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-- -- to our top story tonight we are currently giving billions of dollars in aid to Libya and Egypt.
Two countries that are in the midst of violently attacking Americans including State Department officials based air.
Early reports blamed anger over a movie that mocks the Prophet Mohamed and last night the American ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens.
Was killed as he was trying to get his fellow Americans to safety.
During an attack on the US consulate in Libya.
But now some are wondering if there wasn't a more organized plan.
Behind these attacks let's talk about it with ambassador James Jeffrey I mean -- the former US -- -- -- and Turkey and a visiting fellow at the Washington institute.
For near east policy thank you so much for joining us we appreciate at.
Thank you very -- says I'm happy to be back and I'm happy to talk about this very tragic -- -- It is very tragic and of course initial reports claim to reaction to this movie.
But now people are thinking that there may be more at play here what do you think about that.
-- -- -- -- It's very important to keep in mind that the action of these few terrorists and demonstrators does not represent the views the activities of most of the people in the Middle East they want peace and dot com as much as we do.
However it does reflect a disturbing tendency.
It is not simply.
Provocations as they would say is from the west of that now lead to these things often now plane and advance and -- -- the slightest excuse is unfortunately used to.
Spock a political agenda and to -- violence.
Yes senator Bill Nelson from the Senate Intelligence Committee member was saying earlier today.
That it's not a coincidence that this happened on 9/11 and that probably the movie with an excuse do you think that if that's the case.
It's very -- to look into their motives behind these groups until you can actually get very good intelligence on who was behind us who did it.
-- and what there were trying to do.
What I will say is that it is a -- of the world that that we all know well those of us who have been out there.
There is a level of violence it's quite high it's is not died easy you.
Area for American diplomats and for Americans millions of American military video to be honest and we've had many many attacks on Americans and American installations and institutions throughout that region since the 1970s.
And when you look at the attacks in the American flags there I tearing up the flags as a and in addition to.
The loss of life there there are a lot of Americans who say.
We've given one point six billion dollars each of the last three years to Egypt on the US government has provided more than 200 million in assistance to Libya.
You know since 2011.
Should we still be sending funds these countries right now we see what's going on in the violence against Americans.
Absolutely -- of these funds serve they're not charity.
They have a -- of a major effort to keep these countries stable and to keep our interest.
Upright and functioning in the Middle East for example Egypt.
The Suez Canal is the waterway that essentially all of the oil from the Middle East has to go through an -- to get to Europe and the United States.
Libya for example -- has -- brought its oil industry back on line.
Hi it's pumping more than I believe a million barrels a day these are essential to the oil.
Markets internationally into the price of gas -- here in the United States so it's not just stop oil it's also international security its.
-- future of Israel it's our our long term interest in the Middle East but -- -- -- -- -- -- -- I mean I hear what you're saying but when you look at these pictures and you see what happened you have to ask yourself is it weren't it.
Of course those of us who.
Have been out there we are shocked and where.
I'm obviously very very saddened by these events and our first reaction is also one of -- why does this happen what we have to do is to first of -- What the governments will do.
In response to these attacks they have an absolute responsibility to protect embassies and diplomatic establishments.
This was not done -- the case of Egypt.
The Libyans did actually tried it was a major gun battle with the terrorists involved.
So we have to see in the days ahead how these governments react and I think we should withhold judgment.
On what I next step should be as the United States and so we can have more contact with them.
And figure out what is -- government.
That you mention the Suez Canal and you also mentioned the impact on oil hear what you think it does to the price of oil to see these tensions.
You know erupt.
I I think that the people who deal on oil internationally are very experienced in the Middle East and the ups and downs of violence and turmoil in even chaos.
And I think some that is factored into the price of oil.
Right now not despite the sanctions on Iran.
Our oil prices are in pretty good shape they have -- -- I believe today Bob there while below 900 dollars a barrel.
And I don't think you're gonna see any immediate.
Fallout watch two things first of all can.
Libya continue to remain stable and -- the -- -- is pumping now and secondly how are things going in Egypt because Egypt is so important strategically and is a cultural and demographics out of the Middle East how things go in Egypt we'll have an effect on everything from Iran to not Africa.
Ambassador thank you so much for your time this evening.
Thank you very.
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