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tv   Foreign Policy Analysts Discuss State of U.S.- Arab Relations  CSPAN  November 13, 2018 11:45pm-1:35am EST

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delegation, and we was ambushed on that airstrip. we was shot and the members of the press that was there that died and i was shot five times on the right side of my body. a bone was coming out of my right arm and the wound in my leg the size of a football. it was oh my god, i am 28 years old, and this is it. >> sunday night at 8:00 p.m. on c-span. >> this event was hosted by the national council on u.s.-arab relations and talked about u.s. policy in the middle east and the future of relations with saudi arabia, syria, and iran.
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>> we are going to begin our last session, and so we will turn it over to the chair of the a red and u.s. relations and where are we going? >> good afternoon and will more time, and i hope that you are not tired of me yet, and i am the founder and executive chairman of the beirut institute , and whose idea is to continue a very constructed conversation so that we can fix it rather than only complaint about it. everything that we do is to see how do we reach solutions and how do we go for the next step. i am honored today to chair this very important session, and i am very happy that i have four women and one man on the session rather than only one
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woman. >> i would conduct this conversation and each person alone for about 4-5 minutes, and then i will engage everyone together. we have experts on egypt and on libya, and on tunisia and libya and a rock. -- iraq. i want to see if there is anything on lebanon because i come from this beautiful country, and it is in my heart and i would like to possibly put it on your radar. i want to first welcome this member and distinguish lecturer on political science and as a member in the council, she was the foreign national consul on
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human rights, and she was the former egyptian people's assembly member.[ applause ] >> thank you. >> can we start out by thinking of egypt as being a necessary balancing country in the future of the region? there can be no balance of power without egypt being at the center of it. are there hurdles that are stopping egypt from leading in that way, or shall we look at the relationship between egypt, saudi arabia, at the very central gathering in order to restore a repower to the regional powers. >> thank you for the question and egypt is the bellwether in
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the region. it is not central to say mother of the world when you speak about egypt. however, egypt does not have the same clout that it has in a rab or regional media. that is why today the idea of restoring the region, it is one of the objectives. it is mainly linked to stem investments in egypt to get out of the economic hardship it is facing now. so of course, on the one hand, as the general said, you have china, and the the u.s. is now
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change in the foreign policy, so egypt today is facing hard choices. it is not following the status quote -- status quo, but as i said, all of this had a new approach also, to syria and to iran and the russian and turkish roles in these countries, and it is with the idea of developing an integrated strategy because egypt is against military conflict. it wants to have political resolution of conflicts whether or not it is in syria, libya, or even in iran. they are for the de-escalation of the tension and not an outward provocation as a main threat to the middle east. >> about 10 days ago, the
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president was meeting with the president vladimir putin, and it was a very important meeting because they struggle -- spoke about the strategic relationship , and can you address this point that the value of building a strategic relationship with russia, why egypt is a strategic ally of the united states, can you address this angle, and then i will ask you to deflect on how this new enhanced relationship is affecting the regional conflict and collaboration of operations on conflicts like syria. >> in general, there is a warming up between relations between egypt and russia since 2015, and lately, it has been very visible, particularly with
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the last visit to russia, and the promise of russia to send them more arms and he nuclear plant, and in many ways, trying to take advantage of the tension between egypt and the united states, and it has been let down a bit. as for the region and issues, egypt is very much on the side of moscow whether not is on syria or libya. >> i want to talk about the syrian angle later and why would egypt be on the side of moscow and syria. that is fascinating and i will get to that later. but i want to ask you about libya however, and why are you on the side of moscow in libya? >> in libya, egypt is supporting
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this general, and egypt only supports national armies and not malicious, no matter how good they are. this is there position and against conflict and for safeguarding the security and entity of these countries, not the division and not the dispersion between at the intensity -- ethnicity. >> thank you. i will get back to you in a bit, but i, sorry, i think you have the wrong person. i am going to move to emily, of the american enterprise institute and senior analyst and head of the team. welcome. let's take it from where he left it, and this new
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exposition on one hand versus the russian position in libya and the regional players, explain to us how is this going to affect the future of libya? explain to us if this is a good thing to do for or a dangerous thing to do for? >> this gets to a point that you brought up in your earlier conversation about france and italy as well. the picture internationally on libya is that there is many different camps and you cannot even split into two. this is a very dangerous dynamic because we have moscow trying to bring together a political revolution in libya, and bring together security confirmation and etc., but many of these ever so working across from one another. while there is so much discord between different external, it
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really decreases the likelihood that we would see any internal provision in the country as well. >> so you think the united states should be playing this particular active role, and describe the level of the active role in libya now? i know the russians a very active. if there less of an interest by the u.s. in libya? it's the u.s. leaving it to the europeans? should it leave it to the europeans? should that u.s. come in in a stronger way to say you know what, something happened and something went so wrong in libya, and it is everybody's fault, even if the europeans are at fault more than the u.s., it doesn't matter that we have estate that is now suffering not only from the neglect about this happiness about bringing down gadhafi, but also by driving a lot of
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the isis fighters out of syria and they are going to libya. can you address what the united states should do at this point? >> absolutely. the current u.s. involvement, you think there has been interest in having other countries take the lead on the libya files. we have seen different european countries take the lead at different points as example, and the u.s. policy is to support the un mission towards political reconciliation in libya and maintaining a limited mission and focus on isis in particular in the aftermath of the campaign. i think the problem there is that i don't see the un process leading toward the required result at this time. we are coming up on a
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conference and there is a lot of motion to try and move forward progress on that front, and there has been two other legislative bodies that came to agreement about restructuring the presidential council, but i remain skeptical because we have seen different reiterations of this that don't reflect real progress, and part of that is because there is unity in the international community, and i think the role that the u.s. could take is that they could try and bring together unity so that we actually have a libya strategy that is not only correct on paper, but all of these regional international partners are doing this. >> why are you hesitant about endorsing that you and lead profit? >> i don't want to be pessimistic, and i feel that the structure that has been laid
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out, but the problem is that the steps have not been met according to plan. i think the implementation is the problem. >> william lawrence, and the signs for international affairs, and the associate director and i am reading, and it doesn't make sense, but forgive me and you are someone who is quite knowledgeable about tunisia and libya. i think you just came back from the region. i have a good friend in the audience here and she is a wonderful libyan, and she would take me to task if i interrupt the threat of the conversation, so i cannot upset the leader so continue with libya. what are
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you bringing back? >> i am having coffee with her on sunday. let me start by saying that as you mentioned in your previous session, the italian french competition over libya is not helping the situation. the efforts by the italians to convene a meeting started pretty much the day after the paris meeting and there was a lot of resentment in libya and among others about the decisions that came out of the paris meeting and other libyan spoke to each other at the paris meeting, and an announcements was made about election and nobody won it. elections will not be happening and the announcement has not been made yet. in the meantime, the italians have been organizing the meeting that the purposes seem to be changing everyday, and sometimes
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hour to hour, we would get different pictures of what was happening. i was making a joke and i will not make about italians, but italian-americans. sometimes you will go over to someone's house for dinner in the fight starts in the kitchen and when the fight starts you may not have dinner. but even the italian defense don't agree, and this came out of the meetings that i had, and the way they see it is there is three options. the first option is a new constitutional declaration followed by elections, but that seems to be going nowhere. the second option is the limit to the political agreement, and that seems to be going nowhere, but the announcement suggested might be another agreement, but
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that may go nowhere. the third option is a national conference, and that would include 500 libyans, and this is what he will announce on the 13th, if the other two options fail. he is looking for input on who should attend, but the mechanism for selecting who should attend. i see a lot of this as him throwing up his hands and saying he is very unpopular in libya. >> why is that? >> i think because he did not follow his really good plan and to give you a small example of what is going on, the french convened their meeting without that you and blessing, and he was there, and that sort of undermined it after-the-fact. is the agenda for the limo -- his agenda see to be different than the italians. he is certainly not acting
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italian. there seems to be a lot of effort that cost purposes to get back to what emily correctly set and i agree with all of her comments, and the libyans who if you look at polling, hold the united states in higher esteem than just about any other a representative country, are desperate for american input and are not getting it. the americans like the un seem to be overly focused on economics and sanctions and all security arrangements, and dropping the ball on politics.
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from the middle east institute a discussion about the war and u.s. foreign policy in the region, at the heritage foundation a discussion about the role of the federal judiciary and the supreme court, and former general david talks about u.s. relations with the arab world. at the middle east institute's annual policy conference in washin,

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