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tv   Washington This Week  CSPAN  December 14, 2013 12:00pm-2:01pm EST

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relationships, and improve the economy. i think that's really what's been driving them. >> mr. ted poe of texas. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, mr. secretary. make it clear i do not question the motives or the interests that you have, the administration has, in what's doing best for the united states. i really believe that's what you want to do is make the world safer for us and everyone else. on this particular agreement and the proposal, i disagree. it seems to me that we're giving away the$x farm and the mineral rights as well. it seems to me also rather than make them dismantle their nuclear weapons program, we're just freezing the program which could be thawed out at any time down the road. these are my concerns about iran and this situation, then i'm going to have a few questions,
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if i don't talk too long. the first concern, of course, is their continuing development of intercontinental ballistic missiles. when i met with prime minister netanyahu in israel a couple weeks ago, he said that they are not developing those icbms for us, israel, they can reach us with what they already have, they are developing for you, the united states. so i'm concerned about that. they continue to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles. it seems they would want something on the tips of those intercontinental ballistics down the road like weapons. second concern are terror groups they sponsored all over the world in places most americans haven't heard of. hezbollah, activities not only in the middle east but other parts of the world, rigc. they are causing mischief as you know everywhere, including
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syria, trying to support a rogue government there as a puppet state maybe for iran. mr. rouhani is a smooth talker in my opinion. different than ahmadinejad who was a flame thrower with his but seems to hang his own people and we continue to talk about and han been resolved, mek, dissident group, five attacks on them. no one has been brought to justice in the iraqi government and the criminals haven't been brought to justice. the latest one -- excuse my partner here. when they were attacked december 1st, the murders occurred in ir iraq. fifty people were murdered, many while wounded, tracked down and murdered. i believe iran was behind this
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attack. of course no one has been held accountable, not iran, iraquis, not the criminals themselves. there are some other examples. my question is this, big picture. as the supreme leader changed his position that iran wants to eliminate israel and iran wants to eliminate the united states? >> congressman, let me begin by saying i agree with each of the concerns you've expressed. there is no question but that the icbm missile program of iran is of serious concern. we have, we believe, inserted language in the agreement and an understanding in the agreement that's very much one of our concerns going forward is the weaponization.
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likewise the terror, support for terror, i raised it earlier and i let the record speak to that. with respect to the stated positions, public positions of iran and its rhetoric, no. it hasn't changed and it very inflammatory and very threatening. >> do you think, excuse me, mr. secretary, because i have one minute left. do you believe it's still the goal of the supreme leader to destroy israel and destroy the united states? >> well, when you say do i believe? >> do you think, do you believe, what do you think of that position? >> i think their rhetoric is dangerous and threatening, incredibly counter-productive and damaging to any potential rational relationship.
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>> reclaiming my time, one other question. i want to reclaim my time. >> my but is -- >> i'm reclaiming my time. my other question is this, mr. secretary. if iran gets nuclear weapons, will saudi arabia, turkey and egypt also rush to get nuclear weapons as well. >> if iran got a nuclear weapon, there would be an arms race in the region for certain, which is one of the reasons why they aren't going to get a nuclear weapon. i want to finish. >> absolutely, mr. secretary. go ahead. >> i want to finish. there are lots of people in the world who use outrageous, outlandish rhetoric. they play to their street and play to their constituency and have no means of actually implementing what they are saying. but we take seriously the threat of iran and the potential for a nuclear weapon. that's why the centerpiece of the foreign policy is they will not get a nuclear weapon while this president is president of
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the united states. >> warren vargas of california. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman, and thank you very much, mr. secretary, for being here. i wan to premise my remarks, i have nothing but respect in regard to you personally and professionally. one of my biggest disappointments politically was that you wouldn't become president. we worked hard in california for you and i think you would have been a magnificent president. i'm not a so-called friend, i'm a believer. however, when it comes to this deal, i'm against it. i do think items naive and i don't think it makes us safer unfortunately. i don't think it makes our allies safer, especially israel. instead of agree with those that say sanctions were working. we didn't ratchet them enough. we should have tightened them down more. the question comes whether they want to function in the economy or nuclear weapons capability weapons program. i think we need a corollary the
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axiom nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. instead we should say we won't agree to anything until everything is agreed. we want that comprehensive deal first. has iran changed calculus? i don't know. i'm not skeptical. i'm not skeptical at all. i haven't changed calculus. i think we want a nuclear weapons program. i do want to give you time to answer those questions. i won't go all the way until there's two seconds left and then say, mr. secretary, would you like to answer those 50 questions. i do want to know, it seems to be naive, to be frank, on its face. >> well, first of all, congressman, i'm really pleased that you think i would have made a good president, and i appreciate your support in that effort. i hate to disappoint you i've come up with something in conjunction with the administration and our efforts are naive. i think it is anything but naive. anything but. i think that for many reasons
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i've been thinking about and working on the iran file, so to speak, for a lot of years. ler a lot of people who have a different calculation about what iran might or might not want to do. it's all well and good and sit here and say theoretically ratchet up sanctions and drive them into a place they will crush. you know what, russians and chinese won't be with you doing that. ultimately the europeans might not be either. as you ratchet them up, and they think it's unreasonable based on their willingness to explore diplomacy, you lose them, too. guess what you've done? you've undone the sanctions not reinforced them. let me go a step further. there's a lot of people in the intel community who will sit and tell you, and i urge you to get briefed on it, who will tell you there's a whole school of thought in iran, the hard-liners, who welcome the idea the united states might
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whack them, because they think they will be heroes in the street and they think they will be true to the revolution. they think as a result they will actually be stronger as a regime. there are many people who believe if the regime got into real extremist on the economy, what would happen is the extreme leader will say i'm not surrendering. we're not ever going to surrender to the great satan. now we're going to go for the weapon because it's the only thing we can do. we'll dig deeper and go more secret and take whatever it takes but we're going to get it. that's all the united states of america understands. that's an alternative theory to the notion you can go out and raise your sanctions add infinite um and win. perhaps we won't get an agreement and have to do the other thing anyway. you know, one of the things i learned a long time ago is if you're going to take the nation
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to war, you better have exhausted all the possibilities of trying to get peaceful resolution before you do it. we are doing that now. we are going through the testing and testing to see whether or not they are serious. if not, we have all the options available to us. there's nothing naive about what we're doing. it is calculated. it may be wrong. you may find it's a miscalculation. it's not miscalculation based on naive, i believe no question in my mind, if we were negotiating and pressing further, we would be inviteing a prolonged process which would drive them to want to get the weapon even more and then you'd be at a place where you might get negotiations but they are even closer to having the weapon than they are today.
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much more dangerous. >> my last few seconds, i pray you're right. again, i encourage you. i think you're a man of great courage and i hope the best for you. >> thank you. >> from arizona. >> thank you, mr. secretary. i have three questions and they all deal with the issue of accountability. i'll ask the three questions and then turn the time over to you. it is an alarming fact that this agreement that you struck with the iranians gives them access to $7 billion in cash. can you assure the american people that not one single dollar of that new money coming into iran is going to be used to kill one american soldier? the second question is i don't feel like the obama administration has a stellar track record on the issue of accountability, from benghazi, nsa, ap, irs, to fast and furious, these are all dismal examples. where we still don't have answers to why they happened and who is ultimately accountable.
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where does the buck stop in the new deal if it doesn't work like promised p. are you going to be held ultimately accountable, the president, who in the administration? finally, continuing on that theme of accountability, the administration claims to not be in negotiations with iran when they, in fact, were. the state department has admitted victoria were mislead reporters when in february she denied exist earns of secret bilateral talks with iran. turns out your department intentionally misled american people about negotiations taking place behind closed doors. how can we have the confidence the information you're giving us now is on the level, particularly since the iranians clearly have a different interpretation of the agreement than you do. those are my questions and i'm very interested in your answers. >> honestly, i'd have to go back and check.
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i became secretary of state february 1st. i'm not sure what was said then or not said exactly or what the state of play was but let me find out. with respect to accountability, i'm hanging out there. i'll be account able. i have absolute confidence you'll hold me accountable. i said to the chairwoman i don't think the sanctions regime will come apart. she said it's the death knell of it. we're going to know in a few months. so i'll be accountable. >> as to my very first question, with the new money they are getting, and i'll take it face value that the amount you've speculated, $7 billion, with that new money coming into iran, can you assure the american people that not a dollar of that money is going to be used to kill an american soldier? >> congressman, i wish i could give you that kind of assurance, i have no ability to tell you
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exactly what fungability there is in money in iran or where the budget goes. my prayer is that no soldier will be killed as a consequence of anything that iran chooses to do. and our hope is as a consequence of this process maybe we can get at some of those issues that are very significant between our two countries. >> finally, i think this has boiled down to a disagreement of whether or not ultimately want them to continue any kind of nuclear program within iran versus being able to go forward and not have any kind of a nuclear program. >> when you say nuclear, do you mean power program? >> yes, any kind of nuclear program, any kind of enrichment. they can get all the nuclear material they need for power by purchasing that from other countries. they don't need to be able to
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enrich that themselves. the way i look at this deal, and i understand there are a lot of components, but you mentioned earlier in your initial remarks that one of the big successes of this interim deal or six-month deal is that they have to way lay their 20% enriched uranium. that's very insubstantial. it's a small quantity. they have a far larger quantity of 3 to 5% enriched materials and it doesn't take a lot to get to that next level. i think we all understand that. so it seems like a large -- seems to me like a great deal to get a small quantity of 20% enriched uranium for $7 billion bucks. >> congressman, if they don't have theability to enrich it and
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they can't. they aren't allowed to put in any additional enrichment facilities, they aren't allowed to change that stock, so it's relevant. you think it's not worth six months trying to negotiate a comprehensive deal you hold their program where it is, then you make your judgment. we believe it is. you know, we've proven in the last years as we went from those 164 centrifuges to 19,000 what you get for not talking. you get closer to a bomb. so we believe it's important to try to sit down and see if we can resolve this. >> we go now to rhode island. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, mr. secretary, for being here and thank you to the administration for briefings and important information you have shared with us today. thank you for the work you're doing. i was happy to reaffirm the
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commitment for iran not to enrich. it makes us safer, our allies safer. the question is whether or not this is likely to make it more likely or less likely that we prevent iran from having a nuclear weapon. the scepticism everyone has expressed is healthy, but i think the question is does this make it more likely we achieved this objective. i think there seemed to be very competing time lines. one time line is doing nothing and the development of a nuclear iran. the other time line is additional sanctions so severe that either iran abandons its nuclear ambition or the regime is brought down. another time on the negotiation, we have questions as if nothing will happen if we don't take some action or pursue diplomatic alternative. so like everyone on the panel i hope you achieve this effort,
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everyone will win if we achieve a greater iran, everybody will benefit if we can. to follow up on a question, if it is true that iranians are certain if they violate this agreement that additional sanctions will be imposed, if they are certain of that, then speak to what would be the consequence of acting sanctions, additional sanctions not triggered until a default in the agreement or effective date a year from now or some other mechanism if, in fact, they expect it. what would be the impact on negotiations, our allies. why wouldn't we do that as a mechanism to sort of make clear what you indicate they had already know. >> because we told them we wouldn't do it while negotiating. >> because our partners don't expect us to pass new sanctions while negotiating. because our partners, if we pass
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them now, could get squirrely on the idea of sanctions. they will figure we're doing our own thing and we're not part of the team. >> you think that's the same view even if the sanctions are not imposed? >> sanctions not imposed. it implies a lack of faith in the process and unwillingness to play by the rules our partners are playing by. >> the second question, mr. secretary, i know that, and i think it's an important point, interim agreement says iran reaffirms under no circumstances will iran ever seek or develop any nuclear weapons. as you well know, there are many steps in research and development and testing that a state may under take that are important steps to build nuclear capacity. in the past according to iaea iran has taken some steps and argued dual use because of civilian use.
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is that an issue you intend and can assure us you'll address in a final agreement? >> it has to be. absolutely. that's part of what we were talking about about resolving all our concerns and dealing with the larger u.n. security council and ballistic missile issues. >> mr. secretary, it seems to me that the outline of the first step are creating a window of opportunity. the alternative of not proceeding aggressively in this negotiation would allow iranians to proceed unchecked, really, over the next six months or longer. it is my hope you'll be successful and provide greater security to the country and allies to the region. >> thank you. mr. jeff duncan of south carolina. >> thank you, mr. chairman. it's quite a feat to have secretary of state in front of our committee twice in one year. i just wanted to remind the committee it's been 15 months
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since benghazi terror attacks that killed four brave americans including tyrone woods. administration brought none of the perpetrators to justice or culpability in the deaths of these brave americans. in negotiating with iran the administration chose to ignore the polite of pastor abedini during negotiations and decided to release an iranian nuclear scientist for the iranians. that just baffles me. mr. secretary in negotiating with iran, you seem to give them the benefit of the doubt they will comply with the agreement, but i agree with the canadian foreign affairs minister who said we think past actions best predict future actions. iran defied united nations security council and iaea. simply put iran has not earned the right to have benefit of the doubt. iran is a bad actor. we know that. numerous hearing pointed out
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iranian activity in the western hemisphere. even the defense minister of israel acknowledges in a december 9th article in the times of israel, he states iran built infrastructure of terror in central and south africa in order to among other goals had a basis to attack u.s. these are the guys we're negotiating with. iran clearly implicated in buenos aires bombings. abandon 190 years of policy by declaring the monroe doctrine era is over. what kind of message does that send? sends wrong message to iran, china, russia about our liability in the region. having made all those statements i have to ask, why trust iran? there has been no accountability for past actions and past links to terrorism. i have a series of yes or no questions for you. iran is still listed by the u.s. department of state as a state
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sponsor of terrorism, correct? >> yes, it is. >> thank you. is iran still supporting hezbollah and hamas? >> yes. >> hezbollah still active in south america? we've established that in this committee and state department agreed in complying with threat and western hemisphere threat. what impact do you think sanctions relief will have on hezbollah and other regional proxies. if we lift these and they have $7 billion, what impact do you think that will have on state sponsored terrorism. >> very little. they are a $1 trillion economy. this is a tiny percentage of that. they are not banking on this money to engage in nefarious activities they take place in, which we agree with, all of them. i cited a moment ago our concern
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about the many other issues from ballistic missiles, support for terror, support for hezbollah. i mentioned hezbollah earlier. obviously these things concern us a lot, congressman. nowhere, nowhere, not once today, nothing that i said intimated in any way whatsoever a benefit of any doubt. i sat here and said we're skeptical. i sat here and said they have to prove it. i sat here and said we're going to test them. i said we're not going to mention the word test. this is based on testing and verification. i don't know where you get benefit of doubt. there's no benefit of any doubt here. this is a very skeptical and tested and focused process of verifying a program that we have to account to the world for. >> let me ask you another question, then, does north korea have nuclear weapons? >> north korea does not have a program yet that is capable.
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they have had some explosion devices. >> in february 2007 north korea agreed to abandoning all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs and returning at an early date to a treaty on nonproliferation nuclear weapons and iaea safeguard. supposedly this significant achievement committed six parties at that time to an agreement to a denuclearized p korean peninsula. guess what, september 2008, they were back. we gave them 700 -- i think it was 950,000 tons of fuel if they would stop their nuclear weapons program. i go back to one of the gentlemen to my left said freeze and unfreeze. that's exactly what happened in north korea. they froze it and got what they wanted out of the deal and restarted it. i'm afraid we're going to see this similar thing happen. different actors, same script.
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>> lois frankel of florida. >> thank you, mr. chair. i know we all agree, thank you, secretary, for your service, perseverance and fortitude. we all agree that iran should not acquire a nuclear weapon. i have a few questions. there seems to be listening to my colleagues, a lot of scepticism in the room. implicit it sounds to me is the belief pushing more sanctions would eventually bring iran to full capitulation. so my question to you really has to do with the timing. why do you think the timing is right now for these talks. whether you disagree with the premise more sanctions reach full capitulation is possible one question.
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number two, are we getting pressure from our partners not just about sticking with this agreement but with actually bringing an agreement? do you feel like they are tiring about enforcing sanctions? and then as to the $7 billion, you seem to imply it's really more less a drop in the bucket. i know $10 million is a drop in the bucket but you say compared to what stays in place. what is iran getting from this that will lead us to progress in these talks? and last, in talking about the final deal, are you going to be looking at putting back sanctions automatically if
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certain bench marks are not met? >> say the last one again, i'm sorry? >> in the final deal, are you looking at sanctions automatically going -- being put back if certain bench marks are not met? >> let me go through each of your questions, congresswoman. thank you very much. is the timing right? is capitulation possible, and what is the timing here. the timing we believe is right for a number of different reasons, because we have the unity of p5 plus 1. we believe iran, the change of administration in iran, wants to try to reach out and see if they can, indeed, achieve a different relationship. for all the mistrust here, i have to tell you there's equal amount if not more mistrust in iran. they mistrust us. they have a complete lack of
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confidence we're willing to make a deal or that we'll keep the deal. so these things work two ways. they have a perception that we are out for regime change and what we want to do is hammer them and bring more sanctions. there's a lot of doubt whether we're going to negotiate in good faith, which is one of the reasons there's a question here about what we wind up doing after we enter into negotiation. is capitulation possible? i don't believe it is. it depends what you engage in. does the united states have the power ultimately militarily? yeah. is that where we're headed? is that where americans want to go? is that what the situation calls for? that's a whole different set of questions and i doubt answers are affirmative. i think basically sanctions are not going to produce capitulation. i think that's part of the
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calculation here. i think when you have a country ready to negotiate, and they step up and say we're prepared to do this, and we have partners in the deal, if those partners perceive that we're not prepared to do it, then they will go off and do what they need to do and you lose unit, what we have, whh is part of what makes sanctions so powerful. we don't want to lose that. in addition you asked what is iran getting. what iran is getting is a road map to the way they can get rid of the sanctions, that they ultimately, hopefully can strike a new relationship. what does that require? it obviously requires things beyond the nuclear program. it will require dealing with missiles, ballistic missiles, terrorism, their support for it,
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with other kinds of activities. you've got to begin somewhere. the most immediate threat to us and our friends in the region is the nuclear program and that's where we've begun. >> mr. brooks of alabama. >> thank you, mr. secretary, for sharing your time with us on a very important and very high-risk issue. in 2005, the president of iran stated, quote, israel must be wiped off the page of time, end quote. in 2006, the president of iran said, quote, whether you like it or not, the zionist regime, referring to israel, is on the road to being eliminated, end quote. also in 2006 the iranian president added that, quote, the zionist regime is a rotten, dry tree that will be eliminated by one storm, end quote. i emphasize that a nuclear attack on israel certainly qualifies as being, quote,
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eliminated by one storm, end quote. the jewish community, the united states, and for that matter almost all the rest of the world disregarded adolf hitler's threats and were deceived by hitler's promises in the 1930s resulting the holocaust and murder of millions of innocent jews. in as much as israel appears to be iran's number one target, i give great weight to israel's opinion about the iran nuke deal you advocate. so far israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu has not been favorably impressed having said, quote, what was achieved in geneva is not an historic agreement, it is an historic mistake, end quote. quote, to a large degree, this agreement rescues iran from the pressure it has been under and also gives it international legitimacy to continue its nuclear program. this is a bad agreement, end
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quote. it seems to me, mr. secretary, that the key to any agreement is whether the united states can and will enforce it. in that vein, mr. secretary, april 14th, 2013, chairman of the services committee and chairman of the house permanent committee on intelligence mike rogers sent president obama and you a letter that states in part, quote, since october, we have written to you twice with our concerns about a massive russian violation and circumvention of arms control obligation to the united states of great significance to this nation and to its nato allies, end quote. given the obama administration's failure to enforce arms control agreements with russia, what can you say to israel and the rest of our allies in the middle east to convince them that america is still a reliable ally, that america will enforce agreements
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with iran or else, and that america is not ignoring history and repeating the neville chamber appeasement and retreat that helped trigger world war ii and the death of tens of millions of people around the world. >> let me begin, congressman, by first of all condemning in the strongest language possible those expressions of hate and sheer and utter insanity asking for a country to be wiped off the face of the map and time and for people to be so. that language is the most abhorrent kind of language you can find in any discourse of public life. it has no place in a reasonable world. it's unacceptable, and we should never hear that kind of language
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again. secondly, with respect to prime minister netanyahu and, quote, his attitude about this, i've had many conversations with the prime minister. he's a friend of mine. we talk frequently. i respect his leadership. but i think he and i are working very, very effectively together in a lot of things. he knows, and i think israel knows, that nothing will come between our relationship, our security relationship, our commitment to israel is ironclad. we just may occasionally have a difference of tactics, but we have no difference strategically in what our goal is. our goal is to make israel safer, make the world and region safer. we are committed to not allowing iran to have a nuclear weapon.
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this president, i will tell you, uneequivocably without any question, demonstrably, measurably has done more to provide for the security of israel than any other administration in history. >> mr. secretary, my time is running out. >> i'm going to emphasize the privilege of answering your question, congressman. i'm not going to sit here. >> mr. chairman, five to ten seconds. >> excuse me, i think there's time, mr. brooks, for you to ask a question and certainly for our secretary of state to answer that question. >> thank you. >> the president has made certain that israel has iron dome, b22 osprey, no other nation has it. israel has weaponry no other nation has. we have an aid program, a day to day collaboration, day to day. even this week the national security adviser is here collaborating talking about how we approach this question in
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dealing with iran. so i will tell you that we take no back seat to any administration ever in our support and our friendship and commitment to the state of israel. now, that said, i think that the united states has engaged in many efforts in the region now that be supportive. we are removing weapons of mass destruction from syria. we're engaged major discussions with saudis, syria, about other issues. i think those countries understand that when the president says iran will not get a nuclear weapon, and he actually develops the military capacity to guarantee that, which no other president did, they can trust the president means what he said. >> thank you, mr. secretary. in april 2009, president obama
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said in prague, rules must be binding violations punished, words must mean something, end quote. if there's anything i can do to assist you in that regard with respect to these agreements, please let me know. >> absolutely. i will tell you we are folk ocu on those and we take them seriously. >> thank you, again, mr. secretary. i understand you have to go. i'm sorry we didn't get to all the members. the department will be available to answer the written questions. the secretary of state will be involved in that process in the days and weeks ahead. we again thank all the members for attending today. >> with your permission, mr. chairman, we didn't have time to do this earlier. i would like to put something on the record. i keep hearing this and i don't think it adequately reflects the record. the fbi is currently conducting investigation and working through the law to try to apprehend identifiable people
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with respect to what happened in benghazi. it is absolutely inaccurate to suggest that nobody paid a price in the state department for what happened. a report was delivered to me. i have acted on that report as i said i would. two people were demoted and retired. two retired. two careers were ended over it and they left the department. two other careers have seen demotions as a consequence of what happened there. i think it is simply inaccurate, and i hope we will stop repeating something as a mythology that has no basis in fact. there was accountability, there is accountability, and we need to go forward from that, quite frankly. >> thank you, mr. secretary. as you know we made a request for a lot of data, some of which we got and a lot we did not. we look forward continuing to work with you to have the the
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questions that were answered -- asked by members of congress, answered by the department of state and receiving the information that we have requested. we thank you again for your testimony here today. we thank the members. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> we stand adjourned.
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>> this morning president obama and first lady michelle obama observed a moment of silence and lit candles for the educators and the children killed one year ago at sandy hook elementary school in ewtown, connecticut.
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>> the moment of silence at is the white house for those killed at sandy hook elementary school last year. in newtown most news outlet's have been staying away out of respect and for the wishes of the family. the associated press is there. church bells tolled to mark the anniversary. one of several services that
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were held privately today. the bells rang 26 times as the names of each of the victims were read. some tweets from members of congress. >> you can read more tweets rom members of congress. >> c-span. we bring public affairs events from washington directly to you putting you in the room at
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congressional hearings, white house events, briefings and which frenses, and offering complete gavel to gavel coverage of the sufment house all as a public service of private industry where c-span reated by the cable tv ago ry create 34 yoors and funded by your provider. you can watch us in hd. >> last week the senate held a hearing examining foreign aid to jordan and libya and the impact of southeastern refugees in the region -- syrian you can watch us in hd. >> last week the senate held a earing >> if we can start. i know senator graham is on his
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way. we have a situation we're having a series of votes so we'll have people going back and forth. i hope that doesn't indicate to anybody a level of interest because this is a major level of interest. i want to applaud senator graham who represents republicans on this committee, for his concerns. say to both the ambassador from lebanon and the ambassador from jordan, if you had this wealthy refugees in a part, for example, of our country of the u.s. like california with all kinds of natural resources, it would enormous strain. it is far more so in the areas where it is. i commend you for and applaud
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u for the humanitarian steps both your countries have taken. but it is an horrific situation. and, unfortunately, it will probably be reflected in the lives of so many of these people not only throughout the rest of their lives but maybe generations to come. we will have an richard the sistant secretary of state nd ambassador brian of jordan. our other panelists. i know the united nations witnesses traveled lock distps. we're grateful for that.
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i said, i thank senator graham for proposing this hearing. we have a humanitarian catastrophe in syria. unfold in s to syria. but then not just that. bear more s of syria than jordan and lebanon. i want to thank you for your generosity. i commend both your countries for that. how many refugees? the numbers change all the time. the official number is 550,000 in jordan, 825,000 in lebanon. we know it is more than that.
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in jordan they are living mostly in sprawling tent camps. there's a picture one of them is right over here. in lebanon scattered among the eneral population. the dots show -- for people who have traveled to lebanon as i have, we know you've got some completely varied types of topography and geography where those camps are. you have two governments. they're facing huge strains on their governments and their population. the civil war in syria shows no sign of ending. protracted crieses is going to impose long-term burdens on lebanon as well as turkey and iraq. going to require significant
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international donor aid for years to come. and then when and if the war ends, how do you take millions of refugees or internally displaced people and have them put their lives and their communities back together? the task is daunting. jordan is a close ally to the united states. before this happened you were already accommodating some 2 million or more palestinian refugees. and as the ambassador knows, my wife and i have visited some of those camps. lebanon is struggling with a myriad of problems not the least of which is a violent influence of hezbollah. so we want to help both countries. but as assistant secretary richards knows, further refugee crisis, also in africa, particularly in africa, require our assistance and our budget
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is limited. so we want to hear about the most urgent needs. and let me start, ambassador richards, with you. and then i'll go lphabetically. >> thank you very much, senator leahy, for holding this hearing today to review the humanitarian aspects of the crisis in syria. the consequences for neighboring countries, particularly lebanon, jordan, and how the u.s. is responding. at the very outset i want to express gratitude to this subcommittee for making possible all the resources that enable the u.s. government to be a leader in humanitarian response. last year, the sque provided generous funding for humanitarian aid enabling us to respond to the crisis in syria and the surrounding region, and to continue doing what we do in
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response to crises all around the world. the u.s. has provided more than $1.3 billion in humanitarian aid since the beginning of the crisis. the far-sighted action of this subcommittee has undoubtedly saved many lives. u.s. funding has helped to keep borders open, let us do more when opportunities to do so arose inside syria, helped us to respond to a growing regional crisis. we've also been able to pay attention to other troubled places around the globe and we demonstrated yet again that the united states is the world's humanitarian leader. you know quite a bit i'm sure already about the crisis. there's been massive disruption in the country of syria itself. for every one person who has been killed, six other people have been injured. and more than 6 million syrians have fled their homes and are still inside syria trying to survive as best they can. another 2.2 million have fled across the borders of syria to neighbors countries and are
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considered refugees. photos of camps in turkey or like this one in jordan are often used to illustrate the crises but most refugees in the region are living outside of camps. 80% do not live in camps and instead have found shelters in local communities. and that's partly why, if you look on the map here, there are 1600 communities across lebanon that have taken refugees in. what has been the impact? schools have moved to double shifts to accommodate syrian children, hospital beds are illed, rents have raisen and have fallen. they must stretch the services to their own citizens. major funders of the top humanitarian organizations are responding to the crisis. but we have to admit it is a struggle to keep pace with the
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immense scale of this emergency. however, the organizations we fund both international organizations and nongovernmental organizations -- and you'll hear from a couple colleagues in a moment -- are staffed by experienced professionals and have succeeded at great personal risk. these organizations are doing a great deal in tremendously difficult and dangerous situations. 13 u.n. staff members have been killed, another dozen have reportedly been abducted. nine have been reported missing. the syrian army red cre crescent ve seen -- have seen members killed. so these are mounting a multifassted response. you'll see in my testimony a good across-the-board spectrum of all the things that they're doing. in my written testimony we also look at the fact that the conflict has intensified. that 2.5 million people live in hard to reach areas. and this has been a major
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challenge to get inside to those people who need the help and to do so safely. an estimated 250,000 people are trapped in several locations that are cities that are besieged or parts of cities that are besenald that we cannot get to. and in fact, we are concerned that this is a deliberate tactic to try to starve them into submission. we have seen the reemergence of polio, the spread of other diseases, measles and the mers corona virus. children are not in school. we need to keep the borders open so that people do not get trapped inside syria and we'll be monitoring this situation very carefully. we'll talk today about the arrival of winters, the challenges that presents. workers are insulating tents, distributing warmer clothes. and we're concerned about gender-based violence. u.s. government is taking measures to address this scurege.
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finally, andrew harper is here and can talk at greater length about the importance of camp security. so those are some of our top issues. the u.s. is working to support regional stability. we're trying to do more inside syria. usaid works with ngo's and world food program. we support organizations. and we seek to use every channel possible to get aid into those who need it providing supplies or services to syrians across all 14 governs of syria. we are supporting the neighboring governments hosting refugees. i discuss that in my written testimony. looking ahead, we believe the u.s. must remain a leader in humanitarian response. we are focusing right now on the october 2nd statement, presidential statement that
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came out of the u.n. security council that called for all of the parties of the conflict to allow the expansion of relief operation. -- to allow medical care. to get to the wounded and sick. to stop the deliberate targeting of medical facilities and personnel that has been a gruesome hallmark of this crisis. humanitarian leaders have found it very difficult to reach people in need. we have recently gotten some agreement from the syrian regime. they've announced that they will allow assistance to enter. they've agreed to issue visas. they've agreed to streamline convoy procedures. but we have to see whether this actually happens on the ground. i am not optimistic but this is a key moment in this crisis as the world comes together to try to make a difference in what's happening there. and finally we need to address the rampant violations of humanitarian law that have unfortunately been a hallmark of this conflict. in closing, this has demanded a
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great deal of attention from our government's foreign policy makers. nots just humanitarian but also the diplomats. we've been very fortunate to be led by folks in the white house and secretary kerry and our 67th floor and a whole series of efforts just in the past two weeks there have been discussions on overcoming obstacles, humanitarian assistance, try lateral meetings. i took part in a high level dialogue convened by the u.n.'s emergency response coordinator to try to discuss some of these access issues. and there's also periodic gatherings of u.n.'s emergency directors. all coming together to make a difference. finally, in the next coming weeks we'll see the u.n. issue a major appeal for assistance and kuwait again plans to cohost a pledging conference of the united nations. we can't do the thing that is we're doing without your support, without your help and
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we're tremendously grateful for what you've done. thank you. >> madam ambassador. >> thank you very much. honorable chairman, honorable ranking member, honorable committee members, good morning. thank you for the invitation and the opportunity to testify before your esteemed subcommittee today on behalf of the government of jordan. i'm equally happy and glad to be here today with secretary an richards and with my colleague, the ambassador of lebanon, addressing a very important issue. at the outset, allow me to extend his majesty's appreciation to all members of this committee for your longstanding friendship and continuous support to jordan. chairman leahy, ranking member graham, we thank you for your strong leadership on this committee. and again support for jordan.
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the american people have played a pitt yol and leading -- pivotal and leading role in providing assistance and support to jordan over the years and for that we are truly grateful. my testimony will my testimony will focus on the jordanian perspective vis-à-vis the recent domestic challenges. i hope to demonstrate the challenges we face as a country during this time and the value of our unique strategic alliance to safeguard our joint interest and address the issues at hand. we enjoy -- we believe the facts of what is happening right now will extend far beyond these borders if we do not despond and -- respond and address the issues firsthand. the dangers are mounting by the day. this is unmatched in our recent history. in addition the palestinian- israeli conflict continues to consume the resources needed and
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feeds radicalism and extremism around the world. i would like to take a moment here to recognize and express our gratitude to president obama and secretary kerry for their relentless efforts and commitment to the ongoing peace efforts. we witnessed a historical regional transformation that swept our region. during the stimulant times jordan managed to navigate calmly and provide sanctuary and security and stability to those seeking refuge. jordan stands firm in his commitment to keep its borders open. we see this as a humanitarian duty and we have no plans to shy away from this commitment. today
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we are witnessing the worst to military and played in the region's recent history. the crisis enabling syria has resulted in grave human costs and suffering. this has posed an unprecedented challenge on my country. due to jordan's new political positioning and ties with the syrian people, we are able to monitor i keep close eye on what is happening right there. i would like to draw your attention to three main points that best characterize the conflicts and explosive nature of this. >> [inaudible] >> thank you.
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>> good afternoon. i apologize to all of you for our running back and forth and i am sure that senators leahy and graham have said the same thing. i think we should go ahead and begin, madam ambassador. if you could continue with your testimony, senator leahy will be back shortly. >> thank you so much for giving the opportunity. just a minute ago i was saying that due to jordan's new -- geopolitical positioning and close ties with the syrian people we are able to keep a close eye on the deteriorating situation over there.
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i would like to draw your kind attention to the main three points or traits that best characterize the conflicts and the explosive nature of the syrian crisis. this is a rapidly escalating crisis that has sectarian components. some of which seek to exploit the crisis into neighboring countries. what has made matters worse is the presence and use of unconventional weapons. this makes a dangerous combination which bears unimaginable consequences that impact our security regionally as well as locally. the humanitarian dimension that has emerged from this crisis has reached an alarming state. we are witnessing firsthand human suffering, men, women, and children at the borders fleeing from the atrocities and from the human tragedy happening inside syria. i would like to take a moment to include and applaud all the u.n. agencies, particularly
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[inaudible] and their donor partners in their efforts to alleviate the suffering of the syrians. jordan is committed to work with them closely on this noble cause. these are overwhelming factors that face all jordanians and further undermine our ability to assume our responsibilities. so far the number of syrians who sought refuge in jordan exceed 600,000 which represents 10% of our population. some are spread into our cities and villages. having a big impact on our resources and our stretched infrastructure. jordan is focusing primarily on accommodating the immediate needs of syrian refugees in the
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kingdom as they adapt to their surroundings and jordanian cities and villages. this will add more pressure and increase in the medium future. to put things in perspective i would like to share with you with the little time i have some that reflects the level of impact this crisis has on jordan. after spending hundreds of millions of dollars on reforming the education sector, jordan was forced to reinstate the system in order to admit and i got to know this number yesterday, 97,000 children in our schools alone this year alone. the estimated needed capital expenditure to build 100 new schools or the increasing number of syrian children inside the
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school will definitely exceed $135 million. the public has -- health-care sector, syrians are granted the same access to services as our jordanians. this is subsidized by the government. more than nine percent of our budget is allocated to health care. the estimated cost to build new hospitals and health centers exceeds 124 million. in addition the estimated cost of added healthcare services is expected to reach $160 million. this year we have vaccinated against polio, measles, and other infectious diseases over 83 -- 82,000 children. those diseases, jordan has eradicated them a long time ago from our radical history.
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there are concerns over the increasing number of jobseekers as they compete with jordanians for low-wage jobs. around 180,000 jobs usually occupied by jordanians have been taken by syrians. this figure is not worth -- since this exceeds 13% of the population of only 7 million. this has created social tensions. in the energy sector there is a demand on electricity. with the large number of syrians present in another part of the kingdom. what made matters more challenging was the drop in the gas supplies to major due to the interaction of the gas pipeline in the past two years. this further exasperated this position which resulted in an energy bill that reached 19% and
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22% of our gdp and 2012. compared to an average of 10% over the past decade. water has been a scarce resource. we were are one of the poorest countries in terms of water resources and the added strain on the infrastructure requires rehabilitation and the expansion of water and wastewater networks. this sits on the best aquifer that we have in other parts of the kingdom. if we do not do anything about the water issues we're going to be faced with a huge pollution problem regarding one of our best aquifers in the north of jordan. the government of jordan need to be well prepared to provide urgent support for a humanitarian crisis of this magnitude.
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>> just to -- there is the time. you have further statements about the additional cost. i would have put your full statement in the record. i know they're going back and forth and voting. your statement will be placed in the records. we want to help in any way. you have compelling facts in here. i want to make sure that the investor gets a chance to speak and your whole statement will be placed in the record. >> thank you. >> thank you. thank you for the opportunity to
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come in front of you to give you an update of the situation in lebanon caused by the huge number of refugees who entered my country and its impact and implication on every level. i would like to briefly inform you on the good relations between the u.s. in lebanon. based on a great degree of shared values and a long history of cooperation and friendship. the relationship between the u.s. and lebanon has been close. americans have contributed immensely by actively participating in all aspects of life promoting the mutual interest of our two great nations. this is a clear example of the interaction. the american lebanese congress has been important in this
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regard. this is based on five things, the same terrorism and sectarianism and protecting democracy, human rights, freedom of expression, and public liberty. i would like to thank the u.s. for their valuable assistance. it is -- there is the remarkable acknowledgment of officials and the assistant secretary. and the representatives of the u.n. hdr. this is a painful cry on behalf of lebanon to be heard.
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specifically by the american congress and your esteemed committee. it is a cry of pain. day by day impact of the crisis in lebanon increases. the largest figures demonstrate that there are 835,000 and we look at this map, the map of lebanon, the red dots are where the syrians are. the whiteout -- white dots are in areas where they cannot be. they will cover all of lebanon unfortunately. the latest figures demonstrate that they are awaiting. one morning the u.n. had 300,000 refugees. the number has changed to 769,000 as an increased by 6000 during one single day. this massive increase does not
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relay the whole story. if we add a legal refugees, the number is 1.3 million which is about 30% of the lebanese population. equivalent to having them entered germany in one year and during the u.s. in the same time. they have increased the population. the impact of the country so far is deep and threatens to unravel the country economically, politically, and socially. the world bank's impact assessment estimates loss to be around $7.5 billion from 2012 through 2014. unemployment is likely to reach 20% at 324,000. exports are prompted and the growth rate has turned into a
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minus one percent decline in 2012. that was the same story with the increase of 20% in october 2010 and also turned into a 30% decline in october 2012. the impact has been severe. the direct impact on budget revenues will decline at one point $5 billion. in addition there is the the needs of the country related to humanitarian needs. 32% has been funded so far. the price of -- is proving too much to bear for lebanon. in addition the syrian presence is causing severe stress as competition for the sources increases. their presence is causing
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increased tension. this has led to additional hostility toward syrians and has increased racist sentiment sometimes toward them. we call on the international community to increase its assistance to lebanon and to do so quickly. we call for our friends to share the human burden with lebanon. we call on the massive trinity's to find a political solution to the crisis. despite all that, lebanon has remained faithful to his hearing trayvon, not to close its borders. this aggravating burden yields an existential crisis in view of the repercussions of such sudden overpopulation.
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they followed the successful [inaudible] and was very highly attended by the u.n. and the d5 and the arab league and other u.n. agencies. the american administration was represented at a very high level by the honorable john kerry personally. based on the common responsibility of the international community, the lebanese need the care and support of weatherly and -- brotherly and friendly countries in order to face the negative repercussions of this huge external conflict which is not of their own making. the which threatens their security and stability. as you now, lebanon is a small country, the size of the state of connecticut living within an area with limited resources.
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it is not possible to impose a nation -- [inaudible] it is important to reiterate the call of lebanon to increase assistance to the escalating burdens. already in eastern lebanon, there are 20,000 refugees. adding more to the suffering of those already present and which will stretch the capacities of all concerned.
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i should stress it looks like lebanon in the area are expecting a blistering winter which already started with a strong so he stormed and it is hitting the area today. it makes a tragic situation worse. the government is committed to support within its capacity awaiting the disturbed to get their return to their home. -- these matters seemed pressing and urgent. hopefully this will be provided by the geneva [indiscernible] a solution that will likely and hopefully included dignified and safe return. let me conclude by emphasizing a fact.
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by assisting the neighboring countries to cope with this problem they will enhance the security and stability of this country. the spillover of the syrian situation to this country, lebanon included is creating a conducive and ferment for terrorism and federalist organizations. >> you put in your statement, you quoted antonio gutierrez. you put in his quote, i applaud you for doing this because you said we do not act quickly, innocence will become lasting casualties. i could not agree more. we have two minutes to get to the floor. on this vote. either senator shaheen or senator graham will be back where i will. i apologize. either do this the rescheduled this on saturday morning and i did not want to do that to any of you. thank you. we stand recessed.
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[inaudible conversations] >> we will reconvene the hearing. sorry for the interaction but we had a lot of those today. -- lot of votes today. a difficult day to get around the senate. very quickly before we go to the next witness. i want to thank senator devaney's staff for putting on this hearing. i hope members, i know people are busy. that the staff of this will listen closely to what is being said. we have a humanitarian crisis on our hands of almost the vocal
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proportions here. -- almost biblical proportions. i do not see any end in sight. lebanon, jordan, and the whole region is very much at risk and what we do in the coming months can affect the outcome and the quality of peoples lives, the difference between living and dying, whether or not governments can remain intact. i cannot think of a more important time for the congress to be engaged when it comes to lebanon, syria, jordan, the entire region in terms of what we can do to help our partners and other coalition partners. with that, thank you. >> on behalf of the office of refugees, we would like to thank you for this opportunity to be here to discuss the humanitarian situation, discuss the situation of refugees and discuss the needs of the host countries.
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particularly jordan. it was not for the host countries keeping their borders open, what we could do would be extremely limited. when we talk about refugees it means people who have fled the violence have been able to seek safety. it was -- this was two days ago when i was up on the jordanian border with syria. close to iraq. while you have photographs here every day, every night we're seeing refugees cross and sometimes we get a bit blasé. whether it is 800,000 or 600,000 or one million, you start losing the focus and the focus should be on how many women and children and elderly and vulnerable are coming across and seeking safety and today we have we have staff on the border with
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armed forces working to bring refugees across, where they are in a desert. it has flooded. we required armed forces to bring us out. they used six tanks and a pc's to bring the refugees to safety. the armed forces have their vehicles on top of a hill shining into syria to direct the refugees to come to jordan. this is a country that we need to help. because they have got 600,000 syrians now. we could have a total of 800,000 by the end of the year. it takes us four days to move the refugees from the border to
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the camp. we had children coming across. they had their feet stuck in the mud trying to cross the border. we will bring up like it's again. -- we bring up blankets. again, one of the things we have been able to achieve -- because of the generosity of the u.s. people, it is when you provide blankets and shoes and the codes to women and children that are crossing the border in the snow on the rain that you say, ok, this is what the priority has to be because we are saving lives. when we do move the refugees into jordan, we cannot forget the needs of the jordanians who provide protection to them and i can go through the costs and the numbers. i could make three main points so you can take them away.
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we need to continue the amount of support and we need to enhance it and ensure that there is a linkage between the emergency humanitarian response with the development response. there is no way that this crisis is going to end tomorrow. we need to provide the confidence of the government of jordan that we have their backs. that we are their friends, and we support what they are doing. because how much money are you talking about? we have an appeal coming out next -- in two weeks time. this involves 60 actors. in the whole scheme of things when you look at the middle east and you are looking at stability you invest now and you recoup those costs and that is something that the high commissioner has been engaged in.
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i will have seen the jordanians working from the frontlines to the hospitals to the camps, to the teachers, so again i do not want to talk too much because my testimony is there for the record. the ambassador has spoken eloquently. the partnership between the government of jordan and humanitarian agencies cannot be stronger. week, despite the overwhelming nature of the crisis, jordan continues to make efforts to facilitate our work. they increase the validity of the refugee administration from six months to 12 months. this means that refugees do not
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have to come to the office every six months. that means we do not have to register 600,000 at a time. this means a lot, because refugees need to be registered to get free education and free health care. so across the board, we need to applaud and support jordan, not 2015in 2013, 2014 and until such time that the situation in syria can be resolved. thank you. >> ranking member graham, senators, the previous speakers have detailed very eloquently many aspects of the syrian crisis. with your indulgence, i would like to concentrate on four points. what this crisis has meant for unacr as a global organization,
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the human consequences -- after all, we are talking about refugees -- and the critical operational challenges we face and some of the future implications. gutierrezcommissioner took office, he pledged that our organization would have the ability to respond to the crisis of half a million. we are currently dealing with 6.5 million inside syria, 2.3 million outside syria, and possibly by the end of next year, another one million. i think we have proved our ability to respond. it has unfolded, the syrian crisis, on a scale and with the complexity that our organization has rarely had to deal with. one statistic from lebanon will suffice. the population estimated in 2011 was 4.3 million. today, with the addition of the
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refugees, that is down to 5.3 million. that 5.3 million figure is equivalent to what the population was rejected to be in the year 2015. i think the ability of a country to absorb that many people in such a short absorb that many people in such a short time speaks eloquently to the solidarity and humanity of the people in lebanon in a time of such crisis. for us, the operational challenge, what does it mean? we have to find the logistical means to respond to 1600 settlements scattered across the country. in many of those settlements, the population of syrians are already 30% or more of the local host community. thee are places where poorest lebanese live. where there is competition for
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resources, jobs, water, electricity. this makes the logistical challenges extreme. access to shelter, medical assistance, education, job opportunities, these are the most challenging issues not only for refugees, but for the local lebanese. properlyt means registering newborn children so identity.a legal making sure that the children are immunized against diseases like polio and measles. it means having access to school. all across lebanon, we witness the exceptional resilience, her edge and determination of local populations in meeting that
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challenge. ourarly next year, organization will expect to have many people on the ground in our offices cross the country almost as we have in our headquarters in geneva. being physically close to the people we serve is an article of faith for us, understanding their needs and those of the critical totion is their work. the speed and complexity of the crisis has forced us to find new ways to gain efficiency, to improve our effectiveness, and to reduce transaction cost to the lowest weekend can. our cash grant program has quitead that are exceptional in the humanitarian world. syrian situation has forced us to into an whole new approach.
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, we have gone from an annual program of $9 million to over $250 million. steadfasthad no more partner than the people of the united states. have so far generated over $1.8 billion. the united states has contributed $349 billion -- million dollars to that appeal. just one third of that has come to our operations in lebanon. sadly, the situation in syriac n continues to deteriorate. we are not in the crystal ball gazing business, and we have to be prepared that we will have another million and a half refugees crossing the border. launched a regional
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response plan. our planning figure for that is over 3 million people. tor support has enabled us carry out our mission for refugees not only in lebanon, but in dozens of countries where work continues away from the headlines. our income is from private donations, and that is increasing, but our core budget still depends largely on voluntary contributions from government. we therefore remains strongly committed to letting our results speak as our primary fund- raising instrument. and the american people for your leadership and your confidence in our work, and our generous support for refugees. thank you. >> thank you all. >> thank you for very compelling testimony. ms. richard, is there a document that prepared by state
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would basically submit to congress what we can do for the are the ripple refugees, hows of much money you need not only for jordan, but for the whole region ? i think it would be very helpful to make a romance -- make a request of the committee, what do you need to handle the crisis country by country? recommend you congress give to organizations outside of direct assistance? sort of the business plan. and if you could, make it multiple years. request? fair of budget the office
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would have to make a request for us to provide that initially. >> well, i will write it. would be helpful to understand how serious affects the stability of the government. aretalked about where we going to be in terms of numbers just in lebanon, mr. ambassador. to have your population increased that much, you are expecting 2050 to get to that number. infrastructure between now and 2050, hopefully, would be built, but it is just amazing what the countries are having to absorb. i will be glad, with senator leahy, to try to get omb or any other agency to get that to you, because we need to understand what is at stake here. money now, make the world a better place later. i believe now is the time to
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invest. let people know we care. and it is in our national security interest. i would be glad with senator leahy, if he is interested, to get permission to do that. still your point of view that assad should go? if that is not in your lane, you do not have to answer. >> that is not in my lane, but i will say that we are very involved in using the next series of meetings to try to make headway on the humanitarian piece. i know from talking to ambassador forward there are a few things they insist upon in order to participate in these agreements. has been said in the past but they will not accept his assad as their leader. they have said that in the past.
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they also want to see changes on the ground to see that aid can get in. this is the test. >> from the jordanian point of data as of thehe memorandum of understanding jordan and the united states, and what are you seeking ?rom our government >> the memorandum of understanding is crucial for jordan. us what we have. it allows the government to plan. we are in negotiations with the state department for the renewal of that memorandum of understanding for the next four years. as i said, it enables us to plan . add to that, may i also add one more point which is very important.
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helping jordan helped refugees is very important. thanks to you, we are able to do that, and you know that. also to addlike that helping the whole community that takes care of the refugees and the refugee camps is extremely important. they are sharing the very little that they have. >> jobs were hard to come by before the refugees came. can you imagine having 600,000 or 800 thousand new people competing for the last bits that exist? >> thank you for saying that. that is why the government is innovations now -- in negotiations now with the state department. artain agencies have prepared strategy or a platform for this appeals to the
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local communities and the host communities. >> how would you describe the pressure being placed upon the jordanian government? >> huge. >> unsustainable. would that help? >> very much so. >> mr. harper, what would happen if jordan had to close their borders? >> well, that is something we do not even want to calculate. >> it is that bad. borders open is a life-saving element. what jordan does is because of the traditional generosity and culture of helping those fleeing conflict.
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it is not because of a paper document. we don't need a paper document. what we need to do is ensure that jordan does not suffer any more than it has. this is an international jordan and other countries are absorbing the international conflict. just to give you an example of the impact, jordan when you wene 16n that was there, there is baby incubators. being used bye syrians. another two were being used by nationals. an example of the amount of support we need to give the syrians. we talk about the amount of water being brought into the company. doing isan is leveraging its future in order and be an example to the
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rest of the world on how to handle the refugee crisis. we need to provide support to mitigate these costs. >> mr. ambassador, what kind of pressure is your country under from syria? >> beyond your imagination. as you can see on this map, the dots are where the syrian's are in lebanon. some white areas. those are mountainous areas where they cannot live. there is pressure on the budget, on education. on our schools. security. law and order. , everything.e and especially, of course, security.
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a very delicate country where equilibrium is very important. wakes my time is about up. i would like to end with where we are going to go. madam ambassador, mr. ambassador, you live in the region. do you see this coming to conclusion anytime soon? can we expect assad to be in power this time next year, and how does this movie and, for lack of a better term? how long will the conflict go? is assad winning? will it eventually and? -- end? ladies first. >> thank you. many times when we would meet in your office, we would tackle this issue and say what is the time span. that ismething difficult to predict. from what we have seen on the ground, the give-and-take itpening inside syria makes
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very vague in terms of what is happening on the military ground. but more importantly, if i may refugeesone thing, the , anye hosting in jordan flee the country when he is in harms way. but that refugee would take the news of going back to his country safety. we have to think of hosting them for the medium term. this is, again, the multiple effects and multiple pressures that jordan has. and this is where your kindness and support has been very appreciated, as always. >> we have to go to the crystal ball of my office to see how
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this will end. we hope to find a political lookion, but it does not like we will. we are very concerned. it is a most depressing statement from mr. mcleod that they would expect $1.5 million to come. we have reached saturation. we reached saturation physically. lebanon cannot take it anymore. so, we hope that the war will weend tomorrow. it does not look like it. but we wish geneva to come with the solution. >> thank you all very much not only for your testimony today eachor what you all are doing to address this humanitarian crisis. you both veryhank much for what your countries are
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doing. yous truly remarkable that have been willing to take on this number of refugees even though the world has not shown it to date, we certainly are grateful for what you have done, and we need to provide additional assistance. actually one to start with assistant secretary richard. i missed your testimony, but one of the most important things we assist in this crisis is help the people on the ground in syria and make sure they get what they need to end this conflict. can you talk about whether there is more we can do, as the united states, through the u.n., to ensure that help is getting to the people who need it inside
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syria. >> thank you, senator, for the question. one $.3 billion that the united states has provided to respond to the crisis, 700 million dollars has been spent inside syria. it has been done by international development and also by our bureau, working with these partners, chiefly the commissioner for the refugeeresd agency at the u.n., but also an ambassador from the red cross. with usaid, the world food program does so much to feed everyone. where they have been able to get access, we have been able to do tremendously good life-saving. the problem is, there are over 2 million people inside syria who cannot get regular access to it and there are people who are in the siege cities where
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they are completely cut off from aid. this is why the diplomatic track is so important in trying to get countries around the world to put pressure on various parties to the conflict inside syria so that they respect international humanitarian law and stop targeting medical facilities and stop targeting civilians. this attack on civilians is one of the most gruesome things i have everagency at the seen in e in terms of just going against and harming innocent families, children are casualties of this war, and it keeps continuing, so we are trying very hard to see topressure can be brought bear on all sides to stop this one of bloody attack civilians. >> obviously, to countries that could be very helpful but have not yet been willing to step up i think isthat
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really needed are russia and china. ways in which weakening courage them to really take the responsibility that they have as world powers to stop this humanitarian crisis? >> they have been engaged through the security council, ago i was in conversations in geneva. and in addition to the usual major donors to the humanitarian crisis, there were others. i think this is a good step in terms of having these conversations. what we need to see now is whether this happens on the ground. whether these conversations convert to changes that are tangible and make a measurable
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difference on the ground. that we have not yet seen. i mentioned in my testimony, we have seen some utterances from the syrian regime that they will provide visas and let convoys through, but we have not seen enough difference on the ground for me to give you a positive rapport it. >> again, i don't know if anybody else on the panel has thoughts about whether there is more the united states can do to try to encourage other members of the international community , given the amount of money that had hoped to be raised. had asked forh -- 4.40 billion dollars, is my understanding. are there other efforts we can toertake that can try encourage additional support to address this conference -- this
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crisis? diplomaticusy on the front now encouraging countries to give. >> i was going to mention the same thing and say that kuwait has been extremely generous when it comes to helping the syrian refugees. but this is a different magnitude. this is a crisis that yet again needs to be discussed in the upcoming crisis on the syrian refugees, but every aspect of help and support is needed to help jordan with the refugees and to help the host communities which are hosting the camps as well. earlier, not only have you been at the forefront in terms of helping jordan, but you have been our voice with other
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organizations, with everyone that has helped. so, we cannot thank you enough for all of the great support. >> i would say that this administration is of course .oing a good job we need help from other agencies. just to keep doing what they are doing and to increase it. to show how important it is, not only from a humanitarian point of view, but from a point of regional stability. helped,, regional stability will be threatened, so just to continue with the international community. thank you. >> thank you. i think it is fair to say that
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members of the senate share concerns about regional stability and we want to do everything we can to support you. the foreign relations committee had a hearing back in september. one of the issues that was raised was concern about polio and a polio outbreak. efforte talked about the to immunize children. i wonder if you could speak to whether you think that outbreak is under control or if there is be done toeeds to address it. >> it is not under control because the situation in syria is out of control. measles was eradicated in 1994. we are now in a situation where and medicalesses conditions that can transcend the borders. this is why we have to put so
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inh into the medical system jordan. the failure means that people are coming across the border from syria into jordan to seek assistance, and you would do the same if you had a sick child. any hospitals have not been working for the last six months or 12 months. is seeing increases of up of20% in the number patients. but jordan does not have enough money to pay for the pharmaceuticals for the population. we want jordan to be able to keep its borders open. we want them to be able to accept refugees, but the refugees coming across our the most vulnerable. and we have seen cases of thesee increasing, and people will continue to come to the country seeking assistance and treatment. so, we have finished the first round of polio vac used -- polio
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vaccinations. we had a massive information campaign where we send sms out to every refugee campaign saying him forward, but now that has to be followed through. diseases and illnesses that had been largely eradicated from 20 years willlast start emerging again. these are costs that are often not taken into account. back to the pre- crisis level is not sufficient health has deteriorated decades before that. >> i assume the same is true in lebanon. >> same is true. vaccines to all the children of lebanon and the refugees. we have asked the world health organization. we need everything.
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>> thank you very much for having the hearing. following up on that, in regard to those kind of situations, we are in the process of trying to do the very best we can and i think the united states should be proud of our efforts in terms sending aid, monetary and otherwise. what are some of the other challenges? on some of the other things? if we are fortunate enough to have a resolution, all of these people are not going to go home overnight. can you comment on some of those things other than humanitarian aid? you mentioned water.
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>> absolutely. thank you for the question. as i said earlier in my , each and every person is in need of support. mr. harper talked about the issue of health care. we do not distinguish between a jordanian patient or a syrian patient. this huge load on our health care has been multiplied, and you can see it. as for electricity, for example, a country that imports 90% of its gas. electricity has been subsidized, but now we are lifting the subsidy in a gradual sense, but we are still paying a lot in terms of energy. when you look at the camp, you that it looks like this, but it is the fourth- largest city in jordan.
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it is the fifth-largest camp in the world. this camp needs to be serviced. this camp needs not just health and security as i mentioned before, but it needs electricity. it needs to be lit so that we can take care of the residence. so, the generation of electricity and the energy bill is enormous. after that, jordan was really -- affected due to the egyptian gas crisis. we need to satisfy and cater to the camps. on ourmp is situated
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autofire. if it is polluted, we will pay a high price for years to come. this is where i am really stressing the point of helping jordan to help the refugees in one respect, but also helping jordan help the host communities that are helping the refugees. and we are prepared. we have our own developmental projects that say this is what they need. this is what they need in terms of energy, in terms of water, in terms of dads and schools and everything you can think of. becausewhere it is, jordanians have now lost over 180 thousand jobs to syrian's, and this is a lot for a small country that has its own burdens in terms of the economic crisis. so every support is very much and the memorandum of understanding will start the process, enable us to think and
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plan, and at the same time, forle us to receive funds the community that jordan is working on. it is very well-funded and well crafted. and this is exactly what is happening on the ground. >> we had testimony that, to your surprise, maybe a whole bunch more are in the pipeline. said you would be forced off for a different approach. can you elaborate on that? >> thank you, senator. what i was trying to say is we .re in a disastrous situation the highest number of

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