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tv   British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Syria  CSPAN  May 19, 2014 12:35am-12:56am EDT

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you can watch at c-span.org where you can find prior episodes. next, secretary of state john kerry and british foreign secretary william hague on syria. >> telecommunication policy has not been reformed since 1934 so there was really a compelling need in 1995 to begin a process of massive telecommunication reform and at that time you basically had boxes, you had a box for broadcasters, a box for telephone companies, a box for long-distance, you know, cable,
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satellite, and our view was we had to come in and try to eliminate the lines of demarcation and promote competition, believing that with competition there would be innovation and more investment, more consumer choice, more innovation and fortunately i think the result has proven us correct. that is exactly what has happened. >> when the 1996 act was written we were largely focused on telephone service whether local or long-distance. to some distance we focused on cable tv service and wanted to take the stps to make that -- steps to make that market competitive. the primary focus was what we call plain old telephone service and today the landscape is different and the f.c.c. as managed as well as it can about how the transition from telephone service to the time when everything is delivered over the internet should take place. and in my mind the f.c.c. has
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done a good job. >> evaluating the 1996 telecommunications act with two of the house members who helped write it money on "the communicators" at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span 2. >>, tomorrow, indiana governor mike pence speaks at the american enterprise institute about conservative solutions with medicaid. you can watch at 11:00 a.m. eastern on c-span2. on thursday, secretary of state jumper it was in london for meetings on syria. he spoke to reporters after the meeting calling the upcoming june 3 elections in syria a farce. he responded to allegations of chlorine being used as a weapon in syria. on ukraine he said the u.s. will impose more sanctions on russia and its proxies if they interfere with the scheduled may 25 elections in ukraine. the british foreign secretary spoke first to reporters. we will show you both of their remarks.
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>> good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. i want to begin by expressing my deep condolences to the people of turkey over the terrible mining disaster. foreign minister davatola has been with us today. and i've said to him the u.k. stands ready to assist our friends in turkey in any way that we can. and the ministers gathered for the friends of syria core group meeting and observed a minute of silence in memory of the lives lost in turkey. i've hosted a series of meetings this morning, starting with a meeting of the foreign ministers of france, italy, germany and the united states and the u.k. to discuss the crisis in ukraine. we unanimously welcomed the ukrainian government's efforts to promote constitutional reform including the first meeting of the national
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dialogue that was held yesterday. this is clearly a successful first meeting and we strongly welcome that. and we welcome the fact that preparations for the presidential elections on may 25 are proceeding well. and the great majority of ukraine. we strongly supported the work of the osce. including the work of president burkeholter of switzerland and also the work of the osce on the ground. the united kingdom has already committed nearly two million pounds to the osce for their work in ukraine. and i can announce an additional contribution of another 500,000 pounds to the special monitoring mission. it is vital that there are enough monitors and enough resources to monitor and to report truthfully on what is happening on the ground in ukraine.
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and we call on other osce partners to do likewise and to increase their support for this vital effort. we all agreed at the meeting that russia's behavior toward the election will determine whether or not wider economic and trade sanctions will be applied. by the united states, and by the european union. we all agree to continue preparations for these sanctions. while of course urging russia to stop any actions that prevent the elections going ahead peacefully. we were then joined on the on the subject of syria by the foreign ministers and ministers of turkey, saudi arabia, the united arab emirates, qatar, jordan, egypt. to make up the -- these are the countries that make up the core group of the friends of syria or the london 11. we held some detailed talks including with president al jarva and prime minister tomi of the syria national coalition. we are united in our disgust and anger at what is happening in syria and the regime's utter
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disregard for human life. we've already seen the deaths of over 150,000 syrians. and we have agreed a short communique, first of all, condemning the assad regime's unilateral plan to hold illegitimate presidential elections on june 3. we say in our communique that this mocks the innocent lives lost in the conflict. utterly contradicts the geneva communique and a parody of democracy. many millions of syrians will be unable to participate in such a so-called election and we call on the entire international community to reject these illegitimate elections as the arab league, the united nations, the united states, turkey, and the european union have already done. we've also agreed unanimously to take further steps together through a coordinated strategy to increase our support for the moderate opposition, national
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coalition, and for its supreme military council and associated moderate armed groups to do everything we can to hold the assad regime accountable for the terror it is perpetrating including through security council referral to the international criminal court. to work together to counter the rising forces of extremism and to complete the removal of syria's chemical weapons. and to step up our efforts to deliver humanitarian aid across borders and across lines. irrespective of the consent of the regime. and we say at the end of our communique, we have directed our officials to implement a core group action plan. the united kingdom for its part adding to that will provide an additional 30 million pounds, $50 million in practical support to help the opposition.
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we have also decided to upgrade the status of the national coalition's representative office here in london to a mission in recognition of the strength of our partnership. we will also with other countries, we will increase our humanitarian assistance to areas not being reached by the u.n., including by funding cross-border aid. and the u.k. has now allocated 76 million pounds for such cross-border operations. we will step up those efforts. and we will strongly support a new u.n. security council resolution to compel the regime to allow humanitarian aid into syria and to halt its starvation and surrender tactics. we will as i mentioned in reference to the communique, we will strongly support the principle of a resolution referring the syrian regime to the international criminal court. in that regard, i'm also delighted to have the national coalition's full support for
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our declaration of commitment to end sexual violence in conflict. which has been so widely used by regime forces inside syria. and i've invited a representative to attend the global summit to end sexual violence in conflict, taking place here in london from the 10th to the 13th of june. so we have had a strong and united and purposeful meeting which involves the stepping up of support to the moderate opposition in syria. and concerted action at the united nations. we will work over the coming weeks to implement these commitments. including to increase humanitarian assistance and we will work together, we will intensify how closely we work together, given the deepening crisis in syria. because we are all determined to respond to it. so that is what we have been doing this morning. and secretary kerry i know is coming down to speak to you shortly.
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and there's time for a few questions. >> thank you, foreign secretary. it's pretty grim time in syria as you said. the crisis there is deepening. peace talks haven't worked. president assad has regained territory. he's holding elections. the opposition, different groups are fighting each other. they seem weakened. gone are the days when you can say not just assad, moscow, but he will go. is it time to reassess your strategy based on the likely survival of his regime? and if i might a second question on ukraine. can you be a bit more clear about what it is russia has to do or not do in order to avoid deeper, broader sanctions? because you say they must allow the election to go ahead peacefully. but what is it -- it looks as though the election will go ahead so does that mean there aren't going to be deeper sanctions?
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>> well, on the second point, it depends on russia's behavior over the next 10 days before the first round of the presidential election in ukraine. and of course we have to remember there may be a further round. we don't know the -- whether any candidate will achieve an overall majority in that election. so there could be a further round in the middle of june. and over that period, as president obama and chancellor merkel made clear in washington, some days ago and as we made clear in brussels, on monday, russia's attitude and behavior toward those elections will be the determining factor. and whether we need to apply wider sanctions. it's understandable to ask, well, what is the exact definition of that? but of course we can't give and wouldn't want to give an exact definition of that if we set a red line, russia knows that they can go up to that. red line. without those sanctions. but we are very clear, it is the ability of those elections
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to take place, russia's behavior toward them. since efforts to disrupt the elections can take many different forms. that's not something we can define in advance. but we have clearly served notice on russia that destabilization of those elections intensified efforts by russia to prevent them from taking place will be what determines the attitude of the whole western world toward the application of wider economic and trade sanctions. on the question about syria reassessing strategy, clearly we have to now assess our strategy based on the situation getting worse in syria. we have always been of the view that there will not be a military victory for either side. for any side.
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and that remains our view. including by the regime. and there may be some who believe they can win a military victory. but that is not available to any side. that is why it's always been clear that it has to be a political solution in the end. and so that -- that analysis remains the same. but in the meantime, many more people are being displaced. many more people are being killed. we have to step up our efforts to make sure a moderate opposition stays in being. and that it is able to function. they have done a good job, i congratulate president aljava of the national coalition how they conducted themselves in the geneva negotiations. and all the steps they have taken to be cluff -- inclusive among the people of syria and particularly among different religious groups and different communities. they have done a good job. but they have to be kept in being. they have to be given additional help.
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otherwise, syrians face a choice between the between -- between the assad regime and extremists. it is a credit to the coalition they are able to take on extremists and continue their opposition to the -- to the regime. and so we see ourselves as acting in order to make that possible. and in order to make it even clearer to the regime. there is no military victory available to them. that is the -- that's the extra dimension if you like to our strategy on what we've discussed today. next question. microphone is on its way. >> you say that now there remains a political solution but the way everybody is seeing at the moment, with resigning his position and his successor and elections going on in syria what's new in the dynamic that
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can get a little process there? is there anything you can add come out of the talks today? and if i ask a second question about safe havens. there's fear the opposition will be run out of the little space that they control. as the regime continues to win battles. so is there any possibility of trying to impose the safe havens even though it is a difficult decision to make? >> well, we haven't -- i don't have any announcement to make about safe havens. clearly that -- that requires a very different approach. militarily and would require in the view of many countries, it would require a clear mandate in the united nations security council. that clearly is not available given the russian attitude to these matters. and so i don't have any new announcement to make about that. a political solution has clearly become more distant since the geneva talks earlier this year were not successful.
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i do pay tribute to lakdar brahimi and thanks to him and the work he has done in one of the world's most difficult jobs. over the last year and a half, or so. he has made every effort, and he made very clear when the geneva talks broke up earlier this year, that it was the refusal of the regime to discuss a transitional government. which was responsible for the end of those talks. the national coalition were prepared to do -- and put forward plans for a transitional government drawn from opposition and from the regime. the regime have refused to do that. that has made a political solution more distant. our message today, and the actions we have decided on today, and the actions we will decide on in the further meettion that will follow from today, will demonstrate to the regime there still has to be a political solution. they may think it doesn't have
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to be one. but there will have to be one. it is not possible. for them to conquer the whole of the people of syria. militarily. given how much blood has been shed. given the extent of the bitterness of the divisions that have arisen. and so if they think the world is going to turn away from supporting the national coalition, they are mistaken. we will be stepping up not giving up on our support for the national coalition. and that is a very clear message from all of the countries that were gathered here today. of course, there are different countries among the london 11, the core group support in different ways. depending on our own legal and political situation in each of our countries. but that support will be stepped up. and therefore the need for a political solution is still very much there. sorry.
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i'm giving long answers to these but these are important questions. next question. >> is there any point in pressing ahead with plans that you've mentioned often and repeated again today to try to refer syria to the international criminal court? taken your own observation about the russian position, is that not just gesture politics? another point if i may briefly, you talked about countries using different methods to support the syrian opposition. there are a lot of reports recently about the syrian opposition groups receiving more advanced weapons. we know that president java has been lobbying for this intensively and publicly in washington. is that armed support something that you have discussed today? >> well, different countries do provide assistance in different ways. and it's for them to speak about the support they provide. i can speak about the support the united kingdom provides. which is nonlethal assistance, the extra 30 million pounds have just announced today is nonlethal. assistance.
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be clear about that. and it's still important assistance. it will help to save lives. it will help services to run in parts of syria that are not under the control of the regime. and we have been able to resume our assistance to the national coalition after having to suspend it when some of their stores fell into the wrong hands. we have a level of confidence in how they can control the supplies given to them. has improved. so we're able to do that. that's what the united kingdom does. but of course you will have to ask secretary kerry about the support the united states intends to provide or other countries what they provide. we all help in different ways. but as i've always made clear in parliament, our support, which is overwhelmingly
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humanitarian, of course. the support that is not humanitarian is practical. but it is not lethal. so we have not entered into those discussions as the united kingdom. and one more question? and then we must let you get set up for secretary kerry. >> thank you. foreign minister, it sounds like you're declaring bankruptcy somehow on the policy on syria. that there's really nothing new that we can talk about in this meeting more or less. am i correct in saying that? and also, i wonder if you have discussed the rise of people like nasra and what are you doing about this in practical terms? thank you. >> we have discussed the need to increase further coordination which has of course begun some time ago on tracking and preventing the flow of foreign fighters into syria and all the ministers have raised that.

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