Famous US diplomat on air at to Azeri.Today
Exclusive interview of Azeri.Today with the ex-ambassador of the United States in Yemen under the administration of Barack Obama, the deputy assistant to the Secretary of State for Middle East Affairs Gerald Feuerstein.
- The war in the Middle East has been going on for many years, but there is no way to restore peace and stability in this region. Even the military intervention of the Americans did not help either - it got worse. How does Washington want to see the Middle East in reality?
- It’s very difficult to speak of the Middle East as a single entity. In fact, the goals of the various states of the Middle East vary. But it’s safe to say that our friends and partners seek our assistance in promoting security and stability in the region and assisting them in building prosperous and economically diverse and growing societies for their citizens. To accomplish that, it’s important to end the internal conflicts in the region and to prevent outside parties that seek to undermine security from achieving their goals. The U.S., including the Department of Defense, is committed to working on behalf of these goals. The U.S. will continue to confront violent extremist groups as well as those governments that pursue hegemony in the region.
- IS and other extremist groupings are rapidly spreading throughout the region. And such major powers as the US, Russia, Britain, France, Turkey, China cannot defeat this evil. What factors prevent these countries from uniting to fight IS?
- The U.S. leads a broad international coalition dedicated to defeating Da’esh and eliminating violent extremism in the region and globally. But the fight against these groups is complex and it will require time to achieve our goal. Those individuals who are drawn to extremist groups come from a variety of countries and are motivated by many different factors. To eliminate the threat of violent extremism, we must also address the factors that allow them to continue, including ungoverned spaces, the lack of economic and social opportunity in many countries, political oppression, corruption, and disaffection in many other places. The solutions to these issues will take time.
- You say that the United States is sighting terrorism but some Western experts even say that the United States is involved in the creation of terrorist groups, in particular “Daesh” and Al Qaeda…
- No country has a stronger or more consistent record in fighting against violent extremist groups than the U.S., whether the effort be kinetic, attacking the sources of terrorist finance, or confronting the ideology of violent extremism. Those who suggest that the U.S. somehow promotes these extremist groups are simply voicing empty propaganda slogans to achieve their own political objectives.
- Can new sources of instability appear in the Middle East under Trump?
- U.S. policy aims to address the sources of instability in the region and to resolve unstable conditions where they exist. It’s impossible to predict where new instability might emerge.
- You worked for three years as US Ambassador to Yemen. What is the struggle in Yemen about? Whose interests clashed in this region?
- The struggle in Yemen is a fight between the past and the future, with the legitimate government struggling to complete the political transition launched in 2011, reflecting the will of the Yemeni people, against those who seek to turn back the clock and keep Yemen in the darkness that the Yemeni people have rejected. The fight is primarily among the Yemenis themselves, although Saudi Arabia and Iran can both play roles in supporting a resolution. Saudi Arabia has been clear that it seeks an end to the conflict on the basis of UNSCR 2216, the GCC Initiative, and the conclusions of the National Dialogue Conference. Iran’s willingness to cooperate on those measures would be equally helpful.
- The attention of many world media is largely focused solely on Syria and Iraq, but journalists write little about the events in Yemen. But recently the media leaked information about the possible occupation of the critical port on the Yemeni coast of the Red Sea by the US. Do you think that Yemen can become a new point of the Russian-American confrontation?
- There is no U.S. plan or desire to occupy any place in Yemen. The U.S. has expressed support for the opening of the critical port of Hodeidah to international relief organizations to address the critical humanitarian situation in Yemen. The U.S. and Russia have pursued common goals in Yemen since the outbreak of popular demonstrations against the former government of Ali Abdullah Saleh in 2011. There is no conflict between the two countries now.
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