tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN December 18, 2015 7:00pm-12:01am EST
election, defeating al gore, and later, the 1958 army film entitled "why nato". >> in december 1950, the north atlantic council decided to give to a single commander, general eisenhower, sufficient authority to train and integrate. the task before him was unprecedented. although each of the nato countries would see to the sly and support of its own national forces the supreme commander would be responsible for the single international force. >> and at 8:00, author catherine clinton, and why some of her critics have labelled her as
crazy. for our complete schedule go to c-span.org. mexico's foreign minister says her country is ready to welcome foreign refugees if they seek asylum there. her comments are an hour. well, thank you, diana, and thank you to the wilson center for hosting us and for our continuing friendship and cooperation as institutions. i am pleased also to welcome everyone in this audience today as well as those that are on live stream. and are watching on tv or listening on the radio. this event is the migration policy's leadership vision. it gives senior officials who
are responsible for immigration policy related portfolios an opportunity to play olay out th vision for their work as they newly embark on new responsibilities. our guest today, the minister of foreign affairs, is a perfect example of that kind of a person. she was appointed to be foreign minister on august 27th of 2015 having already served in president nieto's cabinet since 2012. she has served in a number of other posts as an elected official in mexico's house of representatives. she is a lawyer by train and has been an academic and a frequent political analyst in the mexican media. i have had the pleasure of meeting her very recently and was very impressed with the
scope of her knowledge and ideas in this present position that she is now in. so i am particularly pleased to host her during her visit to washington as mexico's new foreign minister. the secretary will come to the podium to make remarks. and then she will join me for question and answers and please join me in a warm welcome. [ cheers and applause ] >> thank you, diana, for your introduction and invitation, it is an honor to be here today and my first visit to washington as
mexico's first secretary of foreign affairs. we chose to come to npi and have dialogue with the audiences because migration is a top policy priority. we live in an era of unprecedented migration. about 230 people migrate locally. migration flows have increased and the actual context under which this actual phenomenon is occurring poses particular challenges. we are addressing the incident of unaccompanied minors from mexico, syrian refugees wanting to flee a civil war with the global implications that has left devastation in its wake. the surging numbers of cuban citizens traveling over 500 kilometers to reach the united states.
the paradox is while migration flows are being triggered by basically the same push and pull factors, armed conflicts, better opportunities, social strife, political turmoil, the global map is shrinking. one single geographical space houses minorities and host states are struggling to just understand the diversity and complexity that comes with each flow of newcomers. ultimately, they are conquering on other territories. you would be immediately thinking in europe but the americas have been experiencing this reality for decades now. these conditions have been unfortunately met in some places by an irresponsible narrative of xenophobia and exclusion that wronglyvkmassumes the immigrant are a threat.
it is important to look at these narratives such as fear. these narratives fell among some audiences, due to misinformation about the impact of migration. it is easier to focus on the cost rather than on the countless contributions that immigrants make every day. the case of the contribution of mexican-immigrants made to the united states is just a case in point. just to give you the daily facts of life, 12% of immigrants, small business owners in the u.s. are mexican. more than one in 25 businesses inowned by a mexican immigrant. these businesses generate over 7 $7 billion in revenue each year. immigrants are also entrepreneurs. today, one out of three have
their own businesses. the mexicans including those leaving the united states represent 8% of the country's gdp. now, imagine in figure. 11.8 billi$11.8 billion. this is the amount of dollars that undocumented immigrants pay to state and local government in the form of taxes in 2012. and the list goes on. once we have opened their eyes to this reality, it compels us to craft 2.0 or perhaps 5.0 policies. we need to embrace migration as a policy and change our mindset and look at leads that are anything but static. today, it is even more critical to unmask these stereotypes of migrates. prioritizing the well-being of each person who migrates and
making sure their fundamental rights are fully respected. mexico is embracing these. as a country of origin, destination, return and transit of migrants, we have been forced to come up with better policies and put our strengths to use. i would like to outline three principles that will be a tool box that we are resorting to. these are cooperation, adherence and innovation. cooperation, mexico is engaged in a multi-layered multi-approach to cooperation. first today more than ever regional is pivotal to both the local and global impacts of migration. the new realities have forced us to focus on new grounds, integration and return and
insertion of migrants. and recently, we currently the conference on migration. it is a multi-lateral consultant forum from a regional and comprehensive perspective. the conversation has generated new results such as dialogue with ten partners of the region plus mexico and including the united states. on the key subjects of return. second, we are seizing horizontal cooperation focusing on the best practices and learning from one another on how to best address this issue. for example, the global consular forum has been brought together to share their experiences and how to engage and offer better services to our people using new
technology and innovation tools. particularly in areas such as emergency management and services, migrant workers and creating opportunities. third, this is becoming a valuable asset and mexico and the u.s. know it. such an example is a creation in 2014 of the bi-national executive coordination team. with the goal of analyzing needs and defining fresh public policies to guarantee secure and orderly deportation of mexican immigrants in that same spirit, we put emphasis on pre-emptive protection and trans-cultural awareness in order to reduce violent incidents at the border. we have seen a 26% reduction in
use of the elements at the border region from 2014 and 2015. and some of the highlights of this are the new guidelines. the use of force by border patrol agents, the second principle that is under-pinning our migration policies is coherence, it compels us to treat immigrants in our country the same way we expect ours to treat other nationals abroad. in mexico, this can be best done by our sovereign border program, launched by president nieto in the summer of last year, the program seeks to achieve the flows of migrants, while looking at the community life at the border. with this program mexico has not only expanded opportunities for migrants to enter our country legally and increase their
safety, but has also worked on initiatives that improve the treatment to immigration that will give migrants inside the border and our territory. as expected when we decided to implement this program we have seen a very significant increase in the number of detained migrants at our southern border. close to 200,000 this year, up from three years ago. the wider number, looked at in a bigger context, we have 12 points of entry between mexico and guatemala and beliz. we have detained more than 550 vehicles associated to crimes like human trafficking and smuggling. and we have issued over 800,000 visas for regional workers and visitors. increasing central american's opportunities for legal migration and work in mexico. mexico will not stop repeating
its mantra. government should work to make significant efforts to increase safe and secure migration flows. balance between the need for greater mobility and security concerns and interests is an obtainable goal. mexico has worked with the united states to develop smart borders. which facilitate flows through good people, and ensuring the respect of migrants. and this this being the case, the refuge and complex programs has completely shattered thei y livelyhoods. for some it seems like we shut down our doors, i would like to remind you that hundreds of
central americans and others enter mexico's southern border every single day. today, the administration of the president help to keep the doors open in the current context. in the case of syrians if they happen to apply for refugee or asylum, mexico will stand ready to receive them. but it seems as if they're choosing other destinations. our third principle is innovation, and we are embracing the innovation on the forefront. how we deliver to mexicans overseas and protect them, and regarding policies that will aid returnees in the process of re-integration into society and help them become active economic agents in their community and at only. in the past few years, mexico has improved the myriad services
we offer the nationals at our consulate. we have the modernized services and documents. and we set new service standards for all of our operations which have enabled us to reduce wait times by 80%. we have seen detetechnological approvement improvements, by acceptance with local authorities. we have worked on the diplomacy efforts with returning nationals. our country has worked tirelessly to help with the economy and society of this great nation. craft recommendations that are being enacted in policies and legislation that will allow them to integrate better into the communities they live in.
if we look, we see that governments are increasingly adopted the policy. 91% of countries in the developing regions in 2011. we have also innovated on how we build ties with mexican abroad. and empowering the people by designing programs in their integration e ioion in areas su health. for example, a health stop that provides health information, counseling and referrals for mexicans and their families in the united states. and we truly want to innovate and work on developing tools to protect vulnerable populations and we are indeed making headway. for example, mexico provided a protocol now in operation in all of our consulates. it seems to improve assistance
and interview mechanisms when dealing with unaccompanied minors to be able to deal with the unassessed risks they may face and determine their outcome on a case by case approach. regarding women, for example, mexico has developed better policies to serve migrant women abroad. a couple of weeks ago, i signed the protocol created jointly with women to improve the consular and gender-based bias to the comprehensive and well being and development of women, equality and non-discrimination is at the core of all of our actions. finally, we are innovating at home and taking a fresh look. we know the challenges they face when they go back to a home.
they may feel distant. this is why the mexican government feels hopeful to help them overcome the challenges and to return to their home country and in the process of implementing policies that will help them thrive in all areas. ladies and gentlemen, cooperation, adherence and innovation. these are the guiding principles that are helping us face the increasingly challenging migration and phenomenon. we are committed to serving the population outside our borders to make them prosper and improve their well being, and to have their positive impact acknowledged. we are fully committed to working together where local authorities, the states and other countries, to share and sign and development the best possible solution to challenges. migration could be seen as a
margin for working together hand in hand, while paying careful attention to the sensitive basis of these phenomenons. it is only together that we can choose these things. we're also fully invested in treating all migrants, mexicans, and any others in the same humane way. and finally, we're betting on the future through innovation, working closely to bring down rather than build the wall of racism and fear, exclusion and extremist that is so dangerous. but what we truly hunger for and is a pressing need in this area is courageous leadership to face the challenges and accomplish these goals. it is our responsibility to change the narrative of immigration by acknowledging immigrant contribution, working
closely across borders and most importantly by spreading a message of tolerance. i thank you all for being here today and look forward to our dialogu dialogue. >> well, thank you very much. you put lots of topics on the table. so let's -- and people in the audience should be thinking of the questions that they want to ask. but i would like to start with picking up a little further on -- so much of what you talked about. the u.s.-mexico relationship vis-a-vis immigration, that ties us together not only geographically but on so many levels in our societies. and one of the things that is so important is the way in which to
relationship is in fact changing. as you know, there has been a profound shift in the numbers of people from mexico that come to the united states in an unauthorized status. the flow now is mainly a north to south flow, rather than south to north. there are more people returning to mexico than are coming to the u.s. this is something that is not well understood in the united states at all. and it is not reflected in our political conversation. is it understood in mexico? do mexicans understand? what is the debate in mexico about the way in which this shift is taking place, which is a historic shift after about 40 years of the tradition? >> i think this is in fact one of the greatest challenges we have, how to keep on providing protection, accompaniment, and
avenues for integration to the population, the mexican population that lives in the united states and continue to have that as a cornerstone of our -- of our policy and foreign policy towards the united states. while making it visible that we have increasing numbers of migrants returning home. we have different programs and different windows within the federal government to welcome those migrants that are returning back. but we have not had up until now a focal point. and that is what we want to change up there from the foreign affairs and ministry itself. we want to make our delegations in mexico, inside of mexico, we have 44, our representations throughout the country. we want to make them the first point of contact for our people
that are coming back. and ideally we want to have our 50 consulates in the united states mirror those delegations that we have in order to know who is coming back. what are his or her challenges? how can we better help them simulayste assimilate back into the community. how can we help knock on doors to help with the specific challenges that they have? we want to help them integrate into our financial system and know what their potential social benefits are. or what -- what job opportunities they might have. and we want to help them by becoming the first door they knock. and then we can sort of help them navigate through the complicated process of
assimilating that through the communities they want to establish. but to answer your question, i don't think this has been until very recently, a part of the immigration conversation in mexico. we know the numbers have -- that the trends have reversed. that we're receiving more mexican immigrants than we're sending. but it's still part of our conversation regarding what we are doing regarding the united states, and not necessarily how we are constructing being able to signing and implementing the public policies geared to better receive them and to better help them become a productive force of our economy and of our social change. this is starting to change. we are in this endeavor by instructions of the president himself. and we're working on that with the foreign affairs ministry as the focal point but of course
working through our government, because every one of us has a point of contact and a point of aid or help that can better integrate returning migrants. >> you know, these multiple roles now that you talked about of being an origin country, a destination country, a transit country, a return country, do you see a need -- or is there likely to be a need for any changes in your own laws given those changes that are really pretty historically profound? >> well, we have a fairly -- let's say fairly recent immigration law that needs to be revi revised. and that is currently being revised officially by the legislative branch and also the ministry of the interior. but we in fact, have changed our
policies. we have changed our policies internally and we have changed our policies in the only way we relate to the united states but also to the neighbors in the south. we have increasingly underscored the importance of -- and the contributions, migrant populations make to their count country's destination, but also to the country's transit. and we have made a cornerstone of our international and foreign policy with central america, the understanding that the immigration requires collective effort to work together to ensure safer and more orderly flows. but to work together on -- and focus on the causes of immigration.
also with the united states through the triangular cooperation and to ensure safety and everyday crossings. but also in investing together on creating better job opportunities. more social infrastructure, better institutions to help the countries to our south. and they will become more capable to ensure opportunities for their people. so we know immigration is not going to stop. we know immigration has and should have a reach and positive impact on the countries, as destinations or transfer to, like mexico where we have all the phenomenons together. and that when we talk about immigration we should also be talking about human rights.
human dignity. and that entails investing on institutions, investing on human capital. investing on changing stereotypes. >> you know, on the subject of central america and the countries to the south, you talked about the fact that you're doing considerably more on enforcement. we know that there has been much more enforcement now taking place along the southern border of mexico. and there is naturally -- you're aware, a real criticism of that in the united states that says that the united states is now out-sourcing its enforcement to mexico and that mexico has been pressured into doing considerably -- a greater degree of enforcement. talk about that. talk about thathvv!$(áráicism a about your own interests as a
nation in the way that you touched on a little bit in your remarks about -- about border enforcement. >> well, the first thing i would like to say is that that perception is completely false. we have been working in our southern borders now because it is in our interests to do so. and it is in the interest of our neighbors that we work together on not only ensuring the region becomings more secure, but more prosperous. and we know that we cannot have a secure region, whether it is -- and we're talking about the southern border of mexico or the southern border of the united states or indeed the whole region. we cannot have a secure region if we do not have a prosperous region. and building together the legal
framework, the infrastructure, the human resources to ensure that it is in everybody's best interest. and that has been the approach. and it has been i think a very successful approach. we have a very everyday productive cooperation with our neighbors in central america regarding sharing information. regarding sharing best practices. building elements together but also regarding building actual infrastructure. if we have the resources to build it, we build it. if we have to go in together to build roads we do it. if we want to have a much more prepared human capital in the region we implement exchange cooperation mechanisms. and we talk about this not only with the united states. not only with our partners in
the south and central america. but indeed with all of our countries and partners in south america. we're increasingly coming to understand that we share addition of prosperity and of security and safety and that can only be achieved if we find common ground. and if we build from our commonalties and consensus and recommendation, rather than if we emphasize our differences and the things that we do not like about each other. let's focus on what we like about each other and what we share and build from that. >> let me take you to a variant of that, because mexico has made a significant continuing investment in building your consular services for really decades now. and one of the main things you
do that you talked about was the matricula, which as you know has come under some attack particularly in a lawsuit in texas, regarding issuing birth certificates. tell us about the matricula, about the consular, and the network and what would you say to the officials who are questioning it? >> well, first of all, i would say that our foremost job is to protect our people. and protecting means making them aware of their rights, helping them and aiding them legally when they have a legal challenge. and ensuring that they can become part of the communities they have chosen to live in.
and the matricula id has the highest standards regarding security and all the safety procedures to make sure that it is not tampered with. and that provides our people with justly an identification card to say this is who they are and to enable them to be much more visible. a much more productive part of the communities where they live. and in many states, they're accepting the consular id to let our people that have them obtain a driver's license, obtain an education, obtain certain health services. and that has proven to be an identification instrument that is really helpful, that helps them become safer and to also ensure the safety for all the people that live in the
community with them. there are some states that do not accept that. we denounce that in the ways that the legal system in the united states states allows us to do. we hope that more and more states will see the benefit of accepting the consular id, we'll continue to welcome them not only with the highest levels of sarte safety and security but also within the vienna convention regarding the mandates. so i think it is useful. and i think increasingly more banks and institutions in the united states, more employers are coming to see that it's useful also for them. >> okay, let's go to the audience. we have microphones, i believe, so in order for you to be heard
by others we need to wait until you get a microphone. let's go right here. tell us who you are. and then your questions. >> when americans cross over the border into mexico, i believe they're arrested and detained for a period of time by the mexican police. my question involves the education on the part of the mexican government. when your citizens are constantly going across the border does the mexican government advise the people who cross over the port of entry, and legally, and say it's the best way to go? >> part of what we do is making it known to mexicans in general about this specific procedures
and requirements to enter into the country. we do that through our offices, our web page, our consulates and embassies all over the world. and for the u.s. we also make the effort to let's say education the public that there are procedures that there are rules and requirements and that there are legal points of entry if you use that criteria. however, recognizing that we have an immigration of undocumented people, we also make the effort with other ministries and other agencies in the federal government to tell people that it is dangerous. that they may face certain challenges. and we also make it known that we have consulate offices to provide them with security.
like any other country we discourage illegal migration, and that is a very important principle of our immigration law and of our policies. we do not criminalize undocumented education. we try to help and assist and help people assimilate in their communities. and face the requirements they need to meet. but i don't think any country in the world really encourages undocumented migration. we certainly don't. but we don't criminalize undocumented migration. >> okay, up here in the front, diana? >> thank you. >> diana negroponte, madam, i wish to stretch you from the issue of immigration to the
issue of trans-pacific partnership. you sihave signed the treaty. what impact does that have on mexico's trade policy and your conversations with the chilean ministry of foreign affairs who also must face the consequences of this advice? >> well, mexico for some decades now has made free trade agreements a cornerstone of our foreign policy. but also for a vision, for constructing prosperity,
long-lasting prosperity. so for us, the trans-pacific partnership is an agreement that comprises the wide range of agreements we have all over the world. we are committed to the tpp. we signed the tpp in atlanta. and before doing so -- well, when i say we, i really say my colleague in the ministry of economy. but we held consultations, over a thousand consultations with specific industries and specific economic groups that are a wide variety of the industries that are going to be potential. because we see that is a good thing. to potentialize with the tpp. we are very much committed in hoping and helping congress, the senate ratify the tpp in the
next session at the beginning of the next year. and like i said, we think it's important. it will gain us access to other markets as a country, but i think it would also open us as a region, as a north american region because the united states and canada are also part of the tpp. it will open us as a region to a wider market. and it will help us -- if we continue on the path we have been for the past 20 years with nafta, and the competitive advantages, the regional world that looks as if it will grow in the next coming years. but we're also a part of the pacific alliance. and we are also working with our pacific alliance to make the most of our strength and their
strengths. so to answer your question i think we are -- we are very committed to the tpp. it's going to complement what we already have, with the framework with the trade. we hope every other country will be committed to passing it with the respective congress congres because i think it is a good thing. many people didn't think it would work out but i think it has largely become a success story. and like many people said in mexico at the time, will it be good? will it be bad? i don't know, but if we passed up the opportunity i don't think we would be where we are now. the 15th largest economy in the world. increasingly prosperous and elusive with many challenges to be sure. but with the right tools to face those challenges. >> let me see some hands in the
back. how about right here on the aisle. >> i was at the roosevelt institute. i have two questions of how mexico supports children of nationals born abroad. first question is about the -- as of december 1998, my understanding was there was a reform to the constitution that informed children of nationals born abroad. but in 2015 there was a move by the mexican senate to somehow express that explicitly. so that legislative move, was that a change in policy? was that a better articulation of existing policy?
what exactly does that state about the policy or latter forma of what i thought was an action. the second was an amicus brief that they filed in support of undocumented families in texas whose children were being denied citizenship. could you articulate a little bit more about what is the goal of that brief and how it is meant to support children of undocument -- i'm sorry, of mexican nationals born abroad. thank you. >> yes, well one of the responsibilities is helping mexicans abroad is to become more empowered and to have access to more rights that you have. and for some, millions of mexicans and mexican-americans,
children born here that were born to mexican parents, that entails being eligible for citizenship. so we have -- we have consciously made a policy decision to help those people become aware of the possibility of becoming an american citizen. and to help them obtain the legal aid to pursue that process because we have come to understand and we believe to if you have -- and that is why there was a constitutional reform a couple of years ago to allow mexicans to hold a double nationality. before that, it was not possible. but today it is. and i think what that means is that you can be mexican and american or mexican and spanish
or mexican and a british citizen and that does not make you less mexican. that does not end our responsibility to you as a mexican citizen. and that in turn may provide millions of people with the possibility to access more benefits and more rights. so our commitment as a government is to empower people and for millions of people that entails becoming open to following the process and to becoming an american citizen. and we fully endorse whoever is in that position to see that if they want to. and regarding the amicus curiae, we filed it because we can do so as a means of making our case to the courts that we think these children and these -- and this
suit filed by texas and some other states should -- that is our prerogative under the american law and the process to file this amicus curiae brief. and we did so in the event the supreme court decides to hear that and we took that into account that we're a third interest party. >> okay, let's go to this side of the room. all right, then back to the woman on the aisle that i over -- okay, over there. >> thank you, maureen meyer, i wanted to ask a question. you had mentioned that the president, when he launched the program talked about it working to protect migrants as they travel. and yet documentation and research the organizations that migrant shelters have done in mexico would suggest that crimes
and abuses against migrants intransit continue, the national human rights commission has registered an un-take of over 30% against the immigration agency since the program started. so i wanted to ask you, can you describe what the government is doing in the area of protection as i travel through mexico? thank you. >> well, one way to look at it is that since the program started, violations came up by 30%. but the other way to look at it is since the program started we built the mechanisms for people to be able to deny when there are violations. and i fully -- and very truthfully think that is what has happened. we do face many challenges because we have large flows of people traveling through mexico. but we have tried to build a
safer, more ordered and secure border, by -- modernizing our infrastructure. by having cooperation agreements. with our southern neighbors -- by training better our officers in the immigration agency. by building shelters that separate minors and women have men by cooperating more and more with the civil society that has been essential for building a much more modern and sustained and trustworthy for the migrants, infrastructure throughout the train that they cross. and the program has all of these
components, infrastructure and safer processing, and crossing, information sharing, capability sharing and shared building capabilities. and also a component of real cooperation with civil society. and also building the framework for violations to be denounced and violations and infractions being punished. so i think we have built the actually framework and we are slowly changing the mindset of the officials that are in charge of immigration, that are there at the border. and of the communities that have -- that are passing points for the migrants along the way. to help them and to -- and to add their cooperation, their
abilities, their resources to the governments so we can better serve and protect those migrants. we want them, like i said we want the migrants that pass from mexico to be as to be humanly t fairly treated and as with much dignity as we expect our migrants to be treated elsewhere, so it's a process. >> any other hands? okay. here in the front. >> hi. i'm from george washington university. last october into a meeting with mexican professionals, an ambassador mentioned he wanted to transform the mexican population into the u.s. to the largest lobbying organization here in the u.s. can you mention more about what strategies the administration has to accomplish this goal?
>> i'm going to say what i think he meant. [ laughter ] >> and afterwards you can talk to him. what we mean as the government is what i was saying before. it is our responsibility to ensure that our people have better tools to become productive members of the communities they're settled in to ensure that they have access to all the benefits they have right to and to have a better access to the rights they have, both as migrants and some of them as -- many of them as legal residents and many more as people that can -- that are eligible for citizenship. and in that sense, communicating their rights, the possible benefits they have access to, and helping them get in touch
with organizations that provide those tools, that provide that access, is also part of our everyday consular work. in our consulates -- we have 50 consulat consulates, as you know. in our consulates, we have evolved with the type of populations that we come in contact to. and they all need different things from us. some of them need more let's say protection services than others. some of them need legal aid that's more basic, and some of them need more sophisticated legal aid. some of them just want us to be a point of contact for them to help their communities back at home, but they don't want to go back. so we have been evolving to
provide the services, the information, and the accompaniment each of these universe of people need. and one of them they all need, most of them need, is information. we understand our responsibility as providing information to help them understand what their rights are, what their possible benefits are, and helping them knock on the right doors to get that. >> okay. final question. in the front. andrew. >> thank you, doris. thank you, madame secretary, for being here. honor to have you here today. two questions on specific groups. the doubly undocumented. there's a number of mexican citizens in the u.s. that don't have birth certificates from mexico. this particularly becomes noticeable when they eligible for programs like dhakas. if you could comment on what the
mexican government can do with that. the second is increasingly we're seeing mexicans and americans actually moving to mexico. we're seeing more americans moving to mexico than mexicans moving to the united states taking with them children who are u.s. citizens who have educated in the united states and may or may not speak spanish fluently. if you have any thoughts on the issues there and the new issues that are emerging on the bilateral agenda beyond what we have talked about in the past. >> yes. early this year, we enabled our consulates here in the united states to be able to issue birth certificates for people that had already been registered in mexico, so we now have our consular officers issuing birth certificates, but that's only for the people who were already registered in mexico.
that made us realize there's a whole other universe of people that had not had the opportunity to be registered in mexico and did not have, in fact, birth certificate. we're working with a commission of superior courts in mexico, and i'm happy to say that i think by the end of the first trimester in next year we're going to make it possible for consular officers to issue birth certificates for people born here. we're working on that. we're working on that obviously from a legal perspective with the civil registrars in all the states. we know that's a huge gap, and we're working as we speak to be able to address that. and regarding children that are
u.s. citizens. that's one of the many challenges we're facing with people that return to mexico. like i was saying, we're crafting a model where our representations within mexico -- like i said, we have 44 in all of mexico, which up until now issue passports. that's the main thing we do, but we have realized that we have to become the first point of contact for migrants that are returning. and each migrant that returns returns with different challenges that we as authorities, as a government, have to help them overcome. some of them have children that are born in the u.s., that they do not have the legal papers to
demonstrate if they went to primary school or not, so we are working with the education ministry to ensure that we build a mechanism where we can receive them easily, but we do not want them to go and have to knock on the representation of the education ministry in their state and then go and make another queue for the health ministry to resolve their problem regarding the insurance and then go to the representation of the labor department and see what job is available. so we want to be able to help them from the time they are in the united states and they go to our consulates and tell us i'm thinking of returning home. we ask them, okay, where are you going to go, what's your problem, who are you traveling with. help them resolve that. after one goof, we're trying to
build a one roof hub for migrants on their way back. we're still working on that. the president is very keen on that idea because he knows that is part of our reality now. we have to have more creative, integrated policies that help us welcome them back, help us help them integrate better in their communities or the communities where they want to settle in, and also help everyone make them a productive force of transformation in mexico. so from school certificates to birth certificates to job opportunities to help benefits, we're trying to build a comprehensive space where they can come, knock on the door, and have people focus on their specific problems.
that is also a shift in our policy because we've come to realize that as ministry of foreign affairs that it is also our responsibility. >> one-stop shopping i think we would call that. well, okay. you've touched on a range of very important issues, new issues, challenging issues. we're at the end of our time, but i invite you to come forward if you want to converse further. but thank you so very much. thank you so very much for being here and for being so granular about the things that are, in fact, going on and that are characterizing the changes in our relationship. thank you all for being here and let's thank the minister. >> thank you again. [ applause ]
in the news today congress passed a $1.1 trillion federal spending bill and $680 billion in tax extenders. the deal a victory for new house speaker paul ryan. it extends a huge variety of tax breaks, including those for college tuition and renewable energy. the president signed the legislation earlier today. book tv has 48 hours of nonfiction book and authors
every weekend on c-span 2. saturday at 7:00 p.m. eastern winston groom discusses his latest book "the generals, pa on the, mcarthur, marshall, and the winning of world war ii." then at 10:00 p.m. eastern, world medicine association president on the world's health gap. on sunday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. eastern douglas wilder discusses his memoir, son of virginia, a life in america's political arena. governor wilder was the nation's first african-american governor. >> with the military experience that i had and then the opportunity to learn what was going on, that started me. and i had a good law practice. as a matter of fact, i had a great law practice and politics was the last thing i wanted to get involved with. >> watch book tv all weekend
every weekend on c-span 2. in new york today the u.n. security council unanimously approved a resolution endorsing a peace process for syria. the resolution calls for a cease-fire and talks between the syrian government and syrian opposition. this meeting of the united nations security council was chaired by secretary of state john kerry and is just over two hours. >> the 7,588th meeting of the security council is called to
order. the provisional agenda for this meeting is the situation in the middle east. the agenda is adopted. i want to warmly welcome the distinguished secretary general, the ministers, and the other distinguished representatives present in the security council chamber today. now, in accordance with rule 37 of the council's provisional rules of procedure, i invite the representative of the syrian arab republic to participate in that meeting. it is so decided. the security council will now begin the consideration of item two of the agenda. i give the floor -- and let me just say to everybody we have a number of ministers who have flight schedules to meet and this went on a little longer than we thought, but i
appreciate everybody's patience. we're very, very grateful to you. it's my honor to give the floor to the secretary general, his x ee excella excellancy ban ki-moon. >> almost five years later, with you see a country in ruins, millions of people scattered across the world, and a window of extremism that challenges the world. in particular, i recognize the
statesmanship of u.s. secretary of state john kerry and russian foreign minister sergei. i welcome the resolution the security council will adopt at this meeting. as the first resolution to focus on the political path to resolving the crisis, this marks a very important step on which we must build. i would like to take this opportunity to thank all the distinguished ministers who have taken such great leadership and for participating in this meeting. at the two recent meetings in vietnam, the issg made two major requests of the united nations. first, to convene in january. former negotiations between the syrian government and opposition representatives focused on a syrian-led transition process.
second, to determine the requirements and modalities of nationwide cease-fire. the united nations stands ready to undertake these important tasks. we welcome the meeting convened that brought together a broad spectrum of the syrian opposition. as the government and opposition delegates are getting ready, the united nations stands ready to relaunch intersyrian talks mediated by my special envoy. g conventi convention, the parties must ensure the full and effective participation of women in these talks. this morning at the meeting i urged the iisg to apply necessary pressure on the syrian parties to immediately implement the following confidence-building measures.
stop the use of indiscriminate weapons against civilians, including barrel bombs which have been continued despite the government's pledge to refrain from such assault. second, allow unconditional and unimpeded access for aid conv s convoys. tens of thousands of people in besieged areas have been forced to live of grass and weeds. this is outrageous. third, total tax an medical and educational facilities and lift all restrictions on medical and surgical supplies from humanitarian convoys. fourth, release all detainees. reports indicate that prisoners face torture and atrocious conditions. mr. president, distinguished council members, nearly two years have passed since the geneva two conference.
the people of syria have suffered enough. i call for you to show vision and leadership in overcoming your differences. a fleeting opportunity for peace has emerged. your duty is to seize it. thank you. >> thank you, mr. secretary general. i think everybody here joins in thanking you for your leadership and for all the help of the united nations. the council is now ready to proceed to a vote on the draft resolution before it. members of the council have before them document s/2015/996. the text of the draft resolution submitted by the united states of america. i'll put this draft resolution to a vote now. will those in favor of the draft resolution contained in the document please raise their
hand? the result of the voting is clear. the draft resolution has received 15 votes in favor and therefore the draft resolution has been adopted unanimously as resolution 2254 of 2015. i will now make a statement in my capacity as secretary of state of the united states. mr. secretary general, special envoy, distinguished colleagues, i want to begin by thanking the other p4 members who helped join together to fashion this resolution and who spent time this morning working with our colleagues in order to bring us here this afternoon. plus our non-p4 member germany for whom we are very grateful
for their participation also. i want to thank all the members of the council for coming together at this late hour, and i thank you in particular, secretary general ban and special envoy, for your leadership and commitment. i want to thank the foreign minister for his collaboration and his efforts over the course of both vienna conferences to produce the two vienna communiques that are integrated into this resolution today. this council is sending a clear message to all concerned that the time is now to stop the killing in syria and lay the groundwork for a government that the long suffering people of that battered land can support. after four and a half years of war, this is the first time we have been able to come together
at the united nations in the security council to embrace a road forward. during that time, one syrian in 20 has been killed or wounded. one in five is a refugee. one in two has been displaced. the average life expectancy in syria has dropped by 20 years. we need to reverse the course and that is the council's goal here this afternoon, to put an end to the indiscriminate bombing, the acts of terror, torture and bloodshed. our shared task is to find a way to make that happen. in support of this objective, president obama has sent from my country three interrelated goals. the first is to support our friends and to ensure that the instability created by the civil war in syria does not spread further beyond its borders. and that is why we're providing a record amount of humanitarian
assistance, and it's why we're doing more to help syria's neighbors to strengthen their capacity to safe guard their territory and to defend against external threats. second, we're determined with our coalitional parts to defeat and degrade daesh. in the past year, the coalition's partners have worked with iraqi forces to remove terrorists from the battlefield, cutting off their supply lines, and depriving daesh more and more of the territory its once controlled. now we're intensifying the pressure to squeeze supply routes into mosul and we're pushing ahead into northern syria. assisting our partners and on the recruiting and propaganda efforts. further, as evidenced by the
finance ministerial yesterday, we were multiplying our efforts to cut daesh off from the revenue efforts that support its depravity. it's criminality. nothing would do more to bolster the fight against the terrorists than a diplomatic process that gives the syrian people a real choice. not a choice between assad or daesh, but between war and peace, between the violent extremes and a newly empowered political center. that is why we have joined with so many of you in support of an urgent diplomatic initiative. again and again countries, not just around this desk today, but countless meetings in various parts of the world have reaffirmed the notion that there has to be a political settlement. well, this is the test. this is why we've joined here in
a broader, more action oriented effort than ever before attempted in syria to isolate the terrorists and to put syria on the road to a political transition envisioned by the geneva communique now embraced by the international community and the united nations security council resolution. as the council's action today reflects, we have made important progress in recent weeks and progress that should give us all fresh grounds for encouragement. last month in vienna and other members agreed on a series of steps to stop the bleeding in syria, to advance a political transition, to isolate the terrorists, and to help the syrian people to be able to begin to rebuild their country. last week in riyadh with the support of his majesty and his government, a broad cross section of syrian opposition
representatives came together to form a high committee. the purpose of those negotiations between the responsible opposition and the government is to facilitate a transition within syria to a credible, inclusive, nonsectarian governance within six months. the process would lead to the drafting of a new constitution and arrangements for an internationally supervised election within 18 months. i might add. geneva never had those dates. it is the vienna process that's produced a 16-month and 18-month timeline horizon. it is the sienna process that's embraced the cease-fire arrangement.
it's our hope that a nationwide cease-fire can go into effect excludeing only daesh and al nusra and any other group we might decide at some time to designate. so i would close by saying we're under no illusions about the obstacles that exist. there are obviously remain sharp differences within the international community, especially about the future of president assad. we have emphasized from the beginning that for this to work the process has to be led and shaped and decided and implemented by the men and women of syria. it cannot be imposed from the outside and we're not seeking to do so. but we've also seen in recent weeks in vienna and paris and in other capitals and today in new york an unprecedented degree of unity on the need to negotiate this political transition to
defeat daesh and then indeed to end the war. the resolution we just approved is a milestone because it sets out specific concepts with specific time frames. accordingly, we need to work hard together to help these political talks to go forward, to prepare for a cease-fire, and to encourage all the parties in syria to participate in good faith. in closing, let me just underscore the urgency of our task. like many of you, i have met with refugees in and out of refugee camps. i've met with survivors as you have, met with care givers as you have, met with many of the people who have been on the front lines of this conflict. i've talked to women who've struggled to hold their families together despite constant danger, bitter cold, shortages of food, and danger. i've heard the blood chilling
stories of doctors and relief workers that have been dealing with humanitarian trauma on a daily basis, month after month, year after year, now into the fifth year. i'm aware as everybody in this chamber is of the atrocities that have been committed and are being committed, even as we sit here this afternoon. being committed too often against innocent civilians. looking ahead, we know that daesh can never be allowed to gain control in syria, so we have a global imperative here to deal with a terrorist entity, but also to end the civil war and to bring legitimacy back to the governance of syria. president assad in our judgment and not everybody shares this, but the majority of the people in the issg believe president assad has lost the ability, the credibility, to be able to unite
the country and to provide the moral creditability to be able to govern it into the future. i say not as a matter of ideology, not as a matter of choice, but purely as a matter of reality, as a matter of fact given the situation on the ground, if the war is to end, it is imperative that the syrian people agree on an alternative in terms of their governments. that logic is compelling, and it provides a unifying principle for people in our efforts going forward. the truth is in the past two months we have started from a standstill, from a nonexistent process, to have three separate meetings of the issg and now the united nations security council embrace of a process.
we've agreed on a plan of action, and the council's vote today is an important boost on a road to a political settlement. it is a particularly important step because it reaffirms this body's endorsement of the geneva communique about the transitional governing body with full executive authority. it also endorses the progress and the statements that we made in vienna to set a timeline, a timeline for transition, a timeline for election and standards for that election. the highest standards under the supervision of the united nations for a fair election. it brings federundamental valued principles that have shape the
governme -- ai now resume my function a president of the council, and i give the floor to mr. sergei, minister of foreign affairs of the russian federation. >> translator: thank you, president, colleagues. first and foremost, i would like to thank john kerry for his initiative to conduct today in new york the third meeting of the issg. this has been a time to meet in this room. the meeting of the issg underscored the commitment of all its participants to the vienna process. the resolution just adopted approved the 14 november 15 agreement that spoke of a ray to reimplement the geneva communique. here it is clearly set forth first and foremost that all
three documents are a platform for solving the bloody syrian crisis. the vienna format is the only one that will bring together all flun shl players to ensure a complex for a fair settlement through talks between the government of the syrian arab republic and the whole span of the opposition. the resolution provides an international law weight to collective work for such negotiations under the srsg. here it is underscored that only syrian-led inclusive dialogue can put an end to the untold suffering of the syrian people. here there is also affirmation of the fundamental principles of the political settlement, namely that syria should remain unified, secular, plurally religious, and plurally ethnic.
all the syrian people itself can define its future. this approach is enshrined in the geneva communique as well as in the document of the issg and today's resolution. terrorists have no place in the talks. just the same as those who would like a military solution to the crisis. the unanimous adoption today on the council has created a broad counterterrorism front on the basis of the u.n. charter, on the basis of all those that are pushing back against terror on the ground, including the turk i ish army, the armed militia that are parts of the syrian opposition, as well as the russian air forces in response
to the syrian arab republic. an important role here should be played as we heard through the resolution aimed at strengthening control over the financing of isil and such terrorist groups, cutting off channels for their financing first and foremost through cutting out the illegal trade in oil. combatting terrorism should be consistent and selfless in syria or anywhere else. the resolution underscores there's a need to provide humanitarian assistance to the syrian people. this should be presented in strict compliance with the guiding principles of the united nations enshrined in gn resolutions including the principle of the agreement of the host country. it is important that today on the security council once again there was reputation of the need to uphold the sovereignty of the
syrian republic. the adopted resolution enshrines the security council's oversight over the results achieved in the vienna agreement with international support, the secretary general, and his special envoys. they'll play a leading role in organizing and conducting the negotiations with the syrian opposition, those in moscow, damascus, riyadh, and other places. we're convinced that our colleagues will heed these instructions impartially, not engaging in any attempts to influence any one side and be guided exclusively by the task of assisting finding mutually
acceptable agreement between the government and the opposition as required by today's resolution. as these recommendations become ripe, we'll stand ready as a co-chair of the issg with the united states as well and the united nations to convene another meeting to define on the basis of consensus further steps to be taken in fostering a solution to the syrian crisis. we call upon all colleagues during the work to come to not engage in idealized rhetoric to prevent inciting interethnic hatred and be guided by the primary need to combat terrorism, find a political settlement. this is the approach to which there is no alternative if we indeed put no our geopolitical interests forward, but the interests of the syrian people and the syrian state. thank you. >> thank you very much.
again, thank you for your leadership regarding this. i now have the honor of recognize i recognizing deputy prime minister and minister for foreign affairs of jordan. >> translator: in the name of god, the merciful and the compassionate, mr. chairman, allow me to express my deep thanks and gratitude to the secretary of state of the united states of america whose country presides over the council. i express my thanks and gratitude for convening this important ministerial conference that comes in pursuit of the international constructive work in order to put an end to the crisis in syria and to put an end to the suffering of the syrian people. members of the security council,
the secretary general, the united nations, ladies and gentlemen, our meeting today is yet another milestone in the international response to the situation in syria, individual as well as international parties. during the past few months, syria has intensified their diplomatic efforts in order to reach a common understanding on the ways and means to realize a political settlement for the tragic crisis in syria that has been going on for five years and whose dangerous repercussions are on the region and the international community, especially its humanitarian aspect. that's relative to the internal displacement and the assignment of millions of syrians and the security aspect, which is a result of the expansion of
daesh, terroristic groups, and other unrelated terrorist ent y entities and people and the al nusra front as well. these commendab-- i would like s my deep thanks and gratitude to john kerry and the minister of foreign affairs of russia for their efforts. god willing this will lead to other political solution that we all aspire for in syria. i wish to express my thanks to the special representative of the secretary general for his previous and for his forthcoming efforts. we emphasize that this community should continue working in order to ensure a political process in
the declarations issued by our group in the three meetings that were held in vienna and new york today and to the contents of the draft resolution that's been adopted by the council today which is a historical resolution that paves the way for the implementation of the political solution that we hope will put an end to the political crisis, a crisis that syria has been facing with its people. i wish to express our appreciation for the efforts of the kingdom of saudi arabia, which hosted the conference of the syrian opposition at riyadh in order to launch the political negotiations, which we hope will lead to the realization of this political solution to our appreciation to all those countries that have tirelessly worked in this respect. i also want to mention we have in the kingdom of jordan have played the role that we were
asked to do by starting a coordination process between the members of the isg in order to reach a common understanding of groups and the individuals who could be described as terrorists. we have presented the result of our work to the issg and we have explained the consensus of some countries on some terrorist groups and some groups upon which there has not been agreement in order so that negotiations could continue about their designation in the future. we have said in the kingdom of jordan since the beginning of the crisis in syria that the only solution to this crisis is the political, the comprehensive
political solution. our position under the leadership of his majesty king abdullah ii and his emphasis that the comprehensive political solution must be realized. that has remained our position. that has remained our conviction. we wish to restore normalcy in syria and to rehabilitate the social fabric in syria and to maintain its integrity through the political solution . we don't see any way in defeating terrorism and extre extremism -- cannot be realized except through this comprehensive political solution upon which all the syrians would agree and upon which we will
support them in order to save syria and to restore international peace and regional security. the adoption by the security council of this resolution today will give them necessary momentum to realize the political solution in syria, a solution that is based on the concepts and the documents of the geneva one as a comprehensive political context. the declarations of the issg and to start on a sustainable path in order to realize the political solution adopted by the resolution and to determine the time horizons and time frames necessary and the mechanisms to review its implementation and to the fulfillment of all the obligations and to review the
conditions for a cease-fire. the position regarding terrorism and extremisextremism, we lead international efforts in to defeat this terrorism. and in order to defeat these extremist thoughts is -- and al those who try to commit crimes in the name of this religion are not part of this religion at all. all parties, all the syrian parties have to rise to the levels of the sacrifices of the people and to seek to reach the political solution which could restore harmony in syria and lay
the basis for the reconstruction of syria that is in peace itself, a place of plurality. this council in particular must not allow any obstacles to be placed before the comprehensive political solution and to take the effective measures capable of defeating any attempt to delay the realization because the failure would have grave consequences. we have all seen conclusive evidence on the threats resulting from the absence of a political vision and a political solution. today's momentum to encourage
the international community to face the crisis of the syrian refugees. one of the most difficult and most painful humanitarian crisis, especially the neighboring states that are hosting refugees, especially my countrya%rñ jordan. the number of the syreryrians i jordan only is 1,400,000. 9% alone of these refugees live in camps. jordan with its limited resources has become the second largest host for refugees in the world and the second country hosting the greatest number of syrian refugees with consequences and pressures on the major sectors like health, education, security, the market, the labor market, and the
infrastructure, which is costing the jordanian treasury lots of expenses that are beyond the reach and beyond the abilities of the kingdom. jordan and its kind, kind people have opened their houses to the refugees from syria, especially our brothers from syria. we have shared with them our limited resources. we on behalf of entire humanity, we have carried out our obligation in hosting them and providing them with all that they can. we are proud of our ability to host them. hosti the world must share this burden with us because we're performing the humanitarian duty on behalf of entire humanity and to help us shoulder this burden and to
work with us in accordance with the response plan which was drawn by the government of jordan in order to alleviate the suffering of those who are living in the camps or are hosted. we look forward to the convening of the london conference next year, early next year. we call on the international community to effectively participate in that conference. we are today before a real chance that should not be missed in order to take confident steps toward the realization of the political solution that will satisfy all the syrians, which will restore stability and security to syria. we should realize the ambitions of its people to move into a new reality, a new reality that they themselves draw, restore integrity and would enable us to
defeat terrorism in cooperation and partnership with them. from this time and place, i call on all syrians and the entire community to avail ourselves of this opportunity before it is too late. before this august council, as a member of the security council, our membership, our non-permanent membership will end in a few days. we need to express to the entire membership of the council our gratitude for the cooperation that we have received during our non-permanent membership which has started at the beginning of 2014. i want to extend our gratitude to the members of the united nations for the confidence that they gave jordan and the leadership of his majesty king
abdullah ii but electing us as an impermanent member of the council. jordan, which believes in the charter of the united nations, which is committed to its principles and objectives, we are all proud of the quality achievement that have been realized and the initiatives through all sectors, notably in the youth sector. i wish to refer to the initiatives regarding syria and the humanitarian situation in syria and other important issues, which we work with the members of the council to realize and achieve and solve during our membership. this achievement in this important organization have all been realized through cooperation with the membership in maintenance of international peace and security. sir, we thank you for the floor. >> thank you very much. on behalf of everybody, i'd say
thank you to you and your kingdom for your service. the peacekeeping you do as well as the extraordinary work with refugees we're all very grateful. it's my privilege now to give the floor to the minister of foreign affairs and development in france. >> translator: president, secretary general, colleagues, in syria and for syria, emergency has struck. for five years now, more than 250,000 dead. 4 million refugees. 13.5 million displaced persons. daesh's terrorism has struck the heart of cities. there is an urgent need to resolve this crisis, which quite far beyond syria is a threat to international peace and security. in this context, the resolution we just adopted unanimously is a
glimmer of hope in what i might call a road map resolution. we know as we're part of this that a yet t-- this process has brought together a hitherto unseen totality of international partners. the international community must provide a credible framework for negotiations to be led between a delegation from the regime and a delegation for the opposition mediated by the special envoy of the secretary general of the united nations. they will seek to establish a transition authority and facilitate a cease-fire. our security council today adopts the first results of this
process. allow me to emphasize quickly a few points. my first, the matter of the opposition. we've heard some ask what opposition. several meetings in various formats very held on this topic. let me underscore the recent conference upon request of the vienna group is a success, which should be stressed because the syrian opposition has provided a response by coming together. all of the various branchs of the political and armed opposition came together and expressed their commitment to a solution, a free, secular, and democratic syria.
here we have an interlockter. at this stage, we know that the syrian regime has not yet demonstrated any desire to enter into serious negotiations on the terms of established. secondly, the political transition. there are plans for inter-syrian talks. without our support and guarantee, it will be difficult to define a political framework, which is guided by the geneva communique. this framework should be underpinned by many principles. first, an effective transition. one which means the handover to a transitional authority of full executive power. in particular control over the military and security apparatus
as planned for the geneva communique. this is a step which should be taken quite quickly. secondly, there's a need for institutional reform. in particular in the area of security. this will provide syria with a framework which respects the diversity of the syrian people. finally, there must be safe guards regarding the exit of mr. bashar al assad which is necessary not just for moral reasons, but ones we have stressed for effectiveness. how could somebody bring together a whole people when he has massacred so many? and here whatever our ideas might be, we simply can't hide and undeniable political reality that is as long as mr. bashar al assad's government lasts, this
would seem unattainable. finally, allow me to share a few thoughts on the cease-fire. the cease-fire must be national, viable, verifiable for it to be lasting. we think that at least three conditions should be met. first, we think the cease-fire should accompany the transition rather than precede it and that only this transition will provide the opposition with necessary security conditions. finally, we think there's a need to prepare the cease-fire with immediate humanitarian measures to alleviate the suffering of people and to add creditability to the political process. the coimmediate halting of indiscriminate attacks against civilians. confidence-building measures
would be most welcomed to create a foundation for the cease-fire. finally, after such violence, monitoring of the cease-fire will be quite difficult. it will require creative solutions on the ground but also on the political front. it will need a mechanism through which the issg members who are most concerned and permanent members of the security council shall hold parties accountable for compliance with their obligations. colleagues, by way of conclusion, in the beginning i spoke about a glimmer of hope and a road map resolution. all of us around the table must contribute in good faith to create conditions conducive to a transition in syria. we must also bring our influence to bear to bring syrian parties to uphold the guidelines we have set forth. as in the near future, the inter-syrian talks will take
place in the united nations. we shall be wary to ensure all military forces can combat daesh and eradicate terrorism. we shall be vigilant to ensure that parties and first and foremost the regime engage in talks and uphold humanitarian obligations. we shall ensure the international community commits to a credible transition and a lasting cease-fire. only through these clear objectives and new found unity the international community can triumph over terrorism and halt the syrian tragedy. thank you. >> thank you very much. that's much appreciated. i give the floor now to the minister of foreign affairs for china. >> translator: mr. president, china welcome it is unanimous adoption of the resolution by
the security council. the resolution embodied the broad consensus of the international community, demonstrates the important role of the security council, reflects the syrian people. we must follow through on it with a view to translating consensus into action and expectation into reality. the protracted conflict in the past five years has brought syria with time honored civilization to ruins. large number of syrians have been displaced and unable to return to their home. what's worse is it has become a hotbed as well as a playground for terrorists. the international community should work towards the political settlement of the issue with a stronger sense of urgency and responsibility. for five years, the international effort to seek a political settlement has been
relentless. this on and off political process has its ups and downs. we need to build on successful experience, learn the lessons, and press ahead with the political process firmly and steadily so it can be put on an irreversible path. first we must remain committed to the goal of political settlement. what has happened tell us that the more the bloodshed, the worse the attention. there is simply no military solution to the syrian crisis. political negotiation is the only viable option. all warring parties must stop fighting immediately and those organizations and individuals that reject cease-fire would find themselves on the opposition side of the syrian people and the whole world and will pay a costly price. the security council has already sent out a clear and strong message. relevant countries, especially regional countries, should use their influence and call for
meaningful cease-fire. we must remain committed to the principal that the future of syria must be independently decided by the syrian people. no one cares more about syria's future or knows the country better than the syrian people. syria belongs to the syrians. the political process should be syrian-led. this is consistent with the purposes and principles of the u.n. charter. i want to stress that specific steps if the political transition must be independently worked out between the syrian government and the opposition representatives through negotiation. the process for drafting a new constitution must be independently decided by all parties and groups of syria and the future leader of syria must be independently chosen by the syrian people. other countries could help in a constructive way. the international community needs to foster an enabling environment and all parties should create a favorable condition for that. third, we must remain committed to having the u.n. serve as the
main channel for mediation. u.n. involvement would bring more legitimacy and authority to the process. it is the largest common denominator acceptable to all parties. the security councilman dates that the u.n. will formulate a comprehensive cease-fire plan and promote peace talks between the government and the opposition. we look to the u.n. to work on both prongs and consolidate opposing groups and other areas. the international should render support and assist and complement mediation by secretary general ban ki-moon and the special envoy in a constructive way. the issg should work with the u.n. mr. president, since the outbreak of the syrian crisis, china has all along held an
effective and a just position and participated in the settlement of the issue. china does not have or pursue a selfish issue on the syrian issue. no matter how we vote, for or against, the goal is always to avoid war and turmoil, give the syrian people stability, give peace a chance, and make political settlement possible. what we are trying to do is to uphold the fundamental and long term interests of the syrian people in the region, safeguard the purposes and principles of the u.n. charter and the basic norms governing international relations, and to protect the legitimate interests of developing countries, especially mall and medium-sized countries. the changing dynamics of the various parties, the neighborhood, and the whole world, is increasingly profound. spillover effects have affected terrorism and the refugee
crisis, which is something we need to think long and hard about. we call on the parties to rise above political rivalries for the sake of global security and the greater good. work together to advance political transition. join to fight terrorism. ease the humanitarian crisis. and take a holistic approach to the refugee problem. mr. president, instability causes suffering and the conflict leaves no way out. we must join hands to help the parties in the conflict bury the hatchet and build peace so the syrian people will be able leave a live free of fear and war. thank you. >> minister, thank you very much, and thank you particularly, i know you traveled all the way to be here for a day, and you're about to get a plane to rush back, and we're very preveappreciative of effort.
it makes an modern statemeimpor. thank you very much. now mr. phillip hammond, the secretary of state for foreign and commonwealth affairs for the united kingdom. >> thank you, mr. president. let me begin by thanking the secretary general and his certain special envoy for all they are doing to bring the syrian parties together. let me also thank you, secretary kerry, for the characteristic drive and energy that you have brought over recent months to this process in establishing the international syria support group. this has given new momentum towards the resumption of syrian-led talks and has brought us to this important occasion today. the resolution we've adopted unanimously today is a further step in this work. sadly, it is far too soon for any of us to predict an end to the syria conflict. but i hope that we will look
back on today as a significant step in that direction. frankly, on syria, this counsel has too seldom found the unity it needed to bring peace and security, despite some useful but only partially implemented resolutions. this has to change. no country, no person who has been involved in syria's destruction in the last four years can take any satisfaction from what has happened. on the syria dossier, we have to concede we have all failed. we have all been losers. but by far the greatest losers are the people of syria themselves. we have to do better and we have to do better fast if there is not to be still more suffering. the participants in the issg came together behind a single aim, to support the syrian
parties, to find an end to the conflict, and tackle the terrorists currently operating in their country. we all share the sense of urgency which comes from witnessing the deterioration of the humanitarian and security situation in syria. the syrian population, over t 250,000 of whom have been killed and millions more forced from their homes, have borne the brunt of this conflict. this is not a humanitarian disaster. this is a humanitarian catastrophe. the ongoing indiscriminate use of weapons for aerial bombardments, including barrel bombs, continues to cause terror, destruction, and civilian deaths. while daesh poses a real threat to syrians as well as to the wider region, it is assad who bears the responsibility for the
majority of the deaths in syria. mr. president, i commend saudi arabia for convening a broad cross-section of representatives of the syrian opposition in riyadh earlier this month. the agreement reached at that meeting in riyadh and the formation of a high negotiating committee showed the determination of the syrian opposition groups to come together, whatever their differences, to play a crucial constructive role in talks. they reaffirmed their commitment to the implementation of the geneva communique, working towards a managed transition away from assad and a pluralistic future for syria. i welcome too jordan's efforts to build consensus on identifying terrorist groups operating in syria. whilst it is for this council ultimately to decide to designate any such groups, the issg is in a privileged position
to provide information, analysis, and advice to the council to assist it. we believe it will take time to mature that view and we are willing to test which groups are willing to commit to a political process and a cease-fire. mr. president, i would like to turn to the content of the resolution and right the areas that will be critical to the progress of talks. first, all of us, both in this council and in the broader international community, want to see a national cease-fire established. to have a realistic chance of success, a cease-fire must be closely aligned to progress on political transition and taught between the syrian parties and the u.n. auspices. we've seen previous attempts to end the conflict in syria undermined by a lack of determination by the parties to contribute productively to talks. it is critical that the voices
of all syrians are heard in this process, including syrian women and members of syrian minorities. second, there needs to be confidence amongst the parties that the political process will deliver real results without which neither the talks nor the cease-fire will be successful. this will not be easy. five years of conflict has eroded confidence. therefore all the parties must undertake confidence-building measures, some of which are identified in the resolution we've passed today. we welcome the work being undertaken by the u.n. to this end, and towards modalities for a cease-fire as mandated by this resolution. all parties have a duty to take care in their military actions not to cause the death of civilians, whether by deliberate or by reckless targeting. the indiscriminate use of weapons, especially the use of
artillery and aerial bombardments including barrel bombs must stop. medical facilities and schools have increasingly become a target for aerial bombardment, something that is abhorrent to all of us and must stop. all parties must adhere to their duties under international human rights and international h humanitarian law. they must allow humanitarian agencies rapid, safe, and unhindered access throughout syria by most direct routes. there are 13.5 million syrians in need of humanitarian assistance. these people need to see a change to their lives if they are to have confidence in this political process and to feel its benefits. the uk is the second largest bilateral donor to the effort in response to the syrian conflict after the united states.
but let us all do more on this front. this resolution also repeats the commitment to political transition in syria, following the principles of the geneva communique in full and leading to free and fair elections under a new syrian constitution within 18 months. this will involve the establishment of a transitional governing body with full executive powers and representative of all syrians which provides the framework for talks and an end to the conflict. this process necessarily involves the departure of bashar al assad. not only for moral reasons, because of the destruction he's unleashed upon his own people, but also for practical reasons, because it will never be possible to bring peace and unity to syria as long as he
remains in office. but we must and will protect the institutions that are necessary for the future governance of syria. and that will be possible with a representative transitional governing body and with the support of the issg. mr. president, whilst we must seek to end the conflict in syria, especially the violence that is directed against civilians, we must also join in confronting the threat posed by daesh and other extremist groups in the country. an end to the civil war in syria is critical to tackling daesh in the long term. we are all clear that terrorist groups must not and will not benefit from the cease-fire we are promoting. a key consideration for the syrians in the establishment of the transitional governing body will be the fight against terrorism. in this fight, they will have
the full support of the issg and of the global coalition. following the appalling attacks in sinai, beirut, ankara and paris, this council unanimously decided to adopt resolution 2249, which calls on all countries to use all necessary means to combat daesh. the uk responded to this resolution by extending the air strikes we were already carrying out in iraq against daesh into syria. in this regard, it is vital that all countries that claim to be fighting daesh do what they say rather than directing the bulk of their attacks against nonextremist opposition groups. there is clear evidence over the last weeks that the weakening of such groups has created opportunities for the expansion of daesh in certain areas, the
very opposite of the stated objective. mr. president, as well as focusing on the immediate threats, we must also prepare for the future in syria. we must reaffirm our commitment to assist in the post-conflict reconstruction of the country. this february, in close participate with germany, norway, kuwait, and the united nations, the uk will co-host a conference in london humanitarian support for syria, including a focus on civilian protection as well as planning for stabilization. of course, mr. president, that conference will seek to raise the funding that is necessary to meet the united nations appeal to support those displaced by the humanitarian crisis. the uk is also committed to support post-conflict
reconstruction efforts in syria and has already committed to provide at least $1.5 billion to this work in the long term. and i hope in february we will see others committing to both the immediate challenge and to the long term challenge of reconstruction. in conclusion, mr. president, the conflict in syria is now almost five years old. in that time more than 250,000 syrians have been killed. we all have a duty to prevent further slaughter. despite the important step that we've taken with today's resolution, despite the progress we've made in vienna, despite the important steps forward made at the meeting in riyadh the week before last, there is still a very long way to go. and to have a chance of success,
the united nations will need the clear and continued support of the international syria support group. and i know that i can say it will have the support of that group. but above all, we need syrian leaders of all persuasions to take responsibility for the future of their country and to take the tough decision needed to bring about a lasting political settlement and an end to the conflict, because we can help, but only the syrians themselves can bring an end to seyrian suffering. thank you, mr. president. >> thank you very much, mr. secretary. let me thank you personally, secretary hammond, for your personal engagement and collaboration on this. it's been key. so we're very appreciative for the help. i now give the floor to his ex
lensy. >> thank you very much, mr. president. we embrace dialogue as a way to deal with the crisis in syria. the main victims of the crisis are first and foremost the syrians themselves. today's resolution comes to the for the quarter million of people who have lost their lives over the last couple of years. international law has been violated and continues to be violated. the war in syria is at the same time a challenge due to the implications that it has for the entire region. it has been the trigger for the
escalation of the terrorism of daesh that has become a threat to the international community on a global scale. spain is keenly aware of the attacks in paris, the attacks in beirut, the blowing up of a russian airliner in the sinai. we should focus on a political solution to the conflict while we continue to fight against terrorism. today, this is our top priority. in upcoming months, spain will continue to actively participate in the anti-daesh coalition in various domains, including the training of iraqi security forces. this resolution furthermore asserts the central role of the united nations and specifically the security council that cannot continue to sit around twiddling its thumbs in the face of a
conflict of this scale. the vienna process has been essential to bring together around the negotiating table countries with very different visions, sometimes hostile visions, on the conflict in syria. however, the united nations should play the role of arbiter for a long term solution. allocated by resolution 2254 to the secretary general, and to the security council itself. mr. president, without the unity of the international community we would not have achieved this. and the success or failure of this process will depend, however, first and foremost, on the syrians themselves. the challenge is enormous. of war it will be very difficult to close the wounds. the temptation to embrace a military solution will be there
at every stage in this process. spain has always supported a dialogue without any preconditions in syria, knowing that the future will inevitably go through transition that leads to a new political system on the basis of the geneva communique. we fully support the special envoy of the secretary general that has all the necessary qualities to successfully conduct this exercise. the setting up of confidence building measures in the short run will be a clear sign of hope. on this point we call on the immediate ceasing of indiscorrect me nat attacks on the civilian population and in particular the use of barrel bombs by the government of syria. in conclusion, mr. president, yesterday we marked five years since the protest of hoe ham he had wazizi of tunis which led to
the arab spring. also in this room we adopted a resolution in which we committed ourselves to cut the umbilical cord of the financing of daesh. soon this security council will take a position with identical firmness and unity in favor of guaranteeing humanitarian assistance to all syrians by the most immediate channels without any hindrance or obstacles to achieve the adoption of this resolution. spain will be working with jordan and new zealand. together we will submit for adoption next week a resolution. i'm sure that we will have the full support of all members of the security council to implement this resolution. it will be essential to have the involvement of all the parties. in these days we have had positive news on libya from morocco, progress that is being made step by step in yemen. in syria, we have a long way ahead, full of obstacles, but at
least we are taking the most important step, an indispensable step so that armed clashes sced the way to diplomacy. spain will spare no effort to translate the spirit of unity and consensus in an effective commitment to peace, security, and stability in syria. >> thank you very much, mr. vice minister. it's my privilege now to yield the floor to the secretary of state for external relations of angola. >> thank you. we thank the united states secretary of state, mr. john kerry, for presiding over this important meeting. we also welcome the adoption of the resolution which delineates the process which will bring
about the end of the syrian crisis. it is a vital step for pledging to support the cease-fire in syria. we encourage all parties to abide by the provisions in order to successfully lead to the political transition, ensuring the continuity of governmental institutions as well as the territorial integrity of syria. the international community should maintain the focus and commitment to the principles stipulated in the geneva communique. mr. president, the conflict in syria became one of the most appalling situations confronting the international community. the security council has
addressed this on numerous occasions. due to the grim situation faced by the syrian people. the delegation during the debates on the syrian situation often acknowledged the lack of political will by the major stakeholders to search for effective solutions to end this war, which has claimed the lives of so many innocent people while displacing millions. now, as we reach the end of this year, we look forward with the sense of renewed hope due to the apparent determination by the international community to defeat terrorists and the positive momentum for a political resolution to the conflict in syria. mr. president, the recent upsurge of brutal terrorist attacks, namely in paris,
beirut, iraq, ankara, egypt, and elsewhere, and the refugee crisis from syria, seem to have played the role of a game changer by making the international community understand the implications of allowing conflicts to degenerate to such extent as has been the case in the crisis in syria. people suffering in such deplorable conditions while international organizations are unable or unwilling to protect them is a play for recruitment by radical and extremist elements. exclusion and poverty are agr d breeding grounds for extremist
groups to spread their intolerance as is the case with daesh and other organizations operating in the region. it is reassuring that the international community has begun to turn the tide by taking positive steps tos y uphold politicization in syria, hopefully enabling them to democratically determine their own future, while repudiating extremist elements such as daesh and al nusra among others. mr. president, we welcome the outcomes of the recent talks in vienna and the specific steps outlined with regard to the political process in syria. notably, the request for u.n. secretary general special envoy,
to convene a meeting in 2016. in this regard, we stress the importance of identifying members representing the entire spectrum, and that both sides start discussing without further delay the end of hostilities, the establishment of a sustainable cease-fire and a political process enabling a new future for syria. it is also imperative that the parties to the conflict have measures on the ground in order to attain set deadlines for the political process agreed by the international syria support group on a joint national unity government and the drafting of a constitution.
the most pressing issue at the moment is to put an end to the violence. as the refugee crisis demonstrated, by creating conditions for a cease-fire, permitting the safe return of displaced people, and the refugees to their homes. in the meantime, however, we shouldn't forget the obligation to continue providing humanitarian aid until life can be restored back to normal in syria. in conclusion, mr. president, we would like to reiterate our support of the principles in the geneva communique and the constructive measures adopted in vienna in the resolution of the syrian conflict. we also welcome the broad based international coalition to fight the so-called islamic state of daesh and other terrorist groups. especially it became evident that inaction was no longer
suitable, given the extremism throughout the world and its impact on the daily lives of people everywhere. and in the fight on terrorism, terrorists can be anywhere in the world. the more the international community is divided or selfishly pursue international interests, the more the terrorists prey on vulnerable and alienated communities in conflict-ridden areas, thereby swelling their ranks and endangering international peace and security. i thank you, mr. president. >> i thank you, thank you very much for your statement. i now give the floor to the vice minister for foreign affairs of lithuania.
>> our meeting today, the adoption of resolution 2254, mark an important step toward settlement of the most brutal conflict of this century. the peace process started in vienna is long overdue. as the human tragedy continues to take place inside syria and keeps spilling over its borders. with a particularly heavy burden on its neighbors, jordan, lebanon, and turkey, are bearing the brunt of it. unprecedented numbers of refugees are reaching europe while human traffickers and smugglers are profiting from their plight. to this very day the civilian population continues to suffer the atrocities committed not only by terrorist groups such as daesh but also by president assad's regime. being part of the problem, president assad cannot be seen
as part of the solution to this devastating crisis. all syrians should feel safe and have the right to be secure in a future, peaceful and democratic syria. those who committed crimes against humanity, gross human rights violations and mass atrocities should be brought to justice. there can be no room for leniency. the very first and most urgent step is to agree on long term sustainable cease-fire. it is imperative to fully open unconditional and unhindered humanitarian access to those in need including those in besieged and hard to reach areas. mr. president, the political momentum is fragile and still reversible. a real breakthrough requires
courage, and readiness to compromise by all parties of the conflict. after years of this monstrous war there will be no winners. but there is a lot to be gained by immediately stopping the bloodshed, safeguarding the integrity and sovereignty of the syrian state, and starting building a future for its people. we welcome the meeting by the broad range of opposition representatives aimed at achieving a common stance in the peace process. we see it as a beginning of the consolidation of moderate opposition and a sign of readiness to seek common solutions. in order to achieve piece and reconciliation, the syrians will need our massive, long term, and sustained assistance in all aspects, political security, humanitarian reconciliation, reconstruction, and development of the country. we must continue pushing the
peace process forward, seeking genuine and sustainable resolution of this conflict, by putting aside differing views and interests. strong leadership and mediation of the united nations remains essential. in this respect we express our appreciation to secretary general ban ki-moon and his special representative for their efforts. the well-thought, consistent strategy for political transition including reconciliation and voluntary and safe return of refugees and idps must be thoroughly prepared and responsibly implemented in accordance with the 2012 geneva communique. mr. president, even with a political transition soundly on track, daesh will remain one of the biggest threats to peace and stability in the region and beyond. along with the military means in the fight against daesh, there
will be a long and difficult battle against its poisonous ideology. this battle must be fought by the muslims themselves, who are the primary and most vulnerable target of daesh's murderous ideology. in order to avoid the risks of fragmentation or the creation of new conflict zones in syria and to advance peace process and reconciliation, it is critically important for the local populations to take the lead and ownership. women's voices in particular must be heard loud and clear at all stages of negotiations leading to peace in post-conflict reconstruction. the strength of syria lies in its cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity. all pieces of this conflict's fabr fabric, muslims, kurds,
turkmens, christians and others must play a full and integral part in the future of syria, enjoying equal rights, safety, dignity, and inclusion in the governance of the country. even if the political transition is to be facilitated by a third be taken by the syrian people. they must decide in what state they want to live. we hope they will choose an inclusive, democratic, and moderate state to avoid repeating the tragedy that marks their lives today. thank you. >> i thank the representative of lithuania for his statement and give the floor to the representative of malaysia. >> thank you, madam president. i wish to first thank secretary general ban ki-moon for his
briefing. we are of the view that by bringing the vienna issg process, nonparticipating council members can engage on issues concerning the situation in syria. this is an important step in ensuring a way forward for syria. the national community has a strong desire to see an end to the conflict in syria, that cannot be doubted. the cost in terms of human life and destruction of property of the syrian conflict to date is simply staggering. such suffering and misery ends now. it is for this primary reason that malaysia joins consensus on resolution 2254. madam president, we support resolution 2254's aim of building upon division and principles of the geneva communique and the vienna
statements and the collective will of the international community to bring about a peaceful and sustainable resolution to the syrian conflict. in this context, my delegation expresses deep appreciation to the special envoy for his untiring efforts which we fully support. moving into its fifth year the syrian conflict continues to be a litany of horrific human rights abuses and violations, and most notoriously for violations of international humanitarian law through use of toxic chemicals as weapons and indiscriminate attacks against civilian perpetrated by parties to the conflict. the syrian people are tormented further by daesh, al nusra, and other terrorist groups and violent extremists, when an influx of foreign terrorist
fighters. the syrian government must accept that it has the primary responsibility and obligation to protect its own people in accordance with international humanitarian law and international human rights law. we reaffirm the demand on all parties to cease all indiscriminate attacks against civilians and to cease attacks. we reaffirm condemnation of barrel bombings and artillery shelling against civilians. there can be no justification for crimes against humanity. they must be held accountable. at the same time malaysia remains deeply concerned that despite the demand for cooperation in the resolutions, delivery of humanitarian
assistance remains a huge problem. all parties to the conflict, particularly the syrian authorities, must do more to demonstrate full and effective compliance with those resolutions. only through the peaceful resolution of the conflict could the deteriorating humanitarian situation in syria begin to be meaningfully addressed, making it all the more urgent. on this note, malaysia acknowledges the role of syria's neighbor, particularly jordan, lebanon, and turkey, for their steadfast resilience and hospitality in sheltering and caring for the millions fleeing the humanitarian catastrophe in syria despite facing enormous capacity and resource constraints. madam president, a fundamental element of any proposed peace process must include the implementation of nationwide cease-fire. we are pleased that modalities
unity, independence, are key factors in ensuring acceptance of any proposed political process or plan by the syrian people. no amount of encouragement, persuasion or pressure will be effective without the political buy-in of the syrian people. in this connection, we call upon the syrian government representative and representative of the opposition to spare no effort to ensure that the proposed talks shall take place in early january 2016. while noting that there are a number of contentious issues that have yet to be addressed or agreed upon, we nevertheless call on all parties to continue to further narrow down differences with a view to
finding mutually acceptable solutions towards ending conflict. madam president, in conclusion, my delegation reiterates that there can be no military solution to the syrian conflict. the future of syria must be determined through an inclusive syrian-owned political process. the syrian government, the opposition parties, and the syrian people cannot afford to let this opportunity pass. we believe that this council has an obligation to support initiatives such as the issg or any other initiative which seeks to revolve the conflict in syria through peaceful means. in this regard, we look forward to the full and effective implementation of resolution 2254 by all concerned parties. i thank you, madam president. >> i thank the representative of malaysia for her statement and give the floor to the representative of nigeria. >> madam president, i want to thank the delegation of the
united states for convening this meeting on a subject of vital importance for international peace and security. we want to acknowledge the presence of participating foreign ministers and welcome them to the council. we have listened atentatively to our distinguished secretary general and want to thank him not only for sharing his perspectives on the subject but also for being a voice in global politics. the conflict in syria is a matter of concern to nigeria as well. isis, al nusra and other terrorist groups associated with them are taking advantage of the situation to entrench themselves and consolidate their positions. they are committing war crimes and crimes against humanity. defeating the terrorists should
be a top priority for the international community. achieving this will require that the syrian conflict is resolved urgently, expeditiously and comprehensively. the warring parties must agree on a cease-fire without delay. this is a crucial first step to de-escalate the conflict and create the conditions for achieving a political solution. the establishment of the international syria support group has given a much-needed momentum to the search for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in syria. the presence of key international and regional goals in the group is a clear indication that the international community is prepared to work in unison to resolve the syrian conflict. we note the outcomes of the group's meeting of the 30th of
october and 14th of october held in vienna and the meetingin new. we support the efforts to end the conflict on the basis of a syrian-led communique. the unanimous adoption of resolution 2254 today is an unequivocal indication of commitment of the council to resolve the syrian conflict. indeed, as others have aptly noted this afternoon, it presents a clear roadmap on the way forward. we urge the warring parties to build on this momentum to bring the conflict to an end and restore the much-needed peace, security, and stability in syria.
>> thank you, representative of nigeria. i give the floor to the representative of venezuela. >> translator: thank you, madam president. we would like to thank you for convening this important meeting on the peace process in syria. as well, i would like to welcome the ministers of foreign affairs and other high level representatives who attend. the republic of venezuela voted in favor of this resolution, although we had very little time to get familiarized with its content, because we considered that this text reaffirms the solution to the armed conflict that has devastated this arab country as a result of the criminal actions of terrorist groups should be political, peaceful, and negotiated. we have always been in favor of this approach and we're happy to observe that there is a political will of the players
with influence on the crisis in syria that can pave the way for peace that the syrian people yearn for. we need to act decisively. we believe that this opportunity that the president of the council has provided is a very encouraging sign. we should take this opportunity that is before us and shore up decisively the peace process in syria, taking advantage of the impetus given in vienna on the way to a political solution to the armed conflict. now, along this line of thinking, the willingness cannot only be expressed in words but in concrete actions resulting from a commitment by all parties to put an end to the conflict such as this one that has had the most effect on international peace and security. we would like to express our gratitude and support to the diplomatic efforts to achieve our firm and lasting peace in syria. we are aware that identifying common elements in order to establish the basis for political negotiations is an
arduous task. however, a very important one that requires the commitment of all parties to achieve concrete progress. we believe that a positive aspect of the vienna process is the willingness to engage with the government of governor bashar al assad in order to find a solution to the conflict. venezuela considers that the legislate government of president al assad is one of the essential actors within the essential reality. the syrian people must reaffirm the political independence with the support of the international community, free from foreign interference and solutions imposed from outside that reflect interests that are different from those of syria. with this in mind, venezuela would like to support the
territorial integrity of syria as well . madam president, the solution to the humanitarian crisis in syria is linked to the end of hostilities. continuation of the conflict will aggravate the already tragic humanitarian situation and will create greater instability while having an impact on neighborhoods countries that have taken in millions of refugees fleeing the war. furthermore, it is essential to draw as quickly as possible the lists of opposition groups and terrorist groups in order to move forward with the agenda proposed by the international syria support group this past november. the opposition groups should be aware that they need to sit down to negotiate in a constructive spirit to achieve a political and peaceful solution to the conflict.
with this in mind, the designation of terrorist groups in this process, there should not be any double standards. this aspect is very important, because the government of syria is waging a merciless battle against terrorist organizations isis and al nusra front and others who have expanded their activities to other countries of the middle east, north africa and other regions. the international community does not act decisively to prevent the financing, training, and transfer of arms to these groups as well as stop their use and encouragement as instruments to topple governments, all people will pay a high price to achieve the peace and security they yearn for. in this context it's important to strengthen international cooperation in combatting terrorism. on this point, any action with a goal of combatting isis and other international organizations has our support. but on the understanding that these actions should be
coordinated with the syrian authorities. this is why the effective implementation of the resolutions approved by the general assembly and security council to combat terrorism including 2199 and 2253 is extremely important as part of this strategy designed collectively to put an end to the financing, supply of arms, and training to terrorist groups and other armed and violent nonstate actors that then become allies of isis and the ail usl front in different part of this world. madam president, we need to avoid a collapse of syria and its institutions, as stated in the vienna communique. this aspect is crucial because we cannot repeat the traumatic experiences of iraq and lybia with their terrible consequences.
lastly, our country and our government will continue working to put an end to this terrible conflict with our modest cooperation within this security council on the basis of a political and negotiated solution led by the syrian people, its government and institutions, guaranteeing the sovereignty and independence of this brethren arab country. >> i thank the representative of venezuela and give the floor to the representative of new zealand. >> thank you, madam president. we thank secretary kerry and the united states for the resolution that we adopted today. we acknowledge and thank the other foreign ministers for coming to our meeting today. we appreciate that the meeting and the resolution were convened under significant time pressures. for that reason we are prepared to go along with if not entirely welcome the short time with which we had to consider the resolution.
madam president, the collapse of syria into the nightmare of civil war has resulted in the spread of insecurity throughout the world. assad's cruel response in 2011 to peaceful civilian protest and ongoing breaches of international humanitarian law have fueled extremism and terrorism. they have precipitated the foreign terrorist fighters phenomen phenomenon. for syrians, the conflict has meant death, suffering, destruction, and displacement on a scale that is difficult to comprehend. the conflict has produced the biggest exodus of people since the second world war. syria's neighbors, especially lebanon alo lebanon, jordan, and turkey have borne the brunt. the destabilizing impacts have now reached europe. the international community and this security council must accept a share of the blame. the devastation in syria demonstrate beyond any doubt the need for effective conflict
prevention and for council unity in achieving this. the fact that we could today come together at last and adopt this landmark resolution in a short time reflects the determination of the international community to end this conflict. we welcome in particular the continued close engagement between the security council and the international syria support group. as we move forward, it must be a time for acceptance. all involved in the syrian tragedy must accept that no side can win militarily. the assad government and the opposition fighters must accept that however much more death and destruction they inflict on their country, there will be no victory. they and those external actors who have serious political stakes in how the syrian conflict is resolved must accept that political solutions mean political compromise. any who insist on political red lines that block the necessary compromises will have to measure
the delay that they cause in terms of more lives lost, more refugees, and more suffering. delay plays into the hands of the extremists like isil. compromise requires a willingness to take difficult decisions, to give and to take, to accept ultimately an outcome that may be short of initial positions. a political solution will be imperfect but it is necessary. we found a political solution to one of the most difficult situations in the past decade. my predecessor challenged his council members to apply the same courage and commitment to a political solution for syria. the formation and meetings of the support group have given us hope that there is at last a way out of this conflict. the support group benefits from
its exclusive member and from the ambiguous and capacities of the major powers involved. it also has benefitted from focusing on the issues that all agree, working together to counterterrorism, to ensure the survival of state institutions in syria and to end violent conflict. that is positive, but big questions remain. the first is the need for a comprehensive cease-fire. the second is offensive operations must be immediately and exclusively focused on isil and other terrorist organizations designated as such by this council. these operations must be carried out in a way that protects civilians. third, we recognize the process being led by jordan to add to the list of designated terrorist organizations. until there is agreement we should proceed on the basis that peace in syria will not are served to defines far too many
people as terrorists. fourthly, assad's future is an issue for the syrians to decide. we agree with the secretary general that it is unacceptable to let one person take the political negotiation process hostage. answers to other difficult questions will also be needed involving the cease-fire and mechanics of monitoring, long term mechanics for guaranteeing security and dealing with the syrian opposition. on this point we welcome the efforts of saudi arabia. on all of these efforts new zealand encourages key players to encourage the end of the conflict over other interests. this council has a role also in reminding all that political solutions do not mean giving up core values. it is clear that the syrian
government's resistance to the core value of tolerance mean that the day must come when there will be accountability. in the meantime we must do all we can to reduce suffering, open humanitarian access, build trust. ending political attacks are also critical. an immediate next responsibility for the security council is to renew the mandate for humanitarian assistance. the arrangements in place have facilitated the u.n. and others to help millions of people. the draft resolution that has been prepared by new zealand, jordan, and spain reflects developments over the last year. its adoption is urgent and we call on all our council colleagues to join us in adopting the resolution very soon. finding a solution has taken too long but we finally have a new opening. let us make 2016 the year when we end the fighting and start to rebuild syria. thank you.
>> i thank the representative of new zealand for his statement and give the floor to the representative of chile. >> translator: thank you, madam president. we welcome the presence of secretary of state john kerry as well as the ministers and deputy ministers that are with us. we hope that resolution 2254 will contribute to a cease-fire in the beginning of the formal negotiations that will lead to a lasting peace in syria. my delegation would have liked to have had more time to examine the text of the resolution. madam president, the recent meetings of the international syria support group are a step forward on the path of dialogue, bringing together on the same table international actors and the relevant regional players with an influence on the parties to the conflict. the next step, however, is to
overcome these substantive differences that exist, and as stated by the secretary general, to be able to reduce those differences and to build areas of common understanding. we believe that it's essential to include all syrian stakeholders that are willing to reach a political solution to achieve a lasting peace. the geneva communique is clear. this should be a syrian-led political process. this implies in addition to the active and meaningful participation of women also. parties have an obligation vis-a-vis to the syrian people to reach an agreement. any political solution should preserve independence, sovereignty, unity, and territorial unity of the syrian
republic. we should also unite ourselves to combat terrorism that has had a devastating effect on syria and other countries. however, this should -- these efforts should not stop the political process. indeed the cease-fire is the only way to tackle the humanitarian crisis. let's not forget that the civilian population, including millions of children have been affected by this civil war, nor can we envision lasting peace without justice, accountability, and reconciliation. a political solution will
continue to remain distant as long as the militarization of the conflict in syria. >> i give the floor to the representative of chad. >> thank you, madame president. i'd like to thank the united states for having organized this meeting, a ministerial meeting on syria. i would also like to thank mr. ban ki-moon, the secretary general, for his statement. the situation in syria remains a source of great concern. the war in that country has lasted far too long. the syrian people continue to bear the brunt of it. it is high time to take stock of security council action on the conflict with its multifaceted and multidimensional consequences. in spite of the adoption of the security council by several resolutions in syria, clearly
war goes on with its funeral march of atrocities, displacement of innocent civilians and their death, as well as destruction of vital infrastructure of the country. despite of the complexity of the syrian crisis, the international community must not give up, nor should it spare any effort in moving forward on the political process for a lasting and acceptable political transition for all parties concerned. along these lines we would call upon all parties to the conflict to make reason a priority rather than force and to commit resolutely to dialogue so as to put an end to that endless spiral of violence. it's clear that there's no military solution to the syrian crisis. solely and inclusive political process can put an end to the
conflict where the provisional human deaths are reaching more than 250,000 deaths, including 2,000 children. hundreds of thousands of wounded, more than 7,000 internal displaced persons, and more than 4 million refugees. the president we warmly welcome the diplomatic efforts of its initiative initi. we hope the new dynamism created by the new york and svienna conferences will allow us to overcome differences and to set up a political transition in
line with the road map already established as well as the geneva communique and in full compliance with the unity, independence, and sovereignty of syria. in order for this to happen, we would call upon regional players to play an instructive role which would encourage parties for flexibility. the option of peace requires sacrifices and concessions from both sides. continuing war is not just disastrous, but it also provides a breeding ground for the spread daesh and al knnusra.
the rapid settlement of the syrian crisis needs to happen immediately and requires consistency and commitment of all regional and international partners for peace in syria. it is along these lines that chad voted in favor of 2254 hoping that the resolution might help us move forward towards peace in syria. thank you. >> i thank the representative of chad for his statement. before i give the floor to the representative of the syrian arab republic, i want to take this occasion to thank all council members for moving very quickly today in pursuit of a unified message to the world. i know it wasn't easy for many delegations. sincere gratitude from our delegation and all the members
of the issg who worked on the resolution and saw to enshrine its key provisions. with that, i give the floor to the representative of the syrian arab republic. >> thank you, madame president. distinguished colleagues, honorable ladies and gentlemen, the meeting of the security council yesterday has witnessed a very important step in the conflict against terrorism by adopting resolution 2253. here we are today witnessing another important meeting at the ministerial level on my country syria. what i want here and in this council that the situation in my country should be read in a
correct manner instead of ado adopting resolutions that help the spread of anarchy and terrorism and to the government of my country and the repetition of failed assumptions that caused havoc and destruction in more than one country. the government of syria wants combatting of terrorism based on the principles of law and not as a result of fear and a reaction to terrorist acts that happen here and there outside syria. madame president, the syrian government remained open towards any initiative or sincere efforts to help it overcome the present crisis. thus and as you all know and based on international responsibilities and to maintain the interest of its people, have shown great cooperation and
commitment to the efforts of the united nations starting with the mission until we reach the mission of the special envoy who was with us and just left the hall. today, i reiterate the readiness of the syrian government to participate effectively in any sincere efforts where the syrians alone will determine their choices through a syrian civilian dialogue under syrian leadership without foreign intervention in a manner that would maintain the independence and sovereignty of syria. however, regrettably we have noted that some countries do affirm the sovereignty of syria and the resolution of the security council, but do violate
underground by supporting the terrorist groups and by sending its military aircrafts to bomb oil installations and economic infrastructure and by imposing unilateral sanctions on the syrian people. madame president, the success of any political process in syria requires that the government of syria be an integral part and party. there must be cooperation with the syrian government in all aspects of this path if we want success. in parallel, the success of the political path requires an international commitment and a sincere and real political will from all, notably those countries that have direct influence on the parties that undermine the political path and
those that provide them with a lifeline while the international community emphasizes there is only one solution and that is the political solution. there are those who do irresponsib irresponsibly echo and repeat they will resort to a military solution and gave names to its failed initiatives. such names as stones, volcanos, the cyclones, and the tornados. it has become quite clear that the success of the political process is predicated on a serious and effective and combatting of terrorism. my country welcomes the adoption of the resolution and the efforts to submit the
resolutions which have complemented and added important dimensions not fully covered in the previous resolutions of the security council on combatting terrorism by imposing clear and unambiguous obligations on those countries that support terrorism, notably the implementation of resolutions 2170, 2178, 2199. resolution 20253 has responded to several preoccupations raised by our delegation and through the previous years. consequently my country joined the country's response in 20253 and it is our hope that this resolution would close the gap between words and deeds. we do not want hollow, unrealistic alliances led by the
supporters of terrorism only the erode the resolutions to combat terrorism and certainly not selective alliances that violate the sovereignty of the states or divisive alliances that support isil and their ideology. i'm quite aware that restoring peace and stability in all parts of syria require that we deal immediately with the threat posed by terrorism within international community. consequently the city and government is ready to put an end to combatting in errors where there are syrian armed groups in order to realize international negotiation in a manner that would restore normalcy to those parts and
institutions to the state and the region whereby the armed groups will give up their arms in order to settle their conditions and to be pardoned. we have successful experiments in this field and there are experiments that are being carried out now. the syrian government seeks to expand this reconciliation to restore stability and security, but for terrorist groups and mercenaries like daesh, al nusra, the syrian government will never engage in any dialogue and we'll continue fighting them until we eradicate them. all honorable syrians are called to participate in the
equal above the law, where the city and people alone would lead their leadership with freedom, transparency, and without any foreign intervention of influence. in conclusion, my attention was drawn by glaring contradictions in some of the statements of the speakers today. only the syrian people are to decide their future without any foreign interventions at a time
when they have delved into issues of sovereignty relating to the issue of prisons in my country, a matter that is a prerequisite of the syrian people alone. i quote, it stresses that the syrian people will decide the future of syria, end of quote. this type of interfering through basis of sovereignty in my country only exposes the real intentions of the policies of those speakers. without the context of the resolution before the ink dry, they started a resolution that they have just adopted and agreed, but they started interpreting its provisions in the manner they want. this is not a promising
behavior. this does not instill confidence in what we hear and what we do. thank you, madame president. >> there are no more names inscribed on the list of speakers. before i adjourn the meeting, i want to alert council members to the fact we'll shortly be likely starting our subsequent meeting on the iraq-turkey situation. we do not have precise timing from the delegations on that, but it will be in the very near future. if delegations could hang around, we would be grateful. with that, the meeting is adjourned. thank you. on the road to the white house saturday, we'll take you to new hampshire where senator and republican presidential candidate lindsey graham will
speak to supporters at a town hall. that will be live at 10:30 a.m. eastern on c-span. later, jeb bush will take part in a town hall in windham, new hampshire. you can find that at 4:30 on c-span. with congress on holiday recess beginning next week, the c-span network will have primetime programming. monday night at 9:00 eastern, our new series "landmark cases." this week it's the 1973 case of roe v. wade. wednesday night, charleston's emmanuel african-american methodist episcopal church hosts a discussion on gun violence. thursday at 8:00 p.m. eastern, christmas at the white house. on christmas day friday night at 8:00, former president bill clinton receives the bob dole
institute of politics' leadership prize. tuesday night at 8:00, features books on presidential history. wednesday night authors talk about their books on the supreme court. thursday at 8:00 p.m. eastern, events and people in history. on christmas friday night at 8:00 several of our afterwards programs from this year. monday at 10:30 p.m. eastern we feature programs on russian spies. tuesday at 8:00, congressional history. wednesday night, the 150th anniversary of the end of the civil war. thursday at 8:00 p.m. eastern, tom brokaw on world war ii and its impact. christmas friday night at 8:00, we'll travel to williamsburg talking with historians about colonial life on the eve of
revolution. now from baghdad army colonel steven warren of the combined joint task force speaks on military operations in syria. he discusses coalition operations and showed a video on the latest air strikes of target in iraq. he denied reports that russian air systems in syria are disrupting coalition air operations. this is about an hour and a half. >> okay. good morning, everybody. happy year's end. as you see we've taken our curtain down for our year end cleaning. we're pleased to have colonel steve warren join us today from operation inherent resolve in baghdad. steve, we'll turn it over to you. >> thank you, jeff. greetings everyone there in the
pentagon. it was a pleasure to see many of your colleagues traveling with the secretary over the last couple of days. and that's the first thing i'd like to talk about. i wanted to let you know that we had a great visit by the secretary of defense over the last two days. for those of you who saw the reporting, the secretary had informative meetings with several iraqi leaders and operation inherent resolve commander and leaders. he had an opportunity to engage with troops on the ground here who are working hard every day to support the iraqi forces and to defeat isil. i'm going to begin this week with the operational update. tom, if you would please bring up the map on my screen, so i can see it. while that's happening, we continue to attack isil in both syria and iraq and across the breadth and depth of this battlefield. so i'm going to work our way
around the map. i'll start off with the close star number two, the isf continued to conduct clearing operations to eliminate pockets of resistance. the main focus of those clearing operations is now the mountains, which is north of it and on the other side of the river. moving on to sinjar, which is star number 3. coalition forces continue to support peshmerga clearance operations with air strikes. in fallujah, which is star number 4, the isf have moved several brigade-sized units into positions around the city and have begun operations to isolate enemy forces within that city. star number five, we continue to disrupt enemy command and
control through air strikes. the operations between them conducted jointly by isf and sunni tribal forces provide additional isolation of fallujah and the entire ewe fray dees river valley. star number six, the syrian democratic forces are marshaling in preparation to push. off to the far left edge of your map, which is off the map. you might be able to see star number seven on there. the forces around the line have seen tough fighting over the past week. they've traded punches&4÷ and fighting with the isil fighters in the area. blue circle number two, we
continue disrupting revenue by striking oil infrastructure that supports isil's illicit oil activities. a tidal wave two attack struck another gas and oil plant in this area on december 13th. we continue training, equipping, advising and assisti ining iraq security forces. we have trained and equipped 16,000 troops since the start of building partner capacity operations and we have more than 4,300 in training this week. this effort continues. while the army is engaged in combat operations, it is truly like building an airplane while in flight. i left ramadi and northern iraq for last. there were significant fights in both of these places this week. both of these fights tell us
something about the current status of this overall effort. in each place isil was able to muster an offensive effort, which tells us they still have some fight left in them. however and much more importantly in each fight iraqi forces were able to rebuff isil's efforts. i'd like to quickly walk you through both of these fights. in ramadi, isil assaulted in the north on tuesday and were able to temporarily push iraqi security forces off the palestine bridge. we've spoken about this bridge for a long time. it is a significant landmark. isil sent a truck bomb supported by infantry towards the anbar ops center in an effort to
retake that. coalition air power bought time for the isf to organize a counterattack and they regained the palestine bridge. towards northern iraq, which is right along the red edge there, you see the blue number one. up near the one you can see how the red line moves into yellow. that's the forward line of troops. the main town, which is not shown on your map, where this fight took place is -- that fight took place -- thank you. that's perfect. that fight took place along the kurdish forces and began at 16:17 hours on wednesday and it began with rocket fire on a peshmerga position.
that rocket attack kicked off a b battalion sized flat. forces struck in those three places and were able to penetrate the flat in each of those places. the enemy used several construction vehicles such as excavators to breach defensive placements around the flat, but coalition managed to destroy every one of these vehicles. today's video is a compilation from the air strikes. would you please roll the
>> thank you. there's something i also want to point out during all this and that's while this attack was going on and while aircraft from five coalition nations were able to surge and help the peshmerga beat this attack back, the coalition was simultaneously attacking ining isil in the so heart of the caliphate, which is
raqqah. while this was happening along the kurdish flot, there are b-1s striking multiple targets in raqqah against the headquarters, training camp, and another building. while isil was trying to strike into the fralank of the iraqi security forces, i think it is important to note that we were simultaneously knocking that flanking attack back and striking right into isil's heart. with that, i'll take the questions. i think i saw bob there. why don't we start with you, bob? >> hello, steve. question for you about the effect, if any, of the placement of russian surface air missiles in syria, western syria. there have been some reports this has had some effect on coalition air operations. can you explain if that's true how so? >> yeah.
i've seen some of those reports. i'll tell you they are, i think, largely inaccurate. so while there have been -- and we've openly discussed the presence of russian and syrian air defense systems in northern syria, i can tell you has not been a significant disruption to our operations. we conduct strikes in northwestern syria continually. we conducted strikes as recently as two days ago. we did some strikes in the pocket last night, so the answer is no. we're aware of them and we have the ability to continue our operations unabated. the russians, their actions do not dictate how we do business and that is simply not going to happen. we will continue to conduct our operations in support of local
ground forces there in syria. >> do you have anything on additional u.s. aircraft going after the f-15s have departed to replace them to some degree? >> we don't have any announcements to make now. i'll tell you, bob, we have sufficient air power to conduct the operations we want to conduct. these are rotations, right? so the f-15s that departed earlier in the week, that was planned. when they got there, we knew when they were going to leave. so we'll continue to rotate aircraft. this operation has been going on for over a year now, so there's a requirement to rotate aircraft. a squadron or some other sized unit of aircraft will depart. maybe it will be sometime before another one is there to replace it.
>> one of the reports that bob cited said that u.s. has stopped flying manned air support missions for rebels in a key part of syria due to russia's expansion of air defense system and said that these sa-17 air defense radar systems are painting the u.s. aircraft and that for now the u.s. seems to be ak wcquiescing to russian airports. are you denying what's in this report here? >> i am. the report is incorrect. we're continuing to conduct flights both manned and unmanned. we know exactly where that sa-17 is. it's in aleppo, but we're continuing to strike everywhere
that we want to strike. simple. >> there are multiple reports lately that the coalition has a depleting stock of coordinates available. is there enough stockpile to continue operations for the next foreseeable future? >> we have no concern whatsoever about stockpile of munitions. we have enough munitions to conduct the operations we need to conduct. >> hi, steve. this is joe. i would like to ask you about the secretary meeting with the prime minister this week. how would you describe it and also how would you describe the level of communications with the
iraqi government? were you surprised or was the u.s. military surprised about these comments that iraq doesn't welcome u.s. ground troops in iraq? >> our relations with the iraqi government are exceptionally good. we talk to the iraqi senior leadership every day, and we work very closely with them on our common goal, which is the defeat of daesh. so i don't know that the prime minister ever said they didn't welcome u.s. ground forces. every personnel who is here on the ground is here at the invitation of the iraqi government. what the iraqi government has made clear to us and made clear publicly is they are not interested in any forces coming
into iraq that haven't been invited. this is something that of course we understand. we respect. we have great respect for iraqi sovereignty and for the iraqi government. >> just a quick follow-up. i don't know if you agree with many local reportings in iraq saying that the slow of the fight against isil in iraq, the pace of the fight against isil in iraq, is very slow. would you agree with that? >> slow compared to what? >> slow compared -- the iraqi army has been preparing to -- has been clearing the area in ramadi for more than four or five months now, and we're still
hearing from you and from other officials that the iraqi army is still in the preparation stage. my question is, don't you think the retaking ramadi has taken too long and the pace is going too slow? >> the commanding general here for operation inherent resolve is named lieutenant general mcfarland, shawn mcfarland. when he was a colonel, he commanded the unit that was responsible for ramadi. it took then colonel mcfarland six months to bring ramadi under control. six months. and that's using all the might and power of the united states
military. and you yourself just now told me in your opinion it's taken the iraqis four months, so no, i don't think it's going slow. i think it is going at the pace that it has to go. of course, we always want wars to go faster. the faster the war is over, the sooner everyone can get home and they can begin the process of rebuilding. i think these claims that the pace is somehow wrong are really made by the uninformed observer. >> anybody else? you guys like you have more questions in you. good. we got one. >> can you talk a little bit about where they are in the fight in ramadi? there was something going around on twitter that isis doesn't
have the ability to resupply itself. is that true? >> sure. so what's happening in ramadi, i'll give you a quick review. the iraqi security forces assaulted along four axises. to the north, there's the tenth iraqi army division. to the east is a federal police outfit. to the west is the counterterrorist service or cts. all four of those axes over time has begun to slowly squeeze the city. in fact in the south, they have occupied a district which you can easily find on any map. it is the largest neighborhood in ramadi.
it is south of the euphrates river. it is largely empty of enemy forces. there's booby traps and minefields. to the west, the iraqi security forces have gained control of another camp. another significant objective in the west. they cleared 34 improvised explosive devices. along the west, there are two key terrain feature that is the iraqi army has gained control of. the first one is called the palestine bridge. it's a significant landmark there. it's the spot that allowed the iraqi security forces along the northern axis to link up with
the iraqi security forces along the western axis and close off the final line of supply, the final supply line that was available in ramadi. the enemy had largely been using the river, the euphrates river, to gain homemade explosives and weapons into the city. now that iraqi security forces have seized that palestine bridge and control both sides of the river bank, they're able to meter the flow of boats that sail south along the euphrates river. to the east, the federal police have set up a blocking position about four kilometers outside the city, which really isolates ramadi from fallujah, preventing the forces in fallujah from
providing reinforcements. the city of ramadi has now been fully isolated, and the iraqi security forces are beginning to conduct their clearing operations. sometimes i see the word sealed use. from a military perspective, it is not possible to seal off a city or a border or troops or anything like that. this is a war that you won't hear us ever use sealing something. there's always going to be rat lines, smuggling routes, infiltration points that the enemy is going to be able to use to bring individuals in or out, but what's important is that they aren't able to resupply the men themselves in significant numbers, nor are they able to maneuver forces outside the isolation zone. hopefully that answers your question. >> colonel warren, just a quick
follow on on those points that you made. the counterattack an the palestine bridge and the operations center, is it your assessment that was conducted with whatever remains of isis forces inside the city or were they able to somehow penetrate the perimeter with additional forces? >> great question, jim. thank you for that. the attack came from the north, so it came from outside the ramadi area. again, to the north of ramadi and a little bit west, this is an area that has not yet cleared, so the attack came from that direction. it came from north to south with infantry and v-beds. they were able to push the iraqi security forces off their defensive position they had
built at the bridge head there and continued penetrating south using infantry and a combined arms attack, but i'll tell you the iraqi security forces impressed us. they performed well. this is forces that we've trained using equipment that we've provided. while the initial attack was able to cause the iraqi security forces to have to withdraw off the bridge and open up a lane towards the anbar ops center, there was good communications along those internal lines. the iraqi security forces were able to stop that attack, that v-bid supported by infantry that was headed towards the ops center. they were able to stop it in its track. kill the infantry, destroy the v-bid before it was able to do
any damage to the anbar ops center. the iraqis who had been pushed off the bridge were able to reorganize. a counter-counterattack and knock isil off that bridge killing most of them, so it was an significant number of casualties. it was a good solid fight. a lot of enemy killed. the tall position was restored. i bring all this up. it's important. two real points and the same thing for this fight up north, it really brings up two points. point number one -- and we can't forget this is still a war. this is still a war. this enemy does have a little bit of fight left in them, so we shouldn't be polly annaish about
that. what this tells us also is the forces that we're aligned with, the iraqi security forces, cts, counterterrorist security forces here in and anbar and in central iraq along with the peshmerga forces up north, these are now becoming solid fighting forces. the pesh have always been solid. the iraqi security forces, it took some time to rebuild them, but what we're seeing is the fruits of that labor. they were able to hit back. think absorbed the blow that they received from isil. they reorganized. they pushed isil back here in this tactical action. they knocked them completely back on their heels. i think it is an important thing to note. >> louis. >> louis with abc. can i go back to that attack up north? you said it was a battalion sized force that conducted that attack. how large a force numerically
are we talki ining about? does that indicate they had a certain level of freedom of movement in that area? the canadians defense ministry, they're acknowledging their ground forces helped repel the attack. were any american forces also involved on the ground in pushing back the attack? >> thank you. those are very important questions. thanks for asking that. two points. first, i think the freedom to maneuver point. we estimate maybe 500 total enemy, maybe a little less. important to note air power alone killed nearly 200 of them. 187 by last count, so a significant blow to this enemy. ground forces, we don't have a good count yet for how much
damage the pesh were able to enflie inflict on this enemy in the course of this very long battle, but it knocked them back on the fly. yes, if you look at that location, the flot, the south of the flot is enemy-controlled territory. they are able to move. in this case they used some infiltration tactics, moving in small groups to assault positions, and then being able to conduct kind of a simultaneous assault along four different points along the flot there. yes, they do have some freedom to maneuver there as expected. it's territory we don't yet control. that being said, most of these forces came really out of mosul, which is kind of their center of gravity here in iraq.
thn muster, it doesn't look good for them. this is the most significant attack that the enemy is able to mount really since ramadi. again, if this is all they've got, things are going to begin to get worse and worse for this enemy. the canadians have discussed the fact that some canadians that were a little bit forward, they were at a headquarters behind the flot, behind the enemy lines, but the enemy was able to push through fairly rapidly in the enemy lines and the canadians were forced to engage with mortars, with mortar fired in an effort to help protect their partner forces. so no american forces exchanged any fire during the course of this fight. as you know, there are americans
advising and assisting at the division level with the peshmerga, but in this case there were no americans other than in the sky. >> so steve, dave martin, how close were the front lines were the american adviser? >> this didn't happen anywhere near any americans. in this sector, i don't think there's any americans. there may be some way back like 25, 30 kilometers, but this sector, this portion of the flot, not an american presence there. >> anybody else? >> could you run down a list of what aircraft were specifically used in that effort to turn back the assault by isis?
>> well, it was manned and unmanned, so fighters, bombers, and drones. i didn't bring a list with me unfortunately. it was five different coalitions. there was a wide variety. that might be something we can get. i don't have it. let me just look at my list here. unfortunately, i don't have that exact piece of information. again, so five coalition nations, 100 munitions expend d xpends -- expended, bombers and drones as well. >> you said the canadians were at the headquarters. how far back was that headquarters from the flot? typically, headquarters are not that close to a front line, are
they not? >> they're not. this was a penetration. this headquarters were the canadians were -- i don't want to give you a bad number. i'm going to kind of ballpark it here looking at this map to be about five miles, maybe four or five miles, little bit less than ten clicks. >> last call. steve, thank you very much. anything we forgot to ask you? anything we should have asked you? >> it was great talking to you. it was great. it was great]tqt seeing your colleagues that were here. i know a couple of others are here tonight so i'm going to have dinner with them. see you next week. >> happy holidays, steve.
thank you for your service. thank you, everybody. happy holidays. this sunday on c-span we'll replay abc news democratic presidential debate between candidates hillary clinton, bernie sanders, and martin o'malley from manchester, new hampshire. we'll bring it to you sunday at 4:00 p.m. eastern. next week is authors week on the "washington journal" with a featured nonfiction author monday through friday in a one-hour conversation with you starting monday december 21st, jeff smith on "mister smith goes to prison." tuesday december 22nd, john
whitehead. wednesday, december 23rd, 8:30 a.m. talking about her book "how the other half banks." at 8:30 a.m. eastern on thursday, december 24th, matthew green joins us to talk about "underdog politics, the minority party in the u.s. house of representatives." friday, greg shirley discusses his book "last act, the final years and emerging legacy of ronald reagan." be sure to watch c-span's "washington journal" during authors week starting december 21st. in his annual news conference russian president vladimir putin answered questions on domestic and foreign policy. he answered more than 30 questions from russian and foreign journalists in the
three-hour event. president putin addresses russia's tense relationship with turkey following the downing of a russian jet. this 75-minute portion from moscow is courtesy of english language news channel rt. >> translator: colleagues, friends, we regularly meet at the end of the year. this year just recently we had the state of the nation address, and i really don't know what else to tell you. in addition to what i already said there, i guess all the key things have been mentioned, but still, of course, there are issues that require clarification on our part. when i say on our part, i mean myself and my colleagues, the
president's office, the government of the russian federation, so let's start specifically with your questions straightaway. >> translator: last year paved the way for a good tradition. we started with a question from one of the most experienced reporters, but we also have alexander. i'd like to give the floor to him right now. >> translator: thank you very much. thank you very much, mr. putin, from the 11th conference, for the 11th q&a. i studied the reports of the previous press conference, and we discussed the difficult situation in the russian
economy, and we asked you how long it will take to overcome this challenging situation. and you said that in the worst-case scenario we would need about two years, quote/unquote. so it must be the end of 2016, the beginning of 2017, according to your estimate. now, has your mood changed? have your projections changed about the end of crisis, because the situation of the country is very difficult, and i'm sure you're well aware of that? what is your next forecast? thank you. >> translator: first of all, i'll tell you an old joke. two guys meet, two friends meet,
one says how are you. the other one says it is black and white patches. then they meet again six months later. what's the current patch? it's black. you said black was last time. no, that turned out to be whitened. it's black now. so that's kind of like the situation we are in today. when we talked last time and we discussed our plans for the future and what we were going to do to come out of the crisis and what our prospects were, we knew unfortunately our economy depended a lot on external factors, specifically traditional commodity exports,
so i guess we'll have to make some further adjustments. still, i would like to use your question to demonstrate what we have come to. of course, after prices for fuel dropped, this affected other figures, other indicators, gdp dropped by 3.7%, as of decembdecembe december 7. the inflation rate is 12.3%. this is important, because i guess there will be other questions regarding our prospects and our situation today.
so to understand all these matters, you have to be aware of these figures. -- have dropped. capital investment dropped over the nine months by 5.7% at the same time. we know that on the whole, the russian economy has come out of the crisis or rather has passed the lowest point of the crisis, and we see some indications of stabilization in the economy. in september and october, gdp grew by 0.320.1%. from last month. and since may, production now has stopped dropping, and there
was slight growth. 0.2, 0.1%. in the forest, production grew actually 0.2%. there will be at least 3% growth. and this means that the support we've been providing for agriculture works. grain, crops grew, exceeded 100 million tons. so 1.3.4. this is very good work. i'd like to thank our familiarers for their work. the situation on the employment rate is stable. the unemployment is about 5.6%. we know that if we look back at 2008 this is positive trend.
also trade surplus grew. the trade turn over has dropped, but we still have trade surplus. $126.3 billion. our reserves are $364 billion, this is still an impressive figure. the sovereign debt of the russian federation dropped by 13% as compared to 2014. and capital outflow has reduced significantly. actually, in the first quarter of this year we had inflow, capital inflow, tax burden, this is very important. this is the, this is related to
sanctions. of course, it might be fogood t have access to international finance markets and use that money, but on the other hand, having too many loans also has negative effect, so despite all the restrictions we use, we fulfilled our obligations to our partners, including international financial institutions. we pay all our debts on time, in full. and the total combined, the total debt, aggregate debt, this includes debts by our companies and so on. this debt has reduced, and this is something positive. like i said, we actually saw capital inflow, this is also very positive. and i believe and experts agree that that indicates that
investors realize the actual situation in our economy. and they are getting interested in working in russia. even though the situation is difficult, the fuel industry, oil and gas are developing 4.6 gigawatt facilities will be launched next year. 20 have been launched already. last year we had an absolute record, but 4.6 is also very good figure. and in the next few years, we will continue developing this industry at the same pace, and this is also very important, because this means that the economy on the whole is growing as well. and we have enough energy for economic development. our infrastructure also develops seaports and so on.
received 19.5 million tons in addition. and the amount of cargo capacity through russian ports grew by 3%. what does this mean? our revenues from exports dropped, why? because of costs. but since we have more, more trade going through seaports, this means that the actual volume of trade has increased. and this is very positive. we develop our airports. in nine months our airports processed 126 million passengers. this is 2.5% more than last year. internal, domestic flights grew by 16% as well, despite the
difficult economic situation. we continue our responsible fiscal policy in the 12 months of this year. revenues were 12.2 trillion rubles. and expenditures 13.7 trillion rubles. we have a deficit of 9 trillion rubles. this is quite satisfactory for our current situation and the economy. more than satisfactory. to keep the federal budget balanced, we used our reserve funds, and this is also very important. our sovereign funds at this point are at the very good level. 11.8% of gdp. the reserve fund is 3.9 trillion
rubles. this is 5.3% of gdp. epts national welfare fund 4.7 trillion rubles. we've fulfilled all our social commitments this year. and we saw increase of population. the this is very good indicator. this means that people can plan their family, have children, and i'm very happy. the maternal benefit program, we have 6.5 million russian families who have received the
maternity benefit program. the maternity benefit program will stay the same as 2015. in most provinces we've provided the sufficient number of kindergartens. 97% of the amount needed. life expectancy at the end of this year will be over 71 years. they've fulfilled our commitments on pension indexing based on 2014 inflation rates, increasing pensions by 11.4%. social pensions have been increased by 10.3%. and you started by asking me about the situation last year and what we expect in the near
future. well, considering all this situation with the export prices, at this point, the government expects that the economy will begin to grow at 0.7% rate in 2016. then in 2017 will have 1.9% growth and in 2018, 2.9% increase. i will point out that this is all based on the oil price at $50 per barrel. we don't want to adjust our forecast and recalculate them, because this will reduce funding for social programs and the real sector. but of course the government
prepares scenarios for all kinds of situations. the government has to have all those plans available to them. and they have to be ready for any kind of scenario. of course, now our reserves fgd growth are not limited to exports. like i said, in the state of the nation address, we need import substitution. of course, this is not a cure-all, but this will help many companies modernize, use modern equipment, which will increase their productivity. and of course we have to enhancing our administrative mechanisms in the economy. we have to create attractive
environment for businesses. we need to support companies thein their work. so this is what we are going to focus on. thank you for your question. it gave me an opportunity to use all these materials i had prepared. >> translator: another question from a kremlin pool reporter. >> translator: mr. putin, you said we passed the low in the economy, but the situation and the economy's still very challenging. mr. putin has urged reforms, and this was echoed by your
ombudsman, he said that the policy rate of the central bank is too high, and we cannot get loans abroad, and so they don't have access to borrowing here. and we might meove to the, we might have the seam -- same model as venezuela. do you think the policy rate should can be increased? >> translator: plaus, yapplause. you get a lot of applause after your question. everybody wants the interest rate of the central bank to be lower. and, as we know, commercial banks also use as reference in issuing loans to companies. but actually, this is not the
only factor, but it is important. but boris does the right thing. he promotes the interests of businesses. and it's very important that we have such an institution, such a person. the very reason i created, i established this institution is because i wanted to be able to listen to different opinions, because it is so easy to get busy with your current work and forget about some important things. but first of all, i will answer your question directly. i support the policies of the central bank and the government. in macro economics. this is number one. number two. even though we may want to lower the interest rate, we cannot do this in an administrative way. we have to look at the actual situation and the economy. at the structure of our economy.
i often hear that in other countries they have different rates. of course they are lower. the very reason they do it, their problems are different, and their economic structure is different. we fight inflation, and they have a situation where they may have deflation. they have manufacturers who produce goods and are not able to sell them. this is their problem, but our problem is very different. for us to lower the interest rate, we don't need to fight with the central bank like, you know, they did in the planned economy in the soviet union. we need to help the government to bring down the inflation rate. and reduce inflation expectations. if, and devaluation expectations. if we do this, then, we can
reduce the interest rate of the central bank based on market economy, principles. and when it is possible to support the real sector, the central bank does it already. but we shouldn't push the central bank further, because this is not the only problem, but this is one of the key problems in fighting inflation. we may have problems with debt. what does the central bank do in addition to supporting the entire banking monetary system of the country? this is what it actually does. what else does the central bank do? it works together with the government on the so-called project funding programs when the government has certain
projects and there's a great number of project, tens of billions of, maybe 250 billion rubles. and banks provides funds for all those programs. for commercial banks, and then they fund those specific programs. this applies to investment projects. the central bank is also involved there. so there are different instruments that the central bank uses. and i think at this point, this is enough. >> translator: next question please. >> translator: news agency. mr. president, are you satisfied with the work of the government? are they taking the appropriate steps in the situation of the
crisis? maybe we could see a reshuffle? >> translator: no. you know, you probably i noticed over the years that i treat people very carefully. and i think that reshuffling the government, of course, not always, but of course it's not always connected. but you really don't need this reshuffling all the time. if somebody doesn't do a good job, this is my responsibility as well. i think it is my fault as well, to an extent. so there will be no major changes in the government at this, we think together with the government we consider how to enhance its structure, how to make the government more
efficient. how to hope the government focus on the most important areas, and we have certain plans like that. but it's nothing dramatic. it's not just some personal decisions. no. we just want to make the government work more fish t efficiently. you also asked if i'm happy with the government's performance. on the whole, yes. of course they could do a better job. but for example, early last year, we had the anti-crisis plan prepared, and we began to implement it. i don't remember the exact name of this plan, but essentially it's an anti-crisis plan. so, when we looked at it, 35% of this plan was not implemented. what does this mean? this is more than one third.
this means that in many different agencies, ministries, they didn't do enough to implement and respond to current challenges timely. but on the whole strategically like i said, the government works well on a whole and is sufficiently sufficient. >> translator: next question? >> my name is -- i'm from the business online newspaper. and i have to ask these questions. they've been prompted by the people of tatterstan. in your address, you said you
shouldn't equate hard-working people of turkey and the senior leadership of turkey. you said that there are good friends in turkey. and, as you know, tatterstan has had a lot of cultural, economic ties which are very strong with turkey. so what do we need to do? do we need to rupture these ties with the whole turkish world? and vladimir daminuteski, from the culture ministry said we need to break all the ties. so what do we do with those investors who account for a quarter of the investment in tatterstan. and i have another question. starting from the first of january 2016 -- should stop being called president, according to law, but this could
have a negative effect on the feelings of the tartars across the world. so would you insist on changing the title of the head of tartarstan? >> translator: i saw someone else wanting to ask the question in turkey, so i will respond to both questions. >> translator: annadole news agency. i would like to start that by saying in the state of the nation address you said we don't equate the people of turkey and some of the turkish elite who are directly responsible for the deaths of our service men in syria, but in daily life, the situation looks different,
because we, the turkish embassy in moscow receives complaints from college students who complain that they've been dismissed from their schools, turkish business men complain that they're discriminated against, and one more question on syria. we know your position on the future of the syrian president. russia says it's up to the people of syria to decide his fate whereas the u.s. and their allies insist that he has no political future. did you discuss this issue with john kerry when he was in moscow? and will you raise this issue again in new york? >> translator: turkish news agency j-con. relations between russia and turkey deteriorated rapidly, and nobody benefits from that. both sides will suffer because of that.
do you think maybe there is a third side, a third player who was involved in creating the situation recently? we know that an islamic association to fight isis was created. we know also there is the nato coalition and the russian/syrian coalition. so there are three coalitions to fight isis. is it so difficult to fight it? maybe there are some other plans involved? maybe isis is not the problem. >> translator: so i'll talk about syria later. and i'll go back to the conflict between bashar and turkey. bebelieve that the actions of the turkish authorities about,
towards our plane is not an unfriendly -- it's a hostile act, the downed and military aircraft and our service men died. what was specifically outrageous about it, if it was just an accident and the turkish authorities tried to say that they were not aware it was a russian plane, but what would they do, they should call us and explain. but then what do they do instead? they turn to brussels and said that they were offended. we were trying to threaten them? no. and they're trying to use nato as a shield. is that in nato's interest? actually, it turns out it's not in nato's interest. now my message to russian people
and to the people of turkey, it certainly is a tragedy and people died and why i was so offended. we didn't say no to cooperation. when i was at the g-20 summit in italia, we talked to the turkish leadership, and our turkish counterparts said there was a number of priorities and asked for compilation. i will not disclose the details, but they raised very sensitive issues for turkey. which are outside of international law. i mean, the decisions that the turkish authorities insisted on were outside of turkish law, and we said yes, we are ready to help you. we are ready to assist you in your efforts.
>> translator: well, i've never heard ever the turkmen people in syria. i know we have turkmen people living in the republic of turkmenstan. they could have used the existing channels of military, of cooperation between the militaries. . well, they could have indicated that this it's in their interest not to attack these people, but they never said anything. as i said, we were ready to cooperate on their sensitive issues with turkey, so i'm at a loss. why did they want to do it? so what was their goal? did they think we're going to runaway from it? russia's not a country like this. we've increased our presence. ramped up the number of aircraft
and now we have a 400 anti-aircraft system. t the bukka systems. so the big question is why. so you asked about a third party, well, there might -- i get your hint, but we are not aware of that, but if someone in the turkish leadership wanted to lift someone boots in the, someone else's, the american leadership, well, it's up to them. maybe they had an agreement, a tacit agreement that we will
down the russian plane and you will turn a blind eye to us invading part of iraq and occupying a part of iraq. maybe they had an agreement like that. we're not aware of that. but in any way, they created this kind of entanglement. and from the analysis that i've made, i believe that isis is a secondary issue right now. so i'd like to share my observations with you. earlier, you know, iraq was invaded and destroyed. and there was a vacuum that followed. and we saw that there was some oil trafficking taking place. and the situation like that was there for years. and oil trafficking takes place on an industrial scale, and then to protect this illegal exports
and production, they had to, they had to use some military force. and it's very easy to use isis. and you can use someone exploit someone as an actor. as a proxy. so they started to recruit people and send people, and i believe though is t believe this is the way isis was created. and now they needed to start for logistics. when we started to bomb convoys, we see that they only move at night, and they only move in small convoys of 15 cars. but most of the trucks now move via iraq and via kurdistan in iraq.
and i'll ask the defense minister to show you one picture we've identified, an area with 11,000 trucks, tanker trucks transporting oil and petroleum products. so if there's a third party, i'm not sure, maybe they didn't get approval from anyone, you know, but the turkish authorities have been criticized for a high level of islamization in the country, and maybe if turkey wanted to show the europeans and americans that we are islamists, but we modern-day islamists. like reagan said, he's a bastard, but he's an arab type of bastard. maybe it's happened like that. but anyway, there's nothing good
that's come out of it. even if they had any goals, they've not achieved those goals. i now referring to the goals of turkey, they've only exacerbated the situation. now going back to the turkish people living in russia. certainly, you need to sustain ties with the nations that are ethnically close to it. certainly the turkey people living here in russia are citizens of russia, and i also said that we continue to maintain good ties with the people of turkey, and they will continue to be our friends, and we need to maintain contact with them. but, as for the current turkish leadersh leadership, it's very difficult or impossible to agree on
issues, and even in those areas where we stay we are ready to cooperate, they will stab us in the back due to reasons which we don't understand, so i don't see any prospects of cooperation at the state level. but as for the humanitarian area, there are prospects, although there's also some issues and challenges. and the turkish leadership got what they did not expect and will have to take some restrictive areas in the economy and in other areas, and this has to do with tourism for instance. so they would roll in their grave if they saw what was going on with islamization in turkey, we told our partners, we said we don't do like that towards
turkey. you know, these militants get medical treatment. they are guarded. and then they use turkish passports to opinion trapenetra territory. and then wle will have to track them down in our big cities. so that's what we will have to do, just like taking other steps to ensure our national security. now as to the title of the head of tartarstan. well, as we say, you can ca a person whatever you want, but the most important thing is not to harm that person. for tartarstan, i doesn't think it will offend someone to undermine someone's interests. as you know, north kcaucasus
people might be very offended. but if the chechen republic says russia needs to have one president, one person that's called president, that was the choice of the chechen people. we will respect any decision made by the tartarstan. so it's up to you to decide on the title of your president. >> translator: let's go to anton. >> i >> translator: i forgot your question, i wrote down your question. on the future of the syrian president, i have repeatedly said and i will do it once again. we will never agree to a situation when some outside player would impose their decisions, would dictate who
should be the leader. that doesn't make any sense and runs counter to international law. we discussed that with state secretary kerry. we maintain our position. we believe it's only up to the people of syria to decide who their leader should be or what should be the standards and rules. so, in general, and i will say an important thing. in general, we support the initiative of the united states to draft the u.n. security counsel resolution on syria. and the state secretary brought this draft resolution. overall, we are satisfied with it. and i'm sure that the syrian authorities will also agree with it. and now this has been a years
long conflict. it's a bloody conflict which has claimed many lives. and certainly, we need compromises, but compromises should be made from both sides. so there are acceptable provisions. but it could be improved further. this was the initiative of the u.s. this is the initiative of barack obama. it means that and the oust is very concerned over what's happening in yemen, iraq, syria and all over the middle east. and we will do everything to resolve this crisis and any solutions must be acceptable to all the sides. but the sequence should be as follows. we need to work together first to draft a constitution.
they must set out the mechanism to, mechanism of future action and it must have credibility with every plan. and based on these democratic measures, it's up to the syrian people to decide on the future form of governance and who their next leader should be. >> translator: to continue with syria, do you have a clear plan for syria, or are we just being reactive, turkey downs bomber, and we increase our military task force in syria. when will our operation in syria be over? what will be the final point of this operation? what is the final goal? and do you think it is possible to resolve the syrian conflict politically? you mentioned that already, actually.
>> translator: that was what i was trying to respond to. number one, we believe it's possible. number two, we see no other solution to this problem. this is inevitable, and we'll have to do it sooner rather than later that we'll be fewer casualties. fewer threats, including for europe and the u.s. as now you remember that isis penetrated the u.s. and the law enforcement admitted that the san bernardino shooting was a terrorist act. so the sooner we do, the better for everyone. 14 people were killed in the san bernardino shooting. so there's only political solution. do we have a plan? yes. i just laid it out for you. and in major points, it coincides with the vision proposed by the u.s.
we need first to come together and work on the constitution. then we need to establish mechanisms of control over the next election. then we have the election. and the election results must be acknowledged. similarly, there are a lot of grievances. someone likes this group. someone likes another group. someone doesn't work, doesn't want to work with the syrian government. but certainly, everyone needs to find some strength to move towards each other to meet each other halfway. as for the military operation that russia's conducting in syria, as i said, we will support the offensives of the syrian army. we will continue to do it until the syrian army needs to conduct those operations. now, as i said, this was the idea of francois hollande to
combine the efforts of the syrian government army and some parts of the opposition forces against isis. so partially, we have been able to do it. we have now, and we're in contact with the units of the syrian opposition, that's armed opposition. that's a, willing to fight isis and are almost doing it and are practically doing it. and we support their efforts with our bombers, just like we do that when we support the offensives of the syrian government army. we can see that the political process has now been launched. so when the syrian government says that we should lay down the arms and we should start negotiations, well, we don't want to be, to be involved any
longer. so the sooner it happens the better. >> translator: sergey lavrov, i'd like to add what my colleagues from turkey and anton said. do you think it's too late now to talk to turkey? is there anything they're doing to foc to fix the situation. and since we have increased our task force, maybe we should make it a permanent military base in the middle east. >> i don't want to speak on behalf of the heads of the other states. if they feel they need to do something, it's up to them. we have not seen any is stestepn
by them. that's it. now back to your second part on the military base. you know, we have different e opinions on that. some say in the u.s. and the eu that your interests will be taken into account of. that's when they speak to russia. do we actually need a military base? what is a military base now that you think of it? it requires a lot of infrastructure. you need to invest into it. so currently, we have russian aircraft. temporary modules. where they sleep, where they eat. you know, we can put it all together and go back to our airfields for a permanent military base. it's a completely different story. some say we need to have this military base. but i'm not so certain about it. i talked to our european counter
parts, and they are telling me, and you want to have a military base, i say why? they say you want to keep everything under control. but do we actually need to keep things under control there is th this so we have not had any interpaid yare eye missiles. we destroyed them. the u.s. destroyed their stockpile too. but what about their sea-based and aircraft based intermediate range missiles? we now have those missiles. so we have the sea-based, which the distance, the range is 1500 meters. we also have the aircraft based ones. [ applause ] the distance is enough to reach
the targets that we need. so we need to think about it. maybe we could stay there for some time but it's hard for me to say whether it really makes sense to establish a permanent base. we'll think about that. >> translator: let's just limit it to one question per person. >> translator: what about ukraine? it's our fraternitial nation, and i continue to say that's our brothers. thank you very much for the opportunity to ask a question even think we are not turks. we are ukrainians. mr. president, you said more than once that there are no
russian military personnel in eastern ukraine. i would like to say hello to you from -- are you going to exchange them for -- and other people? and if possible, my second question, the minsk agreements are going to expire soon. neither party has fulfilled their obligations under the minsk agreement, so what will happen on january 1st? will you resume your offensive? or will you offer negotiations? or maybe you will forget about ukraine for a time. thank you. >> translator: as for exchange, we never said that there are no people who might be doing sol
some of the things in the in the area. but that doesn't mean that there are regular russian forces. you mentioned some of the people, two russians that you want to swap for someone which are here in russia, and this list that you mentioned of ukrainians is very long. so any exchange can be an equal one. you can only swap an equal number of people for an equal number of people there. so certainly, we need to talk to our colleagues. we need to listen to what the president of ukraine says. we need to free people, which are detained by both sides and primarily that refers to the people from the east of ukraine and the ukrainian service men
detained on those territories. but, as i said, you can only swap an equal amount of people. it's not a secret that the ukrainian authorities believe that, consider those who have been douetained, the people fro the southeast, those who are in jail, they are criminals. they're considered criminals. not worth of swapping and the people disagree with that. we need to use the approach proposed by petro per shen coe. we support the initiative to treat everyone equally. now as for january 1st, the
deadline for the minsk agreements. we believe that our economic ties with ukraine will worsen, because we, we're forced to cancel the free trade sozone agreement with the ukraine. if the eu asks me not to exclude ukraine from this free trade agreement. hoping for the fact that we can sort it out they said that we will have negotiations during the year to adjust to those new economic realities.
so they sense that there will be adjustments made in the form of additional protocols which would alleviate our concerns. t the concerns of the russian federation about that association agreement between ukraine and eu, something that would ensure our economic interests. before july, we asked the eu hundreds of times for a contact. and only these contacts started only in july. so the first contact started only in july, and they didn't yield any results. we met with the head of the european commission. we met with the chancellor of germany in paris and discussed this issue.
our goal was to maintain our economic ties with ukraine, but ukraine is a member of that free trade zone agreement, and the tariff rate is 0. and ukraine uses the same technical rules that russia and other countries are using. and now ukraine's pulling back from their regime and they want to adopt the european rules and regulations, and it says that all the ukrainian market must comply with the standards and regulations of the eu, but our goods do not reform to these requirements yet. so what do you do with our goods? are you going to throw away russian goods from the ukrainian
market? and it's also said that ukraine has the right to keep both regulations regulations. it has the right, but it doesn't mean that it's going to do it. it just has the right. and if the document says that a subcommission could be established, could be established again, it's not a requirement to establish. and they wanted us to keep all the prermss, all the privileges for ukraine. it's not rocket science. you don't need to be an expert. it says that our customs rules across the cis must be conformed to harmonize with the european ones. and i told my counter parts in paris, you know, we had a long-standing don't with belarus and kazakhstan on those rules and regulations. and now i told my counterparts
in paris, you want us to change all the rules and regulations in one year? it's not possible. it just requires more time. it also says we need to switch to sanitairy standards of the e. even if we can do it, it takes time. it takes investment. and it's investment to the tune of tens of billions of dollars. and in paris, my counterpart says that the european standards are better. yes, that's true. and we are willing to do it. we need the money. we need investment. and they, as you know, they banned access of russia to external markets. so they told me they didn't get
acquainted with the documents that they sent to us. and i told them, well, you didn't read those documents which you sent to us, and you want us to say yes and sign those documents? now we don't want to introduce any sanctions against ukraine. that's my message. we just switch from a free-trade agreement to a prevgstial regime. it means ukraine would get the same rights as other countries. what would that mean in practice? it means that currently, tariffs are zero in trade between ukraine and russia. but the average tariff would be around 6%. it could be 3 in one category of
goods. it could be at any in another category. we were fighting against this, but they didn't want to heed our call, and it happened just like i told you. that was their style. that was their tone, but we'll continue to work together, even under the circumstances that we currently see. now, to be honest, we don't want to exacerbate the conflict. we want to resolve this conflict as soon as possible. but, you know, people -- [ applause ] it should not be done at the expense of the people in the east of ukraine. they should not be destroyed. now, if you look at the results, election results in eastern ukraine, the opposition got most of the seats.
43% voted for the opposition in those areas of the luhansk and dounetsk regions, so we very muh hope he will listen to their call. we very much hope we will have a straightforward, open dialog. everyone's saying, come on, russia, you need to implement the minsk agreement. but look at the document. the ukrainian constitution must be changed. and it must be implemented and also agreed with the people of dunbass. and they also have the rule of special status of dunbass and other regions, so is it on a permanent basis?
they say yes, but i'm telling everyone, this year was passed for only three years, and that has passed. they asked petro poroshenko, is that true? and they said yes. this must be made on a permanent basis. it was passed by the parliament and together with the law, they passed article ten, which says that it will only be implemented after the election. so, again, it's been delayed. and so they're telling us, okay, the minsk agreements call for the passing of that law, and we passed that law. so it's just formal compliance. so we are ready to convince,
let's work together. we're ready to convince the people in the southeast of ukraine so that there's a compromise. we're willing to do to, but it's now up to the ukrainian counterparts to have the same desire. >> translator: interfax. mr. putin, you just said that russia's stepped up its military presence in syria. you mentioned the s-400 anti-aircraft defense system. but we are under sanctions. oil is getting cheaper. we're also having economic crisis on our hands. will russia have enough finances for that? because we need to spend on the increase of the military presence. there are so many problems, so
many issues, and certainly, i don't only mean finances. it's, and, you know, sometimes it's easier to stop a war than to finish it. >> translator: a, we did not start this war. we are just conducting operatio operations using our air force. our air defense systems, our intelligence and this is no serious burden for the budget. some of the funds we intended to spend on military training and the military exercises, we just channelled those funds into our
operations area. we have to add an a little bit of money, but this is an insignificant figure for the budget. you know that we have a large scale military maneuvers. for example, center or east, thousands of personnel, thousands of troops moved from one place to another. hundreds of aircraft are used. so we will just use some of those funds for our operations in syria. this is the best military exercise you can imagine. so actually, we can continue this for a long time, and this will be not that much of a burden for our economy. and other issues you mentioned. yes, this is really a problem. i mean, economic issues we face
today, but i already told you what we are go being to do. and we talked publicly about that. so what can i say. going back to the economy, like i said earlier, we need to input substitution. we need to modernize our economy, enhance our business climate. generate demand. this is also an important economic driver. we need a whole number of measures that the government plans, and we will do all that. as for the new american president in well, we'll have to see who that person would be. but regardless of who that, of who is elected, we are willing,
we are ready to develop our ties with the u.s. and the recent visit by the state secretary indicated that washington is also ready to move forward to work together with us on points of convergence. on those issues where which we can only resolve together. it's a common sense approach. we have never tried to isolate ourselves. and it's up to the people of the u.s. to elect a president. while it's washington who's trying to lecture us on who to elect or what procedures to use. and, you know, it's dangerous. there's an observer who comes closer to 5 meters to the polling box, then they could be jailed. so it's very dangerous to tell anything to the u.s. people.
but we will work with anyone that the american people's going to elect. >> translator: hello, mr. president. i have two questions. for the first question is about egypt. when will you allow for russian tourists to visit egypt? and my second question, two days ago, saudi arabia said they have a new islamic alliance. i think this is a sunni islamist alliance. and the problem is that this will be an anti-russian alliance, and what will happen to shia muslims now? and turkey is part of this alliance. so i would like to ask you, how
would you, what would you say about this new alliance and egypt? >> translator: first, i'll talk about tourism. the decision to restrict travels to egypt, air passenger traffic to egypt were not done due to the fact that we distrust egyptian leadership. it's not a political decisions. all we want is to ensure security and safety for russian citizens. this is a message to russians. the regulatory, the law enforcement special services in egypt are not on par, are not able to match the threat of terrorism be be be be be be be
and certainly it's a threat to you, it's a threat to egypt. the prime minister of egypt has demonstrated courage in fighting though threat, but it takes time to curb these problems. once we have the mechanisms up and running, that would ensure security for russian citizens, we will ease the restrictions. we are working on that with our egyptian counterparts. we need to have our representatives at every stage, starting from checking, loading, catering. but certainly, the official egypt. authorities ought to comply with our concern.
it's our common concern. and we need to find common solutions to these challenges. as for the islamic military alliance set up in saudi arabia, another coalition. we do not think that this coalition will have an anti-russian bias. while we don't treat tur khai as a hostile country to us, they made a hostile act to us, but we don't treat the turkey as a hostile state. and our relations got sour. and that's true. i don't see a clear path forward, but the ball is not on our side. the ball is on the turkish side. but there's also egypt as part of that coalition and many other countries. the saudi arabia initiated the
establishment of this coalition. we have our differences in terms of resolving the syria crisis on some of the issue. but there are months of convergence. we are in contact with this country. i met the king of saudi arabia. we're also have regular meetings at the level of the foreign ministry of the defense, level of the defense ministry. we're also considering some joint projectes es in military cooperation. it's worth billions of dollars. so we don't even consider this alliance as anti-russian. we need to combine our efforts
and not to, not try to use the resources in different ways. and, you know, the u.s. also set up a coalition, and most of the countries are part of that initial coalition, so saudi arabia's also part of that coalition, so why create a new coalition? the u.s. has this coalition already. do they have their own plan? or maybe they have some internal differences. that might be possible. why? because there are regional interests at play. there are champion interests of fig -- common interesting of fighting terrorism and regional interests of fighting terrorism. we saw those horrendous acts of
terrorism in paris. also the u.s. is facing terrorist attacks which happened recently when 14 people were killed. we need to come together in fighting terrorist organizations whatever their mottos may be. and we very much hope that this new alliance will pursue a common interest and will work out effective mechanisms of control.