As the fragile situation in the Mediterranean and Eurasia threatens to ignite into war, Greece is up against an old foe, Turkey. Many complexities exist and several countries are in the throes of this and other conflicts. A panel of experts gathered to share analysis of what could have serious repercussions for the West.

Brad Johnson, one of the participants and a retired senior CIA operative and station chief, joins the others sharing his expertise in the areas. After his 25 years of service, he now devotes his time to his non-profit Americans for Intelligence Reform as President. AIR brings you world and domestic news you will seldom hear on mainstream media. The voice of independent media can only be heard by sharing how to access it and we encourage you to subscribe. Check out our playlist on Turkey for other videos and if you would like further background. Visit as well.

hello 00:36 i would like to welcome our viewers and 00:38 expert panel for today’s important 00:39 discussion 00:41 i would like to thank andreas zapounidis 00:43 for organizing this forum and panel of 00:45 experts 00:46 andreas is the executive director of the 00:48 mediterranean council in forum 00:50 president of the hepa hd calamaria 00:54 the secretary of association of the 00:57 a hellenic chapter a security risk 01:00 management 01:01 and community liaison consultant for the 01:03 energy and defense industry 01:05 and a retired senior nco of the hellenic 01:08 army 01:09 andreas i will hand it over to you for a 01:11 word about our sponsors 01:12 and today’s discussion 01:17 thank you very much thank you very much 01:20 miss miss daniel crimminsthank you very 01:22 much mr 01:23 mr brad johnson thank you very much sir 01:26 what is often 01:28 uh and uh we are waiting for mr c 01:31 because he’s on his way 01:33 um i would like to thank you everybody 01:36 that are here today 01:37 and also our viewers and 01:41 we we all know that the situation is 01:43 very fragile 01:44 in the mediterranean and eurasia 01:46 actually and according 01:48 with this escalation in the caucasus 01:52 uh we have a lot to to talk about uh 01:56 i want to stay along 01:59 and i will pass the the floor 02:02 to miss our moderator for the day 02:05 uh miss daniel crimins miss daniel 02:08 crimmins which is 02:09 she is a criminal justice strategic 02:11 intelligence 02:12 homeland security and mediterranean gas 02:16 on forum analyst on terrorism 02:18 so the the floor is yours miss 02:21 crimmins and 02:22 i would like to thank you again all so 02:24 that you are here and 02:26 i would like to thank all our viewers 02:28 and of course i would like to thank our 02:29 communication 02:30 sponsors uh pro news dot gr defense net 02:35 and of course 02:40 shop which is our 02:45 communications poster and that’s why 02:47 we’re on air 02:48 in facebook pages in our page in a hepa 02:52 ag 41 02:53 and mentoring custom form group and of 02:55 course live 02:56 live in youtube please subscribe 03:00 and follow our forums 03:03 so mr tsivicos is here too 03:07 welcome mr tsivicos hello everybody 03:11 sorry for being late but my assistant 03:15 here 03:15 my consultant would i get on on time 03:19 no problem thank you very much 03:23 the the floor is sure of miss screaming 03:25 thank you very much again all 03:27 thank you andres gentlemen today i would 03:30 like to address 03:31 quite a few topics that are greatly 03:32 affecting the region we have turkey as a 03:35 major threat 03:36 historic peace deals france calling for 03:38 a pax mediterranean 03:40 china’s one belt one road project among 03:43 a new axis of countries forming 03:45 that have some rumoring pre-world war ii 03:48 type relations 03:49 and then breaking news even the fragile 03:53 situation in armenia 03:55 there is a lot to cover today however i 03:57 would like to begin by giving each of 03:59 you a brief moment for opening 04:00 statements 04:01 concerning these historic events taking 04:03 place in the region 04:05 today we’re going to start with bradley 04:07 johnson representing the united states 04:09 mr johnson is the president of americans 04:12 for intelligence reform 04:14 a retired cia senior operations officer 04:17 in chief of station a columnist at epoch 04:20 times 04:21 and a regular expert speaker on national 04:24 cable news 04:25 mr johnson thank you for joining us 04:27 today the floor is yours for opening 04:28 statements 04:32 well thank you very much it’s a great 04:33 pleasure to join you again this is my 04:35 second one of these i feel very 04:36 fortunate to join 04:38 and i am just right outside of 04:41 washington dc 04:42 and hopefully have a finger on the pulse 04:44 of what’s going on and and 04:46 can contribute to the discussion i look 04:47 forward to it thank you for having me 04:49 again 04:50 thank you mr johnson next we have 04:53 savas tsivicos 04:54 representing cyprus and the united 04:56 states he is a supreme treasurer of a 04:58 hepa 04:59 the ceo of cypreca in cypreco industries 05:03 and the former president of the hellenic 05:05 federation of new jersey 05:07 welcome savas thank you for joining us 05:09 today the floor is yours 05:11 thank you danielle uh thank you andreas 05:14 and congratulations 05:15 uh for putting another great event 05:17 together 05:18 uh on behalf of aheba 05:24 the supreme uh la jolla would like to 05:26 thank uh all of you 05:28 especially our uh two speakers and 05:31 danielle for 05:32 coming together today uh to comment on 05:35 the latest uh developments 05:38 and it’s indeed a nice forum 05:41 to exchange ideas and also evaluate 05:45 what’s happening during these very 05:47 critical times 05:48 not only in east mediterranean but also 05:51 around the world 05:52 again a big thank you and then big thank 05:55 you 05:56 for uh supreme president george juriadis 06:00 thank you savage rounding out our panel 06:03 is dr 06:04 cjcg wittershoven representing the 06:06 netherlands 06:07 dr wittershoven is the global head of 06:09 strategy and risk for berry commodities 06:12 director of verisi editor of the journal 06:16 of petroleum resources and economics 06:19 director of mediterranean energy 06:21 political risk consultancy 06:23 and a renowned middle east expert dr 06:25 wittershoven thank you for joining us 06:27 today the floor is yours 06:29 okay thank you it’s now my second time 06:35 um between my first time and the 06:38 second time a 06:41 lot of issues again became 06:45 hopper even 06:49 as we have seen in the weekend 06:53 geo politics it does not 06:56 stop and the azerbaijan 06:59 armenia issue is now again 07:04 heating up so i’m very very 07:07 interested to see and to hear of what 07:11 everybody is thinking thank you 07:16 thank you dr whittaker i’d like to start 07:19 off 07:19 with the issues surrounding turkey mr 07:22 johnson we have erdogan with his wishes 07:24 to bring about a new ottoman empire both 07:27 forming alliances and angry neighbors in 07:29 the region 07:31 he’s causing unrest in multiple 07:32 countries but i would like to start with 07:35 the complex relations 07:37 between turkey and russia can you speak 07:39 to those complex relations 07:43 yes and and it uh it’s it’s one of those 07:46 things where uh 07:48 uh you know there’s so many 07:49 ramifications to it and 07:51 russia and turkey both look at the world 07:54 as 07:54 all of us do in our countries we view 07:56 the whole world from 07:58 our own optics so russia and turkey are 08:01 kind of 08:03 i like the term that people use 08:04 frenemies because they’re both friends 08:06 and enemies and all at the same time 08:08 they do have 08:09 areas of cooperation but they have areas 08:12 of conflict as well and certainly we’ve 08:14 seen 08:15 turkey’s threats to do things like close 08:18 the boss for us that and closing the 08:19 bosphorus is designed for 08:21 one thing only from passing to the black 08:24 sea to the mediterranean 08:26 it would isolate the russian black black 08:28 sea fleet which 08:30 uh of course that has impact in his show 08:32 of power 08:33 off the coast of libya and that’s a 08:35 major place where 08:36 uh turkey is playing out its foreign 08:39 policy 08:40 and of course that treaty made between 08:43 libya 08:44 and turkey that claims the sea between 08:47 the two countries 08:48 of which large portions of greek waters 08:52 fall into that so that’s that’s a key 08:54 element it’s one of their international 08:56 justifications for 08:58 uh being aggressive in the uh in the 09:00 seas they’re around the greek islands 09:02 and 09:02 claiming them for their own and i think 09:04 the bottom line always goes back to 09:06 energy but 09:08 there are also areas of cooperation 09:10 there are areas where they discuss 09:12 but there’s actually and this is very 09:14 important 09:15 uh armenia was already mentioned once 09:18 once that’s an area where 09:20 through surrogates they’re at war and 09:23 uh you’ve got russian back russia 09:25 backing armenia on the one hand 09:27 and you’ve got turkey backing the 09:29 azerbaijanis on the other hand 09:32 and just within the last 24 hours that 09:34 has heated up a great deal 09:36 and i think everyone’s aware of it but 09:38 multiple tanks and helicopters and 09:40 things like that the armenians have 09:41 claimed to shoot down 09:43 and uh they’ve got a 09:46 superior tactical position and so 09:48 they’re in a position to do those sorts 09:50 of things they’ve got the high ground 09:51 and are are uh 09:53 are dug in and have all of this russian 09:55 equipment in training 09:56 and i would be very surprised not to 09:59 hear that they don’t have russian 10:00 advisors there working with them 10:02 and the azerbaijanis then have to attack 10:04 so this is turkey and russia playing out 10:07 through these surrogates uh and that’s a 10:10 that’s a heated up 10:11 war they’re shooting at each other so 10:13 it’s a very complex thing 10:15 the turks and the russians have had what 10:17 three major wars in history lots of 10:19 conflicts 10:20 so i think they’re tipping towards 10:23 conflict 10:24 rather than cooperation and uh i’m 10:27 afraid of how that’s going to play out 10:28 in the long run but certainly the 10:29 conflicts are what’s 10:30 coming to the fore now 10:34 does anyone else want to speak to the 10:35 fragile situation in armenia right now 10:40 well uh the latest developments 10:44 in armenia are no different than the 10:48 developments in the eastern 10:49 mediterranean and you have 10:51 one common actor who is 10:54 instigating and destabilizing uh the 10:57 areas 10:58 uh turkey finds itself in a very very 11:02 unique situation basically isolated 11:06 uh by everybody and uh creating 11:09 uh problems uh even within 11:13 uh the so-called alliances that they 11:16 tried to build uh namely russia 11:19 uh and brad uh pointed out that 11:22 uh the new term of uh 11:26 uh greek and enemy i mean uh friends and 11:28 enemies 11:29 at the same time it’s uh it’s very 11:32 suitable 11:33 um russia 11:36 uh in a sense in my opinion is 11:39 using turkey for economic 11:44 and financial purposes and that’s what 11:46 it stops 11:47 other than the sales of weapons to 11:50 turkey we don’t see any other 11:52 cooperation 11:53 either in syria or in libya 11:56 or now in in armenia 12:00 and the threat of turkey to close the 12:02 straits 12:03 i think is gonna it’s gonna explode in 12:06 their face 12:09 turkey uh is uh provoking the situation 12:12 in the eastern mediterranean 12:14 uh they have come very close uh 12:17 uh to starting a war with uh greece 12:20 but that wouldn’t uh only be limited to 12:24 a war between uh 12:27 greece and uh and turkey but most 12:29 probably egypt 12:30 israel cyprus france would be 12:33 participating 12:35 so it remains to be seen as to how much 12:38 a turkey is willing to push the envelope 12:43 because by stretching the rope 12:46 it’s a matter of time before it breaks 12:48 and 12:50 and we might see some uh some uh drastic 12:54 uh developments and some drastic changes 12:59 uh within turkey don’t forget turkey 13:02 uh is aligned itself with saraj 13:06 in libya who is probably going to be 13:09 stepping down in the next couple of days 13:13 you have a kurdish 13:16 issue around turkey in 13:20 iran uh iraq and syria 13:23 and probably over 20 million uh kurds in 13:26 turkey without 13:27 basic human rights so um 13:30 i think we should be watching very 13:31 carefully because 13:33 i believe this thing is going to come to 13:37 some kind of climax very very soon 13:43 dr wittershoven what is the importance 13:45 of turkey threatening to close the 13:46 bosphorus 13:47 do you think that eragon would actually 13:49 do this and what do you believe putin’s 13:51 response would be 13:54 how long do you have there 13:57 no um it’s it’s it is 14:01 the ultimate stretch that 14:04 ankara could make to 14:10 vladimir however 14:13 i i 14:17 think while looking at rap turkey is 14:21 engaged 14:24 right now so in the east met in 14:27 libya 14:34 i think for um as a 14:37 former military 14:41 analyst i would say he is 14:44 not at this moment willing to 14:47 overstretch his 14:48 military options so um 14:51 to block this 14:55 trades it would be extremely 14:59 pesky um think 15:02 also about the impact that 15:07 um shirks even if they’re anti-aging 15:13 shirks have been laid at least 15:17 educated in a turkish nationalistic way 15:21 so either 15:25 if we hope that there will be an 15:28 internal 15:30 revolt against what argonne at this 15:33 moment is 15:34 doing i think we are over estimating the 15:39 the willingness and the knowledge inside 15:42 of 15:42 turkey about what is going on 15:46 aragon is at this moment using the old 15:52 strategy when things 15:54 inside of your own country are not going 15:58 the way that you 15:59 are hoping it would go 16:02 then you try to get your people 16:05 your turkish nationals to think that 16:10 turkey is surrounded by enemies and that 16:14 they are 16:15 at this moment uh willing to 16:19 remove whatever erdogan 16:22 says well um 16:25 it’s it’s going to be a very tricky 16:29 situation yeah because turkish economy 16:34 is 16:34 extremely down turkish lira is 16:37 going down by the day investments into 16:42 turkey have almost dropped to 16:46 levels of the 1980s 16:49 um turkey has an 16:52 internal problem and it’s now trying to 16:55 propone there is an 16:56 external factor that is causing the 17:00 internal 17:02 problem so that’s why you right now 17:07 see that ankara is willing to threaten 17:11 is willing to act up till a certain 17:15 headline but it’s not yet 17:18 not yet stepping over the headline that 17:21 would mean 17:22 it’s going to be an all all-out 17:26 war the issue is 17:29 russia um keep 17:32 in mind that the turks who were the 17:35 largest were a huge 17:39 russian energy importer 17:43 have been dropping their energy impulse 17:45 from 17:46 russia this is not liked by 17:50 russia so russia is now 17:53 also some analysts say 17:57 is trying to let 18:00 turkey feel russia is not happy 18:03 do not think that russia is going to let 18:07 turkey do whatever they want to do but 18:11 i think vladimir still smiling behind 18:15 closed doors 18:16 if turkey is angry at europe or turkey 18:19 is angry with 18:21 washington because that likes that is 18:24 like it undermines the european 18:28 union yeah because you get now 18:31 from italy against germany 18:35 and the rest you get in nato you get 18:39 nato turkey against nato greece 18:43 um vladimir is happy 18:46 and what is happening in armenia you 18:49 even could say 18:50 maybe russia is trying out how good the 18:54 turkish drones are are they 18:57 rather than russian uh 19:00 and anti-air 19:03 systems or are the turks bluffing 19:06 and the russian systems are better it’s 19:10 fighting by proxy i 19:15 do agree i don’t think at this moment 19:19 you will see 19:19 a turkish army 19:23 gonna fight the russian army we know 19:25 that 19:26 is to both of them 19:29 not to their advantage instability 19:33 and the caucuses has also an advantage 19:36 for 19:38 oil and gas prices will go up 19:41 yeah okay 19:44 mr johnson would you like to add to that 19:46 question do you think eragon would 19:48 actually close the boss first and what 19:49 would putin’s response be 19:53 well i think erdogan is a along the way 19:56 learned lessons i mean i 19:57 he started out as essentially a soccer 20:00 star that’s where he 20:01 got claimed to fame and was elected to a 20:03 radical party in 20:04 turkey early on and learned a lot of 20:06 valuable lessons there because he was 20:08 forced out of politics so his upbringing 20:12 has taught him a great deal of 20:13 pragmatism so 20:14 the answer to the question is he’ll do 20:16 it if he can get away with it 20:19 but i don’t see circumstances under 20:21 which he could get away with it uh the 20:22 very first thing that would happen if 20:24 he tried to close the boss for us is 20:27 that russia 20:27 would sail through it and if fired upon 20:30 they would respond 20:31 and uh certainly i agree with everyone 20:33 that that 20:34 turkey is not prepared to take on russia 20:37 in a full-scale war between those two 20:39 countries 20:39 they have a they have a massive standing 20:42 army but 20:44 their air force and navy which would be 20:46 very important part of a war of that 20:48 nature uh just aren’t up to the task 20:50 period i mean they they couldn’t compete 20:52 so uh i i don’t see him 20:55 actually trying to do that he’s 20:58 erdogan is going to be very pragmatic 21:00 about all of this 21:02 i think he’s very dedicated to the idea 21:05 of expanding into a neo-ottoman empire i 21:09 believe that he 21:10 actually in his very center of his being 21:13 believes that that is his 21:15 god-given right and that he uh 21:18 is is only trying to act out the will of 21:21 allah from his perspective 21:23 and uh so he’s he’s going to do 21:24 everything he can do to make that happen 21:26 now 21:27 uh there’s that’s not an easy path to 21:30 take i think a lot of people 21:32 recognize that he has that ambition 21:35 especially the closer you are to turkey 21:37 the more you recognize 21:38 that that’s what he’s up to and uh his 21:41 power 21:42 inside turkey while he’s having a lot of 21:44 economic problems and he’s having some 21:46 political problems 21:47 his power is still absolute he took 21:50 advantage of the 21:51 so-called attempted revolution in 2017 21:55 that 21:57 that he blamed on some outside forces 22:00 uh to consolidate power and he 22:03 let’s not forget he fired like 200 000 22:06 people in turkey 22:07 many of whom are still political 22:09 prisoners sitting in jail 22:10 and he put in all of his own people and 22:12 that’s at every level 22:14 judges police military everybody so the 22:17 entire government 22:18 apparatus is under erdogan’s direct 22:21 control 22:22 and that’s insurmountable 22:26 for any sort of domestic opposition to 22:29 try and rise up against all of that it’s 22:31 just not 22:32 not practical any sort of situation of 22:35 that nature 22:36 that would be a threat to erdogan is 22:37 going to have to come from the outside 22:39 and i don’t see something like that 22:40 happening anytime soon so 22:43 erdogan is always going to do what’s 22:45 practical that’s how he was brought up 22:46 that’s how he’s going to respond to 22:48 these situations he knows he can do 22:50 much of what he wants in libya and is 22:52 doing it there are elements that 22:54 limit him uh in armenia there’s fewer 22:56 elements that limit him so he’s doing 22:57 what he wants there 22:58 uh syria he’s getting away with whatever 23:02 pretty much he wants and that’s in 23:03 certain 23:04 areas along the turkish border uh where 23:06 he essentially uh 23:08 uh conquered a swath of land that’s up 23:10 against the syrian border and has 23:12 put in his own people so all of these 23:14 things that you’ll note have a common 23:16 theme and that’s the 23:17 pragmatism that’s behind them his goal 23:20 remains the same 23:21 but he’s only going to go as far as he 23:22 thinks he can actually practically get 23:24 away with 23:27 savas senator ron johnson has been 23:29 involved in talks 23:30 concerning moving the u.s air force base 23:33 in philic 23:34 from turkey to greece you see this 23:36 happening and why is that significant 23:41 well um i i believe we’re coming 23:44 closer and closer to that uh to that 23:48 event in my humble opinion 23:51 some of us have been advocating 23:55 that the united states shouldn’t be held 23:57 hostage 23:58 having the military base there 24:02 and also the nuclear weapons and we have 24:05 seen the behavior of turkey on previous 24:07 events uh where the base 24:10 basically was off limits to the united 24:14 states 24:14 uh we have seen it at the latest uh two 24:17 years ago three years ago 24:19 when the so-called attempted coup took 24:22 place 24:24 uh the base was shut down by turkey with 24:26 uh 24:27 basically no access to the usa that owns 24:31 the base and they have started 24:35 uh now for a couple of years 24:39 moving some of the operations out of the 24:42 of the base and i think the ultimate 24:45 move 24:46 will be to relocate the entire uh 24:48 operation 24:49 because uh erdogan um even though 24:52 uh uh mr johnson uh described it as 24:56 pragmatist approach um 25:01 being that it’s a greek world i don’t 25:04 see 25:04 any pragmatism uh to his approach 25:08 uh so he 25:12 keeps isolating himself and 25:14 unfortunately he’s creating 25:16 a situation where turkey 25:19 is going to have to take some action uh 25:22 they are good in pushing the envelope as 25:24 i said earlier and we have seen it with 25:26 the refugees 25:27 at the border of greece 25:30 we have seen it lately in the aegean 25:35 where two military 25:38 brigades collided we have seen it in 25:42 egypt we have seen it in libya we have 25:45 seen it in syria 25:47 they keep pushing and they are keep 25:49 threatening 25:50 and having so many problems domestically 25:53 he’s gonna need 25:55 something outside uh turkey to divert 25:58 the attention 26:00 i don’t know uh if it’s gonna be to his 26:02 benefit 26:03 but coming back to uh uh to the 26:06 relocation 26:07 of the base uh we have the visit 26:11 of the foreign minister or the secretary 26:14 of state of the united states 26:16 uh i believe tomorrow i lost track of 26:20 the dates uh 26:24 i think it’s fair now uh if i’m not 26:26 mistaken 26:27 uh and tech is not uh too happy about it 26:30 uh we have seen statements 26:32 coming out of turkey and erdogan uh that 26:35 the united states uh is not being 26:37 neutral 26:39 and that’s uh that’s uh no good 26:43 but i think the united states has made 26:45 it very clear 26:46 and is giving a strong message uh 26:49 visiting 26:50 cyprus a couple of weeks ago uh 26:53 uh lifting embargo against cyprus and 26:56 now 26:57 not only having high-level talks in 26:59 greece but uh making a point 27:01 uh to visit suda bay in crete 27:04 where uh rumors have it 27:07 that it will be the new location or at 27:10 least 27:11 a location for uh some or most of the 27:14 operations coming out of 27:16 the base in turkey right now so i i 27:19 think the united states policy in the 27:21 eastern mediterranean has refocused 27:24 uh it started two three years ago 27:28 with the election of donald trump and 27:31 under the leadership 27:32 secretary of state wes mitchell uh 27:36 has come a long way and has established 27:39 the pillars of and the partners 27:42 of this new policy being israel 27:46 cyprus uh greece 27:49 and as the fourth member uh being egypt 27:53 so uh i i think 27:56 we’re gonna see some events unfolding 27:59 very very quickly 28:00 in the very near future that is my 28:04 that is my perception at least and 28:08 the more turkey acts 28:11 in such a responsible way uh the more 28:15 ammunition uh 28:16 it gives to washington uh to refocus 28:19 and re-evaluate uh the american foreign 28:22 policy 28:23 uh vis-a-vis turkey does anybody else 28:27 want to speak to the move 28:28 of incirlik um um 28:31 yes i would have a comment 28:34 okay go ahead brad uh 28:38 i think it’s the the the moving of the 28:40 of the 28:41 air force base in turkey uh is 28:43 extraordinarily interesting 28:44 i think that this is something that’s 28:46 been played out by the trump 28:48 administration 28:48 ron senator ron johnson who publicly 28:51 came out and said that it was under 28:53 consideration 28:54 to move the u.s air force base out of 28:57 turkey into greece 28:58 was very significant i think trump 29:01 trying to play 29:02 this as well as he could politically is 29:05 using 29:06 uh senator johnson’s office to make the 29:09 threat while he kind of stands back 29:11 trying to hold open 29:12 a way to negotiate with president 29:14 turkish president erdogan 29:16 uh i think that has very little chance 29:18 by the way i i don’t think president 29:20 erdogan is going to 29:22 negotiate in a in a manner that would 29:24 that’s going to really change 29:26 his course uh but the very interesting 29:28 thing about a day 29:30 after that what leaked out of the press 29:32 coming out of this 29:33 to the press coming out of the senate 29:35 was that not only was the united states 29:37 considering moving the base out of 29:39 turkey and into greece 29:41 but they were considering moving it to 29:43 cyprus 29:44 now if that indeed were true now i think 29:47 it was 29:47 leaked on purpose as a particularly 29:51 pointed 29:52 maybe not threat but but kind of a 29:54 threat to turkey 29:55 i mean putting that u.s military base 29:58 that air force it’s a combined base but 30:00 the air force base 30:01 uh on cyprus would be absolutely just 30:04 you know stabbing president erdogan in 30:06 the eye with a stick 30:08 so uh i think that’s a particular 30:10 poignant threat to all of this 30:12 and i think erdogan was he hasn’t 30:15 responded publicly 30:16 uh you know he’s saying general this is 30:19 negative sort of stuff but he hasn’t 30:21 upped the ante yet which is typical of 30:24 his behavior 30:25 so i think that surprised him a great 30:27 deal and he was very taken aback by the 30:29 possibility 30:30 that that that that base could end up on 30:33 cyprus so 30:35 it’ll be interesting to see how he how 30:36 he fights back and pushes back against 30:39 that 30:39 particular aspect but like i said so far 30:42 i think president trump 30:44 wants to negotiate with erdogan wants to 30:46 back away 30:47 from this ramping up of the problems in 30:50 the area as i said 30:51 i don’t see that really having a lot of 30:54 chance the germans 30:55 have been in trying to negotiate with 30:57 these problems with the greek waters now 30:59 for a while 30:59 and they’re having no success because as 31:01 i mentioned earlier on i think 31:03 truthfully 31:04 in his heart president erdogan believes 31:07 it’s his right 31:08 and his destiny to take these lands 31:11 around turkey 31:12 back that were once under ottoman empire 31:14 control and so that’s the path he’s on i 31:16 don’t 31:17 other than by force i just don’t see how 31:20 you can 31:21 change his plan unless somehow he is 31:24 taken removed from office which could 31:25 only be 31:26 first i don’t think he would leave 31:28 willingly under any circumstances 31:30 and uh if i cannot uh uh to what mr 31:34 johnson said 31:35 uh erdogan uh has repeatedly uh 31:39 said and many of his proxies have done 31:41 so as well 31:42 that he wants to renegotiate the treaty 31:45 of lausanne 31:46 which established the current borders 31:50 and everything else 31:51 so it goes beyond that i mean it is very 31:55 clear 31:56 and very alarming at the same time that 31:59 his 32:00 neo-ottomanism 32:04 has everybody up in arms not only 32:07 greece and cyprus and israel but also 32:10 most of the arab world 32:12 mind you and the latest uh the latest 32:15 agreements 32:16 uh between bahrain uh 32:19 the united arab emirates uh the deal 32:22 between kosovo and serbia 32:24 don’t believe in a moment that these 32:28 uh agreements are not related uh to 32:31 uh what turkey is doing and what turkey 32:35 is uh is uh uh tried to establish 32:39 so i believe these are very calculated 32:42 uh 32:44 moves i give the administration a lot of 32:47 credit 32:47 uh for having been able to broker 32:51 such a significant agreement uh between 32:54 uh 32:56 these countries it is a very 32:58 unconventional way 33:00 to solve the middle east problem but i 33:02 think 33:03 you need to think outside the box in 33:06 order to 33:07 solve a long-standing problem such as 33:09 this one 33:10 and i think the trump administration is 33:12 doing it in such a way that 33:15 you can’t even believe it uh but very 33:17 soon we’re going to see 33:19 other countries joining and signing 33:21 agreements with 33:22 israel and of course the the the prime 33:25 minister of all is going to be the 33:26 agreement between uh 33:28 saudi arabia and israel by doing so 33:31 uh basically you you are neutralizing 33:35 the arab world and 33:38 at some point they’re gonna be forced uh 33:41 to 33:41 uh uh take a moment to smell the roses 33:45 and realize the new developments and i 33:47 think these are so significant that uh 33:50 and due to uh the politicized uh 33:54 climate we have in the united states not 33:56 much uh attention 33:57 has been focused on it for obvious 33:59 reasons uh 34:01 but uh nevertheless uh it remains one of 34:03 the most significant 34:05 developments in the last 25 years when 34:07 it comes 34:08 to the middle east dr witterscheven did 34:11 you want to add to this discussion 34:13 yes yes 34:18 i do 34:20 a agree that that um the 34:23 arab sr ali issue 34:27 is changing um i also 34:31 do agree that 34:34 washington has been um setting up a 34:41 positive ground on which the 34:44 israelis and the arabs were able to to 34:47 talk but i would not 34:49 over estimate the impact of let’s say 34:53 the 34:54 trump administration on the deals 34:57 between 34:58 bahrain the united arab emirates and 35:01 israel 35:02 um they have been and they were already 35:06 since years 35:08 shocking um 35:12 netanyahu mohammed bin zayed and even 35:16 mohammed bin salman the conference of 35:20 saudi 35:22 have had their official and 35:25 unofficial lines that they were 35:28 talking to there were ongoing rumors of 35:32 saudi planes 35:33 landing in israel israelis 35:36 flying to saudi and the uae 35:40 um this has been going on and 35:43 if i would like to give some credit i 35:47 think the 35:48 credits um even that i do not 35:52 always agree with benjamin netanyahu but 35:56 netanyahu and mohammed bin zayed the 35:59 conference of abu have been able 36:04 to deal with issues without 36:07 going straight away into the issue of 36:12 palestine and gaza 36:16 the turkish encouragement as 36:19 i see it on the middle east 36:22 has been a major issue the turkish 36:27 deal with qatar uh 36:30 a turkish military base next to the 36:33 largest military base of the usa 36:37 um has been an issue the turkish 36:42 um medium 36:45 or perceived friendship with iran 36:49 has been a reason that people in 36:52 the emirates and israel and bakken 36:56 and even in saudi have been looking 36:59 at these issues and saying okay 37:03 maybe we need to deal now before 37:06 since really 37:12 has been playing an issue also but 37:16 keep in mind for the arabs 37:19 for the arab countries s 37:23 has a lot of advantages and then i’m 37:26 talking about high tech and high tech 37:29 can be for 37:30 commercial issues but also for defense 37:34 and purity and um 37:38 yes 80s are and that’s where people 37:42 sometimes do not even look at are very 37:44 good 37:45 in food production agriculture 37:48 and water and these are real 37:51 issues so there was a 37:55 win-win-win-win-win situation that 38:00 has been supported by the position taken 38:04 by 38:05 washington i 38:08 still feel at heart to believe that 38:11 jared 38:12 kushner was able to broker a deal 38:15 between the 38:17 emirati and the israelis if both sides 38:20 did not even 38:21 thought about it um 38:24 saudi saudi will be one of the last that 38:28 will be 38:28 officially officially 38:32 signing a deal keep in mind 38:35 where people do not because 38:39 most most media have a very short 38:43 memory already in 2017 38:48 uh during the future investment 38:52 initiative in riyadh non-prince mohammed 38:55 bin salman was 38:56 stating then that he sees a 39:00 position of israel in the arab world 39:03 which was 39:04 a shock but was not as like that 39:08 things are going on and the position 39:10 that 39:11 ankara is having right now is only 39:14 supporting any potential 39:18 economic financial defense and 39:22 peace agreements between former 39:24 so-called 39:26 adversaries keep also 39:28 in mind there were a lot of israelis 39:31 already 39:32 in the arab world but they did not show 39:35 their 39:35 israeli passport but were 39:39 working including insecurity of certain 39:43 high-profile people in the arab world 39:48 the deal was brokered before it only was 39:52 able to 39:55 come out because they got the 39:59 additional support of donald 40:02 trump and also keep in mind 40:06 in 2016 40:09 world was not voting for donald trump 40:13 the majority of financing out of the 40:16 emirates 40:17 bahrain qatar and saudi 40:20 and egypt was for hillary for hillary 40:25 clinton because she was assessed as 40:27 being even 40:29 more hard than trump 40:32 against certain adversaries that they 40:35 were seeing 40:37 yeah things are more 40:41 diffused than sometimes in u.s 40:44 media is being shown 40:50 okay 41:00 we are talking it’s going to greece or 41:03 to cyprus 41:04 the ue i think has even openly 41:09 put it into the media that they would be 41:11 more than happy 41:13 to be the base of the u.s air force etc 41:17 if they would live 41:18 in challenge 41:23 congratulations so as i understand 41:26 well cereal 41:30 yes of course thank you very much yes i 41:32 understand well cyril said before that 41:34 the european the europe would be happy 41:36 if the 41:37 base will transfer in europe or soil 41:40 cereal 41:44 who’s that question too can you hear me 41:48 yeah yeah um i think that 41:54 looking at the position that the 41:56 european 41:57 countries are taking at this moment with 42:00 regards to 42:01 turkey um a growing amount of people 42:05 would not be 42:06 extremely unhappy if it would leave 42:10 in sterling because security-wise 42:13 you need to be able to be sure that you 42:17 can use it 42:18 if things are needed so 42:21 if it will go to greece 42:25 um or to cyprus okay 42:28 that’s that’s still very tricky of 42:31 course 42:32 but why not why not 42:35 we always talk about cyprus but 42:39 cyprus has all had a 42:43 huge foreign military base 42:47 next to uh lanaka 42:57 armor um are there so uh if 43:00 a smooth transition if they were to 43:02 decide to move 43:04 the operations in cyprus uh they are 43:07 using the sovereign 43:08 english spaces as we speak anyway so 43:11 that 43:11 that would be a very quick and a very 43:13 smooth uh 43:14 exactly and the the 43:18 french are also talking about 43:21 the best snapping up i think the best 43:23 choice is uh 43:27 the french also wants to wants to go 43:30 there 43:31 i think that the cyprus government 43:34 promised to provide a naval 43:37 not a base but let’s say place actually 43:39 not a base 43:40 yeah maybe every place for 43:43 a small place on the big port for the 43:48 ship warships of the french warships 43:51 i think that if this will happen the 43:53 best solution is to 43:55 go uh this this base to transfer to 43:58 larissa 44:00 because larissa is already has their 44:03 ability to 44:06 fight this kind of nuclear uh 44:10 uh nuclear equipments first of all 44:14 the second about the caucasus uh 44:17 comment about the capitals is that uh 44:19 the all people in armenia 44:22 now uh according with my latest 44:24 information 44:25 from armenia uh the whole people is in 44:28 high alert and also uh 44:32 some people armenians who live in greece 44:36 they already prepare to move there and 44:39 to go there for 44:40 for to fight for their country the 44:43 situation is very serious i know that in 44:45 the united states also there is a 44:47 there are a lot of armenian immigrants 44:50 and 44:52 of course we support the the rights 44:55 for the freedom and it’s an excuse 44:59 i can i cannot excuse the assad 45:02 from the side of azerbaijan however i 45:05 would like to 45:06 to add that russia 45:09 has always tried relations 45:13 with turkey and 45:16 we faced that we saw that uh 45:19 decades ago uh with uh 45:22 i i think that it was uh uh 45:25 again the base the the interleague base 45:29 i think or another base in turkey 45:31 was issue um 45:35 what was a huge issue during the 45:39 kennedy presidency and i think 45:42 i think that it was simultaneously with 45:44 a 45:50 crisis it was also um simultaneously 45:54 a crisis with a nuclear 45:57 us base in turkey so this is a 46:01 long story the turkey and 46:05 russia relations it’s a long story 46:10 and i believe that you russia used 46:13 turkey to 46:16 destabilize nato to destabilize uh 46:19 the mediterranean and of course the 46:22 european union 46:23 and middle east that’s all 46:27 mr johnson well turkey is threatening 46:30 places like greece and cyprus and with 46:32 the situation in armenia 46:34 there are already turkeys already 46:36 showing their future aspirations in 46:38 other countries 46:39 can you speak to what the turkish 46:41 military and pro-turkish partners 46:43 are doing in places like yemen libya and 46:46 syria 46:49 yes i mean i think it’s largely based 46:51 and this is something we’ve touched on a 46:53 little bit 46:54 but uh with the ambitions of 46:57 reestablishing a neo-ottoman empire it 47:00 has to be fueled and i mean very 47:02 literally in this particular case 47:04 they have to have the energy resources 47:06 to do it so if you 47:07 look at where they’re expanding there’s 47:10 always some kind of connection you can 47:12 say 47:12 uh all roads lead back to the energy 47:15 issues so i think what you’re seeing 47:17 as they’re trying to push out the 47:19 envelope as to where they have control 47:22 they’re pushing first in areas where uh 47:24 there are 47:25 there are energy resources because they 47:27 want to capitalize on that and take them 47:29 to themselves to then 47:31 expand further their efforts so uh 47:34 certainly libya is that syria uh perhaps 47:37 to a lesser degree 47:39 but uh uh azerbaijan has oil and uh 47:42 so they’re they’re invested there and 47:45 are closely allied of course the 47:46 azerbaijanis are essentially a turkish 47:48 people 47:49 by bloodline and everything anyway so it 47:52 is a natural relationship 47:54 uh libby of course is not uh there’s 47:56 that that sort of natural relationship 47:58 isn’t as strong with them but 48:00 i think that’s the common theme and 48:02 where you where you can look at what 48:03 they’re doing 48:05 their interest in greece is uh related 48:08 to being able to draw 48:10 a drill for oil and gas in the seas 48:13 around the greek islands and 48:15 i think that’s just what you see over 48:17 and over and that’s the goal and the 48:18 reason they have that 48:19 goal of such a strong motive is 48:22 is because they know they can’t continue 48:24 to expand without that 48:26 turkey itself does not have those 48:28 natural resources so they need it i 48:30 think 48:30 many people have been drawing parallels 48:32 between uh some of the aspects of world 48:34 war one and world war ii to the current 48:36 situation 48:37 and uh that’s one of the things i find 48:39 very similar to japan 48:40 japan was greatly motivated to go to war 48:43 to obtain the resources that it needed 48:46 as an island nation to continue its 48:48 expansion 48:49 and uh i think that that uh turkey today 48:52 finds itself in a 48:54 uh very similar situation in that sense 48:56 that 48:57 they need those resources so where i 48:59 would say what you 49:00 what you’re seeing is that policy play 49:03 itself 49:03 out on on the world stage 49:09 all the major shifts in the region are 49:10 bringing awareness to the possibility 49:12 that nato is facing significant changes 49:15 or even possibly dissolving in the 49:17 future what changes do you see coming to 49:20 nato 49:21 and will we see alliances like the new 49:23 peace agreements 49:24 and president macron’s suggestion of a 49:26 pax mediterranean 49:28 replacing nato 49:31 well i’m one of those who believe that 49:34 the establishment 49:35 the establishment of nato uh following 49:37 world war 49:38 ii uh is much different than 49:41 today’s uh today’s world we have seen 49:45 that many of the countries that belong 49:48 to nato 49:48 don’t necessarily meet up the criteria 49:54 and the latest developments really show 49:58 that nato is not as cohesive 50:01 as one would think you have a member of 50:05 nato 50:05 properly threatening its neighbors 50:08 another nato 50:10 member which that by itself 50:13 uh it’s a reason to believe that the 50:16 catholics of two nato allies would break 50:19 up the alliance 50:20 uh in a second um 50:25 now i think it would be more significant 50:28 uh to have the pax mediterranean as 50:32 the french president uh called it 50:36 which is more specific to the area 50:40 and such 50:43 an alliance will establish and also 50:46 safeguard 50:47 the peace and stability in the area and 50:50 also 50:51 a new class forum made up of four 50:55 countries including 50:59 israel egypt cyprus greece 51:05 the palestinian authority italy and 51:07 france 51:08 sends a very very strong message 51:11 i believe nato for all purposes 51:15 is outdated it needs to be reformed 51:19 and it needs to make them just 51:23 to coincide with today’s 51:26 realities turkey is 51:30 constantly presenting a huge problem for 51:33 the allowance 51:34 for the alliance and i believe 51:37 the new developments and the new 51:39 agreements in the area 51:41 definitely will have a significant 51:46 effect on the alliance and if uh 51:50 if uh 51:54 if the new alliance is established under 51:57 the leadership of france 51:58 minou a very strong uh nato 52:02 ally uh will in essence 52:05 uh fraction uh 52:09 nato but uh in my in my work 52:13 because it’s still in principle within 52:16 that framework but france is taking 52:19 a very very aggressive role in the area 52:23 for their own interest mind you 52:26 nevertheless they have come out very 52:30 strongly 52:31 for greece and cyprus they have signed 52:34 significant military agreements 52:38 and they have openly stated that they 52:41 will come to the rescue of britain 52:43 cyprus 52:44 in the event that turkey attacks 52:47 so these are no small 52:50 announcements and these are no small 52:52 developments 52:54 i think we are experiencing a new 52:57 uh i would call it a new order 53:01 uh in that part of the world that uh 53:04 threatens 53:05 to destabilize the entire 53:08 uh area and uh 53:12 if it wasn’t for uh uh germany’s 53:16 suspicious role uh 53:19 in essence protecting their own 53:21 interests and supporting uh turkey day 53:23 in day out 53:25 uh the developments will have taken 53:27 place already 53:30 does anyone else want to speak to the 53:31 changes coming to nato 53:33 and the new alliance is being formed 53:39 um yes um i 53:44 i’m an um 53:49 as you will say i’m an athleticist 53:53 because that’s how i grew up and was 53:58 educated um so i’m 54:02 un happy to see that 54:05 one of the most stabilizing 54:09 organizations in the world even 54:12 more now that much more 54:15 than the un um 54:19 is under pressure because of one 54:22 single leader 54:25 and it’s it’s its views on the world 54:29 um turkey’s 54:32 position should not mean that we 54:36 are ending let’s say 54:39 nato as we know maybe we should 54:44 reorganize or reassess the position that 54:47 turkey has and the changing 54:51 global organical 54:54 scene because turkey’s polarization 54:58 and nato was strong because 55:01 it was the largest semi-european 55:06 based military force that was bordering 55:09 the soviet 55:12 union well this situation when you look 55:15 at the map 55:16 is not anymore the 55:19 reality turkey is yes 55:22 it’s still next to russia but it’s not 55:26 anymore 55:26 extremely the main 55:30 stumble block for us soviet 55:34 army going into anyway 55:38 where i’m happy 55:42 and that’s where i have been 55:46 writing on now for three years east 55:50 match should not be looked upon as 55:54 nato is match it’s its own region and a 55:58 box is met or a box 56:07 should be the second 56:10 phase of at all that it was mentioned 56:14 the 56:14 eastman med gas forum which was 56:17 officially 56:19 announced as an international 56:21 organization 56:23 last week um a 56:26 security organization dealing with 56:29 issues in the mediterranean 56:32 is a major issue this is not 56:35 not and i need to emphasize that this 56:39 should not always include american 56:42 support of american interference because 56:45 that 56:45 is not helping we have seen it whenever 56:50 the east mad gas reform was trying to 56:54 step further in what they were 56:56 discussing 56:58 we got in my european 57:02 review an interference from washington 57:05 because 57:06 suddenly the us was proposing supporting 57:10 or 57:10 forcing through 57:14 gas deals to greece to cyprus or to 57:17 whatever 57:18 which was not helping the regional 57:22 coordinational regional integration 57:26 and regional setup of a system 57:29 that can stabilize the region 57:32 what france now is doing i’m 57:37 98 behind because i still 57:41 need to see that macro will put 57:44 his deeds where his 57:48 words are will france honestly 57:51 and actively interfere if there is a 57:54 real clash between 57:56 turkey and greece or turkey and 57:59 egypt um we have seen 58:03 france and italy 58:06 do not forget italy 58:10 try to become a major geopolitical and 58:13 military player 58:14 in the region up to now the success 58:18 of both strategies has been extremely 58:21 high 58:23 and i’m not going to say that they are 58:25 not 58:26 willing but it’s not that easy you are 58:29 looking from a western european 58:33 point of view into an eastern european 58:37 and arab 58:40 situation in which 58:43 not always military issues military 58:46 strategy 58:47 military security and economic interest 58:50 are playing for the same goal 58:54 so where the fox 58:58 made the rhenia 59:01 according to me should be set up from is 59:06 not from france 59:07 it could be set up by greece israel 59:10 cyprus and egypt without 59:14 them integrating whatever they need to 59:17 integrate and that’s including economic 59:21 and financial systems 59:24 it becomes still a weak um 59:29 addendum to a nato or what 59:33 some people even say and i do not give 59:36 us that 59:36 a new kind of new colonialistic 59:40 view proponed by france and 59:44 italy east met which 59:48 includes libya needs to be dealt with 59:52 the main players that 59:53 are in that geography france and italy 59:58 are only able to assist 60:02 for the whole area 60:05 support from washington is helpful 60:08 but please do not interfere please do 60:11 not 60:12 think that whatever always is coming 60:15 from washington for 60:17 a certain region is most beneficial for 60:20 that 60:21 region also where 60:24 i would like to emphasize if the whole 60:28 issue is at this moment 60:31 related to oil and gas and i i can 60:34 give you hundreds of examples of 60:37 wars that officially were started 60:40 according 60:43 to the media because it was linked to 60:46 oil and gas at this moment no crisis in 60:50 the whole region 60:52 needs to be started because somebody 60:54 needs oil and 60:56 gas there’s more oil and gas on the 60:58 market 60:59 than there are clients if turkey wants 61:03 to have oil and gas it can go 61:05 on the market and it can get whatever it 61:09 uh 61:10 wants to have for the next 25 years 61:12 against 61:13 prices you would be dreaming of 61:17 last year the same for greece and egypt 61:20 etc 61:21 where maybe people are right 61:24 energy oil and gas is maybe the 61:28 destabilizing factor because at this 61:31 moment whatever 61:32 greece cyprus egypt israel are planning 61:37 are commercially not feasible 61:41 we are looking at projects that are at 61:44 this moment 61:45 and in 2021 up to 2025 61:49 not feasible at all no 61:52 commercial investor will invest in a 61:55 project 61:56 to connect cyprus to greece to europe 62:00 why q expensive 62:04 etc that opportunity 62:07 the region has 62:11 missed if we are trying to 62:14 use energy as a factor in the east met 62:17 is integrating the original 62:21 economies but that’s for after 25 62:24 so after 2025 62:28 what turkey now is doing 62:31 has no relationship to oil and gas 62:35 they can get more oil and gas than they 62:38 can ever 62:39 use it’s it’s just an 62:42 issue they are using it’s linked to 62:47 what has come out in 2014 2016 62:52 blue homeland i do agree 62:56 is some call it in new york 63:00 optimism i call it antagonism 63:03 it’s not ottomanism no turk is 63:06 interested in 63:07 osman nobody aragon is interested in 63:11 setting up a feasible 63:15 military political power 63:18 that needs maritime roots in the east 63:21 met 63:22 the oil and gas that’s no issue it’s 63:24 greek islands 63:25 it’s cyprus it’s egypt 63:29 it’s real geographical interests 63:32 are not related to serbia or croatia 63:36 or greece it’s the ottoman 63:39 turkish heartland the turks are not 63:42 coming from europe 63:43 the turks are coming from central 63:46 asia is met 63:49 it’s a geographical maritime issue 63:53 trade access for turkey for 63:56 everything if it’s not interested in 64:00 in a geographical lock-in 64:03 due to where it is it’s the east met it 64:06 needs to have open seas 64:09 and that contradicts with international 64:12 law 64:13 and whichever 64:18 if the region is able to set up a 64:22 structure 64:23 i even and do not misunderstand me 64:28 i would even say for eastmats 64:32 energy turkey is your main 64:36 client for eastman security 64:40 turkey is the main opponent 64:45 and to deal with both set 64:48 up and east met security for 64:53 or is okay we have it but okay 64:56 but done as an international 64:59 organization 65:01 not a nato not a western 65:05 european union because 65:08 that was a failure but organized it 65:11 first as east met 65:13 and used the assistance of france and 65:16 italy do not let them lead it 65:19 because then again you’re a follower 65:24 you’re not dealer 65:28 mr johnson would you like to add your 65:29 thoughts on all this including nato 65:33 yeah on the nato aspect there are some 65:35 interesting elements there at play 65:38 as everyone has pointed out certainly 65:40 turkey is is causing a lot of problems 65:42 between nato countries greece and turkey 65:44 directly of course 65:46 and one of the issues with nato and i 65:49 couldn’t agree more that it needs to 65:51 modernize a great deal the the 65:52 circumstances under which it came into 65:55 being 65:56 essentially the cold war have gone there 65:58 are similar problems 66:00 existing in certain areas but the 66:01 overall world situation is quite 66:03 different so there’s no question they 66:04 have to adjust 66:06 i think this turkey problem uh is 66:09 perhaps 66:10 something that’s going to give some 66:11 impetus to that but nato doesn’t even 66:14 have a way for example to 66:16 they don’t have the rules in place to 66:17 say vote turkey out or something like 66:20 that 66:20 both france and germany have talked 66:22 about this as an issue i don’t know if 66:24 they’re serious about it or merely using 66:26 it as it as a 66:28 negotiating tactic to put pressure on 66:30 turkey to sort of 66:31 comply and kind of pull back its horns a 66:34 bit uh 66:35 but one thing that has been left out of 66:37 the discussion so far 66:38 to the for the for the impact on all 66:40 this is the eu 66:41 and much of what france is saying to 66:44 justify their 66:45 support for greece for example is that 66:47 it’s a a member eu country turkey had 66:49 applied at one point but 66:51 uh because of their human rights records 66:52 and all these political prisoners 66:54 sitting in jail 66:55 uh they’re nowhere near it now the talks 66:57 have broken down so that’s 66:59 not even under consideration anymore uh 67:01 so the eu 67:02 is a very important factor on this and i 67:05 think that 67:06 is going to to perhaps play as a larger 67:09 factor than 67:10 even nato as to how the security in the 67:14 mediterranean region plays out 67:16 especially the eastern mediterranean 67:17 uh region uh and we’ve already seen a 67:20 lot more pressure on 67:22 uh eu than we have on nato we’ve had a 67:25 member 67:26 eu country vote to leave eu and that has 67:29 created some problems a lot of the 67:31 member 67:32 countries are in you know dire economic 67:34 straits 67:35 how this plays out i don’t know but i i 67:38 uh there you know there’s many things 67:39 that we could kind of predict 67:42 i think one of the problems with having 67:44 the eastern mediterranean 67:46 unto itself sort of uh arise with only 67:49 support from 67:50 eu countries and be on its own is you 67:53 need 67:54 the economic wherewithal to make that 67:56 work 67:57 and uh i just don’t think that exists 68:00 strictly within that region there’s 68:01 too many problems and conflicts and uh 68:04 you know past 68:05 wars that have impact so uh where that 68:07 leadership would come from where the 68:08 economic clout would come 68:10 from to put it together and make it work 68:12 i don’t know i’m not 68:13 predicting an outcome on that because i 68:15 just don’t know there are 68:17 so many forces at play and so many 68:19 people 68:20 urgently interested in their own uh you 68:23 know powers and money and so on 68:25 generally it’s power and money that 68:26 makes the world go around in these 68:28 circumstances and we see russia for 68:30 example i mean make no mistake gas prom 68:33 from russia is a weapon it’s always been 68:35 a weapon the way the soviet union was 68:37 organized from the very 68:38 beginning uh was so that all of the 68:40 satellite 68:41 soviet union countries were dependent on 68:44 uh on those resources coming out of 68:45 mother russia so 68:47 a gas problem has always been used that 68:49 way it’s been used 68:50 to aggressively take control of economic 68:55 uh resources and just for example since 68:57 we’ve been talking about armenia 68:59 much of armenia was bought up by gas 69:01 problem and it was because they weren’t 69:03 able to 69:03 pay the bills when it when the soviet 69:05 union broke apart they 69:06 had a lot of problems paying bills and 69:08 so gas prompt took a lot of things and 69:10 um so that country economically is very 69:13 dependent on russia so 69:15 that would be one of my you know 69:18 warnings to the area 69:20 on the energy thing personally i don’t 69:22 really have a dog in the fight don’t 69:23 care where the pipelines get laid 69:25 but i would say go for forward with this 69:27 with eyes open and be very cautious 69:29 because 69:30 a lot of players in that region russia 69:32 in particular 69:34 are weaponizing energy 69:37 and will gladly use that get people into 69:40 debt 69:41 and then use that to aggressively take 69:42 over economic resources 69:44 in lieu of payment where then they they 69:46 control your economy they have too much 69:48 interest and can 69:49 create too many problems so i think the 69:51 eu 69:52 is it in breakup is the uh you know 69:55 nato is it in breakup certainly there is 69:58 a crisis 69:59 uh forming with turkey on the other hand 70:02 economically it’s better off than it’s 70:04 been for many decades with the 70:06 pressure that president trump has put on 70:07 remember the member states to 70:09 pay in the amount that they’re obligated 70:11 to pay so there’s more money in nato 70:13 than ever before and some of the weapons 70:15 systems have come up 70:16 things are becoming more sophisticated 70:18 and the sharing of that 70:19 technology and weaponry is something 70:21 that’s that’s very very useful 70:23 so uh there’s a lot of of reasons why 70:27 member states of nato would want to 70:29 stay in nato can it keep that active and 70:32 evolve 70:33 with the changing world situation i 70:36 don’t know it’s it’s it’s a tough one to 70:37 predict and 70:38 i would say the eu is less better 70:40 positioned because of their 70:42 economic sharing system with the single 70:45 monetary system and all of that where 70:47 certain member states are just 70:49 economically and you know free fall 70:51 and others are in better shape that then 70:53 have to pay for those other countries so 70:54 that’s 70:55 that’s a real pressure and i think 70:56 that’s one of the motives why we saw 70:58 england decide to vote to withdraw from 71:01 eu so 71:02 i don’t think we can uh underestimate 71:05 the influence that these problems in eu 71:07 will also have 71:08 which just makes that whole problem more 71:10 complicated not less complicated i think 71:12 the future in that is going to be very 71:14 difficult to predict for a while 71:17 i would like to make sure that we get 71:19 onto matters concerning china 71:22 savas what is the significance of 71:24 china’s one belt 71:26 one road project in the region and is it 71:28 seen as a benefit to stability 71:30 or a recipe for disaster 71:36 well that’s a one million dollar 71:38 question uh 71:40 china trying to prevail 71:44 in the world they try to establish 71:46 themselves as the number one 71:48 economic power and i have to say that if 71:52 it was not 71:53 for the communist party uh running 71:56 china uh that would have become a 71:58 reality long time ago 72:00 nevertheless uh they are uh they are 72:03 working towards that 72:04 and they are doing it in such a way 72:07 where 72:08 they basically buy the most important 72:11 routes 72:12 around the world and they 72:15 buy the factories that produce the raw 72:17 materials 72:19 which drives their economy they have 72:22 been able to 72:23 extend in the eastern mediterranean 72:27 and their prime price of course is the 72:33 port of perez one of the most strategic 72:36 uh ports uh definitely in the 72:38 mediterranean but 72:39 probably in the world and it’s not only 72:43 that 72:45 that i have to tell you that raises a 72:47 lot of questions 72:48 with the usa and in discussions we had 72:51 with 72:52 cabinet members and elected officials 72:55 that remains a very alarming 72:59 subject and it’s been followed very 73:03 closely by 73:04 the united states so 73:07 for the chinese it seems to be working 73:10 for the time being 73:12 what the eventual outcome will be it 73:14 remains to be seen 73:15 but it is it is definitely a very 73:18 problematic 73:20 approach by the chinese rajin 73:23 uh trying to use the uh trojan horse 73:26 technique uh to basically 73:30 rupees and i have to say that they’re 73:33 doing 73:33 a terrific job in pursuing their own 73:36 interests 73:38 andreas would you like to add the matter 73:40 of china 73:48 i would like i would like to add 73:50 something about china 73:51 because in the latest information is 73:53 that the one belt one world project 73:56 has a financial collapse 74:00 the chinese flu comes back to 74:05 china returned back to china through the 74:08 financial way 74:09 through this one bill one road so 74:13 uh all the whole project is in the age 74:15 of collapse 74:16 the depth the depth is on the hands of 74:19 the government there 74:21 so the chinese trying to influence the 74:24 world and to dominate the world 74:26 through this project uh but 74:29 because of this collapse uh they 74:32 returned back the debt to the 74:33 governments 74:34 uh it’s a very critical situation i i 74:37 i will not uh i i will insist to say 74:40 that 74:43 the whole situation in the middle east 74:45 also affects 74:46 china and also the whole situation in 74:49 eurasia 74:50 affects china because it’s another 74:54 obstacle 74:55 any let’s say that 74:58 any fire in the region of the vitamin of 75:02 eurasia 75:03 is obstacle for the chinese 75:07 optimistic for the chinese projects 75:09 right let’s say the same in 75:11 kafka we face that in libya 75:14 we saw that in afghanistan 20 years ago 75:19 and in middle east in iraq and we also 75:23 uh we see that also in poland 75:26 now uh it’s it’s it’s difficult 75:30 for the chinese to pass these 75:34 obstacles so every obstacle 75:37 is uh in in the let’s say in the rimland 75:41 right in the ring around the eurasia 75:44 it’s a obstacle with the target 75:48 the target of this for this sort of 75:50 these obstacles is the chinese 75:52 is the china right this uh 75:56 this is my opinion and we will we will 75:59 see that 76:00 in the next years and i think 76:04 africa also it’s a 76:08 it will play a significant role 76:10 significant role 76:12 uh to that um 76:15 but i i will allow me to 76:18 to think about the uh just to 76:21 address some assessments at the end of 76:24 the 76:25 conversation uh for now what 76:28 that all what what i want to say about 76:30 the chinese 76:32 right 76:36 collapsed dr witterscheven do you want 76:40 to add about um 76:41 the matter of china in the region yes 76:46 um 76:50 if i’m is passing over 76:53 i i would love that your opinions 76:57 would read some more assessments that 77:00 are 77:00 coming out of the 77:04 usa uh the main 77:08 reason is that in 77:12 europe and in the arab world um 77:16 the understanding of the position of 77:19 obor one belt one vote or the new spell 77:22 code 77:24 um is looked upon as if it’s 77:27 not geopolitics but geo 77:30 economics so it means it’s it’s 77:34 an instrument that supports 77:39 globalization and the good of all 77:41 which if you look at 77:44 the outcome we have of over right now 77:48 is that the advantages 77:51 are more on the chinese side than on the 77:55 rest 77:55 of the world i’m not only 78:00 talking about as 78:03 um was it 78:07 stated energy was and is 78:11 used by russia as a weapon 78:14 obor can also be used as a weapon 78:18 because then 78:21 if you look at the geography of the 78:26 world and you project on 78:29 that map global trade flows 78:34 you see a huge threat flow going from 78:38 europe via the middle east to 78:42 asia up and out to 78:46 uh i know if you then look 78:51 at the investments that 78:55 china’s obor or selkrude has 78:58 done especially it’s in ports 79:02 and all of these sports wherever they 79:05 are 79:05 doing it are linked to 79:08 the trade flows between europe and china 79:12 so in a geoeconomical 79:16 assessment you would say that’s 79:20 normal because that’s 79:23 how we also were doing it 79:26 in the 16th 17th and 18th century 79:31 but also there it was not purely 79:35 economical because ownership or 79:39 access to international 79:42 ports means your navy 79:46 or your military or your security and 79:50 intelligence 79:51 forces have also access 79:54 and this is what in europe is still 79:58 not understood fully 80:01 the chinese ownership of pierre reyes 80:04 the access to 80:06 cyprus the right of landing of the 80:10 chinese 80:10 navy and the port of haifa the ownership 80:15 of 80:15 parts of the port of genoa 80:18 the proposed access to trieste 80:23 ownerships of parts of the port of 80:27 rotterdam are directly 80:31 directly linked to power projections and 80:35 i’m not 80:35 talking about economical power 80:38 projections 80:39 of the chinese 80:43 at the same time where you 80:46 look at new 80:49 port investment of the chinese they are 80:52 not 80:53 economically a part of for the chinese 80:56 and sudan or g booty 81:00 or somewhere else in the horn of africa 81:03 or 81:04 in sierra leone or wherever 81:07 there is no real commercial driver 81:10 behind that 81:11 there is no hinterland it’s just 81:14 again look at the geography it fits 81:18 exactly right into maritime 81:23 trade flows remarkably and also 81:27 somehow arabic countries are waking up 81:31 in this uber does not include the 81:34 world except egypt and egypt because 81:38 of the suez canal all 81:42 or most of the investment of china in 81:45 egypt 81:46 are surrounding the suvaskana 81:49 at the same time jib booty also but 81:53 no port developments in the uae 81:58 in bahrain in qatar and iraq 82:02 in saudi what they are 82:06 involved in pakistan 82:09 in sri lanka 82:14 if you again look why would 82:18 china own a port in syria 82:22 it’s not that china is going to earn a 82:26 multi-billion 82:28 margin in sri lanka no it blocks 82:32 navy and maritime movements 82:36 any maritime movement of the any 82:39 indian navy and any traffic 82:43 related to india um 82:48 the the financial 82:52 situation of obor is under russia 82:57 and that’s what i would say that’s the 83:01 government impact 83:06 people are waking up that we have been 83:09 having a globally is 83:12 station which had one single spider and 83:15 a spider web and the spider was sitting 83:18 in china every single 83:22 production project of europe 83:25 and the usa and the house of the world 83:28 rented 83:29 china we did not understand 83:32 obor is an issue but if something 83:35 happens in china 83:36 we are not getting our fridge or the 83:40 motif is going flat 83:45 all all our production in china 83:49 and then you have obor 83:52 we we have been caught in a spider 83:57 web and maybe we should start uh 84:04 approach also in geo 84:08 politics looking at normal military 84:11 strategy do not put all your forces and 84:14 assets in one 84:16 place because then the enemy bombs the 84:20 one place and you lose no spread 84:23 your power or your production 84:27 or your access to markets 84:30 to a wide range 84:33 of markets 84:36 produced not only in china okay 84:40 that’s trump thingy somehow 84:44 we are getting the same in europe 84:47 it’s called mega make europe 84:51 great again even that will uh will 84:54 take longer than america because not 84:59 everybody 85:00 agrees yeah germany but 85:06 the only thing that is going to hit 85:09 china also obor is when we are not 85:13 anymore 85:14 focusing everything on china 85:17 we also can bring things to india we can 85:20 bring things to 85:22 mexico if there is no wall um 85:25 we can bring things to egypt we can 85:28 bring 85:29 things to greece yeah 85:32 it’s it’s oberg 85:36 it’s chinese colonialistic 85:40 approach 2.0 you 85:44 take access to the maritime 85:48 trade route you are able to block 85:51 maritime 85:52 trade routes 86:02 you can block and x 86:08 correct what’s gonna happen erdogan is 86:11 gonna talk to china 86:14 because believe that the chinese would 86:17 love to have 86:18 access in turkey it could even block 86:22 russia because i do not believe in a 86:25 russian 86:25 chinese rapprochement 86:29 or military cooperation or 86:32 economic cooperation 86:35 russia the thinkers the strategics 86:38 are living in europe on the european 86:42 side 86:42 siberia is big etc it’s asia 86:46 nothing is in there yep 86:50 mr johnson china is a tough 86:54 situation 86:57 yes i think uh your initial question 86:59 began with the 87:00 belts and roads and i think that’s a 87:02 deeply significant point 87:04 i’d like to go back to and again 87:06 speaking of 87:07 of uh of techniques and uh being 87:10 weaponized i think that’s one of the 87:11 ones that has been heavily weaponized 87:13 by the chinese and uh 87:17 though that program if it were a u.s 87:20 program being run in the u.s would 87:22 actually be illegal 87:23 because it would come under the 87:25 predatory lending laws 87:27 and would be the guys would go to jail 87:29 who put it together 87:30 and what china has done they’ve been 87:31 very aggressive for a long time 87:34 we’re focusing largely on the 87:36 mediterranean region but that’s 87:37 something that’s been used 87:39 very aggressively in a lot of africa and 87:41 if you take a look 87:43 uh at the way that these programs are 87:46 set up they’re actually designed in such 87:49 a way where they bring in things that 87:51 are very useful 87:52 particularly ports there’s no question 87:54 that maritime is 87:55 very high on the list for china just as 87:58 a general subject 88:00 but also the the actual roads in 88:02 different areas that uh 88:04 that where infrastructure is being built 88:06 on these loans and programs that 88:08 china puts together but as i say if you 88:10 go in and dig through the details 88:12 it’s clear that these programs are set 88:15 up such in such a way 88:16 that many areas of this can never be 88:19 paid back 88:20 and that’s the predatory lending aspect 88:22 of them so they’re designed 88:24 such that it gives china eventual 88:26 control over a lot of these economic 88:29 uh powerhouse issues in those countries 88:32 maritime courts being just of particular 88:34 interest but airports as well 88:36 and uh let’s face it i mean china’s 88:39 goals and being in the economic 88:42 superpower 88:43 of the world are pretty clear we’ve seen 88:46 uh 88:47 out in the south china sea in the south 88:49 south pacific just how aggressive they 88:51 are 88:51 and in many in many ways and 88:53 intelligence 88:54 building islands that they’ve 88:55 militarized building landing strips on 88:57 them and things like that 88:58 and i would say from their perspective 89:02 they view this 89:02 uh as sort of a modern silk road if you 89:06 will 89:06 through the south china sea and maritime 89:09 uh 89:10 commerce and so they want absolute and 89:13 complete control of it something that’s 89:14 been well covered here by the doctor 89:17 and so i it does expand out into other 89:20 areas and we’ve seen them be 89:21 very aggressive in africa very 89:23 aggressive in latin america 89:25 very aggressive in the caribbean and of 89:27 course they use that to their advantage 89:28 politically as well to make 89:30 these countries be more suitable for 89:32 them to control influence and do 89:34 business with 89:35 and i would it’s a funny 89:38 level out of the caribbean but uh 89:40 there’s a barbados is a country that 89:42 was uh colonized by the british it still 89:44 has uh very long time 89:46 uh traditions and a close relationship 89:49 with england 89:50 and uh the queen of england is deeply 89:52 popular traditionally in 89:53 in that island country but they were 89:55 part of that belts and 89:56 a rhodes program now with china and 89:58 they’ve gained so much influence in such 89:59 a foothold 90:00 that they’re even uh politically it’s 90:03 going 90:03 they’re going through it right now in in 90:05 barbados that 90:06 saying that they no longer recognize the 90:09 queen 90:10 and so now they’re they’re they’re going 90:11 that’s you know part of the chinese 90:13 communist 90:14 uh political goals is to is to back them 90:16 away from that so that there’s no 90:18 monarch involved and of course that 90:20 leaves room then for the 90:22 chinese communist party to have far more 90:23 influence in the island country so 90:25 it’s one of those worldwide programs 90:27 that we’re seeing play out everywhere 90:28 again as i said weaponize one of those 90:30 things where the 90:32 predatory lending aspect of this is is 90:35 the weaponization of it 90:36 and it’s done in conjunction with all of 90:38 those aspects uh including 90:40 controlling the ports but also allowing 90:43 political influence 90:44 allowing chinese military influence 90:46 being able to 90:48 have free access to those ports but also 90:50 in something that’s almost never talked 90:52 about 90:53 is how aggressive they are in the 90:55 intelligence field i would 90:56 one little anecdote on that here in the 90:58 united states 91:00 you know the fbi about two years ago now 91:03 was ordered to start uh combating some 91:05 of these chinese intelligence inroads 91:06 that they’ve made 91:07 and we’ve had uh you know dozens of 91:10 arrests people already in jail 91:12 people uh connected to chinese 91:14 intelligence being sent home and there’s 91:16 just 91:16 dozens and dozens of these cases out 91:18 there now that the fbi has 91:20 scratched the dirt and started to look 91:21 for it we’re just seeing how aggressive 91:23 they’ve been 91:24 and we’ve seen that play out in many of 91:26 the uh 91:27 asian countries including australia 91:29 where there have been a lot of 91:30 high-level cases going on there where 91:32 chinese intelligence has just been 91:34 just stunningly busy and same with the 91:37 programs here in the united states it’s 91:39 incredible 91:40 just how comprehensive 91:43 chinese efforts are and even even trying 91:46 to create alternative economic 91:48 monetary programs to influence the world 91:51 economy 91:51 and i would point out to everyone 91:53 remember you know the largest 91:55 single producer of bitcoin is china 91:59 and why because it’s not an economic uh 92:02 it’s not the dollar that’s 92:03 can be controlled in many ways by the 92:05 united states where they can 92:06 do economic sanctions it’s outside of 92:09 that system so it can be independent 92:11 from it so they’re all in 92:12 and very busy across the board in an 92:14 absolutely 92:15 comprehensive fashion and the belts and 92:18 roads program is just one little aspect 92:20 of this 92:21 huge comprehensive worldwide program 92:23 that’s uh that’s effective 92:25 and dangerous okay 92:29 if i if i were to uh add something 92:34 on the discussion of china i believe 92:37 with the re-election uh for the possible 92:41 re-election 92:41 of trump uh you can expect 92:46 a major showdown between the united 92:48 states and 92:49 and china that is gonna change 92:54 a lot of things they are not fools they 92:57 know what’s going on 92:59 but as a result of the pandemic 93:03 we have seen here in the united states 93:06 that dependence on china 93:09 and what it could do to the american 93:12 the u.s economy with the announcements 93:16 of 93:17 of trump trying to basically bring back 93:22 everything from china and the u.s being 93:25 the number one client 93:26 of chinese you’re gonna have a shake-up 93:30 in the relationship and 93:32 and the basically is not gonna be 93:34 limited to the bilateral 93:36 relations between the u.s and china but 93:39 it’s going to 93:40 it’s going to extend to the surrogates 93:41 of the two countries 93:44 it is not being a notice that china is 93:46 trying to control the world 93:49 through the discussion the actions we 93:52 discussed 93:53 and they have as i said earlier they 93:55 have been doing a very very good job and 93:57 they tried to stay under 93:58 the radar but 94:01 i think there is a new look a fresh look 94:04 at their approach 94:05 because it’s endangering the 94:09 the order i would say i want to move on 94:12 to the peace agreements 94:13 as well what is the magnitude of actions 94:16 from places like kosovo and serbia 94:19 in the region and the movement of the 94:21 embassies to israel 94:22 are we seeing a trend developing and 94:24 what’s the significance of that trend 94:28 well uh one significant aspect of that 94:31 agreement 94:32 is that it prevents turkey 94:36 i don’t know in what extent but 94:38 definitely to move it to the balkans 94:41 kosovo has been one of their proxies for 94:44 many years and they have been supporting 94:46 them 94:47 and that’s why they are very very upset 94:50 that the deal went through to begin with 94:52 but to make it even worse uh the the 94:55 relocation 94:56 of the of their embassy to jerusalem 94:59 sends some very very strong messages 95:02 to turkey it has a direct 95:06 effects on the developments in the area 95:10 and definitely definitely puts 95:14 his countries uh on on a different 95:18 standing uh with the united states 95:22 i would agree with 95:25 the doctor that maybe some of these 95:29 some of these things were in the works 95:32 for years but it took a catalyst it took 95:35 someone to push it to become a reality 95:37 so we shouldn’t overlook that 95:39 and i we shouldn’t over exaggerate it 95:41 but at the same time we shouldn’t 95:43 we shouldn’t ignore it either 95:47 it took the leadership of the united 95:48 states to make it happen 95:50 it took the leadership of the united 95:51 states to bring coastal west serbia 95:53 together 95:54 it took the united states to push them 95:56 to relocate their embassy to 95:58 jerusalem that says a lot so 96:01 it seems that uh through these actions 96:04 america 96:04 even though being absent from the 96:06 eastern mediterranean in the area for a 96:08 long time and even when they were there 96:11 they left a disaster behind 96:12 let’s don’t forget uh what happened 96:16 uh in the region in 96:19 in libya there is no libya today 96:23 what happened in syria uh what happened 96:26 for a short time in egypt so 96:30 we can be very proud of some 96:33 american uh actions in the area in the 96:36 past 96:36 but it seems that there is a new focus 96:40 uh and these agreements and these 96:42 developments show 96:43 that the united states has decided not 96:46 to 96:46 not to be absent from the area even 96:49 though i will expect 96:51 a more significant participation in the 96:54 in the future 96:58 definitely in following the turkish 97:01 press on a daily basis i can tell you 97:04 that 97:04 the turkish government erdogan himself 97:08 and all of his allies 97:11 within turkey including the opposition 97:13 party have 97:15 condemned the agreements between bahrain 97:19 and the 97:21 united arab emirates and they have 97:23 condemned the agreement between 97:25 kosovo and serbia and they have 97:27 condemned their location of the embassy 97:30 uh to jerusalem so all these different 97:33 parts of the puzzle 97:34 are interrelated uh so 97:38 uh we will watch and see 97:41 how many more countries are gonna follow 97:43 uh i believe that uh 97:45 in the very near future you’re gonna 97:47 have for probably two or three more 97:49 and as i said earlier the biggest uh the 97:52 biggest price 97:52 is saudi arabia we’re just gonna 97:56 put the area on a new standing 98:01 so it would be quite interesting to 98:04 watch how everything 98:05 evolves and how uh since we 98:08 are based in the united 98:14 the players in the states and how the 98:17 american foreign policy 98:20 is being played out in the area i can’t 98:23 say that we have been successful in many 98:26 parts of the world we have miscalculated 98:29 and we have misjudged uh many situations 98:33 and we have gotten ourselves involved in 98:36 some bad situations 98:37 i hope we have become wiser 98:40 from the past and we can use the past as 98:43 a springboard 98:44 uh to the future um 98:47 so uh having said that i i think 98:51 uh definitely they are significant and 98:53 definitely 98:54 will reshape not change reshape 98:58 uh the future of the area 99:01 andreas would you like to add to that 99:08 yes i would like to add that uh i have 99:10 been in kosovo 99:11 and in balkan several times and i was 99:14 there for 99:16 months and many many months so i would 99:19 like to add that 99:21 behind of the kosovo it was 99:25 turkey and a lot of arab arab states 99:28 and we all know that behind of the 99:30 serbia was the russians 99:32 and some somewhere in the middle it was 99:35 in nature 99:36 all right now um 99:39 from the that’s why it’s so important 99:41 regia 99:42 right and this forum also from the 99:46 southeast china to the middle east into 99:49 the central 99:50 balkans of course if we were focused on 99:53 the kosovo in serbia 99:54 everything is changing in the caucasus 99:57 too 99:58 everything is changing and we 100:01 we observe that the the 100:04 last mounds and especially uh 100:08 after the during the administration the 100:11 trump administration 100:13 we we face these changes i mean in the 100:16 positive way 100:17 and i totally agree with savas in the 100:19 positive way 100:21 and so a lot of arab countries step back 100:25 in the case of kosovo the turkey stay 100:28 alone there 100:30 without the the without the backup of 100:32 the most 100:33 arab countries except the qatar of 100:35 course 100:36 and and serbia 100:39 he see he so so the the the 100:43 opportunity to fix a problem all right 100:46 and to think the 100:50 the future without the russia influence 100:53 something that the russians they don’t 100:54 they don’t want 100:56 and this is why my assessment about the 101:00 future in balkans 101:02 it’s a very let’s allow me to say dark 101:06 because there is a huge arsenal 101:10 always ready to to burn 101:13 to the ashes and it’s like a laboratory 101:17 who 101:18 big powers and play their 101:21 interest and play for the interests so 101:26 of course it’s a very positive and uh 101:29 keeps turkey out of this game and 101:32 changing the area and keep 101:33 also russia out of the balkans all right 101:36 however 101:38 in case that in case that the us 101:42 administration will change we will face 101:46 another allowed me to say that 101:50 it’s very possible another war in balkan 101:54 all right so this is 101:57 it’s not political statement but this is 101:59 an analysis 102:01 right we face that with under the 102:03 democrat democrats 102:04 democratic administration and 102:08 it’s very possible to to see that again 102:12 however so far uh 102:15 the peaceful balkans all right and and i 102:18 hope that this 102:19 will continue thank you something i want 102:22 to get 102:23 um your perspective on from all three of 102:26 you 102:26 is several analysts are talking about 102:29 being a pre-world war one 102:31 and world war ii setup um an axis setup 102:35 in the region 102:37 could you guys speak to that and i mean 102:39 we have different players obviously this 102:41 time but who 102:42 are those players 102:46 brad if you could start us 102:50 sure uh happy too i 102:53 i do see parallels personally between 102:56 there are elements of pre-world war one 102:58 and elements of pre-world war 103:00 ii uh and some of these we’ve already 103:02 commented on but 103:04 uh you do have say elements on one side 103:08 we haven’t talked about some of the 103:10 economic ties between 103:11 say china and turkey but they’ve already 103:14 signed 10 major economic agreements 103:16 between 103:17 china and turkey and billions of dollars 103:20 china has bailed out 103:22 turkey a couple of times so those those 103:24 economic ties already exist and the 103:27 relationship between china and turkey 103:28 are 103:29 are actually quite strong in a lot of 103:32 ways 103:33 and i think in many ways also they share 103:35 certain common goals 103:36 and common enemies so uh i think there 103:39 is a natural relationship there that you 103:41 could call 103:43 you know this is a very loose comparison 103:45 so you know forgive me 103:47 on on making it perhaps but you know you 103:49 could perhaps compare it to say the the 103:52 japan and and german world war ii 103:55 relationship where you had an axis form 103:57 around 103:58 kind of the two main members and others 104:00 italy and 104:01 other countries then joined in and i 104:03 think uh certainly there’s an argument 104:05 to be made that you could see something 104:07 like that forming say with 104:08 iran uh turkey 104:12 china forming the core particularly the 104:14 turkey and china forming a core of 104:16 of countries that have shared enemies 104:19 and goals 104:20 and and forming a relationship there 104:22 where they would be willing to go to war 104:23 with others to 104:24 accomplish these goals on the other side 104:26 of it something that’s been mentioned 104:28 already quite a little bit but this 104:30 gas club in arabic reporting that’s what 104:32 they’ve been calling it the gas club 104:33 that 104:34 people have mentioned for the 104:35 exploitation italy greece cyprus israel 104:37 palestinian authority egypt those 104:39 those countries are already kind of 104:40 joining together natural 104:42 other partners in this would be ones 104:44 that are say already being confronted 104:47 by china for example india india would 104:50 be a natural 104:51 ally for something like this especially 104:53 if it’s not 104:55 u.s centric i mean there is certain 104:58 areas even among allies in greece for 105:00 example and india 105:02 there’s a lot of anti-us sentiment among 105:05 the people at large 105:06 so you can see something like that 105:08 forming where the united states is kind 105:10 of on the side of all of this 105:12 and a lot of these problems as we’ve 105:13 kind of all touched on from different 105:15 aspects 105:16 the united states has not viewed this 105:19 eastern mediterranean and these issues 105:21 around this as a primary problem 105:23 and even like fighting back against 105:25 china that didn’t really even exist 105:27 uh up until president trump and then 105:29 only two years ago did the fbi even 105:31 start 105:32 looking at the chinese inroads and 105:34 intelligence issues so 105:35 the united states has a little bit 105:36 johnny come lately they’ve been uh 105:39 uh trump is willing to confront china 105:41 but then he’s very hands-off i think the 105:43 uh 105:44 my fellow panel members have all 105:46 mentioned the fact that the united 105:47 states has just basically 105:48 left syria for the most part and didn’t 105:51 really leave a policy in place they’ve 105:53 just backed off so 105:54 it’s like it’s a complicated situation 105:56 but it it looks like 105:58 you you you do have some 106:01 factions kind of siding together 106:04 to offset other factions who are in 106:06 general conflict in that sense 106:08 yes i find the comparisons to be kind of 106:12 kind of similar could this lead to world 106:13 war 106:15 yes i mean i don’t think we’re there yet 106:17 i don’t think it’s likely in the 106:19 short to medium term but uh who’s to say 106:22 what could happen over the next five 106:23 years if these conflicts grow 106:25 even a relatively small one like what’s 106:27 going on in our media 106:29 and uh and azerbaijan over the 106:31 nagorno-karabakh region 106:33 uh could that grow yes it could i mean 106:35 you have two major players in there 106:37 fighting now through their surrogates 106:38 and that’s russia and turkey so 106:41 uh and russian turkey let’s not forget 106:42 i’ve had three major conflicts through 106:44 history and some minor conflicts as well 106:46 so 106:47 these are guys that are not afraid to go 106:48 into shooting wars with each other 106:50 does it spin out of control doesn’t look 106:52 that way right now 106:54 but the elements are there where it 106:57 could 106:57 build to that sort of thing and so we’ll 107:00 see how all this plays out i wouldn’t 107:02 worry for 107:02 anything for this year or next perhaps 107:04 but the five to ten year 107:06 uh range i think we’re going to have a 107:08 lot better idea of just how dangerous 107:09 this is going to become 107:12 okay slavaz could you comment on that 107:18 yes uh i will agree with mr johnson 107:22 that even though uh not imminent 107:25 uh it’s a matter of time um 107:29 we see some of the dynamics uh 107:32 uh for world war one and and two uh 107:36 but there is a twist uh to today’s uh 107:38 development 107:40 uh if it were to be a spark 107:44 uh most probably caused by the 107:46 aggression of 107:48 turkey it would be very difficult 107:51 for someone to come to the aid of 107:55 turkey and who will 107:58 come to the aid of turkey possibly 108:02 there are three countries uh russia 108:05 china 108:05 and iran okay germany is questionable 108:10 why will russia come to the aid of 108:12 turkey 108:13 with the challenges we’re discussing 108:15 right now i think 108:17 russia would be looking to gain 108:20 uh against turkey in a potential 108:23 regional conflict 108:24 iran their rivals with turkey even 108:27 though they 108:28 they have some agreements but the same 108:31 thing will happen there 108:33 china in my opinion would be foolish to 108:36 get into 108:37 a global war uh in support of 108:40 a turkey with no tangible uh 108:45 advantages so uh and having 108:48 the two superpowers basically uh either 108:51 staying neutral 108:52 or deciding to take a side i don’t 108:56 believe that the united states would be 108:57 on the side of turkey this time around 109:00 uh unless things change in a dramatic 109:04 way 109:05 i think it would be uh limited to a 109:07 regional war 109:08 and as i said earlier is not if 109:12 it’s when it’s a matter of time uh 109:14 turkey 109:15 keeps pushing the envelope and either 109:18 through an accident 109:19 or unintended move 109:22 this is going to come to a head very 109:24 very quickly 109:27 there are some strong agreements in 109:29 place uh either through 109:30 uh the military agreement with uh france 109:34 or through the gas forum uh agreement 109:36 which 109:37 was recently instead institutionalized 109:40 uh which includes uh seven countries 109:45 so um i will watch it very carefully 109:49 i don’t think it’s gonna take five years 109:51 uh seriously uh 109:53 unless erdogan uh changes his whole 109:55 attitude 109:56 if erdogan manages to stay in power 109:59 in power which i uh highly doubt it 110:03 but i’m not uh optimistic that the next 110:06 one 110:08 is not going to be another orthogonal 110:10 it’s going to be the same philosophy and 110:12 we have seen it 110:15 so uh it’s a matter of time uh 110:18 uh that a conflict of 110:21 military 110:25 military conflict is going to happen 110:27 unless 110:28 of course russia and the united states 110:31 really decide to step in and 110:34 put turkey in its place by bidding 110:38 around the bush 110:39 by pacifying turkey i don’t believe they 110:42 have 110:42 helped turkey in any way they through 110:45 the 110:45 inactions especially of the united 110:48 states of the past years 110:50 have encouraged turkey uh to keep being 110:53 uh aggressive and pushing the envelope 110:57 and at some point uh you know something 111:00 is gonna happen 111:01 uh mr johnson said earlier that dertogan 111:04 uh would be pushing as much as 111:08 he can but ertagon is like a bully a 111:12 high school 111:12 bully until he’s confronted 111:16 he has tried to weaponize the refugees 111:21 at the border of greece uh bringing 111:23 thousands 111:24 in an organized marriage from costa 111:26 renewable he has done 111:28 he has tried to do it in their gym but 111:30 finally greece decided that this 111:32 is time to stand up and they did and i’m 111:34 glad they did for a change 111:36 uh and you saw the result uh 111:40 uh in the case of the refugees uh they 111:43 put them in buses and they took them 111:44 back where they brought them from 111:46 in the case of aegean even though they 111:48 uh they were threatening 111:50 finally they had to withdraw because 111:52 there was no one 111:54 uh that it was supporting them other 111:56 than the suspicious 111:57 uh germans so um we need to evaluate 112:01 these actions on a daily basis almost uh 112:04 hour by hour 112:05 not even uh on a daily basis 112:08 uh and we have we must watch very 112:11 carefully 112:12 uh to see the results of the of the 112:15 current uh 112:16 visit of the secretary of state mr 112:18 pompeo to greece 112:19 and what comes out of that and what 112:22 agreements might be 112:23 signed uh during his visit and 112:27 uh his most significant visit is going 112:30 to be 112:31 uh to go to the bay i don’t remember in 112:35 recent history 112:36 another secretary of state visiting suda 112:39 bay 112:40 so the united states has decided 112:43 to send some strong messages especially 112:46 to turkey and that’s why turkey is very 112:48 upset 112:49 so we remained on alert i believe 112:53 we shall remain on alert and evaluate 112:56 the outcome of all these discussions and 112:58 development 113:00 gentlemen we are hitting a time 113:02 constraint here 113:03 so if dr witter showed if you could uh 113:06 give us your closing statements 113:08 and um within that speak to the 113:12 you know matter we’re speaking to now if 113:14 you could keep it to about a minute or 113:16 two that’d be great 113:17 okay i’ll try um 113:22 first of all um yeah 113:26 the world and the geopolitical 113:31 situation is different than before world 113:34 war one and 113:34 world war ii um so i hope 113:38 that the multipolar 113:42 world we are ready now has 113:46 one f i think 113:49 that we will not have a 113:53 world wars to see and if there are 113:57 chances for the world war 113:59 three i would look at asia 114:03 first because china and india or china 114:09 south china sea 114:12 are more a precursor 114:16 for world war three than the east met 114:19 however um looking at what is 114:24 going on in um 114:28 turkey itself and 114:31 the region um do not underestimate the 114:35 danger that 114:36 the dog that is feeling 114:40 threatened can bite without 114:44 a warning and erdogan 114:47 is feeling threatened because 114:50 of the actions he is doing 114:54 but also part of the 114:57 the internal power 115:00 issues in turkey itself so 115:04 keep awake and do not 115:08 close your eyes too easily because 115:11 um there are a certain movements that 115:14 are 115:16 worrying however there are also 115:20 positive movements the israeli 115:24 arab issue um the overall counts are 115:28 promising and i would take another one 115:32 the fact of arrogance proactive 115:36 and aggressive moves have brought 115:40 to former political 115:43 enemies increasing israel together 115:46 because 115:47 what people maybe do not 115:50 anymore remember the word 115:53 decades that israel and these were not 115:57 heal friends 115:58 but these things have changed and i hope 116:01 that that’s going to be 116:02 to the best okay thank you dr whatever 116:07 savas could you give us your closing 116:08 statements 116:11 well a big thank you to you uh 116:14 for uh moderating today’s event again uh 116:17 congratulations andreas and 116:19 the paleologist chapter for an 116:21 outstanding job on behalf 116:23 of the entire i have a family i would 116:25 like to thank our viewers but also our 116:27 panelists for 116:30 today’s event it was very interesting 116:34 i believe we are we are experiencing 116:36 some unprecedented times 116:39 both around the world and here in the 116:41 united states 116:43 and there are some 116:46 very major and positive developments uh 116:49 in the eastern mediterranean that will 116:52 reshape the future of that area and will 116:55 help towards 116:56 peace and stability but 117:02 a lot of things can happen 117:05 you have someone that is constantly 117:07 provoking and through the provocation 117:10 you might have an unfortunate 117:13 accident that blow up the whole area 117:17 literally with consequences that nobody 117:21 can 117:22 imagine some say 117:26 that it might be a very short 117:30 military conflict that is not going to 117:33 be 117:33 expanded or extended 117:36 to other uh areas or other countries 117:41 but as mr johnson said before when you 117:43 have a conflict 117:45 a small conflict uh can trigger major 117:48 events 117:49 we have seen how the first war started 117:53 with the assassination of a of a priest 117:57 of a prince and the consequences 118:01 were tragic so it is 118:04 important that we review this event we 118:07 express our opinion 118:09 but at the same time it’s very important 118:11 that we follow the developments 118:12 in order to make a more intelligent 118:16 decision with that i thank you again and 118:19 it was an honor 118:20 to share today’s e-forum with such 118:23 distinguished panelists thank you savas 118:28 mr johnson if you could give us your 118:29 closing statements 118:31 and within that let us know some common 118:34 themes that we’re seeing 118:35 concerning access to energy resources 118:40 sure uh i uh i we’ve we’ve actually 118:44 touched on 118:45 but you know turkey’s kind of the 118:46 central theme here because they’re 118:48 uh in the scheme of things essentially 118:49 the grass are driving the situation if 118:52 you will 118:53 and we’ve discussed a a world war three 118:55 scenario 118:56 and uh touched on somewhat the far more 118:59 likely regional war of some sort or 119:01 another 119:02 and i i would uh go back to uh erdogan 119:05 as a man i mean i 119:06 i whether you love him or hate him i 119:08 don’t care 119:09 but i i think you all have to everyone 119:11 needs to recognize that he’s not an 119:13 idiot he’s not a stupid man he didn’t 119:16 come to power by being a fool he came to 119:18 power by being smart and aggressive 119:20 and rather ruthless and uh so with that 119:23 in mind 119:23 you know if if you can accept the fact 119:26 in my at least 119:27 that i would argue is fact that he wants 119:29 to re-establish 119:31 whatever you call it but a neo-ottoman 119:33 empire is just an easy term to 119:35 put on it but re-establish that sphere 119:37 of power around himself 119:39 i think we all recognize that cannot be 119:42 accomplished through treaties and 119:43 peaceful means 119:44 that can only be accomplished through 119:46 fighting so i would say that i 119:48 i do view a regional conflict of some 119:50 sort or another 119:52 uh to to be very likely not 100 119:55 perhaps but to be very likely and i 119:57 think we’re seeing the early stages of 119:59 that 119:59 and the libya and syria and the 120:01 azerbaijan 120:03 nagorno-karabakh region and those things 120:05 we’re seeing the early stages of what 120:07 appears to be building 120:08 as a conflict which is why i think that 120:11 erdogan is looking forward to that time 120:14 and why he wants to 120:15 capture and hold and maintain energy 120:17 resources for example 120:19 understanding that in periods of 120:20 conflict he would likely be cut off from 120:22 many of those resources so 120:24 he wants to control as much as he can 120:26 building to where he can have a larger 120:28 and larger conflict i think he’d be 120:29 stopped 120:30 before it got to the world war three 120:33 level 120:33 but uh you know those things remain to 120:35 be seen which is why i put that more 120:37 like five to ten year 120:38 to see if it builds that far without him 120:40 being stopped i would agree with the 120:42 other panelists that the uh 120:45 you know the united states i think would 120:47 step in it depends on who’s president 120:49 but i think the united states maybe 120:51 russia to some degree would step in 120:53 before it got to that 120:54 point but certainly keeping an eye on 120:57 that aggression is where we’re at right 120:58 now and and uh 120:59 there’s every indication that that it 121:01 that regional conflict is certainly in 121:03 the 121:03 the short medium term a very realistic 121:05 thing uh 121:07 i would close with saying i noticed my 121:09 other panelists 121:10 uh brought cigars to the discussion and 121:12 i wasn’t aware of that aspect of it so 121:14 next time i’ll know to bring a good 121:16 cigar for the further discussion and 121:18 thank you very much 121:19 andres and danielle for uh for the 121:22 discussion and the venue the forum to to 121:24 to discuss these important issues 121:26 thank you to all my fellow panel members 121:28 as well 121:30 that’s the beauty of being out in the 121:31 country in pennsylvania 121:33 uh mr johnson uh enjoying a cigar 121:37 it’s a beautiful day so i hope you 121:39 didn’t mind 121:41 uh miss walking i tried to refrain as 121:43 much as i could but 121:45 it was very tempting so i apologize 122:00 keep in mind that cereal she really is 122:02 smoking too oh okay 122:07 i am i am i would like to thank you 122:11 i would like to thank you all thank you 122:14 daniel 122:15 for the great 122:22 it was a really a very useful 122:26 a forum today a great conversation with 122:28 the 122:29 great points and 122:32 i have no no i have no words because uh 122:35 over all my uh the previous speakers for 122:39 cover all my uh my opinions 122:43 and all what i would like to say about 122:46 the this fragile situation of course we 122:48 are 122:49 we are in the edge of something very 122:52 huge 122:52 and we are here to follow the situation 122:56 to evaluate the situation to monitoring 122:59 the situation 123:01 and i’d like to say again all the 123:05 viewers 123:06 and uh keep in mind that the next sunday 123:10 we will talk about the pax mediterranean 123:14 which uh and macron use this uh 123:17 uh these words and uh 123:22 i don’t know how the situation would be 123:24 until the next week 123:27 and this is something interesting thank 123:30 you very much everybody 123:31 thank you thank you great thank you 123:34 thank you on behalf of the mediterranean 123:36 council and forum i would like to thank 123:38 our viewers around the world 123:40 for joining us today andreas thank you 123:42 for organizing the forum 123:44 and gentlemen we truly appreciate your 123:46 expertise and time 123:47 in today’s discussion it’s been great 123:49 thank you all 123:51 thank you thank you 124:29 so
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  1. Many people don’t know that Lord Byron led the charge to free Greece from Turk occupation in the 1800s. It’s sad to think occupation and destruction of the Greece we know could happen again.

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