Skip to main content

tv   National Council on U.S.- Arab Relations - Arab View of U.S.  CSPAN  November 9, 2018 8:29am-9:01am EST

8:29 am
of declining local tribes and the kinds of tribes that make people happy, family, deep friendship, long-term shared location or meaningful work, local worship and community. all those things are being undermined by the moment we are at in technological history. >> watch this weekend on c-span2's booktv. >> next a discussion of the arab view of the tree. the national council and u.s. arab relations held its annual policy policymakers conference in washington, d.c. during this panel speakers discuss the death of saudi citizen jamal khashoggi and investigation of those involved in his death. this is 30 minutes. >> will your excellencies, your royal highness, distinguished guests and friends, my name is paige peterson. the national council of u.s.
8:30 am
arab relations is privileged to welcome back to its annual policymakers conference khalaf al-habtoor. he is a longtime friend of the national council and is known throughout the world as a prominent businessman, writer and philanthropist. i have read his book, it's an excellent read. i recommend it. we are lucky to be able to hear from him today. ladies and gentlemen, mr. khalaf al-habtoor. [applause] >> your royal highness, ladies and gentlemen, the national council, ladies and gentlemen, good morning. first of all i would like to say my condolences to the american people on the loss of the victim
8:31 am
in the attack in pennsylvania. may god bless their souls. it is a pleasure to be in washington, d.c. again among you. i appreciate the opportunity to exchange idea again, fresh views in a new great city. this is the place where decisions are made impacting not only united states of america, but also the entire world. we live in a time of a great political and economic insecurity. the future can no longer be protected. fundamental principle and values that we have since the end of world war ii are being overturned.
8:32 am
old alliance are being weekend. frankly, i am concerned and worried. america first is slow, slow produce wire will do. every nation is to put their interest over its people first. that's normal. however, let us not forget that no country is an island by itself. we share one planet. we are all responsible for finding a solution to common threat. we need to be a partner in the decision-making. we must mend broken countries in the middle east and africa so that refugees can go home and find safety and opportunity. doing so will end the fear of
8:33 am
people and host confidence, among the americans who feed all the world -- who feel overwhelmed by foreign immigrants. working together we can create a better world for all, trying to address important issues. sadly, that is not happening. it is every country for itself. i traveled for my country, united arab emirates. i call it the jewel of the world. on my way to washington, d.c. almost 15 days. almost 15 days ago when the news was completely consumed by the disappearance of saudi national jamal khashoggi. i was shocked that while the
8:34 am
dispute was still under investigation, the international media analysts and washington lawmakers acted as prosecutor, judges and jury. fingers were being pointed at the crown prince. major international companies pulled out of saudi arabia investment conference based on unproven allegation. it was a big mistake. they were the loser, 100%. those who turned their backs gifted to russia, china and also. the truth about the murder is
8:35 am
out. the criminal will be tried and will receive a fitting punishment. i am astonished that american lawmakers and media still call to impose sanctions against saudi arabia. willing to damage a trusted seven decade-long relation. this is madness. let me remind you that saudi arabia is a leader for dialogue for peace. in partnership with my country, united arab emirates, the kingdom has been leaving on the use of soft power and security. we have been setting up institutions that raises awareness about extremists ideologue and starting dialogues between different societies.
8:36 am
why are with around the world have global strategy? to approve the ideology of the violent extremism, saudi arabia and united arab immigrants we have been doing just that for many years. sadly, certain countries provide those criminals refuge. urge u.s. to respect they kingdom the 40. the law must take its course. america needs saudi arabia in the fight against terrorism. america needs saudi arabia to help contain iran america needs saudi arabia investment that create jobs. just focus on what's important.
8:37 am
last week on the anniversary of the attack on the u.s. marine in beirut, president trump signed a new sanction targeting iran proxy hezbollah. president trump refer to them as the highest sanction ever impose on hezbollah. i have to wonder why economic sanctions are the go to mechanism to punish countries that do not fall in line. they rarely work. yes, they have been ordered as bringing north korea to the table. however, sanctioning iran has not changed its aggressive behavior towards the neighbors. just the opposite. tehran is -- support of --
8:38 am
hostility towards the west. the u.s. foreign ministry tweeted that since the iranian revolution, iran has led terrorists assassinations and more than 20 countries worldwide. two years ago stood before you and appeared to you to act against the biggest threat facing our world. then as now i address the lack of action taken by the u.s. and putting the stuff to terrorism make a sponsor iran. i asked why nothing has been done to curb the destructive activities of tehran, shia militia and hezbollah occupied beautiful lebanon, and is partnering with syria.
8:39 am
in the time of president saddam hussein, iran stood as the shield for the world against the evil of ayatollah. american invasion of the creator of civilization based on the false intelligence gave iran freehand. today i ran hoses and increasing threat to the whole world, not only to the middle east. over the past decade america has had to president with very different foreign policies on the range of issues. yet, when it comes to dealing with the threat posed by iran, nothing changed. president obama was soft on a ring. president trump talk to a good talk but hesitate to work,
8:40 am
making fair fashion. president donald trump criticized iran's corrupt dictatorship. last month the united nations general assembly issued a new economic sanctions against iran and hezbollah earlier this month. but these steps are not sufficient. they will not hurt russia -- russia and china and europe are not on board. we need real action. please do not imagine i am calling for war. far from it. we have nothing against the iranian people. iranians are good people. we have traded and socialized within. we have welcomed them in our country. they are a poor people and oppressed people with little
8:41 am
freedom. they live in fear. they should be empowered by all means to write their own future. as for the iranian regime, support of terrorism, it can be stopped by eliminating global terrorist arm hezbollah, and also by empowering they raining minorities who are abused and crushed by the revolutionary guard, in particular the occupied arab people living in extreme poverty and stripped of their basic human rights and freely practice their religion. hezbollah criminal activities have spread out from lebanon to iraq, syria, yemen, south america and elsewhere, even in the united states.
8:42 am
it is leaders hidden out is no secret given, given western capabilities. what are you or us waiting for? the patience with which i ran is dealt with surprise me. why are the united states and its western alliance so patient with iran? do they hope that iran is the prodigal son of the sun who will one day return and rebel? that is a pipe dream. i ran difference, iran defines the united states as a civilized world, will never cease. it is time the world to take
8:43 am
action to terminate this threat to the peaceful future of our children once and for all. i don't want to continue a lot. thank you very much. thank you. thank you. [applause] >> we'd like to welcome judith miller up to the podium. judith is a pulitzer prize-winning investigative journalist and they're going to have a conversation. >> greetings everyone, and happy halloween. an appropriate holiday given that scary nature of washington these days, and much of the country. we are about to have an election as you know. we are delighted to have you
8:44 am
here and your excellencies, fellow students and experts of the middle east, and on the middle east. i was a little both concern and believed by your remarks. because up until today and your speech, the murder of jamal khashoggi has not been mentioned. in addition to the long-standing ties between saudi arabia and the united states, , the gulf ad the united states, a common concern about human rights, provides that are violent by the iranian regime and other regimes in the area. also figures as a common concern for our alliance. i wondered what if, it's very clear to me that what has been said so far by the kingdom of saudi arabia, by the government of saudi arabia, has not alleviated concerns about the
8:45 am
fate of jamal khashoggi, about what happened to him and who gave the orders. and most important as the "washington post" pointed out today, where his body is so that it can be returned to his relatives and family. would you call for an international neutral investigation of this matter beyond investigation which is already been proposed which does not seem to alleviate the concerns of so many people who want justice for him and his family? >> thank you. i'll put like a question to you as well, you know. i mean, i'm just wondering, i mean, jamal khashoggi is a saudi citizen, and saudi arabia, they
8:46 am
have called, they have judges. they have fair and especially king is the fairest person, head of, you know and it will be transferred from saudi arabia. why the world and why the media, social media, they're not concerned as what's happening of hundreds of iranian, iran is killing them every single day. why in a mosque which is been occupied from 1924 i think by the iranian, nobly immediate is not talking about them. i mean, there's a lot happening in the worker only one person, khashoggi, which is saudi citizen, definitely, everyone is against crime. everyone is against it and these people which pinpointed to them, the saudi national, all of them saudi nationals.
8:47 am
they will be fined and i assure you soon or later, soon you will find them in the tv who these people with the fair judgment. >> presumably the people have been blamed for his death have been interrogated already. presumably the saudi government knows full well by this point where his body is. i think deflecting attention from this critical issue raises questions for the american business community here in the united states and in europe and elsewhere about the safety of their own personnel if they choose to invest in saudi arabia. if an american resident and saudi citizen can meet such a fate in a saudi consulate in turkey, and allied muslim country, how can the business community feel safe in sydney its own representatives into
8:48 am
such a state? >> i think this question should be raised to president of turkey. he knows where the body. >> president erdogan -- >> he knows where it is. >> he knows where it is? >> that his country and the saudi consulate is in the land of turkey and he knows where the body. the body cannot disappear in two minutes or a day, but he will be i think the right person, president erdogan can answer that. >> what do you think would be an appropriate punishment for people held responsible for the death of jamal khashoggi? >> in my opinion? >> yes. >> execution. when hundred%. execution. anybody participate in the killing of any person, not only khashoggi, any person should be executed. therefore, people can learn they cannot go and kill people. >> supposing it turns out it is
8:49 am
determined by an investigation, perhaps not a saudi one, but by an international investigation or turkish, that the responsibility for this assassination and brutal murder goes higher up. what with the appropriate then? >> this is proven by the court of saudi arabia the judges of saudi arabia. there will be equal in front of god and the constitution of -- >> can you imagine such a thing happening in the uae, in your country? >> in my country, if it happened like this, i cannot answer that because it never happened and it will never happen. >> perhaps that's why the world is so unsettled by this assassination. >> they will have punishment. they will also be execution. >> i want to probe a little
8:50 am
deeper into what you see as the realistic alternatives for the policy which president trump has proposed. were you in favor of the scrapping of the jcpoa? the iranian nuclear deal. do you think it has contributed to stability of the middle east or to think it was a mistake? >> i think in my opinion, god gifted us a brain. we have to use it. this gift, we have to weigh what is more interest to us, death of one person or the benefit of the american? this is what we have to weigh in my opinion. you cannot, i mean, if summary has been executed and murdered, i mean, the people who that, they are criminals. they are really criminals and they will take definitely, , i mean, soon as the gentleman was taken, all of them will be taken, i mean, fitted judgment.
8:51 am
>> just shifting the conversation, however, to iran. you spoke about, you said real action. if not war. what do you perceive as real action that would contain alleged iranian aggression and real iranian aggression in your region? >> this is what i wrote so many articles of supporting the minority, training them, giving them arms. >> who should do that? >> all of us. not only america. the arabs and americans and elsewhere. it is important to rescue the iranians, to rescue the people of iran. we have no them long time, years and years and with great relationship with them. we have good business with them. i mean, what's happening to the everyday, it is corrupted country, corrupted government,
8:52 am
corrupted ayatollah, what they call them, you know. nothing except doing that. definitely i'm against war, against war, against war. i'm against that 100%. >> but you're not against destabilizing the regime of iran? >> that something we have to do the they have to go. if we want to be civilized, we want to rest. living border by border with them. >> you think think the effort o contain iran has been hurt by the tension between several members of the gulf cooperation council and with respect to how to handle iran and the boycott of qatar? has that enable the gcc to play a meaningful role in containing iranian aggression, or does that get in the way of containing iran?
8:53 am
>> iranian aggression the continuing with the sanctions were doing, whatever american sanctions, their continuing. they are spreading their poison everywhere with the arm, which is hezbollah, which is a most dangerous, , stronger than any country these days, highly trained and they are very dangerous point we are protecting our border. i mean, we are taking, i mean, our country and talk about united arab emirates, it is secured 100%, safe. but we care about everywhere. we care about everywhere to get rid of this cancer, and we have to get rid of it sooner or later. >> we did not help to have qatar involved in that fight rather than isolated and boycotted? >> i don't want to talk about qatar. [laughing] everyday i get comments, please
8:54 am
don't talk about, bad about me. >> how serious a threat do you think the instability in yemen is to the region, and what would you like to see occur with respect to the ongoing civil conflict and the internationalization of it? >> you know, we in the arabian gulf after all always for peace and negotiation. we prefer negotiation. we want to sit at the table and negotiate. but the problem, our governments asking that and looking for that, but no response from the other party, which is the iranian. they don't, otherwise i think, you know, i'm not a government official but i'm a member of my country and member of the arabian gulf population and, therefore, definitely we need
8:55 am
peace. we want negotiation we want to solve this problem rather than working with against war. we hate war. we know what the war doing ever in the world. we want negotiation. we want to solve the problem and believe me, we need to do that and we will help them. we are pouring billions and billions of dollars to help, to lift the people of yemen to survive. i mean our radicalism, saudi arabia, intel's, hundreds of billions were putting there. enough. we are doing a lot. we are rebuilding infrastructure and we are the people of human rights. we are the people of human rights and we take care of everybody, rather than talking about human rights elsewhere. >> this morning another threat to peace and stability was discussed here at this conference, and that is the ongoing arab-israeli palestinian-israeli conflict. are you more optimistic given
8:56 am
the change of administrations from the presidency of donald trump, are you more or less optimistic that such a peace between palestinians and israelis is possible? >> we are trying since very long time. my old arab countries especially the arabian gulf countries are spending billions to assist our friends at her brothers and sisters, the palestinian. this is not, we're trying to help as much as we can and we are doing that and we are continuing in our capacity as individual and as government where continuing that. definitely we need palestinian independent state. that is our dream and we need it. sooner or later i wrote so many articles about that and it spoke with a lot of israeli jewish in europe. i met them and we discussed that. but you need the proper people to negotiate and to mean it. negotiation is an art.
8:57 am
art. do not put a gun to my head to negotiate. i know prime minister netanyahu is a tough guy. he doesn't accept that, but he must accept it and i think now soften and he will negotiate and accept the state of palestine, and that is very important. as for relationship, we don't want to create a problem. we ask about relationship when king abdullah was crown prince. in lebanon. he asked in that meeting of the arab league that we want to see peace. we actually to sheikh hands with you, come on. i mean, definitely i am with the
8:58 am
negotiation personally and a lot of us in the arab world. forget about you talking. we don't accept this accept the fact that something that they will think about and they will accept at the end of the day. >> finally, because our time is limited, apart from doing more to contain iran, which you recommended, what other advice would you give to president trump about bringing a greater degree of peace and stability to the region? what policies would you like to see enacted under his administration? >> i ran to be as a fragile. the most powerful is hezbollah. hezbollah, if you don't dismantle it, and they know where they are headed, they know where hiding, everybody, and they know where the location of their arm military. it's the american and the
8:59 am
israelis and the european series, they can dismantle that and destroyed forever. to rescue the lebanese. lebanese now coming as prisoners. they are prisoners in the country. they cannot move. i mean, how do you accept terrorists, a member of government? i mean, in lebanon their following a government. three or four members of hezbollah which they are on the terrorist list, they are ministers. i mean, this is what i cannot understand and i cannot understand even our government how to fix it ambassador. don't accept it. to put terrorists, , ambassador, what they call it, member of government. >> thank you very much. we're delighted to have heard your remarks, i thank you all for attending. [applause] >> we take you live to the u.s.
9:00 am
senate they are conducting a brief pro forma session this morning. no votes will be taken. life no to the floor of the senate here on c-span2. -- live now to the floor of the senate here in c-span2.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on