tv Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister CSPAN February 2, 2018 4:39am-5:35am EST
for nearly 20 years, "in depth" on book tv has featured the nation's best-nope nonfiction writers for live conversations about their books. this year as a special project, we're featuring best-selling fiction writers for our monthly program "in depth fiction edition." join us live sunday at noon eastern with colson whitehead, author of the 2016 novel "the underground railroad" which was awarded the pulitzer prize and the national book award. his other novels include "zone one," "sag harbor," and "the intuitionist." our "in depth fiction edition" with colson whitehead live noon to 3:00 p.m. eastern on book tv on c-span2. saudi arabia, bahrain, and egypt cut off travel and trade ties with qatar last year accusing it of supporting terrorism along with iran. next qatar's deputy prime minister and foreign minister
talk about tensions in the gulf region and his country's relationship with the u.s. the american enterprise institute hosted this event. >> good morning, everybody. welcome to the american enterprise institute. sorry for the brief delay but i think you'll find that this is a conversation that you're going to find extraordinarily interesting. we are delighted to welcome today his excellency sheikh mohammad bin bethani, excuse my pronunciation, appointed minister of foreign affairs of qatar in 2016, and the deputy prime minister in 2017. he is responsible for all of the ministry of foreign affairs issues including planning, implementing foreign policy, and he's here for a series of high-level conversations with the department of defense, the department of state, and the white house that we are looking forward to hearing all of the details of. what's going to happen today, the minister will join us at the podium for a brief statement,
then he's going to sit down on the stage with our resident or visiting fellow, excuse me, i'm getting your title wrong, is easier one, with our visiting scholar andrew bowen for a conversation which we'll then open up to questions from the audience. there's a lot to talk about here today. qatar has been at the center of i think wa we will all agree is an ugly disagreement among gcc countries and others, one that has really divided traditional u.s. allies and has sowed divisions i think within the u.s. government. we are very interested to hear your perspective, mr. minister. be careful on the step. and if you would just join us on the stage. >> good morning, ladies and gentlemen. thank you for hosting me here and thank you for inviting me today. i hope that today i'll have the
opportunity to shed the light on some of the issues in the middle east and the turmoil which is taking place in our region, which is not affecting only the interest of the region and the state of qatar, but affecting also the u.s. interests. and i hope that i can propose some ideas for a way forward. so the u.s. and qatar have been allies for 45 years. we have dozens of agreements that memorialize our commitment to each other. this week our country met for historic strategic dialogue. and signed official agreement including defending the cyber security of critical infrastructure for energy, strengthening trade, investment, and technology, developing international law enforcement to stop human trafficking, and continuing joint defense commitments. a qatar delegation could not have been welcomed with wider
arms. the u.s. and qatar have a unique partnership. when the u.s. was searching for a home for its troops in the middle east, qatar welcomed them. today qatar hosts the largest military foreign air base in the world. in qatar, 11,000 u.s. troops, thousands of u.s. teachers and students, and hundreds of u.s.-owned companies are living and working in qatar. qatar and the u.s. are strategically located. we are surrounded by powerful players in the middle east. some of these nations are bent on intimidation, aggression, and dangerous flirtation with war. make no mistake, these powers are feuding for domination, taking as prisoners not just the neighbors. suffering inflicted by these power-hungry forces, not limited
to the starvation and devastation of places like yemen, syria, and somalia. the well-being of citizens within these dominating regimes is also being sacrificed in the power grab. the illegal blockade started last year against qatar is one of many instruments of sabotage intended to bully my country into submission. the world is discovering that the blockading states will stop at nothing. illegal market manipulation, humanitarian assaults, silencing dissenters, weaponizing propaganda, and undermining the global fight against terrorism. these intimidation methods threaten the success of all the agreements and investments between qatar and the united states. there is a silver lining of this blockade. qatar has been able to show the
resilience and survive under siege. other countries in the middle east might not be able to withstand the trial of an attack. as we have seen an example after example across the region. qatar joins the u.s. passion for restoring security to the middle east. the regional and short-term danger of aggression is happening before our eyes. along a spectrum of devastation. the worldwide and long-term danger of aggression will eventually reach countries around the globe. because these states will stop at nothing. intentional, international destabilization of the energy and financial markets. and worse, by laying the groundwork for the next generation of terrorism. terrorism flourishes in oppressive, closed regimes where the needs and rights of the
citizens are not met. while many reckless leaders surrounding us double down on hidden and oppressive means of governance, qatar and many other nations in the middle east hope to keep developing into nations that can provide justice and security to its citizens. as i told secretary tillerson and mattis, qatar sees the u.s. as a critical part of that vision. ending the turmoil in the middle east will take further leadership. joint cooperation from all countries in the middle east is necessary to restoring lasting security to the region. qatar and the u.s. have been fighting terrorism together for many years. we agree that terrorism must not be -- must not only be destroyed through military efforts, but also by lifting up oppressed
with vision of openness and hope. through lasting social transformations. we have warned repeatedly that imposing repression over reform and development, using the law of power in a state of the power floor, is detrimental to the global counterterrorism efforts. the u.s. and other 72 members of the coalition against isis have spent years crushing this regime. we don't want to find yourselves in the same situation again and again. we need to work together to completely end terrorism financing, recruitment, propaganda, and extremist ideologies. wise leadership means put aside personal feelings to help the good of the people. it is qatar's hope that gcc can be rebuilt. the citizens of qatar are forgiving and resilient people.
we wish for unity. we can't ignore the historic bond between the countries of the gcc and the shared family, cultural, and financial ties that can actually make us stronger. qatar hopes for a restored gcc which is more transparent and based on shared interests, like trade and security. this restored gcc would need to have a clearer process for raising and resolving differences. would need to be void of forced compliance regarding foreign policy and decisions concerning domestic affairs. would need to be governed by reasoner over impulse. and would need to serve the best interests of all its members. regarding the greater middle east region, we cannot rebuild these devastated areas unless
more diplomatic pressure is put on power-hungry players. and the holistic security plan is established across the region. this security plan must find common ground, include an arbitration mechanism that gives small and large nations equal p binding consequences for those who create the crisis and threaten security. i hope the international community will join me in calling for an immediate regional strategic dialogue to agree upon common principles of co-existence. which can serve as a foundation to healing and ultimately prosperity for the region. thank you. [ applause ] >> thank you again for being here.
i wanted to kind of touch on a point that you stressed about kind of the future of the gcc. we look at, like, you were in -- you were in kuwait this past december, and i believe this was the first time yourself and he's highness were with your gcc counterparts in many months and the meeting ended quite abruptly. has there been -- and there is certainly since your visit here. has there been any indications of you seeing any optimism on the road to a potential kind of resolution or dialogue, whether that be convened by president trump or more specifically convened by kuwait or are we still at an impasse? >> qatar remains calling for the dialogue and supporting the initiative of the amir of kuwait when he offered to mediate
between the gulf countries and also accepted the invitation which was issued by the president for -- to call all the gcc members to camp david in order to see a solution for this. but when you have a conflict between parties and one of the parties is unwilling to engage in dialogue or unwilling to engage towards a solution, then this dialogue, even if it would in anything, it won't result in positive results because of the bad intention behind the willingness. the gcc summit was an opportunity what we believed in qatar that at least for the first time the leaders will see each other face to face. and we were surprised at the last moment that they have cancelled their attendance and downgraded their representation to the gcc meeting. so for us, we have done everything in our hands showing
the good will towards the solution, but it needs a response from the other side, which is not there yet. >> and do you think that, like, just kind of the number of issues that are typically -- have been -- have been raised by your neighbors have been everything from -- from media to interference in qatar's interference, they allege, in the neighbors' affairs since 2014. that if there is a dialogue point, as you said, that it does not appear that there is much momentum or will on your partner -- on your neighbors' side for such dialogue that -- do you see this as a potential opportunity that in light of president trump's kind of first the phone call with the amir earlier this month and then potentially hosting a camp david style summit later in the spring. would there be -- does this give
a window to at least find an opportunity for doha to kind of -- to have a proactive window to -- to kind of find a way to bridge some of those differences or do you think that there is no real -- there is too much light? >> well, we consider the meeting in itself and the leaders meeting together as at least a step towards success. but there should be driven from -- by their willingness. it cannot be driven by force. and we need the good intention. we need them to really prioritize what are the needs for this needless crisis, even the secretary of state has mentioned that this is unnecessary crisis being created out of this stable region. any light can be -- can be seen at the end of the tunnel if we
are agreeing on principles that all the countries are equal. there is no difference between the big and the small countries. all the countries enjoy the same rights. and are obliged to fulfill the same responsibilities. and new principles would govern this relationship between all the countries. we cannot go back before the 5th of june with the same nature of relationship. there is a lot of trust being lost throughout this crisis. and we hope that will be restored one day but needs a lot of time to be rebuilt again. >> and do you see kind of now looking at -- have you mentioned a mechanism for kind of a degree of monitoring and kind of accountability to rebuild those principles. would -- do you think at the moment that the united states is that -- and with the secretary of state has been quite active
in mediation that there is a moment for more enhanced u.s. leadership in bringing the parties to the table for such a mechanism? because it strikes me at times that, frankly, at much as the amir of kuwait has made many efforts, that those have not always been that received in riyadh and abu dhabi and there is a point, i think many kind of increasingly see it as a deadlock. to kind of break that, you see this as a potential opportunity for washington or for maybe doha to propose kind of a set of those principles to bring. >> well, definitely the intervention of the united states will make a big difference. especially when it comes from the highest level by the president himself. who expressed his commitment to cnn for this crisis and he always calls for a united gulf
country. whenever he has a phone conversation or a meeting with the amir, he always stresses on the importance for the gulf countries to come back together. and what also we believe in that we need to start a just and fair process. and the secretary of state, who was visiting the region earlier, at the crisis, he started to propose some good proposals, which are -- can become a baseline for further negotiation. qatar was very responsive to those proposals and we also -- we sent back our amendment and what we thought about, but the same thing, if it's ignored by the other side, we cannot do anything, we cannot have any breakthrough without them. >> kind of looking at the state of the u.s. relationship, i think members -- there has certainly been criticism by members of congress to a letter to nikki haley about -- about
the state of the -- of the mou. and certainly to agree that the mou is not public, but there has also been a view in some corners of congress and others that has the mou done enough? has it gone far enough? i think the state department certainly has publicly been supportive of it, but for kind of a more -- for the broader american public and those who were not part of those negotiations, like, is there any way to shed some light on what is the mou and where it's headed? is this a first step? will there be additional steps taken to address issues on kind of -- on terrorism financing and the mechanisms? >> well, first of all, to set the record clear, the mou, which was signed between qatar and the united states, was just part of the outcomes of the president's visit to the gcc and the meeting
between qatar and the other gcc countries. qatar, the first country which signed into this process, and this process objective is to bill capacity within the countries of the gcc starting a monetary mechanism to handle terrorism financing and also to develop the regulregulatory frar the charities work. the mou established very clear and very transparent plan, which is achieved by timeframe and by everything. and i believe that there are some of the members of the congress already being -- they have looked at it and they need -- they know the progress we have achieved in this and also there is a very clear and
straightforward by the state department and other departments of the progress in the counterterrorism front and there is a clear statement that qatar and the united states are partners in the fight against tr and terror and we provided a lot in this fight. it's not even in the terror fighting front, but in the military aspect of it. >> do you see them as at kind of the state -- will you do and say in six months say a temperature check on the progress that was made so far in the mou? is there discussion to further enhance that or do you think that currently the steps that have been taken so far from both washington and doha to kind of address some of the issues that -- and certainly some have been largely raised in the media about kind of to address the -- from that step or is this a beginning framework or -- >> the mou is an ongoing process. it's not something which we're -- which has just a milestone and then we will stop
the cooperation. so there are some issues which can be translated to a milestone, can be achieved, but there are other issues which are continuous coordination which we already have with the united states. and we have like a periodic joint review between qatar and the united states, which is i think every three months. i'm not so familiar with the timeframe of it, but so the u.s. and the qatari task force are meeting together and reviewing the progress and the -- everything is progressing very well. and some of the items are ahead of schedule already. >> i think it's often been noted that qatar was the first country to sign an mou on that and there are still other gcc members that have not. is the ideal -- is the ideal path to eventually try to
interlink to getting kuwait, the uae, saudi to also agree to those similar standards or on those benchmarks to try to -- because it's a -- it strikes me that a lot of the terrorism finance issues are, frankly, not just defined by borders but more kind of is a transregional challenge. >> well, it's a challenge everywhere, not only in qatar and not only in the gcc countries, but even elsewhere. the evolution of this phenomenon of the terrorism has been very rapid, especially in the last few years, so most of the legislations and the abilities within those countries couldn't keep up with this evolution. regarding the gcc and the framework of the gcc and its relation with the mou, actually, it was part of our agreement as gcc countries along with the united states to enhance and
develop our capabilities in terrorism -- in countering terrorism financing with the -- in partnership with the united states and each country should carry out this bilaterally. and qatar has started this right away after -- after the meeting. the other countries, they have to join and i don't know if -- what's their status until now. >> so looking at a few regional issues and then kind of open it some to the audience and one to kind of look at is iran has taken a strong position in support of qatar against saudi arabia and the uae. what are the larger implications of a stronger relationship with tehran? at the moment that -- >> well, first, we need to understand the geography of the region. if you look attica t qatar's ma
have one land border by saudi arabia and it's being blockaded without even any notification before that. so it is the only way to supply the food and medicine and the other supplies for the country. from the eastern side, we have uae and we have this territorial water which we are sharing together and the sky -- the skies which are -- the territorial skies for the uae and the other side you have bahrain. iran is the only path forward from the north. qatar is sharing borders with iran, it's sharing our largest gas field with iran, so for sure we will have this communication. after the blockade, the only way forward for our planes to -- and for our ships to bring the supplies for our people, the food supplies, the medicine
supplies, it's just via iran. we don't have any other access to bring our stuff from. this doesn't mean that we have an agreement with iran or qatar is closer with iran's policies, this is never the case for us. we always distinguish between the economic relationship and the political relationship. we comply with the international law, in politics, we disagree with iran's policies in many places. qatar when it comes to the policy in syria, we are on the other side of the equation. when it comes to qatar policy in iraq, we are on the other side. when it comes to qatar policy in yemen, we are on the other side, but the way forward to overcome these challenges is not on the battlefield, it's not by confrontation. we are sitting together in one region. we have to reach an understanding that each other
should -- we should respect each other's sovereignty. we should respect -- we should agree on common principles of security and co-existence. that no one interferes in the other country's affairs. no one launches any hostility against any other country. we don't believe that those proxies should continue and the people of those vulnerable countries, they are the one who's are going to pay the price, so we believe in dialogue. that's why always the channels of dialogue need to be open. >> and kind of looking at kind of the broader kind of -- the -- president trump's kind of statements on pushing back iran and kind of a more enhanced regional strategy. do you see, like, on qatar certainly it's -- with do ha, with secent com and having one the largest military bases in the region. in light of doha's geopolitical
realities and dealing with iranian proxies vis-a-vis syria and iraq or lebanon or yemen that at the moment that the steps to kind of to build off the president's kind of visit to riyadh last year, that there are some tangible areas where during your visit that you see as opportunities to kind of make progress and kind of on decreasing the behavior of iran's proxies in the region or -- >> the only way forward will be a political solution. there is no military solution for any conflict in the region. if you look at what's happening in those proxies areas like yemen, what is the price the people of yemen are paying right now? there are more than 20 million people are in need and they are suffering from starvation. syria, more than 500,000 have been killed.
in syria. iraq is now starting to -- the stability is starting to be restored after daesh and a lot of people have been displaced living as refugees. they are suffering from security issues. we are not the one who are paying the prices of those -- of those proxies. the people of iraq and the people of yemen, the people of syria, do they deserve that we continue this -- this war and this pressure on them? until we achieve the objective in order to bring iran to the table and solve the issue. they don't deserve it. i think we need to stop everything right now and to agree on principles that everybody should adhere to. at the end, we will resort to dialogue. let us cut the way short and start by the dialogue. >> do you -- do you see that at the moment any space for political dialogue on yemen? >> yeah.
of course there will always -- there will always be a space for dialogue. this is what qatar believes. qatar believes that everybody should be forced to dialogue. everybody -- we should stop supporting anyone who is just wanting to fuel a fire and to fuel a war. this is something we have seen now the results of the last few years. the results are awful in the region. it's a catastrophic situation in our region. our region is rich. our region has a lot of resources. our biggest problem is security. our people are feeling insecure. and now with all these wars, we didn't see any positive progress out of it. we've just seen terrorism movement moving around in the countries, more chaos means more terrorists, more chaos means more people in need, more chaos
means that those countries will take longer time to have -- to rebuild themselves again and to become countries again. >> looking more broadly, it was announced in recent days that turkey is expanding its military commitment to qatar and certainly there has been a number of bilateral visits between ankar and doha. how do you see your relationship with doha and what erdogan's intentions are in this relationship? >> first of all, turkey is an important country in our region. it has a very strategic location. it is a world player. it's a member of nato and it's the second largest force in nato so it's within the allies of qatar.
and also, if you will look at the bilateral relationship between qatar and turkey, we have a lot of common interests together. we have strong strategic relationship. qatar -- turkey stood with qatar during this crisis when it comes to supplies, when it comes to whatever support we have requested from them, and we have very good relationship when it comes to defense and to economic relationship. there is -- whatever they are announcing about the military deployment, the turkish military deployment in qatar, it's nothing related to the security situation of the region. this is a defense cooperation agreement which qatar signed way before any crisis. we have signed it in the -- in 2014, end of 2014, december 2014. and it's the same agreement also allowing the qatari forces to
participate in the fight against daesh there. and the same agreement is allowing them to use our bases also to contribute to the coalition. and adding to this, the bilateral defense relationship between the countries. >> kind of a final question on regional issues is more looking at your relationship with moscow and with president putin. the kind of announcement or the press reporting of a potential sale of the s-400 system to doha and how potential complications that could prove to have with centcom and also under u.s. treasury sanction law. is there a certain area of, like, is the value of a potential s-400 system a potential defensive measure against -- in light of the
current regional environment or is this still kind of how -- because of this balance as qatar navigates a relationship with washington but also with moscow and others that -- or is it being overly read into, if this is more speculation? the sale. >> there is nothing solid yet. what i can assure you is that qatar is always in compliance with the international law and also the sanctions system here, the sanctions regime in the united states. so we are taking everything in consideration. we have a very strong relationship with the united states and we have relationships with other countries, but nothing yet, i mean, in terms of signing a deal or not. >> i do think there is a degree of kind of a concern certainly in washington about -- about president putin's own intentions in the region, which may --
which don't frankly always align with what the united states would like to do and also kind of -- and other gulf allies, like, how to -- that in terms of building regional cooperation to address issues like syria and others, and i imagine there are quite a number of differences between doha and damascus and moscow on syria and other issues, that, like, to -- so it does not create an environment where -- >> well, as long as the conflicts in the region are continuing, everybody will have an interest in the region and everybody will have his own interest and different interest. so that's why we need to call for a genuine security dialogue between the different countries and different forces in the region. let us reach an understanding that keeping all the other interests aside and think about the interests of the people. we are just going to think about which country is going to influence which country, we will never achieve any result.
>> so i think i'll open to questions. you. >> i'm gardner harris from "the new york times." you seem to be having a moment in washington, d.c. right now with the trump administration, particularly your meetings, two by two meetings this week. lots of positive statements from both tillerson and mattis. what -- why is that? what is -- why have you been able to succeed over the last few months in this spat with your rivals at the gcc? and do you see the tide turning in washington in your favor? >> thank you. first of all, our relationship and our partnership with the united states has been always very strong and strategic
partnership. and we see that we don't consider what we have achieved with the united states as something directed to our gulf neighbors or to -- it is a winning situation in the gulf crisis or a losing situation for the other side in the gulf crisis. we see that everybody is a loser from this crisis. we see that there is no winner. our people in the gulf, they lost a lot from this -- from what we call a needless crisis. what we have, we have built throughout the year a partnership based on trust, based on transparency. we have been a strong ally with the united states and the u.s. is recognizing this alliance. and upgrading it to a higher level, which is the strategic level we have right now. and we are using this
opportunity as a platform to consolidate all of our efforts under one coordinated umbrella. we are trying to alleviate this and trying to intensify this cooperation. >> yes? >> good morning. director of the gulf institute. my question is about amman. the fact that amman and kuwait, mostly amman, has been basically taking a neutral role in this conflict and -- are you planning to investment. -- is amman one of your places where it's a very nice investment area, so is that something that you think of in terms of helping amman with its economic issues as well? >> amman, we have very strong
relationship with amman and we have already well-established investments there. and this investment is continuing and growing. we have investments in the real estate, we have investments in infrastructure, we have investments in manufacturing and also now we have investment -- we have joint investments with italy in the energy sector there. so our investment plan there is not something that's considered a big portion of our investment, and also our plans in the future is to expand. >> josh? in the back. >> thank you so much. josh rogin, "washington post." thank you for your time today. according to the readout of president trump's recent call with your amir, the white house said the president thanked the
amir for action to counter terrorism and extremism in all forms, including being one of the few countries to move forward on a bilateral memoranda of understanding. there has been criticism about this memorandum of understanding. congress alleged that it's not tough enough and they also criticize the fact that it's been held in secret. they question whether or not the -- your country has actually taken steps to combat terrorist financing. can you tell us some details about the steps that you've taken and can you comment on whether or not you believe this memorandum of understanding should remain secret? thank you. >> the confidentiality of the memorandum, this is something related to the u.s. government and i don't know what the nature of the relationship is between the executive arm and the legislative arm, but from my meetings with some of the congressmen, i had to know that they also -- they have seen the
memorandum and there are some -- some of them, they report to them what is the progress on it. for us, as i just mentioned to andrew here, that the memorandum is an ongoing process. and it's something which is -- came out as a result of the meeting between the u.s., the united states, and the fwmpt cc. gcc. and not only qatar is the country which obliged to sign such an mou, but all the other countries are obliged to do the same. how tough or easy or it's enough or it's not enough, all the u.s. agencies, they are confirming and recognizing the efforts and the partnership that the u.s. has with qatar in the counterterrorism and countering terrorism financing. we don't want to be caught by the propaganda created from
outside for regional purposes. and they are trying to -- just to fuel it here for their regional purpose, but to affect the national interests of the united states. we have seen that this propaganda war is fueled by countries which consider qatar as their opponent and they are trying to use all the means here just to change this image of qatar and create this kind of misperception. our role is reaching out to the people, reaching out to the congress and clarifying for them the situation. qatar has been cooperative and helpful ally for the united states for the last decades. it's not something new. and the u.s. government knows this and recognizes this.
>> thanks you. amir, "newspaper israel." there have been a wave of meetings with jewish theaters with the amir and other leaders of qatar. each one of them after those meetings said they asked the leadership of qatar to change the coverage of al jazeera towards israel. has qatar given any reassurance that there will be a change in al jazeera's coverage of this issue? >> well, regarding the visit of different -- from different parties from the u.s. societies are coming to qatar and visiting us. we don't distinguish between religious background or ethnicity background. all of them are welcome and we are building a good relationship with them. regarding al jazeera coverage, qatar's constitution it's very clear that the government should not interfere in the media, but
al jazeera also should comply with the international standards and any code of conduct. there are clear mechanisms if anyone is complaining about al jazeera coverage that's been promoting hate speech or inciting, they can go and file these complaints in different bodies which are governing the media outlets and he will get -- he will get a just result out of it. in fact, we have -- there are some complaints being filed against al jazeera in the united kingdom and it's proved that al jazeera they followed the provisional standards. we are not questioning the content of al jazeera. >> yes? in the back. >> thank you. rahim rashidi from kurdistan tv. what do you think of turkey's operation and what is your
opinion about the peshmerga fight against isis and terrorism? thank you. >> peshmerga played a vital role in the fight against isis and against terrorism there in iraq. we see that they have good soldiers who can -- who are fighting terrorism and they are committed to the security of their country, but also we need to look at turkey security also -- national security issue, which is affected by some of the movement which is affecting directly the security of turkey. and qatar is supporting any country which will take care of -- to protect their own national security. what's happening is done by coordination with the other forces there, with the other allies, and they are trying to protect their borders.
and i think this is the right of any country to protect its borders. >> thank you. thank you. i'm mike hall from johns hopkins university school of advanced of international studies. to seems to me that the central point of your talk today was qatar's strong stance against terrorism. can we take that to mean that you unequivocally oppose all non state groups that espouse terrorism and actively carry out terrorism in pursuit of this goals, such as hezbollah or other groups in your region? >> we denounce any non state actor who commits violence against the civilians. the terrorism act in itself is denounced and condemned by the state of qatar, and this is very clear policy for us. we don't distinguish between those of non state actors,
whether they are sunni, shia, muslim or non-muslim, for us, we judge the act, we judge the behavior, we don't judge the background of the people. >> thank you. philip cornell from the atlantic council. the blockade has obviously had an impact on the blockade of qatar. it's come at a time also of slumping gas prices. and the result is three years of deficit and at the same time, i mean, the pipeline,s for, stays open. the economy is set to grow next year. my question is how sustainable from an economic point of view is the current status of the blockade or is it a ticking clock? and are there any specific measures of escalation or tightening of screws that you could see that might impact that clock in terms of the, yeah, the sustainability of the economy? thanks. >> well, regarding our -- the resilience of our economy, the country can survive forever with
the current resources. we are blessed with natural resources, but also we are -- we are having a good management for those resources. and the blockade when it has an impact on the economic situation, it has the shock impact which is the first few days or a few weeks from the measure they have taken. but the problem doesn't lie there. it lies where the other countries, the blockading states try to and attempt to manipulate the market to create fake news and fake stories about -- about the economic situation. trying to create this propaganda in order to distress the economy. those -- thou those factors are unacceptable by international law and
undermining the world economic order, but these things -- these sorts of things which can have -- we remember resisting all those moves -- all these moves, but it has a disturbing ongoing factor. what we are seeking for is that everybody just stays away on his own way until they reach to a way forward for a solution. and we don't see that there is any risk of aggression. the only -- the only thing we see -- the only provocation we see are the market manipulations. >> yes? >> thank, andrew. i'm with al jazeera television. and i say it proudly. let me ask you this in english and you're free to answer
whether it's in arabic or english. why is it that qatar has not until now officially announced who was behind the hacking of the qatar news agency that caused this whole crisis? >> well, it's a legal process. i'm not aware exactly where they have reached in the legal process, but until now, we cannot disclose the information who was exactly behind the hack and i don't want really to undermine this process. >> we can take one final question, but after that, i would ask you all to remain seated so that the minister can go to his next appointment. yes? >> thank you. my question is about iraq.
the fragmentation of semipolitical leadership in iraq has been seen as an obstacle to stability, to political stability in the country. and as the country goes to elections in a few months, what initiatives, if any, does qatar have to try to create a unified sunni political leadership or vision for the future? thank you. >> well, we always encourage the iraqi people to build their political affiliation based on their national identity, not based on their sects or their ethnicity. unfortunately what we are seeing right now that there are shia, there are sunni, there are kurds and yazidis from different backgrounds and different sects. we don't -- we don't like to interfere and having, like, one sunni front. this is not qatar policy. and we encourage everybody to come along based on -- we talk
to sunni leaders, we talk to shia leaders, we talk to different politicians to have a united front among them with a common national interest that iraq should remain together, but the integrity of iraq shouldn't be undermined. and to stay -- to stay together for -- for a better future. but just fueling and leveling this sunni pack or shia pack, i don't think this will be good for the iraqi people themselves. >> thank you very much, minister. >> thank you. >> i hope to host you in the future and better times. >> thank you. thank you very much. thank you. [ applause ]
the republican national committee's annual winter meeting continues friday morning. live coverage begins at 10:30 eastern on c-span. in the afternoon, the chairman of the council of economic advisers kevin hassett will talk about u.s. corporate tax rate changes. live coverage from georgetown's institute of international economic law begins at 12:45 eastern, also on c-span. the weekend, the c-span cities tour takes you to fayetteville, arkansas, located in the ozark mountains, it's home to the university of arkansas and the clinton house museum. the first home of bill and bill clinton. with the help of our cox communications cable partners, we'll explore fayetteville's rich literary life and history. we'll visit the special collection at the university of arkansas libraries where we'll hear about senator fullbright's
30 years career in the u.s. senate. >> he was remarkable in lots of ways, but he could talk to just about anybody. different political stripes. people across the aisle. people from different parts of the world. so this is a democratic leader, of course, fullbright here meeting with the republican president and the future republican president, george h.w. bush, all here together watching texas unfortunately beat the razor backs. >> on sunday at 2:00 p.m. on "american history tv" will tour the prior center for oral and arkansas history. and talks about the history of the ozarks and the stereotypes that people face living in the region. >> backwardness. low level of education. poverty. lots of things that kind of come with that -- that general territory of traditionally being a mostly white, mostly rural, mostly poor place. those images, those stereotypes
will, you know, they'll stick with us and they're kind of -- they're part of our story. >> watch the c-span cities tour beginning saturday at noon eastern on "book tv" on c-span2 and sunday at 2:00 p.m. on "american history tv" on c-span3. working with our cable affiliates as we explore america. sunday night on "q&a," brotherer bill james talks about his book "the man from the train" if which he investigates one of the deadliest serial killers in american history. >> many of the crimes happen within 100 yards of the railroad track, and one of the things that helps us identify his crime as opposed to somebody else's is that it usually happens at the intersection of two railroad tracks. the -- and it's at the intersection of two railroad
tracks presumably because he knew he had to get out -- after he committed his crime, he had to get out of town before dawn and he didn't want to be stranded there wait for a train to come through that he could hop on. so being at the intersection of multiple railroad tracks gave him- more opportunities to get out of town before the crime was discovered. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's "q&a." hawaii governor david ige delivered the state of the state address last week and outlined his agenda and budget priorities for the year. he did not touch on the island's recent false missile scare. governor ige was elected governor in 2014 and is up for re-election in november.