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tv   Inside Story 2018 Ep 68  Al Jazeera  March 9, 2018 8:32pm-9:01pm +03

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the d r c next week. is me there's been renewed violence in eastern as relief workers try to deliver aid the red cross says airstrikes hit the outskirts of duma just as thirteen of it struck into the town the united nations says the shelling happened despite safety assurances from those involved in the conflict including russia. turkish president rage of tayyip erdogan says his troops have surrounded the northern syrian town of a free and will enter it minutely. after the turkish military seize control of the key nearby town of gin didas helping the troops and founds sarkin allied syrian rebels are trying to push kurdish fighters from the. kenya's president who are kenyatta and the main opposition leader raul adding get a promise to begin a process of reconciliation as the pairs first meeting since last year's disputed election which was followed by widespread violence across the country. rob today
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those are covered headlines stay with out as they were though inside stories coming up next we'll see you towards the top the hour. saudi crown prince muhammad installment has been given a welcome world leaders could expect in london the british government has been accused of ignoring rights abuses in saudi arabia and yemen so what is behind this controversial trip this is inside story.
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hello welcome to the program i'm richelle carey the red carpet has been rolled out at buckingham palace and number ten downing street in london for saudi arabia's crown prince bahamas and solomon the thirty two year old became heir to the throne after a palace crisis last june and sense then his continuous country's involvement in the war in yemen launched a blockade of qatar and began what his government calls an anti-corruption drive dozens of high profile princes and businessmen were arrested and held in a hotel accused of corruption his trip to the u.k. is the first since he took on this new role as crown prince u.k. relationship goes back a long way cloning operate and helped establish what was to become saudi arabia over a century ago there are extensive business ties with britain a major arms supplier to the kingdom report suggests that deals worth one hundred billion dollars could be signed during this visit with the u.k. eager to deepen business relations outside the e.u. but the visit has brought strong criticism and demonstrations as well over saudi
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human rights abuses and humanitarian catastrophe caused by the conduct of the war and yemen. prime minister theresa may has defended the welcome given to saudi arabia's crown prince we'll get our guests in a moment first. reports from london. mohamed bin sun man started off his u.k. trip with a visit to the queen who hosted the young prince at buckingham palace a sign of just how eager the u.k. used to bolster its ties with the saudi kingdom children from the saudi king crab academy work busking to cheer on the palm prince a continuation of the massive p.r. campaign that included huge adverts across london announcing bin sandman's visits human rights groups however chose to focus on children by highlighting the killing of thousands in yemen by the saudi military an army under the direct command of m.p.'s as he's known but eleven million children in yemen who are dependent on humanitarian aid that's the entire population of belgian this is the world's worst
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humanitarian disaster so the trade deals for the nice things we have to remember that saudi arabia is a key player in this conflict the crown prince's visit is a very controversial one in parliament the leader of the main opposition party question the prime minister what message she would be can bring to my mackinson man as she makes her arm sales pitch will she also call on the crown prince to hold the shocking abuse of human rights in saudi arabia her response to the link that we have with saudi arabia is historic it is an important one and it's saved it has saved the lives of potentially hundreds of people. and i will be raising concerns about human rights with the crown prince when i meet him to build on that relationship the prime minister left parliament to meet with m.p.'s at downing street since my mother when will you stop bombing innocent civilians in yemen where will you stop killing innocent civilians in yemen bridge
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but imo. as you can see this trip. it's not just the high profile one but it's also very controlled trade with the bank the british government and the saudis not wanting to have clear access there is no press conference that took place this is the closest we've had to access through the crown prince and the big reason behind that is the widespread opposition and criticism that has been accompanying this trip. part of the opposition was demonstrated in this protest outside downing street who organizes here say the u.k. government should not be turning a blind eye to saudi human rights abuses no matter how much the crown prince pledges to invest they want their politicians to demand real change and reform in saudi arabia and not to cheer on what they consider to be propaganda aimed at punishing the image of a man who's knocked up many of his political opponents jamal al jazeera london.
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let's bring in our guests now joining us from london is david hurst editor in chief of middle east i am fairfax virginia via skype josh an executive director of arab center washington d.c. and also in london on a cell to create the president of the muslim association of britain and i thank you all for joining me i appreciate it i mean at start with the same question to all of you david you first should this trip be happening whether it should or not is happening it's been completely stage managed everything about the trip has been stationary which is why your correspondent jamal is not you know would get anywhere near. and why most of the protest was actually a political very strong one and i think it took the government to reason may somewhat by surprise. the ads were paid for by the saudis the schoolchildren were
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bussed in by the saudis and of course the saudis use these images to say hey look. you know britain is offering lunch is offering a great welcome to to our crown prince this is a coronation to what he really wants from this trip on what britain wants from this trip is cash is defense contracts it's desperate for them particular post breaks it era but what he wants from it what the sound is what is legitimacy ok you actually said a lot there and we're going to unpack a lot of that and just a moment i want to go to colonial next they're cleared do you think this trip should be happening. this is in the eye of the beholder i mean it's a normative answer and subjective but that at any rate as david said that trip is happening based on the needs of both parties and i agree that. essentially the agenda on both sides tends to be domestic similarity here in the
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states too to the u.k. and there are some serious concerns concerns the u.s. ministration like it or not is very concerned about different developments in the region some domestic some are regional that basically impact on u.s. interests or of the u.s. definition of its interest in the region so i'm sure the agenda is going to be diverse but but the i do not see this visit as a sub stand foreign policy visit per se i think it's mostly based on the domestic needs of both m.b.'s introducing himself again to the american scene but this time as a crown prince and trying to basically soften if you will some of these concerns that exist on the american side whether in the private or public sector with regards to some of the controversial steps that he has taken in terms of governance
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and honest you've been very clear you've written about your concerns about this trip but generally speaking do you think it should even be happening i don't think there's a problem with it happening in fact if if i was to argue the case i think it was necessary but the problem is what's taking place behind closed doors and what's being negotiated ideally speaking out of like to al government to be telling mohammed bin sad man in no uncertain terms about how the british public see the saudi pivotal role along with other regional actors such as the u.a.e. in iran in destroying and disintegrating the yemeni state i would like to. two for to reason made to be asking mohammed bin so man about why it is that the saudi regime rounds up figures of society who in any sane world represent the antidote to the rhetoric of isis i'd like her to also say to him that whilst
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allowing women to drive is a nice gesture but it doesn't speak about the reality of democracy human rights let's not make any mistake this was on the foreign policy issue. it was a coronation for a crown prince and rather than a head of state to actually meet with the queen of buckingham palace and i'm sure that he's going to also be meeting with the proof of president trump when he's in america it's officially a coronation everyone recognizes this is the future king he's young and it's likely that the world will have to contend with him being at the helm of the saudi regime for many decades to come david you said a moment ago that you feel like it's possible that the u.k. government was a bit caught off guard by the pushback and all of these protests. should they be a should they have been caught off guard these are these issues in yemen and. and human rights abuses in saudi arabia these are not new issues no they won't you're
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absolutely right. each time they've been raised the prime minister whoever he or she may be has pushed back to and said has used the security card tony blair said exactly the same thing when there was a very interesting serious fraud office investigation into kickbacks. british airspace where receiving for a saudi arms contract margaret thatcher was in exactly the same position. the same deal as well and it really isn't a it's it's a little bit of a tradition interesting they also say we played that clip in a moment ago where she said. that perhaps hundreds of british lives have been saved because of saudi arabia she set a similar line as well it's very easy to say extremely difficult to prove and they always do the same thing now i mean the real objection to what's going on is that a reckless thirty two year old with no experience of diplomacy or government or
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even as minister of defense is in charge of a key goal of state. and nothing he's doing a moment seems to be going right whether it's in yemen whether this is austerity measures. whether it's his promises to build make a projects like their own city its words and its images and the problem with this is the britain is placing key parts of its industries such as be key parts of its regional policy such in an extremely free world at the moment where it's every man for himself on the shoulders of this man should say is he really the economic reform that he's talking about is he really the social reformer that he's talking about. i've just come back from jordan where they are privately of the record extremely worried by the behavior of saudi arabia now jordan is
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a pretty sure military ally. with historic ties to britain and you could say that it is in the british interests but they be calm and satisfied about what is happening with a sudden neighbor as as we should be about saudi arabia certainly we should have relations with future saudi head of state whoever may they be that is practical reality politic but to place so much. so many of your cards on the shoulders of this man i think is dangerous for the british national interest i honestly bring you into that so if the answer to address concerns. turns about mohammed bin salman in some of the choices he's made and his age etc is not to isolate him rather to still engage him how do you engage him in a way that can actually make a difference i mean theresa may says that she did bring up the issue of yemen does anybody really have any leverage with these types of issues when we're dealing with
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saudi arabia well i'd like to think that if we're supplying saudi arabia with arms that are effectively killing thousands of yemenis in destroying the entire nation then we do have some leverage. i agree entirely with david's earlier assertion that this trip is about britain doing trade particularly looking at the post brags the terror and saudi arabia through mohammed bin cell man who actually carried out let's say a white crew within the saudi family looking for legitimacy on the international stage so i believe that there is trade to be done but from our point of view trade unconditionally is something which is absolutely unbefitting of britain and its claims to upholding democracy to upholding human rights to defending liberties and the such when actually is talking about an ally that recognizes none of that
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whatsoever so i think that there is leverage to be had i i don't accept the reason mase assertion or claim that this relationship has somehow saved so many lives as she said what we do know for sure that so we have in directly contributed towards saudi arabia actually killing thousands of innocent people in yemen so i think there's there's much to be said on that particular front coolio if the u.k. does have leverage as honest as played laid out a case that they that they do and the u.s. has leverage as well why is the west always been so hesitant to. they used that basically reflects i believe both political and moral bankruptcy on the part of. saudi arabia and the west that are always concerned about issues concerned about developments in the country but somehow afraid to assert their leadership and to
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try to impact. the direction of future saudi for fear that it might in fact than not or agenda the agenda that both my colleagues just referred to i mean for the u.s. and a similar fashion this is basically it's that they had ministration is looking for dollars and cents i mean it's looking for the future implementation of the three hundred plus billion dollars a promise that they committed to during mr trump's visit to riyadh and for this administration every billion dollar as you would in terms of jobs as bus the possibility of ten to fifteen thousand manpower jobs in this country so that's what's at stake in this second i think and i think that's rarely discussed when you talk about the visit and the relationship between riyadh and washington is the issue that there is concern here by some not only by some within and outside the
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administration about that change in governance and in saudi arabia what is happening is that traditional i think system of governance governing by consensus is changing a system of governing by hype and that doesn't make if you will larger powers and the west comfortable they are looking for dk they are looking outward substance depth looking for something beyond just these emotional symbolic crackdowns and changes in allowing women to go to the movies or to attend soccer games so they want to see. if you want to get to know the man in a more serious fashion but in some ways i think it might be fair to say that u.s. president ronald trump's style is similar to mohamed bin solomon's style it's a lot about branding and not necessarily
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a lot there when you dig out in into the weeds but what does it say that perhaps is that why his trip to saudi arabia little trump's trip to saudi arabia went so well it didn't go well at all actually but is it is that. when i was talking about when i was talking about u.s. interest. and this case and the relationship i was talking about the establishment if you will i wasn't talking about the administration i'm not sure this president really understands that the. or devalue the relationship other than i say you know and do it in dollars and cents and that's why he made his biggest mistake you know it started he went to the region and started the conflict between these countries and he has spent the last few months trying to basically rectify that and resolve that conflict so cooking about waste time it's amazing but there are a lot of similarities there rash personalities lack of experience yes i think both
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are in common between this administration and the regime now led by m.p.'s david killed his pride a topic that obviously we do need to get to that it was very very soon after donald trump's trip to saudi arabia that the blockade of qatar happened is there any reason to think that what's mohamed been selman gets to washington d.c. that the state department and donald trump will be on the same page to perhaps put push him to to do something about this blockade the state department has had one consistent position and donald trump has been a little bit all over the place. what do you expect to come out of that just to to tell you said i think it was really important that he talked about the moral bankruptcy of the west because there's a really a political crisis going on really in europe and america at the same time as there is a series of crisis in the middle east the other similarity between between. the have
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been some of the the house of saud as it is now iran and the trump it is two families running to administrations it is almost like the sort of suffocation of washington is taking place he has a direct line been summoned as a direct line to trump's son in law jarrett question here again hollywood will confirm this cushion of fate in the in the white house is now getting is now less certain than it was so all of these things are enormously unstable foundations on which to build a relationship as far as qatar is concerned there's been very little movement that i can tell and i think the prime mover behind the blockade on on cata has been the emirates. and who mohammed bin.
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desired who has been really the mentor and shooter of the thirty two year old crown prince of saudi arabia. and as long as those two stay together. as long as they see eye to eye and i think there may be a son there are possible scenarios in which they do split apart. i think the siege of qatar will continue and you will have such statements which in some said just before he came to london he said in the company of an egyptian t.v. host but turkey and iran form a triangle of evil. whatever you think of turkey or whatever you. of iran and i'm no supporter of what iran has been doing in syria it's intervention also in yemen as well. whatever you think of these two countries this is the this is the this is the primary sunni country and a promise sheer country and you would expect that as
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a future statement statesman been someone would. know that he'd one day have to talk to turkey and iran but this is how he describes them so i don't see anything changing unfortunately soon about qatar qatar very very much on its own it's got great resources it's paid its cards very very well but i would say the siege of the blockade will continue on a slow me ask you about that when you hear the inflammatory language that had been salman issues donald trump has been known to use the same inflammatory language what do you expect to come out of the two of them meeting with so many of the factors. that david just described and you have described the same thing as well about this this part of things that are all going on in the middle east right
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now what do you think of possibly come out of the meeting between donald trump. and could it make things worse well i mean it does seem that mohammed bin so man and trump are sort of kindred spirits in terms of you know their brashness of their recklessness in a sense and also their lack of strategic vision i agree entirely with the with the description the both david gave in terms of till now we really can't tell exactly what the american administration wants exactly where the establishment the state department and its you know the various think tanks to formulate the the strategic vision of an outline backed kind of vision. to america where they stand in respect to you know trumps statements which tend to flip from one side to another in a matter of tweets so. you know it might be. on the saudi side they all will they will see
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a meeting between mohammed bin selman and trump as an incredible p.r. scoop and therefore they will regard that as essential victory of of quite enormous proportions to someone who in reality. is insubstantial it's about appearance. from the other side however i'm pretty sure that the establishment as well as the american nation will wants results and will want outcomes and how much trump can actually deliver on that in terms of jobs or contracts or whatever remains to be seen but what is also important and alluding coming back to the region i mean this whole thing about isolating other than the siege against cover i agree absolutely that this is an a and him oddity. oriented plan but what is absolutely unacceptable is the fact that in a region that is still. up in flames whether you look towards the north in syria
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which is again another heartbreaking tragedy or whether we're talking about yemen and that being probably the worst humanitarian crisis that the world is seeing today you have egypt in sinai a war that is going on virtually as as we speak although with very little coverage mohammed sentiment now is sort of spiking tensions threatening implicitly or sometimes explicitly to military intervene against a neighbor country in that very same region. to to describe it to stupidity would be to to do the word incredible injustice the fact is that the americans need to really assess exactly what they want to tell mohammed been sentiment where their strategic interests lie this is not just about one hundred men so mentality himself and marketing himself as a pneumonic it's about whether the region that is engulfed in flames whether they
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be sectarian or otherwise that region can find some sort of resolution ok through any kind of relations on that sort and that will be the final word on us thank you very much thank you to all of you for joining me at david hurst kelly at ash and anas altikriti and thank you. for watching you can watch the program again any time if you go to our web site that is al jazeera dot com for further discussion go to our facebook page that's facebook dot com ford slash a.j. inside story you can also join the conversation on twitter our handle is at a.j. inside story for me rachelle kerry and the entire team i for now.
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what makes this movement this era we're living through so unique this is really an attack on itself is a lot of misunderstanding the distortion of what free speech is supposed to be about the context it's hugely important to have a right to publish if you have a duty to be offensive will provoke that's all about it as people do setting the stage for a serious debate up front at this time on al-jazeera. an act of youthful defiance we've ruled your turn looks of the loss of the school will they arrested me at home at four in the morning the electric shock treatment was the worse that triggered a revolution. the arrest of those children sparked it all of which became a battle without and that was the beginning of the armed struggle in syria. the
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boy who started the syrian war at this time on al-jazeera as poverty and desperation sweep across or he just settlements women and girls are being bought and sold and given away you know refugee camps when used investigates yet another dark side of the real crisis at this time on al-jazeera. this is al-jazeera. all of them to the lead on this says the news hour live from london coming up the u.s. president sets up his biggest gamble yet agreeing to talks by may with the man who previously branded the.

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