tv Secretary of State Pompeo Delivers Address in Cairo CSPAN January 13, 2019 12:42pm-1:13pm EST
protecting the kurds -- >> these have been folks that fought with us and it's important that we do everything we can to ensure those folks that thought with us are protected. has made commitments. -- we will make real progress on that. terroristd about being in existential threat. we knowledge there is a threat to turkey from terrorists and will be supportive of any place -- we're support to -- we're prepared to support whatever country. thank you very much. >> in egypt secretary of state mike pompeo delivered an address on middle east policy at the american university in cairo.
the age of self-inflicted american shame is over and that -- and learn from its mistakes. >> good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. business leaders, religious leaders, civil society leaders, members of the media, of egypt international, students, colleagues of the american university in cairo, secretary pompeo,pale, -- mike susan pompeo. it is a very special in particular honor to be in a you acu's centennial year within this distinguish leader.
a beacon of increase based american liberal arts education and serve as stepping stone for the citizens to successful global engagement. at the same time generations of the most adventuresome scholars as an inviting portal to this dynamic heart of the arab world. your very american personal story of public service inspires us all. as a descendent of immigrants from this mediterranean region you competed for and won entry to the united states will terry academy. you begin your career of leadership and national service as an officer in the united states army. you went on to become a successful private entrepreneur. the people of kansas elected you four times to the united states congress. you now serving your second cabinet appointment by the president of the united states.
we wish you success as a shoulder the highest responsibilities to advance america's national security and prosperity in a world posing unprecedented opportunities and challenges. ,hank you for choosing egypt the american university in cairo as the venue to communicate your message today. join me in welcoming secretary pompeo. [applause] mr. pompeo? thank you to your service as well. i've have the good fortune to be a frequent visitor to egypt and the middle east as secretary of state. bank as a member -- i came here as a member of
congress. this trip is especially meaningful for me as an evangelical christian coming so soon after the catholic church cost christmas celebrations this is an important time. we are all children of abraham, christians, muslims, jews. in my office i keep a bible open to keep myself reminded of god's word, the truth. it is the truth, t, that i'm here to talk about. truth that is not often spoken about. because i'm a military man by training i will be blunt and direct today. america is a force for good in the middle east. we need to acknowledge that truth. if we don't, we make bad choices. the choices we make have consequences for patients in millions and millions of people.
for our safety, for our economic prosperity, for our personal freedoms, and those of our children. and there's no more appropriate place than where i'm standing today to have this discussion at the american university here in beautiful cairo. this year marks 100 years since the founding of this institution. the a.u.c. is more than just a university, it's an important symbol of america's friendship with egypt and what binds our people together. together we have created a modern place of learning in the midst of an ancient civilization with its own rich history of artists, poets, and intellectuals. egypt has always been a land of striving. and yet, times, your aspirations and those of your brothers in the middle east have seemed impossible to achieve. this lands witnessed convulsions as old systems crumbled and new ones struggled to emerge.
that's happened here too. and at this critical moment, america, your longtime friend, was absent too much. why? because our leaders gravely misread our history and your historical moment. these fundamental misunderstandings set forth in this city in 2009 adversely affected the lives of hundreds of millions of people in egypt and all across the region. remember, it was here, here in this city, that another american stood before you. he told you that radical islamist terrorism does not stem from an ideology. he told you that 9/11 led my country to abandon its ideals, particularly in the middle east. he told you that the united states and the muslim world needed, "a new beginning."
the results of these misjudgments have been dire. in falsely seeing ourselves as a force for what ails the middle east we were timid in asserting ourselves when the times and our partners demanded it. we grossly underestimated the tenacity and viciousness of radical islamism, a debauched strain with faith that seeks to up end every other form of worship or governance. isis drove to the outskirts of baghdad as america hesitated. they raped, pillaged, and murdered tens of thousands of innocents. they birthed a caliphate across syria and iraq and launched terror attacks that killed all across continents. america's reluctance, our reluctance, to wield our influence kept us silent as the people of iran rose up against the mullahs in tehran in the green revolution.
the ayatollahs and their henchmen murdered, jail, and intimidated freedom-loving iranians they wrongly blamed america for this unrest when it was their own tyranny that fueled it. emboldened, the regime spread its cancerous influence to yemen, to iraq, to syria, and still further into lebanon. our penchant, america's penchant for wishful thinking allowed us to look the other way as hezbollah, a wholly owned subsidiary accumulated a mas i arsenal of 130,000 rockets and missiles. they stored and positioned these weapons in lebanese towns and villages in flagrant violation of international law. that arsenal was aimed squarely at our ally, israel. when bashar al-assad unleashed terror upon ordinary syrians and bond civilians with sarin gas we
, condemned his actions but in our hesitation to wield power we did nothing. our eagerness to address only muslims and not nations ignored the rich diversity of the middle east and frayed old bonds. it undermined the concept of the nation state, the building block of international stability. and the desire for peace at any cost led us to strike a deal with iran, our common enemy. so today, what did we learn from all of this? we learned that when america retreats chaos often follows. , when we neglect our friends, resentment builds. when we partner with our enemy, they advance. the good news, the good news is this. the age of self-inflicted american shame is over. and so are the policies that produced so much needless
suffering. now comes the real new beginning. in just 24 months, actually, less than two years, the united states under president trump has reasserted its traditional role as the force for good in this region. we have learned from our mistakes. we rediscovered our voice. we've rebuilt our relationship. we've rejected false overtures from our enemies. and look at what we've accomplished. look what we've accomplished together. under new leadership, america has con fronted the ugly reality of radical islamism. on president trump's first trip abroad to this region, he called on muslim majority nations to, "meet history's greatest test to conquer extremism and vanquish the forces of terrorism." president sisi joined us, joined us in denouncing the twisted
ideology has brought death on so many. i thank president sisi for his courage. [applause] sec. pompeo: as i said in a recent speech i gave in brussels, our words mean something again. and they should. west point taught me a basic code of integrity. if we commit, americans pretidge to an action our allies fend on us to follow through. the trump administration didn't stand idly by when bazaar al-assad used chemical weapons -- when bashar al-assad used chemical weapons on his people, president prump acted not once, but twice with ally support. he's willing to do it again though we do hope he does not have to. to for those who fret about the use of american power, remember this. america has always been and always will be a liberating force, not an occupying power.
we've never dreamed of domination in the middle east. can you say the same about iran? in world war ii, american g.i.'s helped free the area from nazi occupation. would the russians or chinese come to your rescue in the same way, the way that we have? and when the mission is over, when the job is complete, america leaves. today in iraq, at the government's invitation, we have approximately 5,000 troops where there were once 166,000. we once had tens of thousands of u.s. military personnel stationed in saudi arabia, now that number is a tiny fraction. when with do set up major bases as we have done in qatar and turkey and the emirates, it's at the invitation of the host country. in that same spirit, just last
year, america bolstered a coalition of allies and partners to dismantle the islamic state's caliphate, riblating iraqis, syrians, arabs and kurds, -- liberating iraqis, syrians, arabs and kurds, muslims an christians, men, women, and children. president trump empowered our commanders in the field to strike isis quicker and harder than ever before. and now, 99% of the territory isis once held is liberated. life is returning to normal for millions of iraqis. and syrians. nations in the global coalition should all be enormously proud of this achievement. together we have saved thousands of lives. our allies and partners have helped greatly in this counter isis efforts. france and britain have joined our attacks and supported our
anti-terror efforts around the world. jordan and turkey have hosted millions of syrians fleeing violence. saudi arabiaian and gulf countries contributed toward stabilization efforts. we thank all of them for their help and urge them to continue. the eyes has also helped liberate areas as an important means of preventing the caliphate from re-emerging. we have provided in humanitarian $2.5 billion assistance in iraq since 2014 and our churches and nonprofits do good work there every day as well. we and our allies generated nearly $30 billion to aid iraq's reconstruction in the kuwait reconstruction conference this past year. think about the people we're helping. last year, i hosted the first ever ministerial to to advance religious freedom in washington. at that conference, our ambassador recounted his trip to iraq. there, he met women who had been sold into bondage, whose children had been ripped out of
their arms. life under isis was real hell. a living hell. on earth. today those areas are liberated thanks to our coalition's power and might and commitment. i recall a line from your late nobel laureate nagid mafusd, "good is achieving victory every day. it may even be that evil is weaker than we imagined." let's turn to iran. president trump has reversed our willful blindness to the danger of the regime and withdrew from the failed nuclear deal with its false promises. the u.s. imposed sanctions which never should've been lifted. we embarked on a new pressure campaign to cut off the revenues the regime uses to spread terror and distraction throughout the
world. we joined the iranian people in calling on freedom and accountability. importantly, we fostered a common understanding with our allies of the need to counteract the iran regime's revolutionary agenda. countries can increasingly understand that we must confront the ayatollahs, not coddle them. nations are rallying to our side to confront the regime like never before. egypt, oman, kuwait and jordan have all been instrumental in thwarting iran's efforts to evade sanctions. the u.a.e. has canceled its imports of iranian condensate following the reimposition of american sanctions. bahrain has exposed the revolutionary guard proxies active in its country and is working to stop iran's illicit maritime activities in its region. saudi arabia, too, has worked with us to counter expansion and regional influence. we, the united states, commend each of these efforts and we seek for all nations to continue the work to constrain the full
array of the regime's malign activity. the work to curb the regime's deadly ambitions isn't confined to the middle east. america's friends and partners from south korea to poland have joined our effort to stop iran's wave of regional destruction and global campaigns of terror. countries across the globe have cut iranian oil imports to zero and are working toward that goal. private companies in france, germany, britain and elsewhere all calculated that enriching themselves through work with the regime is bad for business and bad for the people of their own as is always the case with america, our engagement has also been coupled with robust humanitarian aid. we supported u.n. talks to put yemen on the path to peace. in lebanon, hezbollah remains a major presence but we won't accept this status quo.
our aggressive sanctions campaign against iran is also directed against the terror group and its leaders including the son of the head of hezbollah. let's talk about america's efforts to build coalition. the trump administration has moved quickly to rebuild links amongst our old friends and nurture new partnerships. my first trip in this job included stops in israel, jordan, and saudi arabia. in fact, after being sworn in as secretary of state, i visited these countries before i went to my office in washington washington, d.c. and i welcome your leaders to my office often, as i did with foreign minister shoukry in august of last year. coalition building for america is natural. but in past years, we have the neglected it. this administration has enjoyed fruitful relationships in the middle east for hundreds of years but we must keep them and work to keep them. i our ties stem back a long
ways, with morocco and oman back to 1777 and 1833. and our friendship with the country in which we are today, egypt, stems back generations. indeed, this year marks the 70th anniversary of our diplomatic relations with jordan. we are building out a healthy dialogue with the government of iraq, a thriving and young democracy. we're also building relationships for our shared prosperity. it is time for old rivalries to end for the sake of the greater good of the region. the trump administration is also working to establish the middle east strategic alliance to confront the region's most serious threat and bolster energy and economic cooperation. this effort is bringing together members of the gulf cooperation council as well as egypt and jordan. today we ask each of those countries to take the next step and help us solidify. we're also seeing remarkable
change. new bonds are taking root that were unimaginable until very recently. who could have believed a few years ago that an israeli prime minister would visit muscat or that new ties would emerge between saudi arabia and iraq, or that a roman catholic pope would visit this city to meet with muslim imams and the head of the coptic faith. in october of last year, the israeli national anthem was paid -- played as an israeli champion was crowned in a tournament in the united arab emirates. it was the first time the israeli delegation was allowed to participate under its own national flag. it was also the first time an israeli culture and sports minister attended an event in the gulf. she said, and i quote, "it is a dream come true. for two years we had talks to reach this moment." it was hard for her to stop the tears. i want to thank the authorities
in abu dhabi and our host here who received us in an exemplary manner. she could not have been happier. these steps are necessary for greater security in the face of our shared threats. and they also hint at a much brighter future for the region. of course, our work together is not finished. it's almost never america's work alone. the u.s. knows that we can't and shouldn't fight every fight or sustain every economy. no nation wants to be dependent on another. our aim, our aim is to partner with our friends and vigorously oppose our enemies because a strong, secure, and economically vibrant middle east is in our national interest, and it's in yours as well. let me be clear. america will not retreat until the terror fight is over. we will labor tirelessly to
defeat isis, al qaeda and other jihadists that threaten our security and yours. president trump has made the decision to bring our troops home from syria. we always do. and now is the time. but this isn't a change of mission. we remain committed to the complete dismantling of the isis threat and the ongoing threat of -- fight against radical islamism in all its forms. but as president trump has said, we're looking to our partners to do more and in this effort we will do so going forward, together. for our part, air strikes in the region will continue as targets arise. we'll keep working with our partners in the coalition to defeat isis. we'll continue to hunt down terrorists who seek safe havens in libya and yemen. we strongly support egypt's efforts to destroy isis in the sinai. we strongly support israel's efforts to stop tehran from turning syria into the next lebanon.
and as the fighting continues, we will continue to assist our partners in efforts to guard borders, prosecute terrorists, screen travelers, assist refugees, and more. but assist is the key phrase. we asked every peace-loving nation in the middle east to shoulder new responsibilities for defeating islamic extremism wherever we find it. it is important to know also that we will not use our campaign to stop iran's malevolent influence and actions against this region and the world. nations of the middle east will never enjoy security, achieve economic stability, or advance the dreams of their people for iran's revolutionary regime persists on its current course. february 11 will mark 40 years since the oppressive regime came to power in tehran. america's economic sanctions against the regime are the strongest in history and will keep getting tougher until iran
starts behaving like a normal country. the 12 demands that we stated in may remain in force because the regime's threat to the region endures. in syria, the united states will use diplomacy to work with our partners to expel every last iranian boot and work through the u.n.-led process to bring peace and stability to the long-suffering syrian people. there will be no u.s. reconstruction assistance for areas of syria held by assad until iran and its proxy forces withdraw, and until we see irreversible progress toward a political resolution. in lebanon, the united states will work to reduce the threat of hezbollah's missile arsenal which is aimed at israel and can reach all points inside of that country. many of these rockets are equipped with advanced guidance systems courtcy of iran and of iran and that'sn
unacceptable. iran may think it owns lebanon, iran is wrong. in iraq, the united states will help our partners build a nation free of iranian influence. this past may, iraqis rejected sectarianism in a national election and we will support that whole heartedly. the people there refuse to be cowered by iranian-backed thugs and armed groups. iraqis have strengthened ties with arab neighbors, peacefully resumes cooperation with the kurdish region and baghdad and renewed focus on fighting corruption. in yemen, we will continue to work for a lasting peace. i think this is clear, but it's worth reiterating. the united states fully supports israel's right to defend itself against the iranian regime's aggressive adventurism. we'll continue to ensure that israel has the military capacity to do so decisively. the trump administration will also continue to press for a real and lasting peace between israel and the palestinians.
again, we have adhered to our word. president trump campaigned on the promise to recognize jerusalem, the seat of israel's government, as the nation's capital. in may, we moved our embassy there. these decisions honor a bipartisan congressional resolution from more than two decades ago. president trump acted on this commitment. the united states also is working to keep our bilateral relationships strong. over the next few days, i'll hold in-depth discussions with leaders of bahrain, the uae, qatar, saudi arabia, oman and kuwait and we'll talk about our shared goals, just as i did in jordan and iraq this week and as i did today with president sisi and foreign minister shoukry. and as we seek an even stronger partnership with egypt, we encourage president sisi to unleash the creative energy of
egypt's people, unfetter the economy and promote a free and open exchange of ideas. the progress made today can continue. i also applaud president sisi's efforts to promote religious freedom which stands as an example for all leaders and all peoples of the middle east. i was happy to see our citizens wrongly convicted of improperly operating n.g.o.'s here finally be acquitted and we support president sisi's initiative to ammend egypt law so this doesn't happen again. more work needs to be done to maximize the potential of the egyptian nation and its people and i'm glad that america will be a partner in those efforts. let me close here with a couple of final thoughts. first, it's never easy to recognize truth but when we see it, we must speak it. america has been criticized for doing too much in the middle east and we've been criticized for doing too little. but one thing we have never been is an empire builder or an
oppressor. look at our history together, the history which i have recounted today. look at our fights against common enemies. look at our coalition building. and finally, just look around you at this university, which has existed now for a century. it's not a coincidence that many other american universities like this one thrive all across the middle east from beirut to suleimania. these are symbols of america's innate goodness, of our hopes for you and of the better future we desire for all nations of the middle east. i want to thank you all for being here today and may the good lord bless each and every one of you. thank you. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] earlier today, senate minority leader chuck schumer issued a statement saying he
intends to force a vote to block the trump administrations recent action to relax sanctions against three russian companies. he said in part, the treasury departments proposal is flawed and the senate should move to block this misguided effort by the trump administration and .eep these sanctions in place the hill ads, schumer will force the vote under the countering america's adversaries to sanctions act which requires a simple majority to proceed to the resolution to disapprove. under that law, both the house and senate must act by january 17. this comes days after steven mnuchin briefed house lawmakers on the decision to ease sanctions. government shutdown is now in its 23rd day making it the longest in u.s. history. watch the house monday live at atn eastern, senate live three p.m. eastern. conversation
hearings for william barr to become the next attorney general began on tuesday. in december, president trump nominated him to replace jeff sessions who held the position for a year and a half. counselbarr is now of to a law firm and served as u.s. attorney general for george h w bush. watch the confirmation process eastern ony at 9:30 c-span three. week, senateis debated abroad middle east policy bill, one that would allow members to talk about president trump's decision to bring u.s. troops on from syria and also levy sanctions against the assad government. here is some of this week's debate. >>