tv Road to the White House CSPAN July 22, 2013 12:30am-2:01am EDT
a single currency, which is a sweepingse for despair across southern europe and threatens the democracy of fortune gaul, spain, and greece. >> what i would like to say is when i meet with the chancellor, we discussed the single currency. it is important that whatever the personal views of the single currency and i never wanted britain to join it. we have to respect those countries and want to make it work. there's an opportunity for britain to argue that the european union itself needs to change. we need to make this organization one and will be comfortable in. i think chancellor merkel understands that. i think the prime minister of
italy understands that as well. it is achievable. it is one we can get looked at in a referendum by the end of 2017. >> and the prime minister failed to say last week when he is going to give back the stolen cash of the conservative party. when is he going to give it back? >> they been very active this week. what we need to say is when are we going to get the taxpayers money given back. never mind that happened 20 years ago, this happened about 20 weeks ago. >> thank you. one of the first acts of his government was to bring a request to fund security measures for pre-schools. paris in my constituency -- parents in my constituency would pay for these measures out of their own pocket after the last government refused to help.
can i ask if the prime minister will support my campaign to continue with this? >> i will look very carefully at what my honorable friend said. i am a strong supporter of preschools and amenity's -- and community security. in his constituency and neighboring, my friend would be happy to look at this issue to see how we can continue to give them support. >> given price-fixing in the oil industry that is being investigated, does the prime minister agree with me it is important to be transparent about the oil and gas companies? >> have they got nothing to say about unemployment and improving education and cap welfare? it pains me to point this out to
the honorable lady. she has received 32,000 pounds from populated -- from affiliated, the conservative party get some money to help us get rid of labor. that is the way it works. the labour party, the union to give you money. that is the way it works. she said this. on a website, i am a member of united. i raise issues in parliament. they pay the money and they get the results out. that is the scandal. >> order. order. >> many more companies in england have paid huge dividends to shareholders and avoided paying tax.
and they're proposing an annual increase of 80 pounds a year. will the prime minister make sure that no public subsidy which will take the profits ahead of the taxpayers of his constituency and mine? given to thames water or any other water company which puts profits and shareholders ahead of the interests of ordinary rate-payers and the taxpayers of his conituency and mine? >> firstf all, let me be clear. i always said companies should pay the tax that they owe. i don't want to comment on an individual company's business but that is the case. any support from government must be targeted to benefit customers bills and to provide value for taxpayers. there is merit inthe thames tunnel proposal. we need toook at that carefully. this would be a benefit for london and his constituents and everyone living in london. i can assure we'll use every tool at our proposal to get the december deal for london, and
taxpayers. >> mr. crosby, does he -- naudible] >> you mean i think we can one through this one again? we have another go at explaining, right. it works like this. the conservativ party gives lyndon crosby money and he helps us attack the labour party, right? the trade unions give money to the labour party, the other way around and for that, they buy your candidate. they buy your mps. they buy your policies. they even give you this completely hopeless leader. [shouting] last but not least, mr. andrew griffin. >> thank you, mr. speaker. my constituent, kelly bridges, was diagnosed with cervical cancer at the age of 25 when she had her first smear. sadly, kelly had to have a hysterectomy. will the prime minister join me in congratulating kelly on the
drop your pants, save your life campaign to raise awareness of cervical cancer? will the prime minister agree to talk to the health secretary about kelly's wish to bring the age at which young women can have a smear down from 25 to 20? >> well, iay tribute to our honorable friend and his constituency for bravery of raising the campaign and speaking so franklybout it. the screening programs we had in the nhs under succeive governments are one of the greatest successes early diagnosis of cancer and saving lives. we should always ask what the latest evidence is for the screening programs and when they should start. i'm sure my right honorable honorable friend will want to do so. >> you have been watching prime minister's questions. you can watch past questions and
other programs anytime online at .ww.c-span.org >> jackie was raised as her mother was raised. she was the same kind of wife and hostess. the entertainment with style and --. that was her heritage, and she did it in the white house. did like world erupt volcanoes. we had women who went to work equal rights. sex.d free love and free was it great for the young. i missed all that, but the world changed and became a new concept for women. i think she represents the new woman.
>> the social secretary to aboutline kennedy talks the role of the first lady and how it has changed along with the first lady. year william hague appears to answer questions about uk foreign-policy. -- hearing focused on the middle east. it is just over two hours. want to take your jacket off, feel free. >> thank you.
>> take your jacket off. >> order. cai welcome members of the public to the sitting of the foreign affairs committee? one of our twice yearly sessions with the foreign secretary. evidence sessions. we last held a session with him in the series in september 20712, and since then, much has happened, and we want to focus on the middle east plus afghanistan. in the middle east, we've seen the overthrow of the government of egypt, the presidential election in iran as well as the ongoing conflict in syria. foreign secretary welcome. thank you very much for coming today. >> thank you. >> and can i welcome your two colleagues and the director of the middle east and north africa
and undersecretary in the foreign office and on behalf of the committees, can i congratulate you on your honor? >> yeah, yeah. >> foreign secretary. compared with e situation a year ago when we completed our arab spring report, have you had to expand or reorganization your middle east threat because of the ongoing crisis in the region? >> yes. we've brought a lot of expertise in on the middle east, and north africa, and from time to time we have to reinforce that, and, in fact, david is holding this position, since he -- highly regarded civil servant. shows the importance that we get to this, and if you were taking steps to the moment to increase the number of senior diplomats. we're working on these issues in the foreign office.
so i think this is an area which is occupied a large portion over the last year, an increased proportion of civil time. >> can i turn to the situation in syria? and i hope you've had a chance to look at the article in the "daily telegraph" this morning. forge me. it's tucked away on page 14. and it's a report from syria of the top rebel commander, the portrayal of the prime minister's abandoned plans to arm the syrian opposition, and the report says that downing street confirmed last night that mr. cameron had roomaled out arming the opposition. is this an accurate report? >> no. there has been no change in the government's policy on this. as you know as said to the
house, many times, we've made no decision to send arms to the syrian opposition. and if we did as i also made clear, i believe the house has made clear, we would present it to the house on extent for a motion. equally, we haven't ruled out anoption. none of us can foresee exactly how this crisis will develop. so we have not ruled that out. we haven't ruled it out in any reports that we have ruled anything out that are not correct. >> so, on those last two words, downing street didn't confirm that you ruled out arming the opposition? >> the reports we've trained our policy on aren't connect and if that's -- not correct. >> fine. well, that's hopeful. that means we don't have a lot of questions. can we look at the nature of the op jiggs i mean in your
understanding, it's the interim government of the syrian nosh coalition providing security services or governments on the ground in areas of syria controlled by the opposition, as you realize that is a legal requirement from -- before any int intervention can take place. >> they're trying to do this. under very difficult situations, i think the committee will appreciate. they are trying to make sure that people can have access to services, supplies can be given out, the structures of local government and policing in areas ere the regime no longer has any effective corol. and we're going to give them additional support to do so. as you know, we have announced several
practical packages ofe assistant to the coalition. we will give them further packages of assistance, adding up to 20,000 pounds in the coming year. and what i want to say to the committee is the that we will enlarge that part of the conflict pool dedicated to the middle east and north africa from 39 million pounds last year to 81 million pounds in this financial year. and that is partly to help with civil society and the activities of the coalition. it's also partly to provide funding to help with stability on the lebanese border, and jordan as well. so the total funding package is quite substantial, and that will concludein these areas which they tried to do and sometimes struggle. david, what do you say? >> i think it's like was said.
it's a mixed picture. in some areas, i think the national coalition has had a greater ability to deliver on the ground, but under great military pressure from the regime. alities with extremist group, some of those areas, too, and we have tried to expa our support through the coalitions unit, based in turkey, and the part of the coalition which is trying to improve their delivery of basic services on the ground. but it's a very mixed picture still. >> for the record, foreign secretary, w discussed your latest supply of equipment to the syrian opposition, and i can confirm that we will not be objecting about it. there were one or two reserve aches, but -- >> thank you. this is the -- the chemical? >> yes. >> that we are-of-had this morning. >> yes. >> sticking with what's going on on the ground, does the involvement of hezbollah make a
difference to the balance of the military forces in the region? >> it has made a difference. we saw that very visibly make a difference in the regime-sponsored attacks on the towns near the lebanese border. these were, we believe, thousands of hezbollah fighters probably under iranian command, and they made a difference to the situation on the ground. hezbollah has a large number of disciplined and sometimes experienced fighters. so there has been foreign intervention in syria. that is by iran and hezbollah. now, that is not to the say that it make as decisive difference in all parts of syria. the regime has attacked in that particular area on the lebanese border as is well-known by our currently attacking in homs.
that have been reporting military maneuvers around aleppo and preparations for fighting there, but in some other parts of syria it is the opposition that sometimes makes progress o the ground. we'll launch counterattack, and in many other parts of syria, the writ of the regime no longer runs, as we have just been discussing. so the counterattacks and in many other parts of syria, of the regime, no longer runs, so these -- the intervention of hezbollah with iranian support has certainly assisted the regime. on the ground. we should not conclude the fighting is near an end. >> do these interventions strengthen your result to intervene? >> well, our resolve is to promote a political solution to save lives. where we can. and to protect the national security interests of this country. we haven't made andecision about our own intervention.
as we've just en discussing. i think it should strengthen our resolve to do what we can in different ways among different countries to ensure that a legitimate non-sectarian democratic opposition cannot simply be eradicated, and the united kingdom is trying to assist with that in the range of assistants which has come through this committe which we've announced in parlient, a range of assistant and technical advice, threely there are others that are providing the right military, the right lethal support, and ip think it is right to do what we do to bolster them and to save lives in a situation where otherwise they are up against a regime using every possible weapon and foreign intervenon against them.
>> back to this issue of the letter you've sent to us and the report in the "daily telegraph," which you said is not accurate. is the chemical protection equipment that you're going to supply, according to your letter, to the supreme military counl, which is the first time i think in any government communication talked about giving assistance to the supreme military council, rather than more general soonyrian organization. is the fact you're specifically supplying to the supreme military council a significance? >> it's not a change from -- i wouldn't read too much into that. this is a path of the national coalition. and so there are alternative
ways of expressing it than going through e national coalition, but if we're giving them this equipment it is bound to be allocated through the commission. i don't think there's any reason for us to hide that or -- phrase that differently. >> is the person in charge of the supreme military council, the same general interest ahead of the free syrian army? or is it somebody else? >> yes, it's the general commander. >> and it's in the telegraph denouncing the british government for betraying in this story this morning? is the decision to supply this chemical protection equipment some kind of gesture to the free syrian army, pending a decision imminent to supply them with more lethal equipment or alternative an alternative to supplying them with more lethal equipment?
>> no. i referred to my statements in the house last week. the fact we were looking at the system with this sort of thing. and agency you know, we've given them a whole range of help. 4 x 4 vehicles, generators, communications equipment. water pufication ks. trading for human rights activists and so on, and this is the latest equipment that we can provide, and that we think can help save lives and can help that legitimate opposition we regard it not to be eradicated by the regime activities we've just been describing. it's not related to any article in any newspaper, the "daily telegraph" or otherwise, and whatever the general is quoted as saying, in newspapers, also
ve appreciative, i can tell you of a healthy united kingdom that has saved and will save many lives in the future. >> can i te it then this is supplied, this chemical protection equipment supplied because you believe there will about war fighting situation within a chemical environment? if so, is that because you believe the assad regime is using, or has used, or will use its massive chemical weapons stock, or do you think that perhaps some of the rebel forces would have captured some of those chemicals and therefore you need to use them yourself. >> we do believe from everything we've seen in the assad regime, supporters have used chemical weapons. you'll have seen comments by the
french and american governments on this. and we have asked investigation and we believe sarin has been used on the number of occasions. it's impossible for us to say how many, and i do believe the asset regime, given the pattern of events, has a sudden stage osier the last six months or a year given the authority for chemical weapons in a small-scale localized way but in a repeated -- in a repeated way. >> d you have proof or is that just at belief? >> well, this has happened on a number of occasions. it seems unlikely without the order being -- >> you're saying assad himself and the top military have given the authorization for the use of chemical weapons on a systematic basis. is that what you're saying? >> on a -- i think the regime
has. i'm not able to identify who in the regime, but we have evidence of the repeated, but small scale use of chemical weapons. particularly sarin. so yes, i do think that. and i think it's important for the u.n. investigation team to have access to all potential sites in syria to be able to lookt all allegations. we have on the secd part of your question, we haven't in the british government seen any evidence that of the use of chemical weapons by any opposition groups. of course, we cannot know what has happened in all parts but we ourself haven't seen any such evidence of that. and given that situation, i do think it is -- and given our emphasis on saving lives if we can in this conflict, i do think i'm grateful for the committee giving their approval for this. but it's appropriate to provide some defense against the use of chemal weapons. >> one final question on this.
the giving of chemical protection equipment to soldiers in the battlefield, could have caused that to some kind of force multiplier or their impact if they had already been receiving weaponry either from the qatarrys or the saudis or captured weaponry from the syrian government stocks. so in a way, aren't we actually already making a shift towards involvement on the battlefield with assisting people who have got the lethal equipment from elsewhere but we are giving them the ability to use it in a chemical environment? >> no is, of course, i can see how one could make that argumenting about a range of things that we've provided body armor or armored 4 x 4s. but these are all equipment that all aspects of equipment that do save lives. david, do you want to comment on
that. >> i think i'd like to say this equipment allows people beak to leave a battlefield scene where chemical weapons have been used or chemical agents have been used. it will not allow people to remain in a situation like that and continue fighting as i understand it. >> these are escapes hooks. they're different from gas macks that you would expect forces attacking with chemical weapons to use. given that we also back to my earlier answer to your question, have seen no evidence that chemical weapons have been employed by the opposition and given that the opposition, the meetings that i've had with opposition leaders including recently in istanbul and amman, they have declared themselves, committed themselves to a dramatically more responsible policy on chemical weapons than the assad regime. indeed that a future syria should abide by international responsibilities on chemical weapons. then i think it is appropria to provide equipment of this
kind. >> frank roy. >> for the sake to the prime minister's -- crosby has linked to the study in the national council through what con by his company, crosby decades that on their beautifully. isn't this for the sake that this has been allowed to happen and can you confirm to the committee that neither you or the prime minister nor any official has walked into mr. crosby about syria? >> yeah, i think you're way off the substance of the matter with the question of that kind. mr. roy. he certainly i've not discussed this with mr. crosby ever. in any way. we plan to discuss about defeating the labor party in the next general election. we have not discussed syria policy.
with him that doesn't feature in that. this is part of our foreign policy, not our election strategy. and our policy on this is made by ministers in the national security council or in other ministerial meetings, all of which are monitored and recorded for the future. even if it's just me and prime minister discussing it together, it is probably minuted a departure from the practice of the previous administration. >> mr. crosby company, what for the -- for six months and lobbied the media? do not see any sort of correlatn of worry between crosby his company setting a national council and actual money has not been given to syria? >> well, no, is the blunt answer. first of all, i'm i'm not aware of anyuch links. i'm not saying there aren't. i'm not aware of them. they would not feature in my decisions as foreign secretary
at all. they haven't featured in my decisions as foreign secretary. but remember, i support this country supports the legitimate democratic moderate opposition in syria. we want there to be a legitimate democratic oppositn. >>iot doubt that for a second and no one else is going to doubt you. but we what does worry me is the fight that you know such an important separatist to the prime minister has got this relationship with the syrian national council at a time when we are now giving more money and you were not even aware of the background to the companies who were lobbied of the syrian national. that's very worrying. if you say you are not aware of it. >> i don't think is remotely worry. it's not a factor in our decision making and can only assume that raising such issues is to distract attention from the trade union scandals in the
labor party. >> sir john stanley. >> foreign secretary, as you know, the recent final report of the peril of u.n. experts reporting on the implementation of the resolution on libya reported on the extent of the disbursal of the gadhafi libyan arms stockpile. and reported that since security in libya broke down, that stockpile has now been dispersed over a huge area ranging from west africa north africa through the sahara into the lee vant and they also specifically say to the syria. given the experience of what happened to the gadhafi libyan stockpile to which the uk made a contribution, and given also that in this part of the world, arms are seen not merely for
their military value, but also for their money value, and are seen as tradeable items, is it not the case that there can be no absolutely no certainty that if the british government undertakes the supply of lethal military equipment to the opposition in syria, that that equipment is going to remain in the hands of those 0 to whom it is sent. >> well, this would be one of the factors to consider under any -- if the government was to make any decision to try to do so or parliament was to debate it, which it would have every opportunity to debate. i imagine those concerns would be part of the questions that would then be raised about. and part of the argumes against giving any arms to anybody. it's not been, as you know, it's not been our approach so far tore send arms into any of these conflicts in the middle east. we enter veebed directly
ourselves in libyaened a u.n. resolution. but we did not supply arms during the libya conflictto any of the parties to the conflict. >> there's a substantial amount of british arms were supplied prior to the arab spring. >> over previous years. >> by the previous government and by the present government right up to the start. >> the before the conflict, yes, absolutely zinging from during the conflict. during any of these conflicts we haven't supplied arms to anybody. we've taken no decision to do that in syria. and, of course, as i've said to the house, it is a classic foreign policy and indeed ethical dil plame. the argument about arm supplies are perfectly legitimate arguments on both sides and in partial recognition of the force of these arguments, we have our support is of the nature i've been describing earlier to the committee and that we have
reported to parliament. so we've taken no decision about arms. of course, it's one of the arguments against, but it's hard to control what happens to them. and i've said that if we were to do so, it would have to be in conjunction with other countries and carefully controlled circumstances. and in accordance with national and international law and i think all of those things would be very important criteria. >> on another dimension on syria, with the -- i was with the native parliamentary assembly's defense committee in washington last week. and we were told tt members of the iranian revolutionary guard are being flown into syria in support of ass's military forces. can you confirm that that is the case? >> i think we can confirm that iranian personnel are deployed inside syria. we may not always be able to say
of which unit. of course, it would seem highly likely that many some of them would belong to the iranian revolutionary guard corps. i referred earlier to how we believe that the hezbollah fiters deployed recently were probably under iranian command and so i wouldn't disagree with the assess. that youere given in washington. >> and finally on another aspect, and i do not cause expect you to reply in any detail whatsoever, but are you able to assure the committee that if necessary in conjunction with the russians no doubt with the u.s., as well, the british government, if the circumstances made it necessary, would take all necessary steps to safe guard of the security of assad's substantial chemical weapons stocks? >> well, you're right to
anticipate that i don't want to reply in any detail about that. but of course, in various combinations, we or our allies have contingency plans to deal with a wide range of military emergencies. and we don't really go into what all those emergencies might be. but it's part of our job to make sure we have contingency plans or to be assured that others have such plans. >> kendrick. >> foreign secretary, so far 79 states have signed international arms trade treaty. and which is enough to bring the treaty into force subject, of course, to ratifications. do you believe that if russia were to sign and comply with the treaty that that would prohit russia's arms supplies to syria? >> i don't think the russians would think so. as they answer, i'm very pleased n y are that so many
states have signed and we signed on the first day, and indeed, we were under successive governments we have promoted the arms trade treaty and our diplomats do the great job of helping to bring about the agreement on it. the russians would argue, it's not normally my job to present the argumes of the russians but they would argue that they are providing arms under existing contracts to what they see as a legitimate government. in syria. thatould be the their contention. david, correct me if you think i'm wrong about that. >> you're exactly right. i'm sure that's exactly what they would argue. >> do you think the fact that the conflict's going on in syria is affecting the nation's willingness to sign the treaty at all? >> i don't know. you're right to point out that russia hasn't signed the treaty. we have recommended that they and indeed that all corrupts in the world do sign the treaty.
but i'm not -- it would be -- i would be speculating to say that this was reason not to -- as i say, they would argue even if they signed the treaty that they were within their rights to supply the assad regime with weapons. i don't think that would change that sition. so i'm doubtful that that would be the reason they haven't signed is the treaty so far. >> what in your view is preventing a geneva 2 peace conference taking place? >> what is really preventing it is that to be successful a geneva 2 conference has to be able to build sketsfully on geneva 1. which took place on june 30th last yr. i was there. david quarry was also there. and that, as you well recall, agreed on the creation of a transitional government in syria with full executive authority, very important piece of
description drawn everyone regime and opposition by mutual consent. in our view and the view of the vast majority of countries involved in the diplomacy on this the purpose of a second geneva conference would be to flaemt objective. that's the starting point. that is if you like the only agendaite. how we implement geneva 1. and therefore, in order for such a conference to get going, there has to be a high level of confident reasonable degreeof confidence that the relevant parties would be coming to it with that in mind. to implement the objective of geneva 1. as things stand we can't ask confidence that the assad regime would arrive at such a conference in that frame of mind. as things stand, the opposition have also had to be frank to the decisions of the international community whether they should attend such a confence. and so the incentives in the
current situation are not there for the parties to come to this table. it doesn't mean we should give up on it. we are continuing our work to try to bring such a conference together. and what has finally removed those incentives in the last few weeks hopefully not finally but it's removed them in the last few weeks is the regime offensive on the ground, the situation i was describing earlier in relation to ca sayia and holmes. they feel they have been getting tactically into a stronger position and that has reduced further their incentive to come to a jaeb conference. >> do you feel the nags coalition would be prepared to take part in peace talks given that it's already committed to a military defeat of the assad regime? >> well, in principal, yes, they would. as you can imagine we've discussed this with them at some leng. secretary kerry and i and many other western or arab foreignman
sisters have discussed this with them and tell them it's very important to come to such a conference. but they have to be confident that they are coming on the right basis and the expectation that it will lead to something, not that they will be invited to a conference which will then make no progress. the regime will say we have tried. and the opposition are left with no progress while more people are being killed on the ground. so i think we can all appreciate the difficulty that they're in on this. but they are in principle in favor of a political solution. and the negotiations to bring it about. they made an important declaration at our meeting in istanbul in april at the request of secretary kerry and me and the other foreign ministers making claire that i commitment to a political slurks the commitments on chemical weapons that i mentioned earlier and their commitment to a democratic nonsectarian syria and all of those are important and welcome commitments.
>> at the gait summit in june, the prime minister stressed the g-8's agreement that syria's military and security services would be preserved in any post assad scenario. to what extent does the opposition national coalition accept them position? >> they do accept that position. in fact, we have explicitly discussed with them that if you like, the lessons of iraq should be learned. i only hesitate to call it that because, of course, we still await the report and i don't want to go into too many what might be the lessons of iraq. but i think a commonly accepted lesson is that the dismantling of state security structures can leave a vacuum. and the opposition in syria are very conscious of that. they don't want to do that. of course, they would want such security structures and forces to faithfully work for a
nonsectarian democratic syria. that would be quite a task to bring that about, but they are not looking for a debauthfication on the model of the after the invasion of iraq. >> but if all those structures remain in place, can you imagine some post as the sad scenario where perpetrators of abuses during the conflict would therefore remain in place? >> well, i hope that it would be part of a settlement in syria that crimes against humanity would be pursd, but it's impossible to speculate without much more information how many people that would involve in those security forces. i think in a situation we know -- we strongly suspect as i was with discussing with mr. gapes there are people in the squlooem have given orders that would amount to war crimes
and crimes against humanity. there will also be people working for the regime who are caught up in doing so. and who are not issuing such orders. david? >> thank you. we held a kmpts at willton park earlier this year to talk about the coalition's transition planning and this was one of the issues that we discussed at length and i think they recognized exactly that point the foreign secretary made about the importance of continuity and straight structures and the need to balance that against justice for those have been involved in thworst crimes. this is difficult politically for many in the coalition because there will be people probably say staying on that would be staying on in state structures but ta they recognize the importance of that continuity in securing the future stability and security of syria including for example its chemical weapons. so i think they very much recognize the importance of both. and that this would be one of the mostifficult issues to work lieu a transition. but i think it's encouraging they are thinking about that and have been planning for it.
>> finally foreign secretary, can i ask you, what is the difference between the transitional national government that you would like to see in syria and as you know, the iranians have put forward their own six-point plan. what's the difference between what you would like to see and what the iranians are proposing? >> the iranians haven't committed themselves to support this kind of trsitional government. this is the transitional government gena is formed from regime and opposition by mutual coent. of course, that means that each side would have an effective veto over the representatives of the overs in a transitional government. it also has to have full executive authority and in our view, full executive authority includes authority over the securityforces. in any for all of us as politicians or officials. that's part of our common sense
understanding of full executive authority is control over the security structures. so these points th different from anything the regime has contemplated or the -- or any iranian proposal. >> what would iran have to do to be invited to the geneva 2 peace conference? i think a good starting point would be acceptance of geneva 1 and if it is true as i was asserting earlier, the purpose of the conference is to build on what we agreed at geneva last year, then it ought to be ssible for anyone who attends any nation or group and that attends the conference to say they're operating on that premise. that is something we haven't heard from iran as yet. >> thanks. >> can i press you for a moment or two on that foreign secretary. were a settlement to be reached, it would obviously rely upon the cooperation and perhaps the support of other countries in the region. it is said that ahmadinejad's
successor gives indications of being more susceptible to engagement than his predecessor. wouldn't o of the ways of testing that which could have long-term implication and a wholraft of other policy areas be to encourage the idea that iran could take part without necessarily insisting on unqualified acceptance of geneva one? >> there will be ways of testing that. and as i've said in the house, we've taken full note of president elect ru hanny's positive remarks during and since his election. and i'm sure there will be opportunities to test what that means in practice. of course, he hasn't taken office yet. he takes office in the -- on the 5th of august. and so his governnt hasn't yet been formed or appointed.
it's thereforvery difficult to test at the moment and i do feel that on this subject, really the biggest subject at the moment in international affairs and a huge item in relations with iran although the nuclear program is our greatest difficulty with iran, this would be quite a big test. this would be quite a big one on which to mount such a test. gimp our assessment at the time of last year's geneva conference, that had iran been present then, we probably i would say almost certainly won't have been able to make even the agreement that we did make. and, of course, there is a balance in these things about as in any international negotiation about having on the onean enough participants around an the table that an agreement is sustainable and means something and on the other hand, having the right combination of people arnd the table and being prepared to exclude one or two
who would make an agreement impossible be. >> but one of the consequences of that approach if i may say so is that an important memb of the region surrounding syria might be permanently excluded and as we know diplomacy is as much about theolitics of the possible as it is of anything else. i mean, would you agree with the proposition that iran's if not blesng then at least its acceptance could be of enormous importance in finding a temporary, even only a temporary arrangement to bring a end to the fighting? >> of course its acceptance of any settlement if we could arrive at a settlement would be an important factor. and i'm not arguing, by the way, that there should be knob contact with or no diplomacy th iran. i'm really proceeding on the basis of the question is about
attendance at a geneva conference. a slightly hypothetical scenario at the moment as we don't even have a geneva conference so we're arguing about a couple of hypotheticals. i'm not arguing. there should be no discussion or diplomacy with iran on this subject. and i do want to be very clear that if the new president of iran is able to implement and practice some of the positive indications that he gave in the election campaign, we will be ready to eereciprocate. we have no quarrel with the people of iran and iran we hope one day in the future and has a major constructive positive role to play in its region as the major nation that it is in its region and has been throughout for thousands of years of history. we want it to be able to do that. but in order for that to happen, we will have to be able to settle our concerns about iran's nuclear program.
>> thank you for that. just for the record, i wasn't suggesting that you were immune to all questions of diplomatic exchange with iran. >>it isthe government's into president assad should go. >> yes, it's hard to see a solution -- it's hard ever to see peace in syria in the future with president assad. you know, even if it was possible, and as i've said earlier, this is not what's happening at the moment but even if it was possible for him by force to reconquer syria, there would never be an acceptance of such a regime. now that 100,000 people or a number of that order have been killed, many of them brutally, tens of thousands tortured and abused. i don't think it would ever be possible for this to be a legitimate and respected government again.
in the eyes of millions of syria's own people, never mind the eyes of the world. so any settlement in syria, i think, involves, in my view, volves a departure of president assad. we are not saying, in order to get a geneva conference 2 together, he has to depart in advance. but if a transitional government is to be formed by mutual consent and a political settlement arrived at in syria, i think it's ve hard for any dispassionate obber to see him continuing as president of syria. >> if there is a geneva two and if there is a settlement, it is conceivable you may go along with him staying in control of a transitional government? >> well, this is up to the people of syria but remember that the transitional government that we agreed on at jaervegs
including russia agreed on, is one formed by mutual consent. and i think one would have to assess that the chances of opposition groups agreeing by mutual consent to him being part of that government would be vanishingly small. >> thank you. >> do you see the support that we've been provided up to now, as support to one side in the civil war? >> most of it. most of our support is for humanitarian purposes. >> outside of the humanitarian? >> we have now committed 348 million pounds of humanitarian support. this is the largest ever british response in financial terms, to any humanitarian crisis. i point that out because i think everything has to be seen in that prospective and proportion. the amounts that we are
providing to maintain or assist the opposition the national coalition are less than a tenth of that. is he the great bulk of british effort on the syrian crisis is humanitarian. do we believe that -- would we rather the legitimate democratic opposition, the national coalition succeeded than extremists or a brutal rime succeeded? yes, we would. i don't think we have any hesitation in saying that. deed, we regard them as the legitimate representatives of the syrian people. so we doll fully sympathize with their ideals, with their commitment to a democratic free nonsectarian syria. >> is it a civil war? >> in most practical respects, it is a civil war. yes, i don't think we need to
quibble about the words. >> as you know, the arms embargo -- eu arms embargo was not renewed at the last eu foreign ministers meeting. has that damaged your relationship with any of your european partners? >> no. they're used to quite robust arguments, either with me or with each other, actually. and there was quite a variety of views around the table. and we and france were very much of the same view, and many, many countries advocated several other countries advocated the position we ended up with, in fact, germany was also very helpful in bringing that about. so no, it hasn't in any way damaged relations. we expect to have some robust exchanges at the foreign affairs council. >> has the lifting of the embargo made any difference at all in your approach? >> it's simply provided the
flexibility for nation states to make their decisions in the future. and that was our objective, and to demonstrate that in our view, there's no moral equivalence. if it's really back to your earlier question, mr. chairman of do we prefer one side to another? yes, we do prefer. these people who are sincere in what they want for syria, to some of the alternatives. and i don't think it was right to have an arms embargo that placed them in the same bracket as the assad regime or as extremist terrorist groups. they are different in their nature. it's done those things. i think it's important to remember that the eu sanctions regime on syria, sanctions system is now agreed for 12 months. and so it is important over a 12-month period to have national flexibility, and that is what we secured at the end of may. mike gibbs.
>> i probe this question about decision or the lack of a decision to arm elements in the syrian opposition. you've, throughout this session and previously, emphasizedhat no decision has been taken. why not? >> because we're assisting in all the her ways that i've described. and because there are strong arguments. members of the committee were illustrating, sir john stanley in misplace at the moment was il straight arguments about these things. such a decision would be very difficult. is very diffult. as i described it earlier, a classic foreign policy a ethical dilemma. so we have concentrated on the elements that i was describing earlier, promote a political solution, save lives and protect our own national security. >> isn't there also a problem that if we can quote the
criteria used by the prime minister in respect to libya, that you have to have demonstrable need which clearly there might well be, regional support, which i suppose you could say you might get from the arab league? and a clear legal basis? isn't the problem that you don't have a car legal basis because you're not arming a state? you're arming a faction within a faction within part of an opposition where you have as you previously admitted i think to the chairman, a civil war. that doesn't raise some difficult legal questions? >> there are difficult legal questions, although in the end our assessment of international law, is that extreme humanitarian suffering can be an overriding consideration. however,e would have to come to that will view.
actually, there are many complexities to the question. you're pointing out some of them. it is the most complex of the crisis in the middle east. and by some distance that we've seen over the last couple of years. decisions should be taken very very carefully, and therefore, we feel it's right to do what we have so far. clearly we're providing the budget to be able to do more and when i said to the committee earlier, we haven't taken any decision aboutrms. >> are you also waiting for president obama and for the united states to actually start doing their own arming of the syrian opposition and then you'll go along with it? >> president obama or the white house has made clear their position. there are currently decisions and discussions going on in congress and within the administration about how to implement that. our decisions will not necessarily be the same. of course, we work closely with
the united states and many other countries on this. but that doesn't mean we necessarily do exactly the same. work hopefully is complimentary, but itoesn't have to be identical. >>t's possible that the u.k. and france could go ahead without the americans in arming wi lethal equipment, elements in the syrian opposition, is that what you're saying? >> we haven't taken any decision. >> i know you haven't taken an decision. >> it is possible for countries to make different decisions. is it possible? yes, it is in any combination. but if i was to answer the question exactly that way, i think you would take it as an indication that is what was going to happen. i'm very anxious not to give that you indication because that wouldn't be the reality of it. >> were thdecision to be taken, do you know what lethal equipment it would be necessary to supply to the elements within the opposition that we are prepared to m?
doe know what they need, and if so, could we supply it, or would it have to be supplied by other cotries, as well? >> we haven't prepared a package of lethal equipment to send to them. we haven't taken a decision to do so. nor is any such decision imminent. any such decision would be brought to the house of commons as i said earlier. so i think we would be getting ahead of our elves in doing that. but presumably, as you look at the situation in syria and you see the setbacks which the opposition have had in a number of places where the assad forces and heads bow la and others have been pushing them back, and we see reports today of potentially similar situation arising in homs, there must be assessments of of what the forces of the opposition would need if they were to change significantly the balance on the battlefield and
presumably tn get a scenario which would mean that the regime would be more prared or the opposition would be more prepared to go to geneva. have you seen any assessment of what will be needed? >> the opposition made public statements about these sorts of things. they would like to send more sophisticated equipment and so on. whether it be anti-tank weapons or anti-aircraft weapons and so on. if your question is, has the united kingdom prepared some -- here is the list of what we could send them, well, no, because we haven't taken any decision to do tha there is no imminence to any decision to do that. and so i think you're trying to lead me into saying things that we wouldn't have had a reason to do. >> i'm not trying to lead you anywhere, i'm trying to clarify where you are rather than your public statements soar. >> we are in line with our public statements. >> parliament is very concerned about the process that's going on.
and the democratic accountability of any decisions. we have a committee on arms export controls here where we have accountability where you give weaponry or you sell to other states. but this is -- we're not talking about the state relationship here, we're talking about supplying lethal equipment to factions or groups within an opposition, which is slightly different. >>hich we ablutely should have accouability on these things and do. as you know, any gift of equipment from the government over a quarter of a million pounds goes through parliament, is notified to parliament. there's a scruti process. in fact, the gift that we were talking about earlier, the equipment to be able to escape from a chemical attack is in that category. and is notified to parliament, the undersecretary of state and our comments in parliament last week both gave a broadest
description of the sort of assistance we give to the national coles. so there isn't they mystery to it. there's no secret list of tt we're somehow preparing to send at the moment. >> john? >> may i reinforce foreign secretary your suggestion that no decision can be implemented about arming rebels until prior consent of parliament has been saw the. i very much welcome that. i don't think it can be denied that the option has at least been discussed in government circles that the option of arming the rebels. can you do us all a favor and answer the one question that so far those who is believe we should arm the rebels have been unable to answer and that is how would if ever that decision were taken and supported by parliament one could track and trace the weapons to stop them from falling into the hands of
extremists on the rebel side give given it's a very fluid situation on the ground and everything's treatable? >> well, i suppose there are several aspects to that. again i stress we haven't taken any such decision. there's always -- well i just want to be clear but then people, the cameras will hopefully replay a little extract of what the foreign secretary said so i keep adding it to every sentence. one of the factors i said earlier that if he were to do so, would have to be in carefully controlled circumstances in conjunction with other countries and in accordance with national and international law. that would include a very high level of confidence about who was going to be able to come into the possession of such weapons. you would have to be very confident about the command structures and the nature of the organizations they were being given to. you would have to be fairly confident that you would hear about it if they weren't used by
that group, and were used by other groups. and then there are -- but i don't want to go into a lot of detail about weapons. there are ways, of course, of tracking weapons or limiting their use. >> do you have that confidence at the moment? >> if we were to take such a decision, we would have to have such confidence. since we haven't taken such a decision, we don't need to make that assessment. i'm not going to move off that. the most ingenious variety of ways of asking this. joshi this commiee. one final question. can i come back to you on the diplomatic efforts? i suggest to you that it's almost inconceable that a diplomatic solution or efforts n be truly made without the involvement of a key regional player over the longer term. i think i heard you say,ut i would appreciate your clarification that iran cannot
be involved in any discussions or talks -- meaningful talks until the west's nuclear concerns have been assuaged. is that the case? is it conditional? iran's involvement in the talks with syria conditional upon ticking the box on the nuclear front? >> no, what i was saying was, a principle issue with iran is over the nuclear program. >> yes. >> an issue that began long before the syrian crisis. it's independent of the syrian crisis. so i'm not linking those. we do need to solve -- solve og the nike clear issue with iran would make a vast difference. >> we have a whole range of questions on this subject. >> let me answer briefly then and we can come back to it. >> solve sog the nuclear issue would make a huge difference in
every way in dealing with iran. it would make easier, dealing with them on other issues. i'm not saying the two are -- it is open to iran to signal that it can play a constructive role in resolving the syrian crisis, rather than exacerbating that crisis as of the moment. by sending people as well as material and weapons to aid the regime in syria. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> can i ask you, to what extent the uk governmt is prepared to hold the opposition to account as well as sad for syria's human rights abuses for crimes against humanity and so on? >> i think this is a very important point. and we must be prepared to do so. and this is a point we constantly reinforce to the leaders of the national coalition. clearly there have been terrible acts committed by both sides expt what we have to remember is that there aren't really just two sides.
there are some extremist groups operating as well as those that are supportive of the national coalition. and it's very important not for us not to just accept anything that is done on behalf of opposition groups is necessarily done in the name of the national coalition. this country will always have a position that war crimes and crimes against humanity must be rooted out, their perpetrators prosecuted and it doesn't matter who did it. >> last weekend in the house, in your statement in the context of syria, you said it would be a major strategic error for our country or our allies to turn away from the region. which allies were you thinking of, foreign secretary?
>> well, principally the united states and our other western allies in the european union. i'm glad to say they're t turning away from the region. it's very important -- i think sometimes the view is put, perhaps not so much in our parliaments, but we hear them sometimes in our media, why do we bother with syria? why are we engaged in syria at all? and i think it's very important for us to answer that question, to explain to the public why we are. why do we give this humanitarian help? why are we sending life-saving equipment? there must be a british interest. and there is. >> are you happy where our allies are? >> yes, broadly. they do different things, they help in different ways. but there is a grouping of foreign ministers that meet fairly regularly. we've met maybe four times this
year, certainly three times in rome anise stan but and amman. this includes -- oh and in doe har. those are the four towns, foreign ministers of the united states, france, germany, as well as turkey and some key arab countries are part of that group. as i was indicating earlier, we don't all do exactly the same about the syria crisis. weome from broadly the same perspective that we want a political solution but we don't want the legitimate opposition to be exterminated. and weometimes take different actions buthey are complimentary to each other. >> when it comes to labor, your hope, is your wish to see the eu designate the military ring of hezbollah as a terrorist organization, who decided that
and your broader policy on lebanon? >> it's an important part of counter terrorist policy. i think when a terrorist attack takes place on european soil, the countries of the european union have to show there are consequences for that. that still being discussed in the european union, and we might have a further discussion about it among european foreign ministers next week. the concern has been expressed on your point exactly that such a designation would have a damaging effect on the ability of lebanon. but it's not our assessment that is the case. lebanon is in a ste of political paralysis, seemingly and largely as a result of the syrian crisis and has been unable, sadly to hold its elections on schedule. but i don't believe that the
designation of the military wing of hezbollah by the eu would have a damaging effect on the politics of lebanon. >> do you estimate there will be a change? when you look at it, what's the chance of them changing? >> i think there's a strong majority support in the european union on this. but on these issues, it is unanimity. so ian't guarantee the outcome. >> okay. >> moving on from syria. >> foreign secretary to, move on to egypt, why has the government not condemned the military coup and been more vocal in demanding proper treatment of the democratically elected president? >> well, we've said that we n't support military interventions into democratic processes.
and one of the clear statements of that came from the united kingdom. and i reiterated that yesterday to the new vice president, mr. elbaradei who i telephoned yesterday who was, as you know, one of the people instrumental in the eves of july the 3rd. i also reiterated to him that we believe that the political leaders who have been imprisoned during this change in egypt should be released. unless there are legitimate criminal charges to bring against them. and so we do want everyo to be treated fairly in a democratic egypt. we think that a military intervention sets a difficult and dangerous precedt. at the same time, we like all other countries will need to work with the people who are running egypt over the coming months.
and encourage them to create a democratic process in a constitution that's accepted by all. >> how does britain ensure that having seen a situation in which the muslim brotherhood has been pushed out, we don't end up with a situation in which the brotherhood is further radicalized? and feels victim 3450ized and that the west is conspiring against them? what active steps are we taking to reassure the brotherhood, the democratic elected leader to show that we're not taking sides? >> well, that is exactly t danger here, one of the dangers, the greatest danger, is that the muslim brotherhood could be driven out or consider itself driven out of democratic politics or could decide that it's not going to come back into democratic politics. that would be a long term danger to stability and democracy in egypt. and the best way we have at the moment of trying to avoid that
is to persuade those who have now come into authority in egypt that they need to govern in a way that is fully cognizant of that fear. that they will need the muslim brotherhood to take part in a democratic egypt. and that is exactly the argument that i was putting yesterday to mr. al baradei. who, by the way, an i believe accepts the argument. >> what do you make of the road map which the interim government's proposed? what are its chances of success and what can the british government do to encourage its success? >> we can't -- the government can't lay down for egyptians what their constitution shou like. clearly, we do want themo hold elections, to have a successful democratic ocess and so the basic concept trying to arrive at a constitutional selement and hold parliamentary and presidential elections has to be one that we want to see succeed.
even from these very difficult circumstances. it's not for us to try to lay down exactly what form those elections and that constitutn should take. it is for the various parties in egypt. and the difficulty of doing that has been illustrated by the fact that the initial decree of the new president on this subject, that the details of it were actually rejected by virtually all political forces in egypt, including those that had supported the military intervention. so very difficult process. >> just want to say a little more. naively, the public might think that in a tuation like this, where there's a military coup, against the democratically elected government, britain and the united states would respond very firmly and aggressive lip. they might impose sanctions. they might send assistance. we have done than with other countries around the world. why haven't we done so in this
case? >> we have -- there is no -- i think when one looks at the practical politics of egypt, however much one may disapprove of a military intervention in politics, we've made that very clear krk the morsi government is not going to be restored in response to any international impression. -- pressure. we have to recognize that the military intervention, however much we disapprove of those things was nevertheless very popular in egypt. and so it's right for us to warn against the precedent set and the dangers of going about things with those methods. but we dneed those now in authority in egypt to make a success of what they've taken on. and they need our -- hopefully they will accept our advice. they need economic cooperation from the rest of the world and the stability and the future of
egypt is something so important that we do have to deal with those in power. >> in terms of the particular issue of economic cooperation and assistant in doe vil and imef, we failed really to get mubarak to take assistance. we failed to get the post mubarak military dominated government to take it. the west failed to get morsi's government to take it, and the current government is also rejecting the assistance. what's going on? >> i think here we have to understand and respect the history of egypt. on several occasions in the last couple of hundred years, the egyptians regard themselves as having been on the wrong end of financial assistance from the western world. whether it be arrangements about the sues easy canal in the 19th country or post-war assistance
and so there isn't aversion to this in egypt to conditions being set from outside. >> jusquickly, is that not an indication that perhaps in retrospect we set conditions which were too tight given the enormous interests of the whole world in ensuring economic stability in egypt? could we not have been a little bit more relaxed around the conditions to ensure stability? >> these things are a balance, and we don't set one of the countries has an influence over the imf. we don't set the conditions of the imf. and we have to balance against that historical egyptian aversion to these things, the need for people to know that their money isn't going too down the drain. there is a balance. and so i'm not going to criticize the imf for setting those conditions. i think that despite the difficult history, egypt needs
an imf program that then unlocks or financial loans and assistance. they have been assisted, of course, by a number of the gulf states both when president morsi was in power and now immediately under a different government. but unless they take urgent economic steps to encourage investment, to tackle corruption and liberate their economy from the burdens those things impose, they will continue to face huge difficulties. an agreed imf program would be part of overcoming those difficulties. >> okay. >> finally then on that, is it not a little bit dangerous, exactly what you just pointed to, the fact that the imf's conditions essentially resulted in the situation which egypt has decided to take assistance from other gulf states without
conditions instead of relyg on a more conventional relationship with financial institutions? there might be an argument that that's exactly the kind of world we don't want to encourage, exactly what we should have been doing for the last two years, is to make sure egypt was properly part of conventional international funding systems. we should have made a lot of concessions to make that possible, creating a world in which people go for easy money from gulf states. either in the uk or indeed it's not in the west's interests. >> let me let david comment on that. >> i don't think these are entirely either or options here. for much of the last year, we have been encouraging the egyptians to engage in the imf and the imf to engage in egypt. find the basis pore a program but also encouraging others to provide support, as well. i think the fundamental obstacles to egypt reach agan agreement with the imf have been politil rather than economic. and i think that's what brings us back to what has happened recently.
our role is not to support vils or parties but processes and principles. and one of those is that the parties need to come together to discuss how egypt is across all political actors, how urgently egypt needs an economic reform prram supported by the imf and that's what they have failed to do in the last few months, find any national consensus on the kind of difficult reforms that egypt needs. >> foreign secretary is, you highlighted the importance of respect for elections, respect for democracy and democracy being something that should help with stability. isn't it the case that democracy isn't just about elections every four or five years but how you vern in between? and this sort of winner takes all democracy that we've seen not just in egypt, also in
turkey, where between eltions wants its to do, irrespective of the opposition, who may have helped mubarak's regime, they just do what they want to do anyway, isn't that the problem? unlike many liberal democracies in the west, where even though a party has won the election, still listens to the opposition, still listens to alternative views throughout that time? what are you doing to put across that message in the sense that, yes, democracy is important, but it'sot just every four years. it's got to be practiced throughout the period of office. >> that's a very, very important point. and i get it's reflected in all our conversations with new egyptian leaders. itas reflected in our conversations with the old egyptian leaders. one of the objections raised to them was that they hadn't bought into that. and in the view ofhose who demonstrated against president
morsi, therein are millions, they were demonstrating to save democracy with an argument more closely related to the one you've just been putting, that the government, howeve much it has been elected, was not providing an inclusive democracy, accountable to many different shades of opinion during its term of office. that is their argument. i don't think it's right for us to judge who's right and wrong in the politics of other countries. its vital that a new government in egypt doesn't fall prey to that same criticism, which in turn makes it vital that as soon as they can, they release people who have been in prison for political reasons, straight away that they do that. otherwise this charge will start to be made against them, just as it was against their predecessors, very important they do that. and that's why we're urgently
advocating that. >> if a government friendly the west had been over -- a democratically elected government friendly to the west had been overthrown in a military coup, i think the condemnation from the west would have been more robust than we've seen so far with regard to the situation in egypt. has there been a change of thinking in the foreign office? one that perhaps one was focused more on the importance of democracy? that is now changing to one which attaches more importance to perhaps stability? >> those are not mutually exclusive in our view, probably in the view of all of us as parliamentarians in a stable democratic country, democracy and stability go to together. i think we do have to recogne that in what we call the arab
spring or these arab revolutions, whatever we want to rm it, there are going to be a lot of bumps in the road, a lot of crisises can along the way. they make the point to us that our own journey to what we now understand is our democracy, including the arguments we had, about the role of religion in the state, a central argument about the identity of these countries that is going on now was played out over hundreds of years. and so it's unrealistic to expect that they will have resolved all constitutional questions within a very short time. this will throw up many crises, and so we have to balance our clarity that democra is the best form of government. but because of those bumps -- and, of course, there will be bumps.
but because of those bumps, is it not important that the west puts out a consistent message when it comes to the importance of democracy? >> yes. >> which we can all buy into? >> because there is a feeling out there that we haven't responded as robustly as we should have you to you what is essentially a military coup in egypt. >> in the u.k., we have responded by saying we don't support military interventions in democratic processes. >> it had been a government friendly to the west, democratically elected. i put it to you -- i don't think we have responded as robustly. in those circumstances. >> remember, it's only two years since the government very friendly with the west was overthrown in egypt. the mubarak administration. and our reaction from those western countries has been to try to work with those who ce to power as a result. it's really going back to the answers i was giving to mr. stuart that our relations with -- the relations of egypt
with the international community, not necessarily just with britain, are so important and the work of the international community to support stability in egypt is so important, that actually, the world is not in a position to say we're not dealing with whoever has come to power in egypt. and we have to recognize at the same time as we explain that we don't support military interventions. what happened in egypt two weeks ago was very, very popular with the people of egypt. now e challenge for those who are in charge is to harness that and as soon as they can, solidify a genuine democracy. it's that mr. hen rick was talking about, and that leads them to make some brave decisions. but our response was we're not dealing with any of you, there's been a military intervention so we can't deal with any of you, you are now
egypt is now persona non grata in the world, i don't think that would help the future stability of the region. >> mr. gaeps, if you'd like to finish on egypt and continue on iran. >> yes. >> your position on egypt and one of your predecessors robin cooke in 1999 with the musharraf coup ipakistan is quite interesting. that coup was very popular, i remember british pakistanis, i didn't meet one who was against the coup to get rid of the shareef government at that time. and yet that led to sanctions. pakistan's suspension from the commonwealth, et cetera, et cetera. it seems to me that our criticism is very, very moderate of this military coup. i can see the arguments why, if you believe that it's part of a broader strategy to make sure
that the egyptian government is a more moderate one that might otherwise arise. is there a danger we could get to the algerian scenario, with what happened in algeria in '91 where what happened in algeria went to 10 years of a civil war. of the muslim brotherhood and the more extreme forms which have become very violent and 200,000 people died. >> there is a danger. the actions of the egyptian authorities in the coming weeks will be important in determining that danger. it is crucial that they do what we were talking about a moment ago and release political leaders and journalists. make sure that their human rights are protected. that is crucial. if they do not do that, than the dangers of what you are
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