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tv   Hearing on U.S.- Turkey Relations  CSPAN  July 22, 2021 8:58pm-10:21pm EDT

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in that position. i never thought my two wives, i'm a very different person now that i was as a ranger, i am a father, husband, member of congress and i thought if i took the uniform off years ago that i had that life behind me. i have changed and i never thought it would emerge again i never thought i would be in a position to have to think like that and potentially act like that and certainly not as a member of congress 2021 in the house chamber in the u.s. capitol. >> this week you will hear from oklahoma republican mark new jersey democrat tom. january 6, views from the house starts this sunday 10:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. he or listen on the c-span radio out. now undersecretary of state for political affairs, victoria newman survives on the biden administration policy toward
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turkey. she addresses human rights concerns, sanctions against turkey for purchasing and deploying russian missile defense free and safe elections in the country. senate foreign relations committee is a host of this hearing, one hour and 20 minutes. his hearing on the committee welcome to order. let's start with the recent developments from the region. he estimates the president visited healing occupied -- to develop this town. over the years met with them who
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have had to evacuate in 1974. the invading turkish army. many of them ended up immigrating to the united states. forty-seven years following the invasion, their stories remain harrowing. ... himself have supported a peace process which will establish a paisano by communal federation on the island. his visit cast these efforts aside as well as long-standing un resolutions. his goal is to advance a separate state on the island, simply put, this violation of international law is cricket terry today on how the biden administration will
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respond. i read a letter with several members on the committee. the actions are not simply about cyber would mark a test for the u.s. system and response. we need to see a strong statement on the council today condemning this move. unfortunately this pattern across the region has become the norm. lastor summer provided support against ethnic armenians and facilitated the passage of militants from syria to fight on the side of azerbaijan. if these actions had listed at no penalty from the administration, no concrete reaction from the international community, no sanction, this is unacceptable and i expect more from this administration than ia did the last and i look forward to understanding how the department views the role in last year's war and what
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measures can be taken in response. i appreciate the work done by the biden administration in reestablishing the bond with nato. it's the most powerful alliance in the history of the world and absolutelyr essential of the u.. national security so when turkey as a nato member introduces a air defense system into its territory, it poses a significant threat to nato. it poses a significant threat to u.s. pilots and a significant threat to our partners. under no circumstances will i support the lifting of the sanctions nor what i support turkey rejoining the program. i'm proud of the role played by congress to advance the sanctions and ensure their implementation. the message should be clear any effort to begin nato from within
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or outside will be met by a robust response by the united states. in syria the united states and turkey remain in cross purposes through multiple interventions some of which were directly greenlighted by the previous administration. turkey has created several zones of control that encompass 4,000 square miles roughly the size of lebanon and contain 4 million people equivalent to the population of croatia. while these provide safe haven for millions of government controlled areas, they've done so at a horrific cost to the local kurdish population who have endured the forced displacement and kidnappings, unlawful detention and torture, illegal property and numerous other human rights violations at the hands of turkish backed opposition forces. beyond the considerable human rights concerns these actions directly undermined the united states counterterrorism
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partnership with the democratic forces in the fight against the islamic state. this is also unacceptable. asking president biden for greater cooperation with turkey and syria is paramount of the administration providing the committee with greater clarity concerning how it is addressing the role in the numerous human rights violations committed in northern syria and the conditions it will apply to any enhanced cooperation in this regard. the unity government after years of conflict turkey continued to maintain thousands the presence of which along with russian backed fighters threatens both the country's upcoming elections as well as its fragile peace. turkey has capitalized with the vulnerability of libya's previous government to extract the maritime border agreement that is in direct conflict with
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the interest in the eastern easn mediterranean and violates greece and the internationally recognized maritime boundaries and rights. these are not the actions of a constructed partner let alone a nato ally. he sees this country as on par with his great powers of the world. it's not. he's tragically shredded his democratic institutions and imprisoned journalists. he's targeted his political opposition for arrests and sought to silence university professors. to say that more lawyers and journalists are arrested and in jail in turkey than any other place inin the world is saying something considering some of those other places in the world. these are the actions of the weak government and we should treat it as such. this extends the staff in the country and to this day several individuals remain in prison on
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trumped up charges. the undersecretary i'm sure we'll agree the u.s. embassy should never n be treated this y anywhere especially by a so-called ally so i look forward to hearing an update on the status and updates to secure their freedom. we all hope for a day when turkey and bodies a high standard of democratic values and respect for human rights expected from a nato member. the region and the world needs a stable and democratic turkey. underut erdogan, such a future s but a damn hope. i look forward to the views on these and other issues and we appreciate your appearance before the committee. with that, let me recognize senator risch for his opening remarks. thank you mr. chairman. one of the takeaways from the imhearing is going to be there s bipartisan agreement on the issues that we have with turkey.
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turkey is the center of a complex geopolitical crosswords where europe, asia and the middle east meet at the borders and it borders the increasingly mediterranean black seas. firstt and foremost we must discuss the direct bilateral relationship between the united states and turkey which of course i'm going to add to and at a deeper level, the rule the relationship plays in the mediterranean across the region. turkey is deeply interconnected and of course we must deal with them. before we delve into the problems, i have to say how painful this is. turkey has been a long-term ally in the united states and our european partners. obviously they are a nato ally though they are not acting like an ally at this time. nonetheless, they are in the nato alliance and it is painful.
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the country deteriorating as it has deteriorated and left the commitments that we all of the nato t partners have had to the values and things that we value in the most pressing aspect of the relationship is the acquisition to continue the system. this issue remains at an impasse and has now grown to define the most significant part of the relationship and it is deeply troubling. it is unacceptable turkey believes it can reap theta benefits of the nato membership while refusing to commit to the basic principle of a cohesive interoperable alliance. they seem toth have forgotten no was formed specifically to push back againsto russian aggression dealing with them on military purchases like this is just simply unacceptable. this is an issue i raised with the turkish leaders at every
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opportunity indeed i had a very clear discussion with president erdogan in person face to face where i laid out the precise nature of the problems created that caused the presence that russia made us for hundreds on the soil of the nato ally. he understood what persisted. this issue would not go away and it greatly affects our overall relationship on several fronts.t when it comes to nato matters including the f35. speaking of the f35, after the conversation, he understood clearly that even though these were completed here in the united states, those will not be delivered to turkey so long as the missiles on the turkish soil and the same with construction of the parts for the f35.
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there were 900 parts for the f35 being produced in turkey that is down to a very minimal amount right now and will eventually be completely phased out.ed ending on a positive note, first of all, erdogan has appointed a new ambassador to the united states. this ambassador is very engaging and says and i believe that he wants to do his best to attempt to repair what is obviously deteriorating. i hope he's successful in that regard. the need to withdraw from libya also shows the capacity for the responsible stabilization through the diplomacy, but it remains to be seen when theyre follow through and it's important that we ensure that they do. likewise, turkey deserves an international recognition for hosting the refugees for the past several
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i expect the discussions today will help us define these matters and develop a better understanding of how to address them in this emerging era we welcome you back to the committee and look forward to hearing the administration's view of the turkey moving forward. i ask that you summarize your remarks in about five minutes or so to allow time for a dialogue with without objection your statement will be included in the record and you are now recognized, madam secretary. >> thank you, chairman menendez, members of the committee for the invitation to come for you to bo discuss u.s. turkey relations today. as the committee knows well and as you both stated, the united states has a multifaceted and complex relationship with turkey
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and nato ally for over 68 years. there are areas we are firmly aligned in the policy outlook and working well together and areas where we don't see i to i and are working to close the gaps and there are areas we have profound disagreements in the turkish government including with regards to cyprus yesterday. in the last categories president biden and all of us that work for him are frank with our turkish counterparts when we disagree. to start with the areas of strong cooperation, turkey makes crucial contributions to the missions around the world and our partnership with turkey that has the second largest standing military and enables us to protect power in the region and defend nato's eastern and southern flanks and we also have an important economic relationship one that generates upwards of 20 million and annual bilateral trade including an increasing energy and l and g
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relationship. the priorities in countering terrorism, deterring the maligned influence in the middle east and turkey as a staunch supporter of ukraine and the integrity vocally supports their sessions to nato we are now discussing how to reduce the presence of the mercenaries beforeie the election. both of you have mentioned turkey's presence in the northwest protects some 4 million syrians from targeting by the assad regime and new attacks would be both a humanitarian catastrophe and likely launch a new wave of refugees into turkey and europe. we are grateful for the ongoing efforts to support 4 million refugees inside turkey making it the largest refugee hosting
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country in the world in maintaining the force at the airport as the u.s. and nato motions in afghanistan come to an end. this contribution as you all know is vital to ensure that we and our allies and partners can maintain a strong diplomatic presence in kabul after the troops withdraw. even as we work closely on these issues, president biden has bees clear with president erdogan when we disagree, as have all of us. we continue to object to the purchase and deployment of the russian as/400 air defense system and have made clear that any new major arms purchases from russia will trigger additional sanctions. as you both said, the sale and production of the s35 will remain suspended. we also pressed turkey to avoid entanglements in the regional conflicts that threaten long-term stability. the role played by third parties
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including turkey and last year's fighting exacerbated the regional fractions and weeds we suppressed turkey to press a coup to release the detainees immediately to support a cease-fire and help the slides work towards a sustainable long-term solution. we also urge the leaders to address disagreements in the region through diplomacy rather than through provocative action or rhetoric. we condemned yesterday's announcement by the turkish leader and president erdogan that would allow to take control of parts. this move is inconsistent with the security council resolutions which explicitly call to be administered by the united nations. the united states views this as provocative, unacceptable and detrimental a to this prospect r the settlement talks. we are urging the reversal of the decision including in a phone call that i made this
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morning and working in the un security council. a lead comprehensive settlement to unify the island at the federation is the only path to lasting peace and stability. he also made clear supporting democracy, human rights and thea rule of law is central to his administration and protecting those freedoms is critical to be a stable and democratic and reliable ally and partner. we have been clear at all levels with of the turkish government and in the department's annual human rights report about the specific concerns and we continue to engage the turkish government on individual human rights cases, media freedom, freedom of expression, assembly and association, judicial independence and guarantees. in this regard as you said a top concern remains the release of local employees of u.s. mission
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turkey who've been unjustly detained. overall we are working to try to resolve these concerns and advance our agenda through robustgh and regular engagementt all levels with turkish counterparts and with candor and clarity in those discussions. i'd like to make a final point if i may be for taking your questions. i know that this committee is exploring how to expedite consideration of more than 20 state department senior political appointees and ambassadors in the weeks before the august recess and you've recently noticed some additional hearings. we are very grateful for this effort and i just want to underscore that the strength of american diplomacy and the departments role in the policy process will be greatly enhanced by moving the nominees expeditiously to the confirmation before the recess. thank you and i look forward to your questions. a. >> we will start a round of five minutes of questions and i will say on the last point i embrace
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that. we are marching forward rather aggressively. we had a panel yesterday and have more i agreed on for next week. the administration's challenge i know senator cruz has taken the view he is going to hold up nominees over the pipeline issue and i respect both his prerogatives as well as the question. i just think it's detrimental to the united states not to have its people on the ground in order to make the case and we hope we can come to a resolution in that regard so let me start do i have your commitment to the sanctions will remain in place if it continues to possess the russian as/400 air defenses?
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>> you do and not only in my commitment but the presidents. >> does the administration maintain full implementation of section 231 not only in turkey but around the world? >> we do. >> can i get your commitment to brief me if there's any effort in the enter agency to weaken or in any way diminish the use in turkey or anywhere else? >> yes sir. >> thank you. turkey insists on a two state solution while the government has rejected the notion at the highest level. i have seen some low-level officials at the state department have been quoted talking about turkish sovereignty. can you affirm the united states has rejected the notion of the two states? >> absolutely. as i said in my statement, we think only a process by communal well-being peace and stability.
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>> are we working to ensure there will be a resolution? >> we are and we had consultations yesterday and those will continue until we have a product. >> is turkey establishing a in cyprus? >> i am not aware of that but i will take it to look at. >> the question if they are what are the implications of such a move which is part of the european union but others in the region like israel and egypt for example? >> we need stabilizing so let me take that. >> we are agreed. over the past year turkey has airspace in the exclusive economic zone. this hasec been happening in two of the member states. last year brussels considered sanctions in response to this behavior but ultimately decided against strong measures. are you familiar with what role
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they played in the european sanctions? >> i'm not familiar with how we would have played inside the eu conversation. i am familiar with the fact we encouraged greece and turkey to have bilateral talks and the secretary-general of nato to become involved in trying to mediate the dispute as has been the case over many decades. are you familiar from the imposing sanctions? >> i'm not familiar. that doesn't sound right to me. i heard your response to the question. i appreciate, wepr called on in many cases both countries. both countries are doing something wrong. i get it but only one country is
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doing something wrong it's a little disingenuous. as far as i know, greece is not incurring the turkish airspace but turks are doing that to greece. they seek to drill in the territorial waters of cyprus. we can't be calling on both sides to ultimately try to negotiate in good faith when one is the aggressor. and i think we make a huge mistake when we don't acknowledge who is the aggressor in a certain set of a actions. let me ask you are you familiar with turkey facilitating the transfer from syria to azerbaijan during the 2020 war? >> i think it would be
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appropriate on the last point to discuss it in a separate session, mr. chairman. do you support floral implementation and energy partnership act of the law that i helped write with senator rubio and members of the committee when he established the regional energy center to deepen the cooperation in the region and to help deal with on the security and renewable technologies? >> we do and we've been engaged to try to encourage more coordination in that regard. it's one of the success stories of the recent period. >> and finally, because i want to go to other colleagues, the
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european court of human rights ordered turkey to immediately release civil society leader and kurdish politicians from prison. what is the administration doing to advocate for both of the individuals? >> we've advocated directly for their release as well as other political prisoners and the appropriate treatment of media and other unjustly prosecuted individuals in turkey and we will continue to do that and we do that at every level. >> senator risch. >> how does state assess turkeys continued commitment to the as/400? i think a lot of us have been incredibly clear of the m consequences and my sense is they didn't really think we would follow things.
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they also have come to the realization that we are serious about this. do you share that assessment and what other thoughts might you have on that? >> as i said, mr. ranking member, when i came up for my confirmation hearing, it is incomprehensible to m me personally and to most of us why a nato ally would want to acquire a russian system and put at risk all of the things that have been put at risk including the coproduction of the of 35 which was not only a security benefit but also an economic benefit to turkey. so you know, i think they walked into this or they were romanced into this.
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they are as high as they've been. we continue to offer them various ways and off ramps out of this including in the most recent highest level and counter and we will continue to have that conversation. there are many things we cannot do together that we would like to do together while this moves forward. >> as we have discussed a number of times, it is mind boggling that they've gone down thparticularly when they've been off ramps thatr they've been offered which can't talk about publicly but this is disconcerting. the good news is i think one of the things that might have pushed it over the edge is they didn't think we would take away thes 900 the parts that they we coproducing for the of 35 and i think that is a very significant economic matter for them and it's totally in their hands that
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that happened. turning for a minute to the agreement about the mess that's going on in libya, turkey and russia played a part and they've announced they've reached this agreement. what is the state assessment whether that will come to fruition? these agreements are easy to make it hard to execute. what are your thoughts? >> you are not wrong about that. both turkey at the highest level and russiaa at the highest level said they are willing to support the withdrawal but they want to do it in tandem with each other. we are working with the current envoy on how that might work and
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we are hopeful for progress before the end of the year. >> thank you mr. chairman and ranking member and i want to thank you undersecretary not only for your service and testimony but for your long service to the nation. you cited a complex relationship that exists with turkey and i think the chair man and ranking member action a great job highlighting the issues associated. we have an alliance that has existed between turkey and the
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united states and turkey plays a critical role one that we need to continue to preserve and support, but there are serious problems that have been noted between many dimensions in terms of turkey's current behavior. the as/400 program the rankingn member and the chairman happened so articulate about. i had the privilege of serving in japan with him when he was ambassador to japan when i
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served as u.s. ambassador so i share the optimism that the ranking member noted and i hope you will have a good working relationship with him as well but i would be curious, this is a process question, curious in terms of having a structured dialogue with turkey to preserve the good and important strategic aspects of what needs to happen while we will certainly differ and need to be strong and i appreciate your talk and perspective a bit on how you will approach that. >> thanks, senator. i think that we've approached this very much and to work
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together on as many things as we can but to be absolutely frank when we disagree and i think you saw that when he and the president met on the margins of thef nato summit about a month ago. prior to that we had the deputy secretary sherman and one of her first overseas trips to engage at all levels. i'm now speaking probably every two weeks with mike turkish counterpart. we have our ambassador on the ground and the honorable senator flake to succeed him in the future. so, we are, the process here is to talk about every single issue with as much frequency and candor as we can to try to close the gaps and that we will call it as we see it as we did
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yesterday. >> i appreciate that and to the extent the committee can be helpful in any aspect certainly i stand ready to be supportive. i'd like to pick up on something the chair mentioned and that is the role that you feel we could play helping those between turkey and greece if you think about the entire posture in the eastern mediterranean what role do you think thete united states can play to help address that with our allies? >> greece and turkey have been in talks since january and they are meeting with regular frequencies so we have encouraged those and support them from our platforms and we also have encouraged the secretary-general of nato as i said earlier to be active with both greece and turkey to
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provide them a safe space to work through their issues and particularly as the chairman said, when they are incursions into airspace that are unacceptable. one thing i cut out of my statement but it's in the longer statement, we do encourage as you all get back into the travel business to consider stops ideally in a bipartisan way to talk frankly about with is going well and the issues where we have to do better. >> thank you for your leadership and thank you mr. chairman. good to see you madam secretary. thank you for joining us today. i want to dig a little bit deeper into the dangerous slide away from democracy in turkey and the constitutional court
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ordered that the country's main pro- kurdish party go on trial over the alleged links to the kurdish fighters. it helped to end the majority for the first time in over a decade. the state department has said that these attempts to essentially eradicate from turkey's political infrastructure would, quote, further undermine democracy what can we do through the legislative branch to ensure that the upcoming elections in
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2023 are fair and that there is a robust multiparty system that is undermined to the point of futility between now and those elections? we share your concerns about the treatment. i know that there are members of the committee that have relationships with some of those members. it's important and goes to the conversation we had about the value that we see and making regular trips and showing support across the spectrum. this issue is very much a part of the overall concern about the human rights situation in turkey which we are very frank about from the highest level freedom
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of association and practice are central to any thriving democracy when it doesn't uphold these freedoms in particular in the areas of political pluralism. what would be the impact of banning the largest kurdish political party is there any justification for such a sweeping measure as necessary to continue what is a legitimate interest that the turkish government has cracking down on the kurdish affiliated and it
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does pose a threat to the country. a. >> when legitimate terrorism cases can be made in a free and transparent manner with access to independent judicial processl and all of that obviously it is in our interest and turkey's interest to take action but that is a different matter than using the ticker as an excuse to eradicate political pluralism the individual party to the kurdish population in turkey that supports and risks being disenfranchised. the party changes occur and that needs to be accentuated with
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free will and without any coercion. >> finally i am interested to know whether the department is pursuing interpol reforms after the 2016 attempt and the government issued approximately 30,000 red notices on the interpol system and some of ther actions are consistent with the ways in which others have begun to compromise. are we concerned about the system and is it something that we are looking into with respect to the future reform agenda? >> i'm going to take the question on what we are doing on in triple reform but i will say that you are not wrong when the
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interpol system is flooded with cases that don't meet the standard it sucks up time and energy and money that should be appropriate and applied to cases so it is an issue of concern thank you undersecretary. it's good to see you and appreciate your expertise and strategy and turkey. i want to follow up on a line of questioning senator risch began with s regards to the production of some 900 parts for the f35. has that production ended or is it in the process of ending and do we have any sense of what the economic impact will be in turkey with that production ending? >> thanks, senator romney. we are in the phase out part
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after we ended the engagement there were supply chain reasons including the need to ramp up production elsewhere so we didn't hurt the line globally. my understandingy. is that i'm going to ask you to go to dod on the precise but we are within the year if not sooner. it was an interesting decision by the government let's put it
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that way. >> there was speculation if this was something that erdogan may have misjudged the response but is there also the possibility that this was calculated by and can you would characterize the e relationship you are seeing is it close, is it collaborative, is he hoping to play the eu and the or is he moving pretty strong in that direction? >> let meme start by saying our interest is clear in cementing turkey as much as we can and the turkish people and whether it is in the field of security or in
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the field of energy or anything else for that matter. without over analyzing in the open hearing i would simply say that what i see as a longtime watcher is in the last administration there was quite a deepening of the relationship. i think there may and i want to speak for the turks but i do sense some buyers remorse, let's put it that way with regards to that relationship. it hasn't necessarily paved out and some of the things we've already talked about this morning. and you know, sort of culminated in the conflict that we saw last summer that was not only tragic for people there but also further afraid of the engagement
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and turkey and russia being on opposite sides et cetera. so i think we have an opportunity here if we continue engaging with our turkish allies to bring them back closer to us but there's a lot of work to do. >> on your perspective as to what he may have been thinking and what the purposes were behind supporting the safety of the airport as we withdraw from the region are the country and as we hope to bring interpreters and others from afghanistan into the u.s. he is directed his military. any census what he is doing that? >> as i sit in the opening this decision by i turkey is extremey well, and absolutely vital to all of us who want to continue
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to maintain a diplomatic presence in afghanistan to support the people of afghanistan as we withdraw our military forces so we very much appreciate turkey taking on that role. they've played a strong role but during the nato mission they are constructive partners and they know what the mission is. they also have a unique and special relationship both with the afghan people but with other actors in the region which makes them a partner that is more likely to be welcomed over the longer term if that makes sense. with regards to the decision-making i never like to get in the head of another leaderer but my sense was that e
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appreciated how vital it was to have them do that mission if we want to stay engaged diplomatically with afghanistan. >> thank you mr. chairman. ambassador, thank you for your service. i listened very carefully to you defining the different interests. those were making progress and those where we disagree and you have a very strong reputation of being very direct and clear in your bilateral conversations, so i'm certain you are very clear in the areas that we disagree. having said that, president biden said our policy is going to be an embedded in our values so my question to you is how do you deal with turkey and still
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hold true to the american values the president is talking about when under the regime we see reporters randomly in prison, citizens taken off the streets, the human rights record is horrible and then to mention on top of that as we've already talked about the cyprus issue et cetera which looks more like countries like russia so how do you reconcile how you deal with turkey and live off of the commitment that our foreign policy engagements are always going to be embedded with our values? >> he speaks truth to his interlocutors about human rights concerns. i've seen him do it with leaders
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all around the world whether they are nato allies or president putin when he has concerns and as he said not long ago it is a matter of his dna and also a matter of our national dna. we've been very clear we think that this weakens the democracy and it's also important as you know to stand with those who are facing incarceration repression, unfair judicial targeting pressure et cetera as we do with those who face human rights abuses around the world. speaking out privately as is important and publicly as well and he leads all of us in that direction and i don't think that is going to change as long as he is president. >> you talked about the potential remorse my question to
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you in order to be effective we have to work with our partners and against the nato protocols and other activities, what success are you having with our traditional partners working with us and maximum pressure on turkey for its decisions? >> with regards to the human rights issues we talked about, i think we share these concerns with other partners and the european union and they make their views clear they are back in dialogue with turkey on the prospect for a better relationship.
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and other nato partners over the issue of the as/400. turkey isn't part of this extremely important program both in security and economic terms. we have had as i've discussed to impose costs to afford these decisions that they have made but we try to do it as a community as nations and -- >> but it would be more effective if the cost was supported by at least our nato allies and other allies as well and have we been successful -- i hear their language, but getting them to take action? >> i as i mentioned, the eu turkey dialogue has been ongoing
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for decades, and because of some of the internal issues hasn't progressed in the eu or president erdogan hoped. they are back in discussion again but i think the rigorous standards come to bear here and particularly with the decision made yesterday. it's important the eu has made it clear on that as well. with moves like this they put at risk the bigger game which is the potential for a customs union or something else in theso eu, so i think the allies and partners play an important role but obviously the united states has this long and deep and rich
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relationship including our economic relationship which is perhaps the biggest card. >> i think there's room for improvement with our allies. thank you. >> senator barrasso. >> thank you mr. chairman. nice to see you again. i want to talk about the north strain. something we discussed previously. there's strong bipartisan opposition to the delivered failure to abide by u.s. law and sanction all of the entities in the pipeline. now we see news reports that the united states and germany came deal in the natural gas pipeline front page of the journal. the president appears to have made this deal with a government that will change leadership in a few months in germany. the secretary repeatedly pledged to work with congress as he sat on the take off and not just the land and he failed to keep his word on this. the new deal is a great mistake. the president is giving russia a
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new geopolitical weapon. russia uses energy as a geopolitical weapon to coerce and manipulate paving the way for russia and germany to complete this puts i think a stranglehold on europe. i was in germany a week or so ago and who are opposed to what is happening in nato. particularly in our nationalst security interest it doubles the reliance on russian energy and it follows more money to russia at the time when increased malign activities from russia eliminates barriers for additional military actions and reports of the administration attempting to silence the ukrainians from raising concerns about this new deal. congress is the only one willing to impose the cost on the russian malign the projects.
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it'sle clear so why is it the administration why do you believe it is acceptable to feel this way with ukrainians and trying to silence them over the deal withil the germans. >> let me start by saying the pipeline is a bad deal as we have said. it increases the dependence on russia and on hydrocarbons. i worked as you know because you and i worked on it together in my last government gig very hard, particularly with the eu to make those points and to slow and all of the things. with regards to the sanctions we did in pose a significant number of new sanctions. we also imposed sanctions on the company and its officers however
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we waived them in the interest of seeing whether we could get germany to work with us and work with the ukrainians and poland to deal with the consequences and the vulnerabilities that this pipeline creates for ukraine. we have not -- we have taken zero action. later this afternoon, we will make public the agreement that we have with the german government. i will give you a couple highlights here but what i would like to say is throughout this process, we've engaged in intensive consultations including secretary lincoln and when the president talked and my own conversations on the basis
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with senior ukrainian leaders on their requirements and vulnerabilities as we worked on this agreement with the germans. my colleague has been in ukraine yesterday and the day before including two solidify the visit later this afternoon. i.e., as you know as a longtime friend and supporter of ukraine believed that if we hadn't had this agreement with the pipeline 90% complete ukraine would be at more risk. let me give you a couple of the highlights if i may it is in tiny print and i'm getting old here but among other things, germany has committed in this agreement with us that should russia attempted to use energy as a weapon or commit further
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acts against ukraine, germany will take actions at the national level and press for effective measures of the european level including sanctions to limit the export capabilities in the energy sector. the other aspect is support for an extension of the transit agreement between russia and ukraine as you know it comes to an end in 2024. we will seek and press for a leverage to try to seek an additional ten years for ukraine but more broadly we need to work together to reduce ukrainian dependents both economic on transit but soon dependence on russian so with when this is released you will see a considerable effort to help diversify energy supply and energy source with concrete dollar figures attached to it.
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this is a bad situation and a bad pipeline but we need to help protect ukraine and i feel that we have made some significant steps in that direction with this agreement. >> it has to do with afghanistan remaining one of the most dangerous in the world with the tele- bands increasing at aggressive actions in afghanistan is experiencing levels of violence and theio deteriorating situation is going yto impact mobility of the personnel and effectiveness of u.s. civilian missions. the question is to protect the airport are we planning to downsize the diplomatic mission, the programs reduce embassy staff having been there a number of times and understanding the security risk of trying to protect the people in the personnel compound there.
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turkey agreed to provide a significant force to protect the airportsce and without that. it's our intention to continue to if not redouble our diplomatic efforts and assistance efforts thank you mry
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for your leadership. president erdogan's turkey violated its obligations as a nato partner, violated international law and undermined our interests in the region. and they will not be able to participate a in the f35 progra. turkey is regularly violating the territorial waters and exclusive economic zone of cyprus and greece and there is a risk some incident could spiral out of control. you'veon referenced the maligned actions with respect to our mania. it's true they are shouldering the burdens of refugees from syria and it's also important that we remember that for years
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turkey downplayed the isis threat and allowed the fighters to transit through turkey and they continue to attack the syrian kurds that have been the tip of the spear in our fight against isis. i want to turn to yesterday's actions in cyprus and president erdogan's statements and efforts to reach the by communal alliteration that undermined entirely. ..
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>> what are we going to do in concert with our nato and e.u. partners. chairman menendez, senator rubio and i wrote to the president last week anticipating thishi action taken by erdogan, and it's not going to be enough to simply make statements. as president erdogan's indicated, quote, we do not care what they say. so my question is what are we actually going to do in partnership with our partners. >> thank you, senator and happy birthday. you saw, i think, as you referenced the strong statement from secretary blinken yesterday that we, and as i also repeated in my opening statement before you came in, that we consider the move yesterday to be inconsistent with u.n. security council resolutions, provocative, unacceptable, incan compatiblece with past commitments. -- incompatible with past commitments. i spoke to my turkish counterparts this morning, this
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will be ongoing conversation with the turkish government. before this happened, ambassador satterfield also spoke with key members in the palace, and secretary blinken talked to foreign minister of cyprus this morning. the issue here is not only does this have a chilling effect on what we hoped might be a reigniting of the u.n. process to try to get to a bizonal -- which the last time i was in government i worked intensively on personally along with then-vice president biden, it also has a negative effect on the ongoing conversation that turkey is having with the e.u. on what it has long wanted and what the, we had finally gotten themth back into significant tas about some kind of a economic
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community. and, frankly, that is the bigger game. that is a far more value for turkey -- >> if i may, madam secretary, just because of the time, i agree with you. >> yeah. >> but i'm just reading to you prime minister erdogan's words -- >>og yeah -- president erdogan's words with. he doesn't care what we say is, what the e.u. says. i think our experience indicates that turkey will respond only when they -- there's a price to be paid for their actions. sometimes that doesn't move them either. snbut certainly, words alone wil not. if i could just also turn to the hdp issue, because as you know, this is turkey's third largest political party -- >> yeah. >> they locked up a number of their leaders under trumped-up charges, i mean, the european counters have looked at this, totally trumped-up charges. turkey has locked up lots ofum journalists. i met with one of the
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parliamentarians from hdp who was visiting the united states last week, and i guess as has been indicated, we're really pleased to see the biden administration return to a values-based foreign policy talking about rule of law, democracy. this obviously violates every single one of those principles. to threaten to outlaw a political party, and is beyond that, outlaw individual members -- [laughter] from participating in future elections under any kind of banner. so is just close really where i began which is we really look forward to a conversation with you and the president about what we're going to do. because i think we have the answer from erdogan as to what his response is going to be. he doesn't care what we say. and it's going to be up to us to take actions to defend the rule of law, to defend democracy and to make sure that, you know, turkey doesn't set an example to others with respect to being
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unfaithful nato allies. so thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you. senator cruz. >> thank you, mr. chairman. ambassador nuland, good to see oyou. you will not be surprised by the topic of my questioning. at your confirmation hearing, you told this committee that you believed that the9 nord stream 2 pipeline -- the nord stream 2 pipeline between russia and germany were completed, that it would have disastrous effects on u.s. national security, that it would have is disastrous effects on european security by making them subject to economic and energy blackmail if russia and that it would enrich and empower putin to carry out that blackmail. do you continue to believe that? >> i do, senator. >> my understanding is that the state department recommended that sanctions be imposed on the
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company that is building the in order nord stream 2 pipeline and on the ceo. the state department did so consistent with the sanctions that congress passed into law that i authored. not one set of sanctions, but two sets of sanctions that passed both houses of congress with overwhelming bipartisan support, nearly unanimous support. my understanding is the state department recommended those sanctions be imposed to try to stop the pipelineo and that the biden white house overrode that recommendation. is that accurate? >> senator, i think you won't be surprised that i'm not going to discuss internal administration deliberations. i don't think you were here when i read out some of the actions that we have worked on with the germane government. i can repeat that a -- that here, but obviously, our
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intention here -- and we did sanction the company and sanction its leadership. we chose to waive those sanctions to buy some time to see if we could work with germany so that it could take responsibility for the pressure that this pipeline puts not only on ukraine and on poland and on eastern europe, but on the advantages that it gives to russia both in security and economic terms. we later this afternoon -- we will later this afternoon release the results of those negotiations, the u.s./german joint statement which includes a number of elements, and since i've already read it out to your colleagues, i won't waste the committee's time. i can share it with you after this. but cit one point in particular which i think is very important for ukraine and for our collective response is that germany has committed to take action that, should russia attempt to use energy as a
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weapon or commit further aggressive acts against ukraine, germ will take action -- germany will take action at the national level andl press for effective measures at the european union level including sanctions to limit russian export capabilities to europe in the energy sector including gas and other economically-relevant sectors. so we can talk about how we are doing here, but our effort right now is to continue to protect ukraine and others. >> so as promises go, that promisee from angela merkle is - angola merkel is, on its face, incredibly weak. and the deal that is going to be announced today -- conveniently at 9 p.m. german time so presumably to mitigate the pushback from the greens in germany, is, in my view, a complete and total capitulation by president biden to putin. he has given putin everything he wants. he has surrendered on the pipeline, the pipeline that we
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had stopped, that we had successfully stopped until biden surrendered. and i believe this is a generation algae yo political mistake. -- generational geopolitical mistake, that a decades from now future russian dictators will be reapingbi billions of dollars annually from joe biden's mistake and had been using that pipeline to exert economic blackmail on europe decades from now. let me ask just a straightforward question. do our ukrainian allies agree that this is a good deal? >> senator, with respect and in the spirit of candor with which we have always dealt with each other, i believe that we were in 2016 on our way to stopping the pipeline. as you and i discussed, when
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biden administration came into office four years later, that pipeline was 90% -- >> ms. nuland, i understand that talking point that the biden erstate department has been usi. it washa 95% complete in decembr of 2019 when we passed the sanctions, and we stop it. and a 95% complete pipeline is 0% complete, and we saw for a year it remained a hunk of metal at the bottom of the ocean until joe biden got elected and began signaling he would be soft on russia. so let me ask my question again because my time is ebbs pyring. to -- expiring. do our ukrainian allies believe this is a good deal, and is it i correct as it has been widely reported that the biden white house has been pressuring ukraine, demanding that they not criticize the deal and threatening economic support, military support and threatening president zelensky directly to cancel the white house meetingin with the president unless they
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bite their tongues and and not say what is obvious, which is this is a disastrous deal that benefits putin and hunters ukraine badly. >> that is -- hurts ukraine badly. >> that is categorically incorrect and, in fact, an invitation to president zelensky is going to be issued publicly later today, and we have been in deep consultations with the ukrainians on every aspect of this arrangement. i will leave it to the ukrainians to speak for themselves on how they react to this. do they, like all of us, wish this pipeline could be stopped and want it stopped in of course. stopped? of course. does this deal give them more than they had yesterday? i believe that it does, and i have been in intense consultation with them myself as as has derek who's on the ground, the president, secretary blinken. but they will speak for themselves about this, about this arrangement. i won't speak for them. they are a sovereign -- >> one final question to clarify. is it your testimony,
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ambassador, under oath to this committee that nobody in the biden administration has been pressuring the ukrainians not to criticize this deal?ni i find that astonishing testimony. is that what you're telling this committee? >> i know of nobody in theav administration who has told them how to feel or how to speak about this. what we have tried to do have consultation with them throughout on what their major concerns are. they have security concerns, but they also have energy concerns, and we have done -- we have worked hard to try to address the concerns that they have raised with us including in consultations we had before this consultation with the germans even began. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. thank you very much. the -- i just have one or two final questions. we have a vote going on. two years are left until
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turkey's next presidentiall and parliamentary elections. the turkish government's attempt to ban the country's second is largest opposition party, the hdp, would represent a significant threat to the integrity of those elections. what steps are we taking to support fair and democratic elections in turkey in 2023? >> thanks, chairman. we spoke about this a little bit when senator murphy was occupying your large chair there. we have been very concerned about -- very clear with the turkish government about our concerns about the banning of political parties. i thinkgo the support that membs of this committee and that congress as a whole have provided to individual members of the hdp is very welcome and, obviously, you know, this party represents a large body of citizens of turkey. and so, you know, banning the representatives of those voices
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raises questions about the integrity of elections. so we will continue to make those points going forward. >> i will -- as i'm not bound by the diplomatic speak, it would be an incredible action by erdogan to ban the second largest party, and in doing so, those elections could not have validity at the end of the day. that's like if president biden banned the republican party for participating. come on. who in this country would believe that that's a fair election? in january the state department affirmed the administration's intent to continue edcounterterrorism cooperation with the syrian democratic forces which include syrian with kurds, the ypg, despite erdogan's continuing opposition to the group. in our bilateral discussions with turkey on syria, what proposals has the administration put forward to address this fundamental difference of opinion around the role of the
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ypg? >> senator, i think primarily at this stage we've just agreed to disagree. you know, we hire t that our --e think that our syrian democratic forces have more than proved their value in the security situation in syria and with regard to the fight against isis. >> we agree to disagree which means we're continuing to pursue our view and our engagement with the, with the syrian kurds including the ypg? >> yes. >> and then lastly, the maritime border agreement between turkey and the government of national accord, the direct predecessor of libya's current unity government, was based on the flawed understanding of international maritime law that ignores the valid claims of turkey key's mediterranean neighbors including greece and
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the republic of cyprus. what's the administration's messaging on this agreement? >> with regard to the specific maritime border with libya, i'm going to take that question, because i haven't personally looked at the libya situation. but as you know, we have a lot of work to do together on libya to get to an election and to get to ideally a legitimate government that can then take up its own interests in terms of maritime boundaries, etc. so that is something we work on with greece, something we work on with turkey and will continue -- >> i would just say, it's rather obvious that r this agreement wh an entity that really is questionable to be able to engage the government of libya was drawn in such a way that's a violation of every international norm, law of the sea, you know? the essence of what is
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recognized as territory -- exclusive economic zones. it's provocative once again. so my problem with the past administration, and p i hope its not going to be a problem with this administration, is that we, we continue to have the aspirations of what we wanted from turkey; the bridge between east and west, the strong nato ally, a more secular government committed on a path to democracy and a respect for human rights and the rule of law. but under erdogan, that's just not the reality. and so i sometimes get concerned that we are unwilling to call out that which is pretty obvious.l not what's in the gray, okay, but what's pretty obvious is pretty obvious. and when we fail to recognize it as such, i think we do our nation a disservice. and we muddle our message across
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the globe beyond turkey that we are willing to look the other way because there's some other interests involved. i can assure you that the committee will be pursuing this with vigor as we continue. we appreciate your testimony before the committee. this record will remain open until the close of business tomorrow with thanks. this committee's adjourned. >> thank you, chairman. thank you, committee. [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> the house committee investigating the january 6th attack on the u.s. capitol holds its first hearing tuesday. officers from the u.s. capitol police and washington metropolitan police department will tell members what they saw and experienced on that day. watch the hearing live tuesday beginning at 9:30 a.m. on c-span3, online at or listen with the free c-span radio app.
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>> c-span is your unfiltered view of government. brought to you by these television companies and more, including buckeye broadband. ♪♪ >> buckeye broadband supports c-span as a public service along with these other television providers, giving you a front row seat to e democracy. >> officials with google and amazon were among the witnesses at a senate judiciary subcommittee hearing on the smart home technology market. they answered questions about data security, market competition and consumer privacy. this is just over two hours. [inaudible conversations]


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