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tv   Middle East Future Panel at World Economic Forum  CSPAN  February 1, 2018 8:44am-9:43am EST

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switzerland. it is just under an hour. mr. friedman: welcome, everybody. thank you for skipping lunch. the subject today is finding a new equilibrium in the middle east. we have a terrific panel of representatives from the region.
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i thought it would begin by taking a couple minutes and talk about what i think are the forces of disequilibrium that are impacting the middle east, actually impacting the whole world, and i want to give each of the ministers a chance to talk about what they see is creating disequilibrium, but also how we stabilize the region. my short take on the world is i think we are in the middle of three climate changes at once. we are in the middle of the change of the claimant of the climate. we're going from what i call later to now. when i was growing up in america in the 1960's and 1970's, later was when you could fix that river, clean that lake, save that orangutan. you could say it now or save it later. today, later is officially over. later now will be too late.
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that is climate change. we see it in the middle east with rising temperatures and rising water issues among others. we are in the middle of a change of climate of globalization. we are going from a world that was interconnected to a world that is hyperconnected to a world that is now interdependent. an interdependent world is a different world from an american point of view. in an interdependent world, your friends can kill you faster than your enemies, so if some big european banking systems were to go bankrupt tomorrow, that would affect me in america very much. in europe, they are allies, yet your friends can kill you faster than your enemies in an interdependent world. and secondly, you get a geopolitical inversion in an interdependent world where
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your rival's falling become more dangerous than your rival's rising. in america, china takes six more islands in the south china sea. i cannot care less. if china loses 6% growth, my goodness, this room will be basically empty. that is a climate change and you move from an interconnected world into an interdependent world. lastly, we are seeing a change in the climate of technology. every company today can and therefore must do five things you'd be able to analyze, optimize, prophesize, customize, and digitize any job product or service. i flew over here on united airlines, and the sensors in those engines were connected to g.e., and they were telling united airlines how high to fly to get optimal efficiency. you can analyze -- i can now find the needle in the haystack of my data as the norm, not the exception. i can prophesize.
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you may have seen the ibm watson ad where the repair man comes to a high-rise building, tells the doorman, i'm here to fix the elevator. the doorman says the elevator is not broken. and the elevator repairman says it will be in six weeks and three days. i can do predictive analytics. i can customize just for foreign ministers from saudi arabia, and i can digitize every job, product or service. you put those five together, that is a climate change. put all three of these climate changes together, and you have huge pressures on every country in the world. and for frail countries, sometimes these pressures are just overwhelming. that is why we see more governments collapsing. and certainly this has affected the middle east region among others. and creating what is the new divide in the world, which is no
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south,used, west, north, the new development is a world of order versus disorder. that is my macro sense of things, and if i could call on the minister to start. we will go right down the line. could you give us a sense of what do you see as the forces that are challenging stability in the region, and what do you think are the best pathways forward? mr. al-jubeir: thanks. i agree with what you said. a great setup. the challenges we have in the region are sectarianism, extremism, inefficient government, unaccountable government, government that is not transparent, looking backwards, not forwards, and i think the solution to that is making governments more efficient, more accountable, more transparent, providing opportunities for our youth so they can realize their hopes, and you do that by opening up your society.
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you do that by opening up areas for investment, domestic and khali . . . . . . and this imperialistic vision even at the cost of your people. that is the dark vision. iran.t is called and the other one is called saudi arabia, and i think history has shown that light always prevails over darkness, and once we have that issue settled, that our region will be
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a much better place. mr. simsek: thank you. i agree that the two main fault lines that are dragging the middle east down are ethnic and sectarian fault lines. i think the solution to middle eastern problems is not the creation of new borders, because that would be a call for perpetual conflict. the middle east, what makes the middle east so rich, the cradle of civilization, is the diversity in terms of religion, ethnicity, and i think the best path for the middle east also is rights more fundamental and freedoms for everybody, hopefully more democracy, but it is difficult.
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i think if we can go back, at one point it was highlighted by my saudi friend, is that youth is another issue. between now and 2050, you're going to get the working-age population growing by 180 million in our middle eastern region and north africa. for the next 35 years, you are going to have an extra 180 million coming onboard looking for jobs. once you overcome the challenges, today's challenges, the next challenge will be diversification, and better skills, education, and jobs for these 180 million youth that will come onboard. already the youth unemployment rate is relatively high. that is really the second challenge. it is a major one, something that we cannot overlook.
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clearly, a stable and prosperous , peaceful middle east is in the national interests of all of us. i think we should prosper with our neighbors, and that is clearly the key. you either go down with your neighbors or are prosperous. my final statement is over the last few years we began to recognize the significance of having a functioning state, and i am not talking about a prospering -- it is a state in the neighborhood that is functioning, that it can take control of its own borders, and stop export of terror. that has been a huge challenge for us. turkey is the world's largest refugee hosting country. 3.5 million syrians including 370,000 syrian kurds who are still settled in turkey, which we welcome, of course.
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we do our best. -- yes, 3.5s create million to be exact. if you add 200,000 iraqis, that takes the number two 3.7 million. none of these problems, just the way the u.s. mortgage problems in the subprime crisis, the u.s. wasn't exporting houses to europe. similarly, problems affects all of us. i think we need a very strong stance against extremism and terrorism. no question, we agree on this. i think we should try to solve our problems with more dialogue, but definitely we should not take various ethnic and sectarian groups the way you pick up a football club. mr. friedman: interesting.
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ms. von der leyen, you get to be the outside expert. ms. von der leyen: i would not like to be the outside expert, but i would like to represent the european interest. because the middle east is our immediate neighbor. you are our neighbors, and, therefore, we have a vast interest in stability and friendship on both sides. i can just keep on taking your points that beginning with terror, terror always needs a soil on which it is growing, and there is this cruel ideology of daish, but it was also growing because of a feeling of lack of perspective, lack of influence, marginalization. so the question, whether we are going to defeat daish on the one hand, of course, a military one, but on the other hand, the
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question of whether we are going to be able to give people a perspective in that region. and on the first point, i see also a strong role of europe to be with our partners together engaged in reconstruction and re-stabilization and reconciliation because it needs many to work on these fields together. second point is we see in the region a lot of different interests. syria, iraq, many, many different powers have been projecting their interests in the region and has a fight in the region which was normally a conflict that should have been settled elsewhere. therefore, my second emphasis is on if we want to solve problems
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in that region and come to a new equilibrium, it can only be under the umbrella of the united nations, because there are so many different interests, that the one and only place where everybody has to stick to the rules we once agreed and nobody is the winner or the loser is the united nations, so make the united nations stronger. make the process stronger. that is the second of the main goals. and the third one is if you look at the area and other conflict places in the world, the new dimension in it is also the cyber dimension. so besides the traditional fight against terror, which is a military one, besides the traditional reconstruction reconciliation process we know is important, we have the strong process within social media, which is, which kind of
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narrative will be the dominant and the persuading one? and to be better all together, where we share the same interests of moving towards a peaceful world, moving toward democracies, human rights, to share this narrative in a broad way in the cyber space and to promote will be one of the major tasks we have to fulfill. mr. friedman: thank you. mr. al kalifa: thank you very much for inviting me to the session. you talked about change. the region of the middle east is used to change, is very much used to it for decades. we all remember throughout the modern history some important events that made a lot of change in our area. the collapse of the ottoman empire, the rise of modern-day turkey, the revolutions in iraq
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and egypt, and a lot of change. i am jumping quickly. then the arrival of the cold war. the cold war was maybe in some times volatile, but in the middle east it was a recipe for understanding between different powers. while at the same time, the middle east powers were not there in calling all the shots because we had hardly any armies to do it ourselves. today there is change. we are going through another phase of change, but a lot of middle eastern countries are part of that change, are partners in a change towards either protecting it, prosperity, making everybody a stakeholder in the region to their own prosperity, or to destruction with their own weapons. this is what we are facing now in the middle east. the two different views as you mentioned, to sites -- two
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sides. one side we want to continually work with our allies, working to bring our region together on our path to prosperity. the other one, they want to take advantage of this very weak stage of moving from one stage to another and advancing their own aims. so it is very important here for the world powers, and mainly here i am talking about the united states and russia. >> so it's very important here for the world powers and mainly here i'm talking about united states and russia, they both have huge interests in the middle east. to really work together to continue to find an understanding, to find an equilibrium. because if we would leave it to the countries of the region do it themselves now with this huge conflict happening, it will not necessarily produce the right outcome for us for the future. >> exactly. >> and the main aim that we need to concentrate on here is to protect the nation states. some would say, okay, those nation states were created in
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some way -- whatever the creation reason was, we don't look back to that. if it was a line in the sand, i'd rather keep that imperfect line in the sand ha is internationally recognized than try to seek another one and try to reach another one risking instability and chaos in order to reach another imperfect line. so lets stay there and try to defend it and try to work together. and then eventually some of the countries would have to realize that whatever aims they have for themselves, be it through supporting proxies, would not work. and that's what we need to achieve. dr. anwar. >> thank you, tom. i think we need to shift gears, really. we need to shift gears from the current normal, which is really chaotic, you know, religiously infused, you know, a lot of blood being spilt for ideologies
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and things like that, and move from the current normal to normal. normal means security, normal means the ability of a state to actually produce opportunity, and normal, of course, means civic states rather than states that are trying to look into the past and find the golden age. in a recent last year's survey on our youth they clearly identify two major issues that they consider paramount. unemployment and extremism. this is the voice of the future. now, vis-a-vis extremism i think we should also shift. so basically we are winning the war against terrorism, but we need now to win the war against extremism. we've been all talking about terrorist finance. we need now to speak about extremist finance. because i think that is essentially the normal evolution
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of where we need to go. so we need to shift from the current normal to normal and from normal to the future. we need to be ordinary states similar to states in the far east or in europe and other areas. there is no exclusiveness. we should not come and brandish that exclusiveness. we should think of our solutions as local. we should create thatese solutis but also look global lizing. >> i'm going to ask a few follow- follow-up questions and i'm going to open it up to the floor. anwar, speaking of change, one of the biggest change in the history is the crown prince. what -- what doesn't the world understand about the crown prince? >> i think people are not used to saudi arabia moving quickly. i don't think they're used to
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saudi arabia moving boldly. our population is 70% under the achbling 30, they're young, they're probably the most connected in terms of social media in the world of any people. they know what's going on. several hundred thousand of them have studied all around the world from japan to the united states, both young men and young women. like i said earlier, they have hopes, dreams, and ambitions and they want it now. they don't want to expect 20 years or 30 years. they expect good government, they expect transparent government, efficient government. they expect the ability do what they set out do without much hindrance. and vow to open so you have to path and get out of the way. that's how our country will rise. you have to have a fundamental transform maftion your country. you have to open up areas that previously were not open, entertainment, recreation, open up the media smas and allow more
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public discussion and deal with corruption in a clear and strong manner. attract investments, come up with projects. for example, when we have a project like the north that will probably end up in -- >> explain to people what that is. >> kneeium is a future riftic city that is being built in the norm and part along the red sea that will be connected to egypt and jordan. it will be based on a technology, artificial intelligence robotics, it will be clean energy and it will be a magnet for high-tech industry and for entrepreneurs. people say, well, could you do other things with that money. well, john kennedy could have done other things with the money he spent on the -- on the moon shot. but he wanted the moon shot because it transformed america. it restored energy in america. it restored ingenuity and creativity in america. so for us this ask what this project is going to be dog
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doing. we want the businesses one of the signature moments or the signature of projects for it. we -- in the past people have always criticized saudi arabia before moving too slow. now that you're moving fast people are surprise and the they're heads are probably spinning and they're saying oh my god, why are you moving so quickly. the same when it comes to our foreign policy and national security policy. for many years i used to hear people say the saudis want to hold our coat tails while we go to battle for them. you're a strong country, you're a powerful country, you should lead. and then when we lead, because there's a vacuum, when america retreated, and into this vacuum evil forces flow. so when we lead people are stunned and say my god what are you doing? are you being reckless? no, we're not, we're leading. if you want us to lead then support us. and if you want us to support, then lead. but we can't be in a damn if we
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do and damn if we don't situation. so what do people not understand about the crown prince? i think people understand what he's trying to do. he wants to turn saudi arabia into a normal country, into an innovative country, into a country that's strong domestically as well as internationally. he wants to empower youth, he wants to empower women, he wants to make our country an example for the arab and islamic world and he thinks we should take our rightful place among the countries in the world that are innovative and dynamic and strong. and in order do this, like i said, change has to be comprehensive and it has to be in line with the expectations and the ambitions of your people, especially your young 70% of whom are under the age of 30. >> thank you. minister simsek, what -- what does america maybe not understand about turkey's current dilemma right now with the kind of post-isis syria and
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a post-isis iraq? we've got a vacuum there isis has been did hefeated, it's a question of who's going to fill that vacuum. whos what what's your take on this? could we get a clash between two nato countries? >> well, sometimes we're also finding it very hard what our friends are up to. there is a form of communication, but there is, you know, what they do also on the ground. and there is -- there are inconsistencies. we've been very frank about that. so let me give you a prospective. for decades in turkey, prior to my government, there was kinda like policy verse simulation
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denial about kurds. we came in and we said, look, this is wrong, we're going to put an end to it, and we want to address our ethnic let's say problems through more democracy, more fundamental rights and freedoms in return for terrorist, pkk, dropping arms. and there was in reconciliation process and it was going reasonably well. the power vacuum, lack of fupti functioning state in syria and part of iraq was that there was this fertile ground for the likes of terrorists organization like pkk which son eu and usa terror list to actually acquire more represents, more sophisticated ones, recruit more people and obviously become even a more formidable threat, national security threat for
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turkey. what puzzeles us is that u.s. hs opted to choosen to fight a terrorist organization which is dash. so that's where there's dialogue of deaths. we, you know, obviously would like to see, you know, a more move towards recognition of these concerns. so what turkey is saying is this. of course, daesh is a big threat to humanity, that's why turkey moved in syria, 2,000 square kilometers of daesh, but we have been experiencing significant terror attacks not only from daesh, but also from pkk. ethnically i'm a curd and -- kurd, i'm a department prime
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minister of turkey. biggest kurdish city doesn't lie on iraqi or southeastern border, it's istanbul. so turks and kurds are well integrated. carving out a piece of territory from turkey cannot be a solution, that's why i was referring to, and therefore i think the suspect for pydypg, which is clearly, you know, a subsidiary of pkk, is a national security threat for us. and so we are puzzled, we find very difficult to understand what u.s. is up to. they're telling us there's a short-term tactical partnership to combat daesh, but clearly this is not the right strategy. so this is where we are, but we do still hope that there will be a better understanding as we go forward and hopefully we can all work together to create a unified, a unified, stable, and
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hopefully pros pering syria. becau we have no interest in one single inch of syrian territory. we have no quarrel with kurds or with anybody else. and we want to be a constructive player in the region to help, as i said at the beginning, to p s prosper with our neighbors. >> ms. von der, is america a source of equally brum or disequilibrium when you think of what president trump did, threatening to break the iran agreement which was really a u.n. blessed agreement that you were a partner in. what kind of challenge does this pose for america's european partners? >> it is quite a challenge because the unpredictability
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behind that, what we see, is hard to cope with. i have to say that on my colleagues side, my colleague jim mattis, the defense minister, it is an excellent cooperation. he's highly experienced. he's a friend of europe. he has a huge knowledge. he's a supporter of nato. >> yes. >> so he is very reliable and it's good to have him there in the pentagon. but your question leads me to another point. i've heard the word power vacuum a few times here. yes, it is there. so is the existence of this power vath vacuum, and it's difficult to deal with it without any question. not a call on to us step in and take on our responsibility, as hard as it is? it's easily said and difficult
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to do. but this is what i see for europe to be more reliable in taking on responsibility. we just created the europe ondefense -- european defense union to speak with one voice mainly in foreign affairs too, to be a reliable partner, and to foster this process of modernization have you been talking here. the second point that i see in talking about the power vacuum or the problem to predict the reaction of the white house in difficult -- different fields of politics, if i look at syria and iraq, it has been impressive that they was seeing daesh, the threat of daesh, a coalition against terror which included 70 countries. about 30 around were active in
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the fight against daesh and we were successful. we were -- we are very different, but we had one main goal. that was defeat daesh. we're not totally done, there's still pockets and the ideology is still there in the room, but this was unifying. now in a second step, with having mainly defeated daesh, the problem will be that we do not fall back on all these small ethnicity conflicts and whatever the different interests are in the region to have a fragmented syria, fragmented iraq, but to keep them together and to kieps together wi -- keep us together with this vision of peace, stability, and prosperity as you just pointed it out. and that brings me to the third point. yes, i've seen than russia stepped in a lot in syria. over time, russia will not be able to maintain it's military personnel and material in syria
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and to rebuild syria on its own. so the whole world will be needed. and this is the chance for reconciliation process which goes back under, as i said, the umbrella of the united nations where all of us reunite with one goal, to stabilize and refwhath. i've read the vision of 2030, it's impressive and very very ambitious and i cross all fingers that you're successful. if i look at the panel here and if i look into the room, if we really take it serious with establishing a modern, peaceful society, yes, we need the youth, as you said, we need the education of the young people and they need to have a perspective. but we need women too.
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and i would want to put an emphasis on that topic. include the women in the process. include the women and the mothers in the process of reconciliation and reconstruction because this is the only way to build up a modern, inclusive, free, and open-minded society. >> very good. your a small island on the fault line, iran on one line, saudi arabia on the other, iraq to the north and you actually host the american fleet in the base. give me your assessment of american-foreign policy right now in the gulf. do we -- do we have it right? could we use a little advice on one side or another? >> we really look at american foreign policy and our
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partnership with america -- >> we have been hacked. >> not me. it wasn't me. it's adel. the translation is on. sorry. >> go ahead. >> it's the translation is on. >> yes. >> not me. >> it's here. >> sorry. >> gives you time to think. >> exactly. stalling tactic. what was the question again? >> go ahead. >> well, america's presence, america's commitment, america's partnership with our region has been there for decades. and those decades also saw some issues. in 1973, there was a major issue of the 1973 war between egypt, syria, and israel. and that the, the gulf countries and especially bahrain having
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the flens at t the presence there at the same time as the air bridge of america and israel was something of a stark difference. but that did not derail that commitment because we know that commitment is there for the stability of the region. that is the cornerstone of this partnership. and this will continue. so whether america has some views now about some matters, but america is an establishment. we know a lot of people who are partners to a lot of different things in our region. >> gotcha. >> so this will continue. and usually whatever situation happens in that country, america is used to turn on a dime normally. but, you know, when you said the fault line, yes, now there's a fault line with extremism, which is the islamic republic. and there's a fault line that is forming possibly of a new cold war that i can reach by a speed boat from bahrain.
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so this is something that as we see it as a challenge but we're not seeing it as a threat because we know our commitment with our allies, the united states, the -- and it's not only the fifth fleet in bahrain, it's the whole international group of countries having their fleets covering the gulf and the -- and the arabian sea and the gulf offed a d aden. but swli to talk about the main challenge of the other side, had is the islamic republic, i hate to use the iran to tell you the truth, because there's an iran we know very well, we're used to it. even in difficult times in the past when they used to claim bahrain and then they changed their mind and accepted that bahrain is an independent country. although we had in the past issues and continue to have it with occupation of the united arab emirates islands, but we
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always saw the legal solutions for that and continue to do so till today. but there's the mistrust that came with the islamic republic. there's the iran we know, iran the people, iran the cultural links we have, iran the culture and iran the depth of history and civilization, and there's this situation now since 1979 that we are going through with something that every now and then the people of iran will have their own views towards it. so we need that to be addressed. iran need to really change its behavior. we're not there to destroy iran, we're not there to interfere with iran, but they need to change their behavior and be part of this whole international coalition to protect the region with the united states of america. they should not look at the base or the presence of the fifth fleet in bahrain and the international fleets as a threat to their country. they should work toward being a partner of that -- of that group. then, and when they stop
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exporting their revolution, the iranian revolution, they should respect their own revolution and not think of packaging it and sending it all over the world. this is something that is really not respectful to that revolution. then we will be able to be on firmer ground to come and talk to the iran or to the islamic republican itself, we don't mind. but we fleed need to talk correh them. and america is there, it's vital and it shall continue. >> since we don't have a representative of iran on the panel i'll play that role and dr. anwar we're finish with you and 2011 we'll go to the floor. from iran's point of view i look around and i got american ships in iraq, bahrain, planes in qatar and uae. i've got american troops in afghanistan, i feel like i'm surrounded, number one. and i had to occupy -- i had to
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effectively seize dominant control of four arab capitals, beirut, baghdad, damascus because there was fodder will there, there was chaos, so i'm just stabilizing the region. what's your reaction to that? is iran and russia, we haven't really brought russia in either, bring the two of them, are they forces of equilibrium or disequilibrium? do they have a point? >> i think very significant what we saw internally in iran following this christmas if the this is really significant and i think this is going to play into the coming years. >> explain and tell us why. >> number one, clearly the economy is flawed. it's stacked. and clearly people really want an emphasis on creating opportunity and jobs. the whole idea of not syria, but
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iran is what you should concentrate on is a clear message, not from us across the gulf, this is from your own population, don't spend $5 billion, $6 billion in syria, don't spend a billion dollars or hezbollah, concentrate on creating opportunity. and i heard one iranian lady in many of the clips that came out and she said, you know, we want to be as fortunate as arab women. so they're not looking really forward to being, you know, fortunate as other women in more stable places. they see what's going on. i think the third thing also is everybody thought that following the earlier green movement that this would actually call the iranian people and it hasn't. this has occurred and it all likelihood will reoccur.
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so from the perspective we see, this is the time for eye troon analyze again what it's doing or are, for it's own stability stake. i think it's important for iran to understand that the sort of disturbances that we are countrywide and the iranians admit were all internal, it is really an opportunity for them to understand that they have to be a normal country. now, that's the first thing is to get iran to be a normal country. the second thing is if iran is a normal country, the normal thing to do is to have a dialogue because we can't be neighbors and not talk to each other. but you can't really have a dialogue with iran not being a normal state, a normal state that respects sovereignty and respect independence of other states, choices made by other states, and to try and go with this sort of transnational
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sectarianism. so i am hope, i am hoping and i think we will need to look in the next few months that the anger that we're seeing on iranian streets is not in vein, that this is really an opportunity for iran to sort of recalibrate, reemphasize, prioritize, and understand that an aggressive foreign policy in arab space doesn't only undermine stability in arab lands, but it actually undermines stability in iran. >> interesting. so let's open up to the floor. the only rule is no speeches and respectful questions and let us know who you are and direct your question, if you have it specifically to someone. i'll repeat it. >> my name is -- i'm from queue kuwait. i have a question for mr.
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al-jubeir. >> what do you do. >> i work for a -- group. >> okay. >> my question to you minister, you mentioned in your initial remarks how saudi arabia is the rising leader and that you are filling that vacuum and as the country's surrounding you, kuwait being one of them, we will follow you as a leader. my question to you is, how -- what's the kingdom's strategy for dealing with the islamic republic, for dealing with the proxy war in yemen, for dealing with the takeover of the cities that tom mentioned, beirut and others in iraq and syria? just continuing to wait for a cold war? or a revolution? or what's the kingdom going to do? >> thank you. >> i think what i want to clarify, i didn't say we were leading, i said people asked us, they said, you need to step up and take more responsibility for your region because we can't
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afford to. and you have influence and you have wealth and you should be able to do it. so when we step up in order to take matters into our own hands, the very same people who encouraged us to do this are now saying why are you being reckless? we're not being reckless. we have in iran an islamic republican that changed at least in 1979 for the worst. our societies were developing, they're opening up in t. and the revolution launched a sectarian wave in the middle east that launched a reaction. and then the revolution sought to export the revolution. it's in the constitution. the ha mainny revolution zg not believe in citizenship. they believe everything belongs to she ran.
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so they set out to export this revolution on the one hand and to extort the persian empire on the other hand. this is what led them to interfere in the affairs of other countries. they had no problem setting up terrorist groups like hezbollah and others. they have no problem attacking embassies an assassinating diplomats. they have no problem committing terrorist acts in europe and south america, all over the place. and so from our respect, the iranians have to decide whether they're a state which would be a racial actor that you can deal with that respects the international laws and norms of behavior or if it's revolution that doesn't recognize any of this. and i don't think the iranians know what they are. so what do we do? we sat for 35 years and we tried to reach out to iran. we tried to engage iran to no avail. all we got was death and destruction in return. our diplomats are assassinated,
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our embassies blown up. terrorist cells plantded in our country, terrorists attacks committed in our country. and so we have to respond. so when you try to weaken hezbollah and lebanon in order to strengthen the lebanese state, that's a positive. iran has been building hezbollah for 30 years, so somebody has to come and roll back their influence so lebanon can become a normal country. we always believe that if lebanon didn't exist we have to instrent because have you 16 rhee lithous and ethnic groups living side by side in the middle east and in the country. it has to be the model because if lebanon falls apart and minorities in the arab world do not feel safe they leave. and the rich culture that his excellency spoke about in the middle east we will lose it. so we have to preserve lebanon. now, what do we do in iraq? we're engaging with iraq because iraq's an arab country and should be part of the arab world and part of the gulf. in yemen we responded to a koo
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that was staged that destroyed yemen's path towards normalzation. and we are prevengt the takeover of yemen by a radical iranian affiliated hezbollah affiliate to ourselves. the hezbollah are 50,000 people. they cannot dominate a country of 28 million. so we're, would with our allies in order to push back and we're working with our allies in the gulf in order to beef up our defenses. and that's -- and we're, would within the islamic world in order to isolate iran. we're working with african countries in order to isolate iran and we will continue to do so until iran changes its policies. >> young lady back there, yeah. you can identify yourself. >> i run the [ inaudible ]. >> my question is again from mr. al-jubeir. you said that the crown prince
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wanted a normal saudi arabia. so my question is, do you see in the very close future the end of the guardianship system for women in saudi arabia? >> i think if you look at the issue of women in saudi arabia, in 1960 we had no schools for women. today 55% of college students are women. in 1960, there were no provisions open for women. today some of our most prominent business persons, doctors, engineers, are women. women can vote in municipal elections. 20% of our consultative council which is our legislative body are ladies. and opportunities are opening up. the ban on women driving has been litted. they will be able to drive in jub of this year. the restrictions on entertainment and recreation have been lifted so it's a more open society. and think also this issue is something that our society will be dealing with. the -- our country is not move
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forward if we only avail ourselves of 50% of our population. we have to be -- include everybody. and this is the objective also of our 2030 vision. we want to increase many fold the participation rate of the women in the workforce. even though 55% of college students are women and more than 60% are graduate students were their participation rate in the workforce is much lower than mail participation rates. and this is something we're trying to change. we believe that with opening up the public space, with allowing women to drive that this will make it easier and will encourage more women to join the workplace. >> let's go over here. the gentleman over there. please identify yourself. >> my name is -- i'm a saudi senior citizen. [ laughter ] >> when king sur man appointed
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prince ahmed and the vision of 2030, the prince collected a group of young saudis for a performance of the government. i've just come from the inauguration of this issue, number 62 in the promma nad, please go and see it. it measures all efforts of the saudi government. and when they found that they could do that, they decided to include the rest of the world in that program. and they're offering it to the rest of the world. they've taken all the index sies from the united nations, the imf, et cetera, and put them in this program which is readily available and at the touch of a finger you can find out exactly where governments stand on issues like justice, like human rights, like labor, et cetera, et cetera. and that is what another as that you asked the minister about prince ahmed that is very clear fli my view not only responding
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to the age group that he is representing, but also to my age group. thank you very much. >> we'll take that as a commentary. thank you. the young lady here up here in the first row. >> i'm also global leader. i have a question for minister al-jubeir and gargash but first to you two. when donald trump went to saudi arabia and uad announced a lot of investments into the u.s. economy and i'm wondering what are you expecting from the u.s. in return? deputy prime minister simsek, you have turkish troops now in qatar while, as you know, there's this whole as people call. qatar crisis going on. i'm wondering how far would turkey go in order -- in this whole crisis, what is turkey's role in qatar and how long are
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you planning to stay there? and minister von der leyen, also as german citizen you've been -- we've been hearing so many different vierarieties of extrem is. but some of the panelists think that also iran is spreading extremism and germany or the european union was at the forefront from the iran nuclear deal. so i'm wondering are you addressing those worries to your iranian partners and also how you can address them given that recently you dismantled a couple of iranian agents inside germany? thank you very much. >> let me narrow that down because we'll give adel a break and if you don't mind, let mr. simsek talk about turkish troops in al khalifa tar and ms. von der leyen talk about your view of iran. the panel seems to at least three-fifths of it agree that iran has been a since of instability.
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is that germany's view as well? min minister. >> first of all we support kuwait's efforts in the current dispute, that being qatar and its neighbors. as i said, clearly dialogue is the best way and that's really key to addressing. there may be difference of opinion even within a family sometimes we disagree. i think gcc countries are a family and i'm absolutely convinced that they would address the current dispute. and in that sense we're looking forward to resolution. regarding turkish troops in qatar, they're limited on a scale was based on invitation from qatar. it's not against any other country in the region that cannot be imagined. we've played a very constructive role within nato in the past and of course we continue to remain
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so we have troops in afghanistan combating extremism there, you know, we did -- we went there to help united states. we are in somali through humanitarian assistance also. we were in lebanon as a part of peace keepings, we were in kosovo. so turkey's in many parts of the world. it is one of the largest player within nato and one of the largest in the world, so we're there. mostly for peace keeping. >> peacekeeping against who, though? >> no, no, i'm referring -- i'm speaking in general terms here. >> okay. >> but as far as qatar, it's on a limited scale. so i was referring more to broader, global. >> gotcha. >> presence. >> you're going to close this for us because we're told the time is out. >> okay, time is out but we share many, many worries about iran without any question and we see a lot of problems with iran without any question.
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but we think that the iran deal encapsulate the core problem and therefore we think we should stick to the deal as long as iran sticks to the deal too. this has to be control ongoing. and this does not exclude that apart from these iran deal, there are many other problems we have to discuss with iran without any question. and we see with a lot of worries the growing influence of iran, be it in iraq, be it in syria via hezbollah in that area. so this is one more good argument to be present in the region, to have our influence europe -- i'm speaking as a european now, european voice being heard in the region, and european helping hand helping to rebuild society and reconstruction after this horrible fight against daesh with all the deinstruction the e
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seen but we stick with the iran deal because it's the better way to go. it's always better to be in a constant dialogue, as hard as it might be, than to be not on talking terms anymore. >> please give our panel a big round of applause. [ applause ] later today, supreme court justice ruth bader beginsberg sits down for a conversation with the editor and chief of forward flag. they're expected to talk about the intersection between law, media, and jewish life. our live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. eastern on c-span 2. and at 8:00 p.m. we join president trump he's makes remarks at the republican national committee meeting at the trump hotel in washington. that's live at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. for nearly 20 years in-depth
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on book tv has featured the nation's best known nonfiction writers for live conversations about their books. this year as a special proo ject we're featuring best selling fiction writers for our monthly program, in-depth fiction edition. join us live sunday at noon eastern with coleson white head, author of the 2016 best selling novel the under ground railroad which was award the pulitzer prize and book award. his other novels include zone one, sag harbor and the intuitionist. our special series indemth fiction edition with author coleson whitehead sunday noon from 3:00 p.m. eastern on book tv on c-span 2. next, senator bernie sanders joins climate change activists to talk about grassroots efforts to adopt tougher policies on climate change. the event was hosted by the group 350.org at george washington university. speakers included 350 cofounder
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bill mckevin and hip hop president reverend lenox yearwood in the is just over 90 minutes. [ applause ] >> thank you. [ applause ] >> thank you. thank you. [ applause ] >> well, let me begin by thanking all of you here and folks watching live stream all over this country for standing up for our environment, for

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