoms spent on told millions promoting the radicalform of sunni ideology that claimed responsibility for the 9/11 attacks and fan the flames of islamic state. it isa and fan the flames of islamic state. it is a question to pose. it pros
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that question in the book i have britain. as far as saudi arabia, you are pointing the finger at qatar. are you saying that saudi arabia is not guilty of those things?” are you saying that saudi arabia is not guilty of those things? i will not guilty of those things? i will not say that they are a flourishing liberal democracy, but nowhere in our part of the world... do we have that kind of perfect narrative, peaceful, optimistic narrative. we all have the problem. where we are different to qatar, the rest of the state of the golf, egypt are taking strong steps to change that narrative. in saudi arabia, that is actually happening. the problem is that we find with qatar, they still believe it is the narrative that will ultimately win on a populist basis across the arab world. you made the point, and you make it in your book, the importance of almost a western approach to free speech. here, one of the demands is to close
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down aljazeera. the fact that it doesn't appear in the principles, are you accepting that aljazeera should stay open? there are a couple of things we need to be clear about. we need to differentiate between al jazeera english and arabic. talking about arabic. that is a venomous platform. it is about poison. are you insisting it be closed down? we say it effectively should be closed down as an editorial that says, hate the west, hate the shia, hate the outsider, the christian, thejew. the west, hate the shia, hate the outsider, the christian, the jewm is an extraordinary territorial list form of free speech, it was as if china ordered britain to close down the bbc. i don't think there is a narrative between the two. this is a
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request to stop poisoning people with an extremist narrative. henry jackson... one of the things about aljazeera is that they are incredibly effective. somebody said to me, there are whole of channels that have the same narrative. the problem is that aljazeera is so effective and appealing that it pulls a fall in. essentially, they are extremely effective. it should still close? it should change to the extent that it cannot be recognised as aljazeera today, aljazeera arabic. aljazeera english is in this because those journalists who do not understand the arabic language, they are doing a greatjob and say, this has to be freedom of speech. what you are fighting for is freedom of hate speech. it is incredibly provocative, emotionally
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charged... whether it is the economist or aljazeera, many people make the point that the difficulty in the region is that there is not enough of a free flow of ideas. you have something that is very unusual and you want to shut it down. have something that is very unusual and you want to shut it downlj don't think it is true. we want to shut down the editorial that says, hate is the way forward. frustration, anger, destruction is the way forward. that is what al jazeera arabic does. you mention in your book, letters to a young muslim... you lost yourfather as your book, letters to a young muslim... you lost your father as a result of a terrorist attack as a young man. these letters, or at least inspired by the idea of what you want to communicate to your young sons. which is what? which is that in the modern world, in 2017, 2016 when i wrote the book, it is
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very important that any desire to be true to your religion, your face, your principles, you should not lose sight of the fact that the world is full of manipulators, people who are ready to use your good faith for destructive purposes. do your religion and the tax is in documents, the exclamatory books, ask yourself whether this is really appropriate for the 21st century. i would say that ultimately, you have got to remember that you or an individual, with your dignity and self—respect, you are the most precious thing. you have to hold onto yourself. who are those who are manipulating your religion? well, let's. .. manipulating your religion? well, let's... i don't want to talk about qatar again. there are state is using the large number of young arab
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males for their purposes. jihadis are expendable. use them and move on. they are like bullets. that is a major crisis. by clerics who don't have a full understanding of what century they are living in and who insist on holding people back, the narrative that the cleric knows and has access to... you blame some imams for the poisonous version of islam that can be spread around the world ? islam that can be spread around the world? yes, i think so. i also think that the world has changed over the last 20 years in such a way that, what may be appropriate for a village in a small town, a modulus, cut off from the west of the world, thatis cut off from the west of the world, that is no longer appropriate. when we look at muslim charitable organisations, when we start funding
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and teaching our version of islam in western societies in asia, we have to bea western societies in asia, we have to be a bit more sensitive to what it is we are exporting —— rest. are we exporting our basic principles? are we consolidating basic principles of islam? or are we exporting a homogenous society that didn't have access to the outside world ? didn't have access to the outside world? where is the change coming from? it begins with an awareness of what is going on. we look at reports like the henryjackson what is going on. we look at reports like the henry jackson society and wonder, maybe there is a point. maybe what was aggressive language used in a village in the middle east is not appropriate to be used in london or birmingham or manchester. it is extremely important that we are self—conscious about this. it is extremely important that we are self-conscious about this. that is down to individual, moderate muslims speaking up? yes, and also
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up muslims speaking up? yes, and also up to people like me who have a voice within government to make suggestions and proposals, to lobby for diversity. how did your sums respond? my younger son responded extremely well, my older son, for whom it was britain, who is now 16, he read a couple of chapters and decided he had a long life to live and would take his time reading it. he is exactly the target age, isn't he? yes, he is. iwill say he is exactly the target age, isn't he? yes, he is. i will say that i am not particularly worried about him being radicalised. to an extent, i was trying to make a statement to myself and my society. not necessarily my son, but your son, your daughter, they may need the support that i tried to provide in the book. it is a framework that links the texts and the very sort of a bstra ct links the texts and the very sort of abstract legal links the texts and the very sort of a bstra ct legal texts links the texts and the very sort of abstract legal texts that we have
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two—hour humanity. close to need to be linked. if you see a disconnect between the texts that we talk about and our humanity, then we are in trouble. omar saif ghobash, thank you very much for coming on hardtalk. thank you very much. hello there. there was still quite a lot of energy in the atmosphere, during wednesday afternoon some pretty intense thunderstorms broke out across north wales and parts of north—west england. weather watchers pictures coming through of torrential downpours, and there were reports of flash flooding across the rhyl area and parts of western lancashire. during the small hours of thursday, those heavy, thundery showers continue to move their way northwards. quite a wet start to
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thursday across scotland. further south, much of england and wales, it's going to be cloudy with showery outbreaks of rain. the odd heavier burst there too. turning a little bit cool and fresh and pushing to the far west, but quite a humid start again for thursday morning across eastern areas. and it means it will be quite a drab start across many eastern areas through the morning, and outbreaks of rain, the odd heavy outbursts too. eventually clearing out into the north sea, becoming more confined towards the north—east of scotland. but something a bit brighter and drier into the afternoon, but with it cooler and fresher air, so you will notice that — highs around 21 and 22 degrees across the southeast. further west, even cooler than that. around the mid—teens celsius, but at least you have the sunshine to compensate. in towards scotland, it's central northern areas will see most of the cloud, outbreaks of rain, the odd heavier burst, particularly across the northern isles. and then into northern ireland, something more showery moving
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in later on in the day. that is because of this area of low pressure which will become quite a player in our weather through friday, and potentially on into the weekend as well. notice isobars deepening as it continues to move in towards western parts of the uk. so it means quite a windy day for the western half of the country. and a weather front, pretty slow moving, will bring a lots of rain to northern ireland, to wales, particularly into south—west england and maybe in towards the west midlands. whereas further north and east, actually a fine dry day with some sunny spells and temperatures around 20—23 degrees. but cooler further west under that rain. through friday night, the weather front slowly gets a wiggle on, moves its way a little bit further northwards and eastwards but it's still with us though, as we head on into saturday, but a bit of a disappointing start to the weekend, i have to say, across northern and eastern areas — quite wet, the odd heavier burst there, too. feeling quite cool as well.
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the south could see the sunshine come out a little bit but then blustery showers will arrive and it will feel fresh. on into sunday, the winds ease down a little bit but it doesn't mean any showers that develop through central southern areas could be quite slow—moving so quite a bit of rain falling in a short space of time. further north, it looks like it will remain quite wet. i think the main message is, then, through this weekend, it is going to remain fairly cool and fresh for the time of year, longer spells of rain, but more likely showers and sunny spells. this is bbc news. i'm david eades. our top stories: president trump's son and son—in—law will testify before us senate committees investigating russian meddling in last year's presidential election. the senior us senatorjohn mccain reveals he has brain cancer. the 80—year—old was republican nominee for the presidency in 2008. the pr campaign that back fired — we report on allegations of high—level corruption threatening to bring down south africa's president.
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it's a plastics timebomb for the planet — researchers say the world is at risk of near—permanent contamination from the manufacture of billions of tonnes of plastic. "widespread, damaging and pervasive" — the impact on britain if brexit talks fail, warns an independent report. so as they reach the end of round two —
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