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tv   European Relations with Africa Discussion  CSPAN  December 10, 2019 3:32am-4:39am EST

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welcome everyone, thank you so much for all of it coming, i'm very conscious to how close we are two thanksgiving and the entire reports of traffic that those of you who will be traveling are going to have to face. so it is fantastic that you have taken time to be with us, though i am not surprised because of our guest who is with us today, just a quick word about the global europe program. this is a program that we have designed to do a little different because it looks at the pressures end stresses and issues that confront the continent of europe whether that's the arctic and the issues of climate change and trade. whether that's migration. whether that's the big relationships with russia, china, of course the united states and also whether it is issues that confronted and many
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different in challenging ways of which our guests will be able to talk extremely eloquently in this case around africa. alex probably needs no introduction. he has been in the european union a special representative for eight years now. it's based now in nairobi and has been working on issues that concern all of us throughout his long career but perhaps especially now. i will begin asking him a few questions and then invite you to join in the conversation this is on the record we have c-span here. we are delighted to see you and we hope the people will enjoy it as much as you well. so it is a great delight as you know to have you here alex i'm a huge fan of
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everything that you've done and i know how much you have contributed to thinking through the issues the policies the objectives of what europe, not just europe can do in the hall of africa begin by telling us, the geography, the politics, what do you cover? >> well thank you kathy and a good morning to everyone and thank you for coming here, delighted to be your guest, you are the one who first sent me off on this jaunt and it's rather lasted and my hope would always be that i would keep, try to keep it out of the crisis for you. geographically it is the traditional horror
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and that expanded to include, sudan, a south sudan djibouti somalia somaliland as part of so molly as it were, kenya and uganda so it stretches down into eastern africa. the eu arranged it in such a way that it used to be all things to all people as eu deposit has clauses and sub clauses to every text in order that it gives but at the time the real hot issue was somalia eight years ago piracy have to deal al-shabaab, where would somalia go, somali as part of the region so it became wine where i was the only person who had such a role which was unusual
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and secondly that a lot of the people the leaders in the region i think were surprised, pleased that there was an intention being given out a political level and frankly you gave me a open book as a were to be as entrepreneurial as possible and dealing with all the different crises but what emerged and i think this is where from a european perspective we could play -to-one comparative advantage that we have which is in the eu we are dealing daily with squabbles among member states. the question have we created a framework that within least you do not pull out guns on the whole and we haven't for a while there for trying to get the whole region which is
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despite its geographical name, the horn of africa is a pretty does aggregated place. it's not integrated in the way that other regions are and therefore getting the countries among themselves to get used to finding ways of communicating with each other, preventing crises and a lot of the work that i've ended up doing is stuff that doesn't appear in the public eye. nor do i spend much time seeking permission to do something because you have to move fast so it involves somalia and its neighbors. sudan, south sudan sudan in its wider setting and as things have developed it really has become about how this region called the horn one begins to
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resolve its internal national disputes that it has of which there are a number and will go into that the relations among the countries in the most recent challenges situated in helping a region navigate its way into a completely changed geographical landscape the dynamics coming from the indian ocean, from the golf totally altering the balances in from a european point of view and i'll just conclude on that our challenge then is to say are we this is the soft underbelly and is just immediately below north africa and it's on one side of the red sea where a lot of our trade goes through. >> are we in this changed global setting and given what is going on in the region going to become spectators or how do
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we engage in define our interests as europe in this changed setting. so there's a lot of fire fighting and occasional attempts to be prophetic and translate that into some sort of longer term policy. >> i told this story before a few times in my life but when somalia got to the point of having some kind of government i remember flying in a cargo plane with you to the airport when the control the government had is probably a square mile and we had a ten hut and a flag and a bed, and a bedside table and that was the embassy. we put you in it and i have a photograph of you lying on the bed in the tenth hat and then we raised the flag of the european union as a means of
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showing that although we could hear there was a lot going on a mile away that we were committed to trying to support the people of somalia and through that the people of the horn of africa. i mention that because for me it was kind of a beginning eight years of past lots of change, what is the thing that really noticed and strike you as, different good or bad. >> this country is going to a transition and key countries within it, notably sudan 80 opiate but also somalia through a transition of a depth that is akin to eastern europe went through in the early nineties. that is how deep the changes in this region and i think that's the first thing to bear in mind, secondly we need to understand
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why this is happening. need to look at demographics, 70% is 30, 1:32. we need to wake up understand that this has gone completely operational and will be making a serious mistake if we think this generation -- to have the emptied unit project. lovely but they are going in another direction which is to say we intend to have a say and what we think we belong to. do we outside understand what this entire generation, it's the demographic tidal wave breaking over the region and that is political, you don't have to be a wall gays to understand this.
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but do the leaders even know enough about what is going, on what are these aspirations, what are their loyalties, so that is the fundamental change, if you look at what happened in ethiopia look at what happened in sudan look at what happened with this youth bald as it were to suddenly becoming political protest is meeting politics is politics capable of absorbing protest is really what's going on in this region and it will take different shades, there for what's happening in sudan in ethiopia for example, 150 million people those are the sheer numbers that are involved, the fades above those nations i think are up for grabs, what is happening is very exciting, are we outside ready to speed up, scale up where we will be able
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to make a new analysis. big change the region. has now become part of a whole new set of a global competition that's going on. the politics and the geopolitics, tio economics of the indian ocean have spilled over into the region. it's not what we are doing, it's not what the united states is doing its what china is doing, its india beginning to show a real interest. realizing they have a western flank and doing a 360-degree turn, saying ignore that other side of the red sea so the engagement i think is there, it is irreversible and
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at the moment what's happening is it looks as though if there was a new scramble, not just for this region, we should look way beyond that scramble, the only difference, the methods are very similar it's about finding local collaborators and the like and the only difference is we westerners in the former colonial lists are kind of buy standards and washing this, the assumption that we were the players in this region i think is changing. now where that will go is huge in terms of its implications and i think it's not just to analyze but you ask us where we fit. why final point if we agree that there is a new generation emerging which is going to be decisive and how it
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defines the interests of their communities. nations and my working assumption is that many of the aspirations that generation has are not dissimilar to the aspirations we have in the west for our children. are we doing enough to engage that generation. so our policies have to be very carefully calibrated here because it is a very, how can i played a very plastic moment and who we align with. the simple challenges i put it are we going to end up on the right side of history. that is how deep the changes and i put the same question here to in the united states. it is unstable, it is uncertain and, we have a
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view of stability which includes acknowledging the popular will has a role if it's acknowledged and many of the other players do not represent what i call a sort of easy liberal as opposed to liberal approach to politics and that is where we have to work out whether stability from the burial of a gun can be replaced by stability created by more participatory politics which is what is being forced on some of these countries. >> you know one of the issues for europe and i think for the u.s. is in a world where there is so many different challenges that confront everyone. the crises always get ahead of what you might call these strategies that can prevent the crisis that may be coming towards you. if you could change things, if
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you could have the resources or get the political attention or whatever it is from european union or europe more generally. politicians and political thinkers and indeed in the u.s., what are the ingredients that you think could make a difference. you have talked about being aware of the value popular will. you've talked about the players that are coming in what is it that you think here up, the u.s. could and should do that could make a difference to the future of these extraordinary and people. >> objective one is that we if we agree that there is a transition of tectonic significance it is going on and it's the generational one we can make sure that transition in political terms gets
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stabilized. we owe say and everyone immediately when they engage in their transmission say they will have an election. everyone will have an election in the next two to three years. in countries going through profound changes where it's not quite clear whether the old still has a grip or whether they knew that it's coming in will grab the grip as it were on the political machinery and in countries which do not yet have deeply embedded institutional capacity to act as shock absorbers to come in address the competitiveness of electoral politics. so what therefore needs to be done. this is the next two or three
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years otherwise it just becomes an interesting but academic debate. where europe can step and it has every interest of doing so is to begin to convene everyone from outside to say let's make sure that we don't pick apart and allow our region to be picked apart by the old methods of the past historically. so it would be about bringing in talking to the golf and engaging in a very straight discussion about this and the golf i believe got a bit of a shock when they saw the reaction to some of what one or two golf players were doing at the beginning of the changes in sudan. the street basically said -- they object to some of the things the golf players are doing. but they reflect deeper inclinations and
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we need to get everyone around the table and come up with a common understanding on what it's going to take to stabilize. to resources the money simply is not there to meet the aspirations of people who had been told for years wage and the good life welcome. frankly in the meantime the leadership was going to the global pawnshop and selling the family tunes that's in effect what's been happening. so we have a massive debt problem that is emerged which is going to further create problems to meet the aspirations of this generation who are becoming very political. if they all feel there is a purpose they will go in any other set of directions, their loyalties will go. we therefore have to think about how you mobilize money into sit there and say we europe don't have enough or the
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united states doesn't have enough is not a policy at all. the policy is how do you mobilize all the resources that are available and work out what is the business plan and the cash flow plan if i may put it in very simple terms that begins to address the aspirations. you simply cannot tell 100 and million ethiopians half of them kids 30 years old and i take the liberty of that. of saying that half of them are men who are unemployed. what do you expect when it comes to election time. what is one able to offer and i don't mean just charity. it's about real new types of investments and getting governments to understand what can be done. if the international community is
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not coherent it will merely reinforce any incipient incoherence in the region and we will mere each other and there will be sitting here in a few years time wondering what went wrong. that is the core question at the moment and i think we have to have the self confidence to say that certain things we believe in and we are ready to invest in and bring others on board, i mean anyone, the object is to put some coherence into the international system at the moment and that i have a lot of faith in an emerging generation that is totally wired and connected. they were talking across frontiers and they know evidence going on globally. there is new leadership they can be emerging that i think
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can reshape some of the politics of the region. that is what i think we need to be doing if that isn't to general but that has to be a strategic objective. if we stay plays an ex few years and there is the breathing space to look at the next stage by which time we hope that the new generation is going to express itself and say much more clearly what it wants rather than what we think it should want. my last question when you're lying in you're bed thinking about all these issues, thinking about the potential of this young generation and the connections that they make but also the challenges that they're going to face with such high levels of unemployment. the push towards elections which iowa has described as the cherry on the icing of the cake of democracy and the assumption
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that gets made so often. particularly countries going through transition and that is chaotic, if only they can have an election everything will be fine rather than understanding that that is not give them all that democracy has to offer by any stretch of the imagination. when you think about this landscape what keeps you up at night? >> one is that there are sufficient individuals of considerable influence in the region but also outside for whom it is not in their interest to go down this path. deliberation is a painful messy business, that's democracy. two and here i think is the key issue that scares me and i
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think we are asleep at the wheel. yes terrorism is there and i don't mean to you in any way diminish it but i am seeing something else. you asked me what i've been some changes that occurred that i've been doing. it is what and i want to be clear this is not just about this region it is the rising criminalization of economies of politics. what we saw in west africa the all international crew here through the horde of africa is a place where we can operate. the more you open up people flow in and likewise regimes that are very closed actually are using criminal methods in the management of their economies. what's the point here? >> one of the things it is
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occurring. what the youth are saying when you look at the social media they are asking very simply where has the money gone? all right, a question that we have asked of her own governments. now this is not unique to this particular region. this is fundamental. simply talking about anti-corruption is not there, it is criminalization around by a merging cartels who risk, the risk is they will begin to capture parts of our whole of states. now fortunately there are people in governments who see that in no it but it is fascinating that this is what is emerging and if we don't wake up and understand that terrorists are in effect
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piggybacking on this. is one, al-shabaab has become a self financing organization. that is what it is, in other words is this a terrorist organization or is it a mafia operation cloaked and wrapped in religion, these are questions we need to dig in a much more deeply because if we don't we are going to get surprised with some really nasty stuff. in other words follow the money but get serious about it, governments months do it but we must do it, sauce you down is a big reason. i failed to see why we fellow government when negotiate with the same people that stole the bank right now, we are being asked to get more
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money and, i'm not sure i would ask european task parents paris to do that, do the basic humanitarian yes but how do we address that. how do we address the fact that other countries in the region, their networks are complicit in this. civilians begin to get control fine in a country that is had 30 years the longest is the mystery team that created its own economic cartels those will barely scratch the surface, how do you deal with that? it's not just us we have to deal with others who are also engaged, friends in the golfing elsewhere but if we don't begin to get the heart of that we will have mr. track and the people of the regional have felt that they have been
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tricked by nice words, quaint projects but the meantime money is running venezuela as it were. >> now this is your opportunity for comments and questions but all i would ask is if you could keep them relatively brief because we are going to hear more from him, important though you are there is wonderful merry with microphone in her hand, so there's a gentleman there, if you could just say who you are just because were curious. >> i represent somaliland here, i know the ambassador is very engaged so i'm gonna ask him this question. i would appreciate if he would reflect on what somaliland intends for peace and stability and in combatting terrorism. and the political situation then changing one of africa, thank you.
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>> somaliland is in a very interesting historical position. this is in a region unique in africa which is already seen two sessions legitimized if i may put it that way and you representing somaliland would probably want to be the third that is legitimized. the reality at the moment is that i'm not going to get into whether you will get recognized or not that is figure neighbors, your own people, somalia itself, the african union and others. but there is absolutely no doubt that as long as somaliland can continue to show that it is keeping stability and it would help if somaliland which showed that it could maintain some stable politics. rotation of electrical processes would
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actually stick to that because right now you have run a bit into the stands on that. i think only time will tell. what i would suggest is that so molly landers, your deeper aspirations notwithstanding should be watching very carefully what is happening more widely in the region. is there a wider context in which somaliland can fit its aspirations in such a way that it doesn't become too narrow and particular but fits into wider regional set of arrangements. that is where the future really lies but all the neighbors we need to get very imaginative and thing out of the box at the moment. >> okay next question. i'll take one on the side. >> good morning i am rob
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hopkins and i've had the pleasure of working in kenya for a number of years. i wonder if you could share your thoughts on how you see kenya's role specifically in the region outside of the exporting security to somalia and things of that nature, internal struggles that kenya has and whether they are able to if they have a capacity to be an exporter of security or what other rules do you see in the run of africa. >> kenya's an economic powerhouse in the sense it it has this vibrant economy and along made that last it's just a question of making sure that the redistribution within this system works. i think secondly kenya is going through its own exercise of reviewing its
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entire constitutional arrangements post 2007. in effect, kenya is emblematic in a much more sophisticated sense of what's happening in the region. we talk about democracy in the real issue is how do you get accountability and how far to decentralize in a region where you still have incomplete national projects. this is the interesting in fascinating dilemma of this region. so we talk about federalism in somalia, so dan is the same way. ethiopia today it's how do you move beyond an ethnic federal country to something else. kenya has its own version and they created 48, 70 counties in the like and you have to from views on this, does that mean 48 points of corruption or 48 points of accountability. usually it's both. so there is a whole debate going on there, if they can take this to
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another level where they begin to create a greater cohesion within the country that will make kenya an absolutely solid platform to be able to play i think the really important role in a region which i say is otherwise changing incredibly rapidly. in terms of its role in the region can yes straddles east and central africa as well as the horn. the hardware is eastern central africa is a natural economic zone for kenya the horn has been one of a security concern in kenya i think has a role to play. at the end of this week there is going to be a summit the regional organization and it's very possible that at that summit ethiopia will hand over the chairman ship to kenya.
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that is an assumption that people make, we from the european side would welcome it and i'm told the canyons that if they do that we will be very happy. it means real engagement on kenya's power to facilitate not only in somalia where it is pretty heavily invested in different ways but helping with ethiopia. helping with south sudan in the lake. so if it takes on this roll formally it would be biting off a big chunk that it's going to have to chew on and we are going to have to be very helpful to, them as a say we would welcome it. >> thank you, we will let my ask a question. >> mike u.s. department of state, first i want to thank you for your comments today and
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also thank you for your tremendous work in a region of the world that i think is the toughest neighborhood on the globe, so thank you for that. i want to ask you about south sudan it's in the news again today because the u.s. department of state has announced that we are recalling our ambassador to express our and happiness towards the peace agreement my question is not about that. >> missions on south look here and he is in that primary cases of all the problems, the south sudan conundrum is far too complex to put it on one individual. but it does it by firing away hold all the cars in south sedan or at least he holds the best hand politically. that in itself becomes a disincentive to compromise or make any real personal or political sacrifices. in addition to that i think in his
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mind he sees any solution and that includes him stepping down from power ends up with him behind bars and that becomes a disincentive for him to step down or give a power and in fact his original electoral mandate ran out a couple of years ago but as part of the peace process staggers or runs in plays he gets frozen into the office of presidency. my question is how do you navigate the south sudan and peace process when you have a situation where such a powerful figure has no, little or no apparent incentive to effect change, how do you deal with that? thank you. >> first i think the president is going to have to work out fairly soon whether he feels, whether he feels he has the wherewithal to actually take
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the country to the next stage, that it tipping point right now it's absolutely clear, there is an opportunity to begin to gather all the parties and began a whole process that could perhaps begin to stabilize, does he feel he can do that? i mean does he personally think he can do that. secondly to what extent is he beholden to his own constituency. sometimes leaders become prisoners of their own constituency and this is one of the issues that again he needs to ask himself as well as we asking him the same question. secondly i think and related south sudan has very influential neighbors who have played a very important role in the faith and what is unfolding in south sudan in there for the time comes and it's happened
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before in other parts of africa and also in this region where the neighbors need to decide whether they need to step up to the plate and decide what is in their collective interest for the interests of the citizens of south sudan and make the appropriate. moves >> okay i am going to go right to the back. >> hi thank you so much for the conversation, in my question is how can you partner with coalition organizations and africa make sure that the responsibility and accountability remain in the hands of africa when dealing with existential security threats of this century that's plaguing continent, thank you. >> we do a lot of work, if your question is working with the african, union correct. >> we do an awful lot of work
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with the african union. ten years ago we got into the whole security side but a supporting -- you know 20,000 african troops are actually being supported by the european union and the united states each and our own way we are doing that but that is what i think heaps amazon going. my point there is as time has gone by the relationship with the african union has moved from being one of rhetorical sympathy to practical cooperation. as we bump into various new realities or get marked by them so we will have to adapt and see how that relationship builds. it's there it's the bedrock of a relationship and i'm saying this beyond the usual talk about how nice multilateralism
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is it's actually really important that there be in and city like the african union which is able then to provide a château through which one can conduct a whole lot of much of the cooperation. now beyond security there is trade that is the biggest issue and the african union is a very important at the very least that is where africans gather in order to be able to negotiate among themselves in order to be able to negotiate with us and that is the core, this is where we are getting to you that addresses your question. >> thank you. >> question about brexit, if it happens, when it happens will it have any influence towards the policy of the heart of
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africa and the european union policies, i don't know if this is wishful thinking for some parties or perhaps it's the concern of other parties that they might recognize somaliland. brexit is going to have a very significant affair, i speak as someone who thinks of this damages the uk and europe, that is my own view and africa it is going to have, the horn of africa is nearly where within the european union the united kingdom played a very important role in keeping people focused on it and, by championing the region and when the champion leaves and steps out there is a very interesting issue that emerges for the european union
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but also for the countries of the region because what they're asking themselves is what do we bet on now, is it the uk alone that can deliver or is this thing called the eu who in the eu, you know these are the debates that go on so it is impossible to answer directly the question it will unpack itself in time, there is no doubt there will be cooperation that goes on, there is life after brexit with the uk the reality will actually dictate that on both sides, it will be the eu, the uk and the region, out of that slowly in that cuisine things will emerge. >> we will go to the back. >> thank you mister ambassador you've given us a clear picture
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of how many things might keep you awake in the evening, my name is can't i'm here at the wilson center we've been looking at this question about economy and aspirations being unmet in much of arab middle east and you seem to be calling for a national regional sometimes global effort on an investment lead clothes that will match education with opportunities, with that idea what are the three things you like the u.s. in particular to do to move in that direction? >> one is, at one level it is a purely psychological thing, i would beg of the u.s. to show repeatedly that it is concerned and engaged because there are many in africa who wonder whether there is a disengagement occurring this is
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in terms of political psychology, it is very important that it appears and i come back to my original point which is in the region there is an entire generation emerging who i think would really welcome that, you know there is no point in casting dispersion's but there's out there parts in the world to which a younger educated african and may not see his future being shaped, so that's one, too it's not about how much money one puts in but it's about the quality of money that one mobilizes. it's quality not just the quantity of it and i think there again the you asked needs to be very engaged third
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terrorism is there, what we are discovering and you all know it being involved many with africa, terrorist groups often emerge out of plain bad local government. simplistically poet there is no reason that shall bob needs to be calm when it became. that doesn't mean we are to blame that's what happened that doesn't mean we need to take a much wider view of what we need by counter terrorism likewise to be quite frank. this debate about violent extremism to me that's euphemistic labrador if i may put it that way, this with we are getting friends and gives
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it violent extremism is a violent religious in which case, who,, warehouse supported by what? >> it tends to dilute what could be a very sharp in discussion but my point is we can keep trying to kill members of show bob but at what point do we reach a point of diminishing returns, i'm not just saying that just about the u.s. it is a general issue, and al-shabaab is just one example, have we got our strategies in order? and i'll come back to the point i was making earlier these outfits are no longer really being financial abroad, they become self financing, time to pick that up our fast and find out who their local collaborators are, they are not
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ideological there are others who are in business doing that. >> hello i'm a student ally yulín maryland and mine has to do with chinese influence, we have more chinese influence in the horn of africa what is it mean for those individual countries in? >> erie that's one of the biggest questions around and i'm glad you raised it, there's a danger of misrepresenting china so that it just becomes part of a global demon already has a were, china's there, it's an africa and i think china is itself discovering something which is that simply saying
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that we are investing because a country wants it they are discovering that different people within these different countries have different views about what is the nature of its investment and i think that is why this is a very interesting discussion to be had with china developments in places like sudan or ethiopia or even south sudan have reminded china that you cannot separate commerce from political realities. that was the fate of the east indian company, so it will be with others who think so you can keep that separation and i think there for this is why i was suggesting earlier we are actually at a very interesting strategic moment where a real discussion can begin with all
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those people who want to invest in africa. who are we to say that they shouldn't? the question is can we all decide on some rules to this game that will therefore benefit the africans, i don't say that as an active charity for africa, it's and everyone's collective interested africa which is going to have two billion is citizens in 20 years time, 25 years time as a place it is stable an offering some degree of prosperity to its citizens. if not they're all going to be on the move within their countries, beyond their countries, beyond the continent, it is a migration issue but it speaks to a much deeper on settlement and i think that is a conversation that needs to be put straight on the table but finger pointing to me is pointless. we have to be a way
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beyond that. >> thank you. >> thank you for your insights as always from cnn resources former state, a couple related questions and i'd like to hear more about your thoughts about the golf engagement especially in sudan, cutter is been active there in terms of peace partnership but it seems the revise military authorities have liked to the saudis and emerati's especially and not so much to the countries anymore. is there a common purpose instead of messaging between the eu in the u.s. now regarding the golf role and going forward and specially in terms of the civilians. >> the answer to the last question is yes and in fact i was in the golf recently with the u.s. and boy, partly to
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convey certain messages now in sudan it's really fairly straightforward as an objective which is that if sudan, sudan in order to eventually become eligible for any support because it is sitting there with debt that needs to be cleared one way or another. it's a country that has to go from running itself off budget two on budget. we have the same issue with somalia steve shorts knows this as well. now in order to do that we need our friends and on the golf to help in making sure the country gets
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in budget. in sudan part of the budget is related to anything related to security, that probably just a tip of the iceberg of the way money flows in sudan. so we need to work together so that sudan begins to demonstrate that it is managing its economy in such a way that is transparent and certainly meets the standards of people. but that is point won in order to do that the first thing that really needs to be achieved in sudan is to get peace agreements. the reason there is so much security investment a rather the alibi for all the security investment was this was 30 years civil war all the stars in effect are aligned to put an end to it. now the golf can be
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very helpful because some of the parties in that conflict look to the golf for patronage and the like. there is a discussion that is continuing the whole time with them on that it is not a closed-door either it's backwards and forwards, at the end of the day it's also about how you get control of where the cartels that are running and have been running the economy of sudan over the last 25 years. >> so we are in our last few minutes and i'll take a couple of questions together and then hopefully that will do it. >> ambassador to you and then the lady i think behind. >> thanks a, lot good to see you again. i'm not gonna ask you about somalia and ask you about ethiopia and how you see prime minister abe's ability going forward to manage an
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ambitious domestic agenda in a regional agenda that seems at times overwhelming. >> there is a lady there. >> thank you. >> thank you for the conversation it's been fascinating, i was wondering if he could speak to the process of the debt restructuring and what happens if the debt isn't actually restructured. talking about the region or sudan in particular? >> the region. >> let me start on ethiopia. it's a very difficult one here is this country that has 100 million people and it's like a that if it does not. if this center does not hold then things fall apart or to quote a succession of great writers.
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the prime minister knows that and i think he also came into power understanding that the nature of the federalism that had been built up is one that runs the risk of intrenching an inevitable ethnic fragmentation. nevertheless in a country that has its own deep history and its own inequalities so he is having to balance how do you create a new sense of what is a nation and identity of what it is to be any european and it's very difficult to do and we are seeing it play out and i wouldn't want to rush to any conclusions too soon. except to say that we all out to be encouraging him to. it's all
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about how you develop momentum towards an idea politically. if you stand still then things tend to go wrong on the other hand too much momentum too soon provokes, things start to move and ricochet in ways that could become dangerous. i think we are at that point. it behooves us i think, let me put it this way. if we all were to agree that this is a country at a very delicate moment and not just for its own sake but for the security of the wider region prime minister abe is entitled to our opinion and we should be rather clear about
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what our interests are and i wonder sometimes whether we are active and clear enough as to what those are. but then so our other parties in ethiopia and i sometimes worry that we are dealing with the ethiopia giving our interests. purely about interests with a degree of gloves that does this disservice to ethiopia but also our own interests. i think it's time to be fairly open direct. but this is a country that is so important. if the dam breaks all the discussions are mute, it's as simple as that. this is not yugoslavia that imploded. ethiopia straddles every other country around it. it will be
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infected by that that is the core strategic question and there are again i think we owe it to ourselves and also to the ethiopian and the stability of the region i think to be a little more active, more vocal in just conveying how we see things. >> that now you're asking someone who can barely keep his own checkbook in order to look what i know is this and forgive the sheer simplicity of the way i put it. 20 years ago was the famous campaign to illuminate dead and everything in a lot of that was done. now we find ourselves with alarmingly high debt ratios to gdp ratios and
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we have to work out how we got there, did this just creep up under our noses? >> we know that various, all sorts of countries have been involved in this and we also know that governments in the region have become aware that they sort of climbed and, i once said and i'm sure i caused offense but we offer good nutritional meals. it's a bit boring brothers offer cocaine. you get a hook on cocaine it's difficult to get off it. this is the debt issue. who is it that took on the debt. it was in the people no one went and had a referendum on it and africa so let's start getting focused who engaged on that who
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got bought off the prime minister is explicit about this he wants to know who are the officials that signed off and sovereign debt loans and he's right to ask that question and perhaps others should be asking that two so the debt question is one that yes i'm sure it'll get to restructuring in china will be engaged in those discussions and the imf, everyone eventually will get engaged in it. i'm perhaps a bit of a cynic in all of this people will kill the can down the road -- they will talk a restructuring a dead but will they restructure the political economy that created the debt, that is the real issue and i come from greece. i know about this one and i know that we didn't scratch the surface of
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who benefited and who didn't and so i come with a certain passion into this one. let's not make that mistake again because these are countries if the citizens are going to pay the price of that debt because the family jewels were taken to the pawnshop by a group of leaders, well why should they pay the price, that is a very political personal reaction to what i'm sure the economists and the financial crews will give you fancy language on. that is the next train wreck. if this is not handled smartly that is why if we want to help let's make the next generation of africa financially litter it so they know how to ask the right questions about every decision that is made. i don't know if that helps you. >> i am sorry but we are out of time and the reason is because
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alex has quite a schedule. i don't know which one it is in america for two day i remember over eight years ago sitting in the back of a car with you driving through athens when you talked about your passion for the part of the world you grew up in, my being in all of your combination which i think is unique of entrepreneur and diplomats rolled into one. eight years on i remain in awe, you are the best of us, many, many thanks. (applause) >> thank you everyone, a happy >> thank you everyone, a happy
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