King Abdullah II of Jordan Pt. 1

  • Aired:  09/25/12
  •  | Views: 52,288

King Abdullah II of Jordan discusses the UN General Assembly and predicts the Arab Spring's long-term unpredictability. (6:12)

WELCOME BACK!

MY GUEST TONIGHT IS THE REIGNING KING OF JORDAN.

WELCOME BACK TO THE PROGRAM KING BDULL ABDULLAH II.A (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING HERE AGAIN.

I JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW AS AN EMISSARY OF THE UNITED STATES OUR PRESIDENT, I KNOW, WAS SCHEDULED TO MEET WITH YOU TODAY.

(LAUGHTER) HE WAS NOT DOING A STUPID T.V.

SHOW.

(LAUGHTER) HE WAS VERY BUSY WITH STRATEGIC-- MEETINGS.

(LAUGHTER) WHOOPI GOLDBERGSTAN, I BELIEVE IT IS.

>> I HEARD.

>> Jon: THAT THE TALK OF-- YOU WERE AT THE U.N. TODAY.

DOES ANYONE-- IS THERE ANY DISCUSSION AMONGST WORLD LEADERS ABOUT THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT NOT BEING AVAILABLE FOR FACE-TO-FACE MEETINGS?

IS THAT NOT A-- IS THAT UPSETTING?

>> NOT THAT I HEARD, NO.

I THINK EVERYBODY'S THERE PREPARING FOR THEIR SPEECHES AND IN SIDE MEETS WITH OTHER LEADERS.

THAT WAS NOT AN ISSUE.

>> Jon: SO WE ARE, IN FACT, PERHAPS, IN SOME RESPECTS BLOWING THIS OUT OF PROPORTION?

>> MOST LIKELY, PROBABLY.

(LAUGHTER)

>> Jon: ALTHOUGH INSIDE IT DOES HURT A LITTLE BIT, DOESN'T IT?

(LAUGHTER) HOW ARE THINGS?

YOU ARE NEIGHBORS WITH-- FOR SOME PERSPECTIVE WITH OUR AUDIENCE WHO BELIEVE YOU'RE SOMEWHERE OFF THE COAST OF

BERMUDA-- (LAUGHTER).

YOU ARE BORDERED BY IRAQ, SYRIA--

>> YES.

>> Jon: ISRAEL AND SAUDI ARABIA.

>> EGYPT.

>> Jon: AND EGYPT.

SO HOW ARE THINGS?

(LAUGHTER)

>> WE'VE SEEN BETTER DAYS.

>> Jon: YOU RUN A CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY.

>> THAT'S RIGHT.

>> Jon: IN THE MIDDLE OF THE LARGEST DEMOCRATIC I DON'T WANT TO SAY UPRISING BUT TRANSITION IN YOUR PART OF THE WORLD.

WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU?

HOW DO YOU MANAGE THAT WITHOUT BEING DEPOSED LIKE SOME OF THESE OTHER COUNTRIES HAVE HAD TO DEAL WITH?

>> JORDAN IS PART OF THE ARAB SPRING ALSO.

BUT THE ARAB SPRING MEANS SOMETHING DIFFERENT TO EVERY COUNTRY.

DIFFERENT COUNTRIES ARE GOING THROUGH DIFFERENT PACES.

YOU KNOW, I KEEP SAYING THAT WHATEVER THE MIDDLE EAST IS GOING THROUGH IS GOING TO BE SOMETHING THAT WILL TAKE FIVE,

TEN, 15 YEARS AND EACH COUNTRY IS GOING TO HAVE ITS OWN UNIQUE EXPERIMENT OF THIS.

THE REPUBLICS HAVE GONE THROUGH A MUCH TOUGHER VERSION OF THIS THAN THE MONARCHIES, FUNNY ENOUGH.

BUT I HOPE THIS IS SOMETHING WE ALL LOOK BACK FIVE, TEN, 15 YEARS FROM NOW AND SAY THAT ARAB SPRING IS A GOOD THING.

AND I BELIEVE IT IS.

SO WE ALL HAVE TO CHANGE.

BUT THE PACE AND MEANING WILL BE DIFFERENT FOR EACH COUNT VOY THE PROBLEM SOMETIMES IN THE UNITED STATES IS THEY SAY "HOW DO WE

DEAL WITH THE ARAB SPRING?

THERE'S NO WAY TO QUANTIFY THAT BECAUSE FOR EACH COUNTRY IT MEANS SOMETHING DIFFERENT.

>> Jon: I THINK WE LIKE TO HAVE THE IDEA-- ARROGANTLY SO-- THAT WE ARE IN CONTROL OF THIS PROCESS.

THE ARGUMENT WE HAVE IS "HOW COULD YOU LET THE BROTHERHOOD COME TO POWER IN EGYPT, OBAMA?" AS THOUGH OBAMA COULD GO "I

SHOULD HAVE RIGGED THAT DIFFERENTLY." (LAUGHTER) WE HAVE A SENSE THAT SOMEHOW WE CAN CONTROL THESE EVENTS BUT

EVEN IN THAT REGION, I IMAGINE, THERE'S A GREAT DEAL OF NERVOUSNESS AMONGST THE GENERAL RULING PARTIES THAT HAVE BEEN--

YOU KNOW, SAUDI ARABIA PROBABLY LOOKS AT JORDAN TO SEE HOW YOU'RE DOING.

>> WELL, AGAIN, EVERYBODY COUNTRY IS LOOKING AT EVERYBODY ELSE.

BUT YOU'VE GOT TO REMEMBER THAT ARAB SPRING STARTED WITH A YOUNG MAN THAT BURNED HIMSELF AND DIED BECAUSE OF THE ECONOMY AND ARAB

SPRING STARTED BECAUSE OF THE ECONOMY AS THE WHOLE WORLD HAS S REACTING TO THE ECONOMY.

YOU HAD WALL STREET OVER HERE AND THEN IT WENT FROM ECONOMIC FRUSTRATION TO POLITICS.

YOUNG MEN THROUGHOUT THE MIDDLE EAST-- RIGHTLY SO-- ASK FOR POLITICAL REFORM.

WHAT HAPPENED IN A LOT OF COUNTRIES AS YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN ASPIRE TO POLITICAL REFORM, THOSE ORGANIZED LIKE THE MUSLIM

BROTHERHOOD, SORT OF HIJACKED THE MOVEMENT SO IN CERTAIN COUNTRIES WHEN THEY WENT TO THE POLL.

>> Jon: NOW HOW WOULD THEY FEEL ABOUT THAT TERM IN GENERAL?

>> BUT IN A WAY THAT'S DEMOCRACY BECAUSE YOU'RE MORE ORGANIZED.

AGAIN, I THINK ONE OF THE EXAMPLES-- ABOUT A YEAR AGO I WAS TALKING TO A TOP BRITISH DIPLOMAT SAYING SHE WAS IN CAIRO

TALKING TO A WHOLE GROUP OF YOUNG EGYPTIAN POLITICIANS SAYING THIS IS FANTASTIC, WE'RE ORGANIZED, THERE'S A CHANCE TO

CHANGE OUR COUNTRY AND ARAB SPRING IS WONDERFUL FOR US.

HERE'S ALL OF US WITH 70 PARTIES COMING TOGETHER AND SHE SAID THAT'S THE PROBLEM.

YOU'RE 70 AND THEY'RE ONE.

BUT THAT'S THE PROCESS OF DEMOCRACY.

>> Jon: AND YOU FEEL WHAT WILL HAPPEN IS THERE WILL BE A CONSOLIDATION AND FIVE OR SIX PARTIES THEN THE MORE MODERATE

VOICES WILL BECOME STRONGER.

>> YOU HOPE SO.

YOU'VE BEEN DOING IT FOR 200 YEARS.

>> Jon: AND WE HAVE IT REALLY PERFECTED.

(LAUGHTER)

>> WELL, IT'S WORTH A TRY.

SO IN JORDAN STILL WE HAVE ELECTIONS AT THE END OF THE YEAR.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN JORDAN AND OTHER COUNTRIES IS WE CHANGED THE CONSTITUTION.

WE CHANGED A THIRD OF THE CONSTITUTION, WE DID A LOT OF THINGS, AND NEW INSPECT COMMISSIONS FOR ELECTIONS AND

THEN WE HAD ELECTIONS.

ALL THESE OTHER COUNTRIES--

>> Jon: YOU WERE LAYING A FOUNDATION.

>> THEY WENT TO ELECTIONS AND NOW HAVE TO CHANGE THE CONSTITUTION.

THE PROBLEM WITH EGYPT, LIBYA, AND TUNIS IS THEY'VE GOT NEW GOVERNMENTS IN POWER BUT MANDATED TO NOW CHANGE THE

CONSTITUTION WITHIN A YEAR AND THEN GO TO ELECTIONS AGAIN.

BUT THERE'S BEEN A DELAY IN ACTUALLY CHANGING THE CONSTITUTIONS.

>> Jon: SO IT WASN'T NECESSARILY A MANAGED TRANSITION AND THAT COULD BE SLIGHTLY VOLATILE.

STPHAO.

>> EACH COUNTRY IS GOING THROUGH DIFFERENT THINGS SO YOU CAN'T PREJUDGE THESE ISSUES.

>> Jon: WELL, WE'LL TALK A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT WHERE WORLD WAR III IS GOING TO START, WHO'S GOING TO START IT.

(LAUGHTER) AND WHERE I SHOULD HIDE.

ALL RIGHT, WE'LL BE BACK WITH MORE FROM KING

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