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tv   Foundation  Al Jazeera  April 9, 2018 11:00pm-12:00am +03

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nature of the debate here is so divergent there does appear to be no space even at this early stage for any form of agreement to emerge remembering that what we are going to be hearing later from the u.s. is a proposal for an independent fact finding mission to be established by the un with a one year mandate to carry out investigations into such alleged attacks and to find whoever was responsible accountable now that will be discussed later on in the afternoon but given the tone of the russian ambassador there there's very likely to be a meeting of the minds or any meeting offered a resolution from the members of the security council at this particular point is going back to two different a mysterious speech he is calling very strongly for the united nations security council to reach unity on this issue well within half an hour of the discussions they're very clear that unity would be virtually impossible to achieve in the stern
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of debate here we've got the u.s. ambassador beginning to talk. and thank you mr markham for your briefings almost exactly one year ago i stood on the floor of the security council and held up pictures of dead syrian children after that day i prayed that i would never have to do that again i could there are many and truly. there are many truly gruesome pictures many of us have worked hard to ensure that one day we would not have to see images of babies gath gassed to death and syria but the day we prayed would never come has come again chemical weapons have once again been used on syrian men women and children and once again the security council is meeting in response this time i'm not going to hold up pictures of victims i could . there are many and they are gruesome worse are the videos imprinted in our minds
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that no one should ever have to see i could hold up pictures of babies lying dead next to their mothers brothers and sisters toddlers an infant still in diapers all lying together did their skin is the ashen blue that is now tragically familiar from chemical weapons seeds their eyes are open and lifeless white foam bubbles from their mouths and noses pictures of dead syrians who are not soldiers people who are not armed people who are the very definition of innocent and non-threatening women and children hiding in basements from a renewed assault by bashar al assad families that were hiding underground to escape assad's conventional bombs and artillery but the basements that syrian
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families thought would shelter them from conventional bombs were the worst place to be when chemical weapons fell from the sky and saturday evening the basements of duma became their tombs it's impossible to know for certain how many have died because of access to do much is cut off by assad's forces but dozens are dead that we know of and hundreds are wounded i could hold up pictures of survivors children with burning eyes choking for breath i could hold up pictures of first responders washing the chemicals off of the victims putting respirators on the children first responders walking through room after room of families lying motionless with babies still in the arms of their mothers and fathers. i could show pictures of
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a hospital attacked by the chemical weapons i could show pictures of hospitals struck by barrel bombs following the chemical attack ambulances and rescue vehicles have been repeatedly attacked maximizing the number of dead civilians civil defense centers have been attacked in order to paralyze the medical response to increase the suffering of the survivors who does this only a monster does this only a monster target civilians and then ensures that there are no ambulances to transfer the wounded no hospitals to save their lives no doctors or medicine to ease their pain i could hold up pictures of all of this killing and suffering for the council to see but what would be the point the monster who was responsible for
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these attacks has no conscience not even to be shocked by pictures of dead children the russian regime whose hands are all covered in the blood of syrian children cannot be ashamed by pictures of its victims we've tried that before we must not overlook russian iran's roles in a neighboring the assad regime's murderous destruction russia and iran have military advisors at assad's airfield and operation centers russian officials are on the ground helping direct the regimes starve and surrender campaign and iranian allied forces do much of the dirty work when the syrian military pummels civilians they were ally on the military hardware given by russia russia could stop this senseless slaughter if that one but it stands with the assad regime and
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supports without any hesitation. what's the poor the what's the point of trying to shame such people after all no civilized government would have anything to do with assad's murderous regime pictures of dead children mean little to governments like russia who expend their own resources to prop up a side and this council which saw these pictures last year has failed to act because russia has stood in its way every single time for a year we've allowed russia to hold the lives of innocent syrians hostage to its alliance with the assad regime this allowed russia to also weaken the credibility of the united nations we are quick to condemn chemical weapons in the security council but then russia prevents any action vetoing five resolutions on this issue alone eleven vetoes all together to save assad and our lives to go on as
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usual. the council created the joint investigative mechanism it found the syrian regime responsible for the attack it concha couldn't a year ago because russia's support of assad and his actions russia killed the mechanism we condemned it and our lives went on as usual we pushed for a cease fire the council unanimously agreed but it was immediately ignored by russia and us side we condemned it and our lives went on as usual and now here we are confronted with the consequences of giving russia a pass in the name of unity a unity that russia has shown many times before they don't want. here we are in a world where chemical weapons use is becoming normalized from an indonesian airport
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to an english village to the homes and hospitals of syria since the assad regime used chemical weapons that concha koon one year ago chemical weapons have been reportedly used dozens of times and this council does nothing what we are dealing with today is not about a spat between the united states and russia this is about the inhumane use of chemical agents on innocent civilians each and every one of the nations in this council or on record opposing the use of chemical weapons there can be no more rationalizations for our failure to act we have already introduced and circulated to the council a resolution demanding unrestricted humanitarian access to the people of duma assad is doing all he can to assure maximum suffering in duma our priority must be to help the starving the sick and the injured that have been left behind we also call
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on this council to immediately reestablish a truly professional and impartial mechanism for chemical weapons attacks in syria including the attack this weekend we hope our colleagues on this council will join us as they have before this is the very minimum we can do in response to the attack we just witnessed russia's obstructionism will not continue to hold us hostage when we are confronted with an attack like this one the united states is determined to see the monster who drop chemical weapons on the syrian people held to account you have heard what the president of the united states has said about this. meetings are ongoing important decisions are being weighed even as we speak we are on the edge of a dangerous precipice the great evil of chemical weapons use that once unified the
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world in opposition is on the verge of becoming the new normal. the international community must not let this happen we are beyond showing pictures of dead babies we are beyond appeals to conscience we have reached the moment when the world must see justice done history will record this as the moment when the security council either discharged its duty or demonstrated its utter and complete failure to protect the people of syria either way the united states will respond thank you your inner core lover because in the. state you love a lot of the rules to be representative from civility your. miss your liquid you know the president. i think the peruvian presidency for having convened this
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emergency security council meeting which france elicited with eight other member states of this council i also wish to thank the special envoy mr stefan the me stora and the deputy to the high representative for disarmament affairs mr thomas mark markram for their important and thorough briefings mr president. there are times in a live nations where what is essential is at stake life or death peace or war civilization or barbarism the international order or chaos this is the case today after the horrific chemical carnage which once again pushed the limits of horror on saturday in duma we are aware of the fact that two new chemical weapons attack particularly serious ones took place in duma on seven april the human toll provisionally but still horrendous is nearly fifty dead including the
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number of children and one thousand wounded this toll is likely to be even higher some areas remain inaccessible for assistance once again toxic substances have been dropped to a specific ca to kill to terrorize civilians by reaching them in the basements where they sought refuge chlorine gas so the specific feature of being a heavy gas capable of entering basements for this reason it is used and mr president this is the level of the deadly serious cynicism that we have reached in syria there is no language to describe the horror of the images which surfaced on seven april nearly one year after the hunter hall an attack which killed nearly eighty eighty people what we see on the thousands of
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photos and videos which surfaced in the course of seven of several hours since the the attacks on seven april these serve as a reminder of the images we far too often saw images of children adults suffocating due to exposure to concentrated chlorine gas but what we also see are people. suffering significant full sions of these phenomena of excessive so laiva of eyes being burned these symptoms are symptomatic of exposure to a potent neuro toxin mixed with chlorine to heighten the lethal effect overall as i mentioned more than one thousand people have been exposed to this deadly chemical compound. the experience and this excessive reports of the joint investigative mechanism reflect the fact that there is no doubt as to the perpetrators of this most recent attack the syrian army
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forces and their agencies alone have the requisite knowledge to develop such sophisticated toxic substances substances with such a high degree of deadliness and only of the syrian armed forces and the departments have been in a military interest in this use this attack took place in duma an area which has been subjected to relentless shelling by the syrian army for a number of weeks use of such weapons alas enables a far more rapid tech tactical progress than. we've seen with conventional weapons we are all aware that the syrian regime has already been identified as being responsible for the use of chlorine sarin gas as a chemical weapon and this by the joint u.n. o.p.c. doubly investigative mechanism four times at least there are no luzhin to the sincerity of the declaration delivered by syria as to the state of its chemical
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stockpiles in two thousand and thirteen unfortunately once again we have proof with evidence this dovetails with the regime's strategy of terror that has been unleashed against civilians we have already experienced this before the world at the worst this is bad faith and at the worst at the absolute worst complicity the damascus regime. clearly see it's by stoking terror to conquer other urban areas which it seeks to control and what is more effective to a problem for those who resist to flee than those the middle ages see such style seizures with chemical or threats being polls let us be clear eyed these children who are held hostage or not colada are all victims. these are deliberate targets of these chemical attacks designed and planned for this purpose to wage terror
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and this is state terrorism which the regime is engaged in with a litany of war crimes and crimes against humanity. mr president the offensive and the shelling staged by the regime as well as by its russian iranian allies over the past forty eight hours or reflects the degree to which they have engaged in a military in a military race without and you consideration of the human cost this latest escalation of violence punctuated by new instances of chemical weapons being used to bring us face to face with the struct of madness of a machiavellian regime which seeks to destroy its people completely without and its russian and iranian supporters or other are unable or unwilling to stop it we are aware of the fact and version of the eighty's have confirmed this on a number of occasions that russian military forces have
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a presence in eastern guta on the ground and in the air on seven april. the second chemical attack took place in duma russian aircraft are also taking part in their operations in a damascus region. russian and iranian military support to is present on the ground and at all levels of the syrian war machinery no syrian aircraft takes off without the russian being informed of these attacks took place either with the tacit or explicit consent of russia or despite its reluctance and despite its military presence i am unaware of which of these two abuses is more alarming when it comes to our collective security mr president the stakes revolving around this in recent attacks are extremely grave this is the latest proof that
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normalization of chemical weapons use which is to be attributable not only to an aversion that has now become uncontrollable over the dream of regime that continues to gas civilians with complete impunity but also with respect to its supporters including a permanent member of security council it felt in its commitment to implement resolution twenty one eighteen which itself co-sponsored and the responsibility its responsibility in the and lists on ending tragedy in syria of the war in syria's overwhelming so towards syria france naturally turns to france naturally turns towards russia to put forward to demand the first demand is a situation of hostilities in the establishment of an immediate cease fire in syria in line for a solution twenty four zero one adopted twenty five february last two date this resolution has not been held by the damascus regime we deplore and lament the fact that there was not possible to implement this or is
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this resolution which was unanimously adopted resolution stipulating both the truth and emergency humanitarian access the second requirement is establishment of a new international investigative mechanism which will be able to document all. all of the factors of the attack in duma and compel the perpetrators for them to be brought to justice and the the disappearance of the joint investigative mechanism last november due to the success of russian vetoes has stripped us of an essential tool of deterrence for this reason we support any initiative to bridge this gap to this and in this spirit france is committed to a partnership to combat chemical impunity and in the same spirit we endorse a draft resolution that has been proposed today by the united states mr president with this attack on the assad regime yet again is testing the
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international community's determination to ensure respect for the prohibition of chemical weapons use from our parked it needs to be met with the united categorical and robust response there must be an understanding and it must understand that chemical weapons use against civilians will no longer be tolerated those who flout this fundamental rule of our collective security will have to be held accountable and assume the consequences of the. assad regime needs to hear an international response france stands ready to fully shoulder its role alongside our partners ultimately we know that only an inclusive political solution will bring an end to seven years of a conflict that has claimed the life of five hundred thousand a conflict that has pushed millions on the roads of exile friends will remain fully
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committed alongside the special envoy of the united states and in line with the genie of a process however in the light of this most recent carnage we can no longer merely repeat the words words which without being followed up by do. we are liable to be hollowed of all sense and so i wish to reiterate here as was stressed by a president back home on a number of occasions that france will shoulder its full responsibility to combat the proliferation of chemical weapons france will be clear france well honor its commitments and honor our word thank you learned quite a bit. as the representative from the one state not to not give the floor to the representative of the united kingdom thank you mr president and i thank the s.r.'s mr markham for their briefings and i thank him and through him all the u.n. teams on the ground for the important but incredibly difficult work that they do
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as stephan de mistura said this is an important security council session my government shares the outrage that had the colleagues of eloquently described today it is truly horrific to think of victims' families sheltering underground when the crew are being found them mr president it's the third time in five days that the council has convened to discuss chemical weapons this is dreadful in the true sense of that word this council should dread what we risk happening that chemical weapons become a routine part of fighting as a member of the p five the u.k. believes that we have a particular responsibility to uphold the worldwide prohibition of the use of w m d we agree with the netherlands and past that the p five has specific responsibilities mr president i believe that for members of the p five do believe
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this but there is one who does not. the russian ambassador referred to a resurgence of the cold war this is not the cold war mr president in the cold war there was not this flagrant disregard for the prohibitions the char universal on the use of w m d mr president the s.o.s. he also referred to the risks investigation and to international peace and security more broadly we share his fears but it is the syrian government and its backers iran and russia who are prolonged going the fighting and risking the regional and winds of instability there are real questions mr president about what is happening in the t four air base with its foreign fighters and its mercenaries. mr president we have been challenge today by our russian colleague to say why we believe the
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attack was carried out by syria and why and we believe even that chemical weapons we used the reasons mr president are responders the joint investigative mechanism between twenty fourteen and twenty seventeen found six uses of chemical weapons to it ascribed to diet for the use of mustard gas three is ascribed to the regime for the use of chlorine and one third the use it ascribed to the syrian regime for the use of sarin and that is the attack that we talked about in the council just last week that can shake and which led to the u.s. strike which we support on al shehri at in addition to french ambassador has said we have had reports of russian and syrian warnings before the c.w. attack took place and then for a pattern of helicopters and i ate hit helicopters flying overhead and these are
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reports that have come from the ground mr president i've listened carefully to the russian ambassador's arguments as i've just set out we as the united kingdom believe that the syrian regime is responsible for these latest attacks but there is one way to settle this mr president and this is to have an independent fact finding mission followed by an independent investigation as we all know the fact finding missions are there to determine whether chemical weapons have been used and if they have been used what sort of chemical weapons but it is only an investigation mr president that can determine who is responsible for their use and therefore start the path to accountability i was very interested to hear the russian offer the. a p c w fact finding mission could visit and would have the protection of russian
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forces mr president i believe that this is an offer worth pursuing but it would of course be necessary for the o.p.c. w. mission to have complete freedom of action and freedom of access that still leaves us mr president with the question of who committed these atrocities and that is why we support the us text for a resolution and we believe that there is no legitimate reason not to support the call for this council to set at an independent investigative mechanism as i said before mr president we have nothing to hide but it appears that russia and syria and their supporters iran do have something to fear. mr president the russian ambassador singled out the u.k. along with the u.s. and france the same criticism so i would like for a may to turn to that the responsibility for the cruelty in syria belongs to syria
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and its backers in russia and iran use of chemical weapons is an escalatory and a diabolical act what russia is trying to do it strikes me mr president is to turn this the debate in this council away from a discussion of the use of c.w. into a dispute between east and west presenting itself as the victim it is far too important mr president play games with the politics between east and west in respect of chemical weapons russia's crocodile tears for the people of eastern ghouta has an easy answer it is to joiners in a nonpolitical attempt to get in humanitarian and protection workers from the un to do their job of looking after and mitigating the risk to civilians russians concerned at actually for the use of c.w. also has an easy answer mr president it is to join us in allowing the un to set
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up an international investigative mechanism to pursue who is responsible and i repeat here the two demands of my french colleague and i hope we will be able to make progress mr president i had not intended to address the scriptural case in salisbury but because my russian colleague has done so i will address it today he asked what were the similarities between soulsby and syria i think it's important that i point out that the cases are different in the following respects there is and fair investigation under way in salisbury as we have heard mr president there is no investigation underway in syria. the british government in seoul's pre is seeking to protect its people as is its duty the syrian government the country mr
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president again as we have heard today attacks and gases its people what the two do have in common they and i am sorry to say is russia's refusal to assume p five responsibilities to prevent the use of w m d and it's reckless support for the use of w m d by its agents and by its alliance mr president it is not as who want to alienate russia she alienates herself by not joining in the vast majority of this council who want to find a nonpolitical way through and to address the use of c.w. against civilians in syria the russian ambassador mention friends at the united states mr president my government and our people are proud to be a friend of the united states we stand with everybody on this council who wants to find a way through the c.w. problem to have a proper fact finding mission and to have
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a proper investigation as the first step to bringing this dreadful conflict to a close thank you mr president if you're just joining us here on al-jazeera we've been listening live to this very important session at the united nations and we heard from nikki haley the u.s. ambassador to the u.n. and also from france and from the u.k. just there and the main narrative being that they don't want this to become a spat between east and west and they want to concentrate on investigating what actually happened in these alleged chemical attacks let's bring in mike hanna who is at the united nations and has been listening and mike what struck you then about nikki haley's told. well it was her very dark and somebody turn from the u.s. ambassador she referred to her previous speech last year in which she showed photographs of victims of chemical attacks saying that this was not the time to
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show these pictures she could she said that it was almost too serious to do so very very somber tone from the u.s. ambassador and importantly at the end of her speech something that could be interpreted as something of a threat she's saying that we've reached the moment when the world must see justice done history will recall this as a moment when the security council either discharged his duty or demonstrated its utter and complete failure to protect the people of syria the very last line either way the united states will respond making very clear that should there not be united unified security council action the united states will contemplate taking unilateral action and we've heard from the u.s. president within the last few hours that he will take a decision on what to do next within the next twenty four to forty eight hours but the divisions within the security council made abundant by the tone of the russian
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ambassador by the tone of the responses from the u.s. ambassador along with the allies from france and the united kingdom and very clear the fault line the divisions within the security council are extremely unlikely to produce any form of united position on this alleged attack in syria mike i just want to ask you this very quickly very quick answer if you may are we hearing an escalation of rhetoric here are we perhaps wincing a tipping point that we haven't seen before based on the tone we're hearing. now we are hearing an escalation of rhetoric the statement from the russian ambassador was as abrasive as has been heard within the security council for a long period of time the responses from the u.s. and its allies equally stood an equally gloomy so certainly there is a level of debate within the security council that is possibly more abrasive more
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confrontational and less constructive than we've heard for a long period of time my kamma there joining me live from the united nations mike thank you well thank you see you also for joining us for a fascinating hour of listening in to the united nations as mike mentioned before two very differing narratives playing out there with some pretty large consequences will continue of course to cover this story later on in our coverage up front that is coming up next he said. it's been more than six months since iraq's kurds said they wanted to go their own way but was the referendum on independence a mistake. i
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made the house also on the show last month china voted to remove presidential term limits allowing president xi jinping to effectively rule for life so what is the country's most powerful leader since miles a dong mean for china and for the world that's our debate but first more than six months after a referendum in favor of secession iraqi kurdistan is no closer to independence instead they've lost territory to baghdad and may now lose seats in the upcoming iraqi elections so is the middle east ready for a new independent nation or has it all backfired for the kurds this week hardliner the kurdistan regional government representative to the us by direct mom. thanks for joining me up front last september despite opposition from a lot of your allies from your neighbors from the iraqi government the kurdish
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regional government the k. or g in iraq went ahead and held an independence referendum in which more than ninety percent of those who voted supported your region going independent from the rest of iraq but what was the point of that vote given you're not independent more than six months later and you know it you don't seem to be anywhere close to being independent more than six months later our intention was never to declare independence immediately we never and we still don't believe in a unilateral declaration of independence aren't an intention was to allow the people of kurdistan or express their will for the first time ever and also to send a message to our neighbors to baghdad to the international community that this is what people want we. believe that having a referendum would allow that to happen and then we would talk to baghdad about our future relationship so we never envisaged that we would be independent by now six months after the referendum so when do you envisage being independent well the
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dream of independence will never be extinguished i think that's a fact that everybody has to live with but we're also pragmatists after the referendum there's been a collective punishment of our people our neighbors have reacted the united states and europe were not helpful so we understand the realities that we live with right now we're focused on the iraqi elections which are coming up in may and looking forward to the next phase after that but you didn't answer my question when is independence going to happen it depends because it depends on our dialogue with baghdad we want to separate the referendum said that we want to separate from the rest of iraq that has to be a negotiated settlement but we're not in that phase right now we are in the wake of the referendum where the people of kurdistan are being punished and we are just trying to manage they're being punished you know you talk about collective punishment i'm sure the iraqi government would agree with that assessment but let's take your word that being published is
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a lot of reflection of how you failed your people then because you held a referendum you made these promises they voted for it the result was what you wanted and now they're being published so it backfired and you have. i want to clarify one thing there has been a punishment of our people but very recently in the past several weeks our relationship with baghdad has started to get better so i want to just put that out there with regards to whether we have failed our people. i'll tell you something mettie i have heard so many foreign officials and even iraqi officials say describe the referendum as the failed to referendum the problem actually isn't that it was a failure the problem for everybody is that it was a great success seven out of ten. voters eligible voters turned out nine out of those who voted voted yes if you consider first of the referendum as it happened that's your that's one of the that's one of the six one of the definitions keep in mind that we're part of iraq where we have had genocide repeatedly not once
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repeatedly against the people of kurdistan most recently under rice's suggesting the current iraqi government is bent on genocide against ruby no no no no i'm not i'm talking about our history ok nobody is questioning history to right now yes but the decisions we make today and tomorrow are informed by our past for us we looked at iraq as a place that is not a home a comfortable home for the kurds two thousand and three came along it became clear the u.s. wanted to liberate iraq intervene in iraq we decided that we wanted to be part of this new iraq because this could be the iraq we had hoped for federal democratic pluralistic that didn't happen this is what led us to a referendum we have had to fight for our own survival in the survival of iraq by fighting dar sure isis we have taken care of one point eight million displaced people and syrian refugees we have had to deal with a crash and oil prices we have had to deal with baghdad many would say right
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dealing with russian oil prices and refugees and let me. let me i would believe the us point although it would be easier many would argue to deal with the problems that you have had to deal with i saw oil price issues if you will part of iraq rather than all in a room but we were part of iraq in two thousand and fourteen because we were part of iraq we hadn't had a referendum our budget is cut off a war is imposed on us the genocide is committed against our people once again by the iraqi government to be so why did it happen because the sunni arab community in iraq was completely disillusioned to some isis looked like a better alternative i'm sure they regretted it eventually but at that moment again it was the failed policies of the. about your own allies in the west the u.s. the u.k. stood with you for a long time and yet the u.s. government says the vote and the result lacks legitimacy the u.k. government says your leader should behave in a regrettable fashion that said it was a counterproductive move why do all of these western allies of yours why are they
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so upset with how many independents movements america supported how many independence movement has the u.s. has you know sort of the first few that you wrote in kosovo ok name me others they were there they were against estonia lithuania latvia countries that today are part of the e.u. and enjoys full rights so we expected those countries to be against our referendum what we didn't expect is the unsophisticated way in which they would go about it they didn't take into account that with every statement specially the united states but u.s. and europe with every statement they made against the referendum they were emboldened our neighbors and baghdad to think that the kurds were alone and that they could punish us we raised this issue with them we said we understand you're against it but the reason for all i'm not defending anyone is ready to have i'm wondering they were. your ated it became
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a self fulfilling your diploma you're telling me we didn't expect them to do this we didn't know baghdad would publish it it looks like you guys walked into this completely unprepared surely it backfired even on your own. i didn't expect that the united states have done a thing i'm asking maybe we should but we also have an obligation to our people i am a diplomat and we have very good relations today with the united states and our european friends but we also have an obligation first and foremost to our people it is right that the people of kurdistan should be able to express their wish we didn't commit a crime by having a referendum the right to self-determination is and try and in the un the same you when that all of these countries want us to look up to. and abide by the rules of it isn't trying in the u.n. charter the reason a lot of people are wary about independence as you know is because they look at what's going on there already you look at the two main political parties your own kurdistan democratic party the k d p the patriotic union of kurdistan the p u k a
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lot of the critics of these two parties not just your party would say they failed to lay the groundwork for a stable government a stable political system a stable economy rule of law independent judiciary instead they've given your people a system plagued with corruption nepotism tribalism and that's why you know or maybe in the but this is not the right route for an area of well i would say that the achievements of the kurdistan region are significant if you look at where we were in one thousand nine hundred one when the no fly zone was first established over kurdistan in iraq we had just come out of one and a half decades of genocide by saddam hussein four and a half thousand villages were destroyed kurdistan was crushed economically politically militarily from one nine hundred ninety one to two thousand and three we had our ups and downs and a very dark period but we came out of it after two thousand and three two thousand and thirteen fourteen kurdistan really flourished our economy boomed we created an
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oil industry from scratch all of the oil and gas wealth in kurdistan had been neglected over decades for the first time we were able to export our own or exploit our own resources if you could agree that you've made significant achievements in science related while. also pointed out there's massive corruption there is the deputy prime minister. talabani said and i quote the pharaohs in the k r g quote confiscating lands building villages doing business killing people and journalists and that the clergy has failed to stand up to these people who appear on television a daily basis talking about corruption i think he was referring to a particular person when he made this comment but your wider point. about. corruption yes there is corruption could we have done better can we do better absolutely we can but let's also be realistic since two thousand and fourteen kurdistan has had shock after shock first our budget was cut second we've been
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engaged in a very costly war in terms of human lives and the finances that the financially correction predated the i saw yes i'll do it. in twenty sixty and i remember you telling me then that we could do better on corruption we should be really only two years later it's getting worse not better there are hundreds of cases now according to the commission of integrity in the k r g being referred to courts being dealt with you have the deputy prime minister talking about it in this very open way about pharaohs running but you know but i think these i think the deputy prime minister talking about it openly the integrity commission having cases to deal with these all show that it's a subject we talk about that it's because i'm sure it's a huge problem it's a subject that we're dealing with and we are dealing with it in very practical ways we have. instigated a by a metric system of registering all civil servants everybody who receives a government pension or allowance anybody who benefits from the government system
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they are registered so there is no room for ghost employees with regards to our oil industry we have hired deloitte to audit all of our revenues and contracts going back retrospective lee we are taking practical steps and we are going through the rubble on the finance ministry but no i want to answer your point from you have repeatedly said there is corruption i don't deny but there is a problem which is not just of this kind. of dealing with it but you can deal with it has built into the system is my point this is not just to give up hello again everybody i'm wondering about you're going to create independent state but what's it built on you have a president that up until november masoud barzani who had to extend his term in office twice just to stay in power twelve years his son is currently head of the intelligence. his is his nephew is the prime minister kurdish politics are like a family business so they're trying to get away from the arab family business is you doing your own family business politics in the k r g that's that's the future of kurdistan those people those parties that you talk about your to our family to
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be honest ok but let me their families who lead political parties very democratic some of those parties are elected by the public and the public knows who is the leader president barzani is no longer president of the region he remains president of the kurdistan democratic party when people vote and they will vote in the kurdistan elections this year as well as iraqi elections people know who they're voting for if it is these parties or the k d p let's say my party is led by the barzani's many people are proud of their record many people look up to them for leadership there are issues in our society and here because really every blue system which is dominated by nepotism and cronyism that's the difference often the people are happy with the rulers people vote they will have another opportunity to vote this year they vote for the head of the intelligence services know but they voted for the remember a they vote for the party that will have the most significant number i know you have a car and you have to go to one last question on the matter of kurdish independence joost hiltermann who directs the middle east and north africa program at the
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international crisis group he said recently it's fine to want to be independent people have the right to self-determination so it's not an issue of right or wrong the question was did the kurds have the capacity and was the timing right clearly they didn't have the capacity and the timing with terrible looking back now doesn't he have a point surely you must concede that at least. i'm glad that he recognizes the right to self-determination because a lot of. international figures seem to forget that when it comes to kurdistan. we we are right to express our will in a referendum we haven't committed a crime we said from day one this is a referendum to hear the voice of the people we are not going to declare independence unilaterally that still. change the position today we are looking for iraq that believes in the constitution that everybody voted for in two thousand and five we believe that the constitution is the way forward for us i believe if the iraqi constitution of two thousand and five had been implemented fully we may not
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have had a referendum no regrets on the river and whatsoever personally i have no regrets i voted yes and i would vote yes again and i believe there are many people that believe that. thank you so much for joining me in. these promised a new era for china but critics of president xi jinping have compared him to chairman mao lost one of the chinese parliament voted to remove presidential term limits giving xi jinping the right to remain in office indefinitely so what does one man with virtually unchecked power mean for the future of china and for the rest of the world joining me to debate this are sharon home executive director of the n.-g. o. human rights in china and professor of law at new york university and from beijing kindo hsu a political analyst at china radio international and senior fellow at the pangle institution thank you both for joining me in the arena chinda let me start with you is she jinping or some say the numero one of his biographer says he's now emperor
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for life. no it's different from the period run by the chairman more for one thing this is a nod to the cultural revolution in the sixty's so we're living in the twenty first century the twenty fourth wall to wall media coverage and also social media no government no one person basically control the whole society not of the case and secondly i think a lot of people don't really understand what's going on within china is specially with the removal of thermal limit i think that there is of course technical reasons they want to bring the through that unified the with the parties secretary and also chairman of the central military commission and also i think are going to see this as part of the chinese exploration to seek a model you know that feeds perfectly for the chinese situation so that's part of
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the effort i don't think this is the end of the chinese politics this is not the end of the history predicted the collapse of a former soviet union no it's got to the end of that process sharon home what's your view is china heading into a new even harsher era of strongman rule of one man rule well i think it's china's gone backwards and i think china has gone back backwards at least forty years in several respects one china is going to shine and the lesson of the cultural revolution was to have all power concentrated in one leader that's unaccountable to the people truly accountable to the people will inevitably lead to mass offering and abuses and that's one lesson the second is the difference between the mao era one is china is part of a global economy secondly chinese people today are not like the people that were closed off during the cultural revolution you've got almost eight hundred million online on the internet and despite censorship despite legal controls restrictive
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controls probably. controls the fact remains that you can't control one point four billion people's view sharon says there that one. hour a little bit here you can respond specifically i would like to respond to the point you made about. she didn't being being one unaccountable to the people and that leads to abuses if you look at the chinese this is the changes to the constitution and the chinese government and the what they have done since the conclusion of the two sessions over there you see the tremendous changes that evolved about eighteen ministries or agencies about institutional reforms and also the national supervisory commission this is a super body for anti-corruption campaign all those efforts are actually a response to the popular content of discontent about corruption and if you look at what china had to achieve over the past couple of years it terms of
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a treaty in the pollution issue you have to see what china has achieved basically something los angeles and the land in that case to achieve thirty percent reduction of the pollution in this densely populated area like the beijing or shanghai so that's the response from the government they are very responsive to the public concern so i would say you know the china system is a very different from the western style but it is very responsive sharon is at the point that we need to recognize the good things that china has done with this democratic model in terms of. cleaning up the environment extreme poverty development would you conceive. so there are three things to say about that first of all no one can tell us that millions of people have been lifted out of poverty and that china is leading and doing very important. in technology green technology and in dealing with the pollution problem but the third thing is is that growing
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inequality in china is a fact and that the economy is slowing down and that's going to exacerbate the problem the issue is not whether china western model chinese model i really want to emphasize that every system including the u.s. has problems and so the issue is not whether one system is better than another the question is whether the people who are the most directly affected by the policies and by the choice of the leaders have a voice and that's what's key and in china it is a hostile restrictive environment for any voice that is critical of c. jinping or of the pardon there is the irish sharon correct there that you cannot criticize here's even the front a supremely to the chinese model was supposed to be about the party elites coming together a meritocracy that was what we were told even by chinese standards this is
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a pretty radical move. it is a radical trend and if you look at the reelection that's by you men were fully. about two or three thousand of them you and then it was really lucky to me to see to continue they really never actually of course you can drop your vote or you come vote against them because nobody's. had to force you to do something you know and also if you look at the polls eighty four percent of the chinese that respondents thinks you know the government they have twice in their government and the sixty eight percent of them when it comes to the government of leadership. i think the chinese government will lead them into a better future before we run out of time let me ask you this about bringing about to the president of china bring brewed tradition last october by not naming a successor of the communist party's national congress. clearly you're a supporter of is you think it's definitely a lot of problems but surely chinese politicians must be wondering what comes next
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he's not a young man. we don't know basically what happens the ten years from now or fifty years from us or whatever is that basically this. is what we know what we know is that the stability and continuity of the chinese development rapid development of six point two five percent that's for almost a for sure for next year for the next five years or ten years that's the predictability that's us the ability of chinese people coming ok. well i want to say that it's president xi jinping has actually indicated quite publicly and repeatedly that he does have ambitions and he does feel he is a global leader and he does feel that china should be a global leader and it's reflected in the party work report it's reflected in the next five years plan so she jinping thought with absolute leadership of the party and with the role of the party domestically and the role of china internationally
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is in capsulated in official policy given everyone agrees that china has opened up economically made progress economically on this president's watch on this president who is making radical changes conceded are we going to see political opening up as well or are we going to see more quote unquote liberal moves more democratic moves than sharon. or you know because a lot of people with a look at the with the background of the cultural background the western culture background in the western tradition people will come to use the western wars basically western rulers to measure the chair and the development see whether china is a democracy or whether china have checks and balances or whether china doesn't fit to this model or not know china will never be like the u.s. that we're in that we're going in like every other you imagine him. because looms as a democracy developing and doing very well of poverty reduction yes that we have all
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the challenges we have are all models so please respect to the chinese development you know china has been successful chinese people are happy people see a you are different from ours that you are conscious country is that you must be bad this is crazy. so i think it's very important that when we say that when we say the chinese people i really don't think not even that you can say one point three billion people believe what mr she just said or what she jinping says they should believe if you think about the rights defense lawyers the human rights defenders if you talk to pensions and we go if you talk to intellectuals if you talk to the all the thousands of signers of charter eight lucia if you think about chute you're young and countless of chinese citizens who demanded reforms and political reforms the seventy eight democracy wall the eighty nine tenement
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democracy movement these are chinese people chinese women feminists who are organizing peacefully around domestic violence issues and discrimination against women these are all issues that chinese society faces and chinese people have something to say about it and they have a voice and it's not monolithic and we have to help create the space that. enables them to decide what kind of future and what kind of present they want we'll have to leave it there sharon home to the issue thank you both for joining me in the arena that's our show up from will be back next week.
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hello there is dry unsettled for most of us across australia at the moment the satellite picture is picking up a little bit of cloud in the south that's making things rather grey and at times rather damp across the tasmania but ahead of it is staying fine but it's also staying very hot adelaide their office thirty three degrees on tuesday the average at this time of year is twenty six and it's going to stay hot even as we head through wednesday thirty degrees this time will be our maximum you can see the clouds building out towards our west but i don't think it's going to reach us in adelaide until thursday or friday now out towards the east and we've got a swirling area of cloud here on all satellite picture but it's all storm kenny now is working its way towards the southeast already it's giving us some heavy rain
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over fiji we're already water logged here we've got plenty more rain still to come further south and forth across new zealand it's also looking pretty stormy at the moment to this is jim's pushing its way northward bringing wet and windy conditions we could even see those winds gusting up to one hundred twenty kilometers per hour at times as the system pushes its way across so the temperatures are dropping so all can we'll see a maximum just to fifteen degrees as we head through wednesday for christchurch the temperatures here will actually be recovering still rather unsettled though even on wednesday plenty of showers around. new yorkers are very receptive to al jazeera because it is such an international city they're very interested in that global perspective that al-jazeera provides.


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