tv Saudi Foreign Affairs Minister at Munich Security Conference CSPAN February 16, 2016 10:10am-10:31am EST
hill. >> there's so much c-span does to make sure people know what's going on inside of it. >> the foreign affairs minister spoke last week at the munich security conference in germany. he talked about combating isis, the rights of women in the muslim world and history of slavery in the united states. >> thank you for this kind invitation. the topic is the middle east and i would like to offer more opportunities. ibb that the region is a dynamic region both historically between ancient rome and the modern
world and the region that has tremendous resources. a lot of people is a region that is increasingly connected to the world and that has a lot of wealth. it is a region between asia and europe and a region by any measure should have the attributes for greatness and that historically has been connected to the world in every way from globalization to the civilizations of egypt and up until the modern age. the problem however are the many challenges of underdevelopment, challenges of extremism, challenges of trying to find an identity in the sense that each
country is looking for its own identity. it's gone through tremendous upheavals the past few years beginning with the evidence of egypt and syria, yemen, iraq and other places. the rise of terrorism and religious extremism are challenges we have to deal with and we can to deal with them alone. in dealing with those challenges, the region will come out a better place than it was going into it. so we want to talk a little bit about saudi arabia, a nation including noncitizens it is a nation with tremendous
resources. saudi arabia is a country with financial resources and has first-class infrastructure and a stable government and the geographic location. saudi arabia is a nation that has a history of pragmatism and proportion and balance in both its internal and external policies and if it has one constant, that constant has changed. we were able to transform the country in ways various others were able to give. life expectancy rates doubled from 37 years to over 70. infant mortality rates dropped to the level of european
countries and the education went from 95% to 100% literacy. i don't belief there are many in the world that were able to do this. women's education which was nonexistent to be 55% of the students are women. yet the image of saudi arabia is a country that lives in a different age. this issue is a cultural issue but if we look at the overall picture we are dynamic in a country that develops in every area and i mentioned to you the
social and economic changes that have happened in my country, politically that were evil thing. the government is institutionalized. we developed the legislative branch, 20% of the members speak to the developed human rights organizations and there's nothing there is nothing that will prevent us from doing more in terms of ideology. we have no ambitions. we have enough land, water, resources. we are a country that is focused on internal development and that is seeking security, peace and stability in the area and by extension the world. that's who we are and what the
policies of spire to and we have dealt with the challenges in the region in ways that may be used frankly there is a vacuum and if nobody is willing to do something then be analyzed to step in and do something. we have to prevent the legitimate government from crashing into from being taken over by the radical militia which was in possession of heavy weapons and air force. in response to the question of the legitimate government we have no intention of seizing the territory and we have no intention of trying to dominate yemen and we won't preserve yemen and will help get back on
their feet. we are working to bring about political change for what is happening in the syria to remove the man that is responsible for the murder of thousands of people in the displacement of 12 million the destruction of the nation. it's the single most effective for extremists and terrorists in the region. that's our objective and we will achieve it. we are trying to work with others in the country whether it is egypt, iraq, sudan to try to help them deal with economic issues and extremism and terrorism and again i have no doubt.
we have strategies we adhere to so i think we will look at the region today and the two areas that stand out the most i want to say look at the terrorist organization composed of psychopaths who have no religion and morals and they attract other psychopaths and it will be defeated but in order to defeat, we have to deal with what i call the two elephants in the room.
i cannot defeat unless we think about change. he's the man that helped create it by releasing radicals from his jail and allowing them to operate by the tracings allowing them to become what they are. and unless and until there is a change, they will not be defeated. they were a member that has been bombing syria for 15 months. the environment they operate is moved and we can deal with them. the second elephant in the room is implementing the reforms agreed to in the 2014
doublethink the community to behold to create an equitable system between sunni, kurd, shia [inaudible] and around the country and its allies. everything else we do we've got to deal with this worst of it. those are the two main sources. yeah man i am more optimistic about because they are in control of three quarters of the country. the humanitarian assistance controlled by the government that is proven effectively end the suffering that exists in the controlled areas as a
consequence hijacking people and starving them and in order to score political games but that will come to him and. if it takes time we will not stop until the job is finished. and the objective is a united yemen that will be open to reconstruction and development that will result in a prosperous yemen so this is a good spot to stop and take some questions. thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much. we are already in overtime so maybe two short questions. i see someone in the back.
[inaudible] >> every religion has psychopaths that try to hijack it. isis is as islamic as the kkk is christian. don't they have a cross and do everything in the name of religion and belief that christ compels them to kill people of african descent? can one really say that the kkk is a christian organization? there are other groups that one can point to and there are other massacres that are committed in the name of creating certain countries or regions clear. there are people like this also
in the jewish faith that have nothing to do with judaism. that has nothing to do with hindu. for anyone to argue that it is islamic is preposterous. in the islamic faith, you have your faith and i have mine. you are free to practice your faith and i am free to practice mine. once a great sign of tolerance you have and it says he who kills an innocent soul has killed all of humanity and he who saves an innocent soul is asked if he saved all of humanity. what's more, with special example of compassion and mercy do you have in this? so if you say that it's in the scriptures, doesn't the old
testament say in the eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth? at somebody does it today would you say that they are christian or jewish? so i caution people because it seems to have become almost novel. it's become the flavor of the day to try to repeat things that are not there. the islamic religion and civilization preserved the history and passed it on to the west. the western civilization wouldn't exist. the islamic civilization and the islamic arab civilization connected china with europe. it's global. the point i made early on, they
represented islam. they have passed on to the west and islam has connected the civilization with western civilization, of course not. so i would urge all of you to be careful when it comes to this or accept the generalizations that have no basis. thank you. [applause] >> the final question. >> the president and ceo of new america. thank you very much for addressing the issue in the country i think that you are right to speak to this increasing issue for many in the world that it should should be
addressed openly. i just want to ask that i heard you correctly, because what i heard you say is there is nothing in your culture that would slow the advancement of women, did i hear that correct? >> when it comes to the issues this isn't a religious issue it is a societal issue. when it comes to things like education this is a societal issue and we dealt with it and we went from no schools for women in 1962 the education to take a 55% of college students are women. i can give you another statistic that it would end there is, more than 60% are women and some of the top doctors and educators employers and business people. so, the opportunities are there.
it's not the issue that is evolving just as it is in other countries. they gained its independence. by mathematics isn't good, 220 years ago, 250 years ago. it took 100 years before we were than the right to vote. when it comes to the societal change, people tend to look at what they are and where they are now and they think that everybody should be with us. again, maybe because i spend so much of my life there is independent in 1976. the republic was founded decades later. it took almost 80 years before it was abolished and it took 100 years before there was a civil rights movement and another three decades before you had a
real racial e. quality in america. things take time. now we hope this is the modern world with technology communications the process is accelerated but it takes time and we must acknowledge and accept this. we cannot accept to rush things overnight or we wouldn't be who we are. >> thank you so much, mr. minister. [applause] i certainly hope to be able to welcome you back next year. you should continue this a standing invitation from now on. >> thank you. [applause] >> every cycle will remind us how important it is for the citizens.
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