Mittwoch, 14. März 2018

Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel im ZDF-heute journal Interview mit Claus ...

ARD Farbe bekennen - Interview am 14. März 2018 mit Bundeskanzlerin Ange...

Wer sitzt im deutschen Kabinett: Die alten und neuen Minister/innen im ...

Ernennung von Angela Merkel zur Bundeskanzlerin durch Bundespräsident F...

Vereidigung der deutschen Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel am 14.März 2018

Ernennung der deutschen Bundesminister durch Bundespräsident Frank Walte...

Verkündung der Wahl von Angela Merkel zur deutschen Bundeskanzlerin am 1...

Montag, 5. März 2018

Angela Merkel zur Zustimmung der SPD zu einer Großen Koalition am 05 03 18

Horst Seehofer verkündet die Ministerposten für die künftige Regierung a...

Axa bietet 15 Milliarden Dollar für XL Group - manager magazin

Axa bietet 15 Milliarden Dollar für XL Group - manager magazin

AXA to acquire XL Group: Creating the #1 global P&C commercial lines insurance platform

AXA to acquire XL Group: Creating the #1 global P&C commercial lines insurance platform

AXA CEO Buberl to acquire XLGroup: Creating the #1 global P&C commercial...

Anne Will zu "Das Diesel Chaos wer übernimmt jetzt die Verantwortung?"...

Mittwoch, 31. Januar 2018

Klimaschutz-Versprechen von Angela Merkel

President Trump Delivers the State of the Union Address

Rede von US Präsident Donald Trump zur Lage der Nation am 30 01 18

Rede von US-Präsident Donald Trump zur Lage der Nation am 30.01.18

Lebensversicherung Was ist ein Run off?

Deutsche Versicherer weiter auf Wachstumskurs | GDV

Deutsche Versicherer weiter auf Wachstumskurs | GDV




Deutsche Versicherer weiter auf Wachstumskurs

Die Versicherungswirtschaft hat im vergangenen Geschäftsjahr ihre eigenen Prognosen übertroffen. Mit Beitragseinnahmen von 197,7 Milliarden Euro (+1,7 Prozent) verbuchten 2017 alle drei Sparten bessere Ergebnisse als vor einem Jahr erwartet, wie der Präsident des Gesamtverbandes der Deutschen Versicherungswirtschaft (GDV), Wolfgang Weiler, am Mittwoch auf der Jahrespressekonferenz des Verbandes in Berlin sagte. Für das laufende Jahr rechnen die rund 450 Branchenunternehmen mit einer stabilen Entwicklung.

Lebensversicherung

Die Lebensversicherung verzeichnete einen minimalen Beitragsrückgang (-0,1 Prozent; Prognose: -0,5 Prozent) auf 90,7 Milliarden Euro. Mit 26,1 Milliarden Euro lief vor allem das Neugeschäft mit Einmalbeiträgen besser als erwartet (-0,5 Prozent). Die Einnahmen durch neu abgeschlossene Verträge mit laufenden Beiträgen verringerten sich auf 5,2 Milliarden Euro (-4,6 Prozent). Die Stornoquote dürfte wie im Vorjahr bei 2,8 Prozent liegen.
Einen weiter wachsenden Anteil in der Lebensversicherung machen Produkte mit alternativen Garantiekonzepten aus. Im Neugeschäft entfallen darauf inzwischen knapp 50 Prozent, während der Anteil klassischer Policen mit durchgehender Garantieverzinsung auf etwa 40 Prozent gesunken ist.
In der Betrieblichen Altersversorgung zählten die Versicherer 15,7 Millionen Verträge (+1,9 Prozent). Das Beitragsvolumen von 19,4 Milliarden Euro macht mittlerweile einen Anteil von 21,3 Prozent an den gesamten Beitragseinnahmen Leben aus. Im Jahr 2000 waren es noch 12,7 Prozent.
Das Vertrauen der Kunden in die Lebensversicherung zeigt sich auch an der Entwicklung der Assets under Management: Die Summe der zur Bedeckung der Kundenansprüche verwalteten Kapitalanlagen ist in den letzten fünf Jahren im Schnitt um jährlich 3,03 Prozent auf jetzt 893 Milliarden Euro gewachsen. Die durchschnittliche Nettokapitalverzinsung der Lebensversicherer lag 2017 mit 4,5 Prozent leicht über dem Vorjahresniveau.
„Die Lebensversicherung bleibt ein stabiler Baustein der Altersvorsorge in Deutschland“, sagte Weiler. „Mit Blick auf die niedrigen Zinsen und die demografische Entwicklung benötigen wir für die weitere Verbreitung der Altersvorsorge jedoch neue Impulse aus unserer Branche und der Politik.“

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Statement von Dr. Wolfgang Weiler

Präsident des Gesamtverbandes der Deutschen Versicherungswirtschaft

Schaden- und Unfallversicherung

Die Unternehmen der Schaden- und Unfallversicherung registrierten ein Beitragsplus von 2,9 Prozent (Prognose: +2,1 Prozent) auf 68,2 Milliarden Euro. Die ausgezahlten Leistungen nahmen laut Hochrechnung um 3,2 Prozent auf 51 Milliarden Euro zu. Insgesamt haben die Branchenunternehmen damit 2017 erneut schwarze Zahlen geschrieben: Der versicherungstechnische Gewinn dürfte bei 3,4 Milliarden Euro liegen (Vorjahr: 3,5 Milliarden Euro), die Schaden-Kosten-Quote wie 2016 bei 95 Prozent.
„Die Schaden- und Unfallversicherung hat einen klaren Wachstumskurs verzeichnet, den wir 2018 fortsetzen wollen“, sagte der GDV-Präsident. „In diesem Jahr werden wir uns dabei vor allem der Bekämpfung der Cyberkriminalität und der Verbesserung des Schutzes gegen Naturgefahren widmen.“

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Private Krankenversicherer

Die gesamten Beitragseinnahmen legten um 4,3 Prozent zu auf 38,8 Milliarden Euro. Dabei entfielen auf die Krankenversicherung 36,5 Milliarden Euro (+4,1 Prozent). In der Pflegeversicherung kletterten die Einnahmen auf 2,3 Milliarden Euro (+6,1 Prozent).
Die ausgezahlten Versicherungsleistungen nahmen um 1,6 Prozent zu auf 27,0 Milliarden Euro. An die Kunden der Privaten Krankenversicherung gingen dabei 25,9 Milliarden Euro (+1,5 Prozent). In der Pflegeversicherung flossen 1,1 Milliarden Euro (+4,3 Prozent) an die Kunden.

Solvency II

Das Aufsichtssystem Solvency II wird jetzt seit zwei Jahren angewendet. Als Gradmesser für die Stabilität der Branche wird in der öffentlichen Wahrnehmung vor allem auf die Bedeckungsquoten geschaut. Sie liegt für die Lebensversicherer zum 31.12.2017 bei 350 Prozent. Das bedeutet, die Eigenmittel der Branche sind mehr als drei Mal so hoch, wie es das Regelwerk verlangt. In der Schaden-Unfallversicherung schätzt der GDV die Bedeckungsquote auf knapp unterhalb 300 Prozent.

Prognose

Auf 2018 blickt die Versicherungswirtschaft verhalten optimistisch. „Wir erwarten eine stabile Geschäftsentwicklung“, sagte Weiler. „Die Konjunktur stützt unser Geschäft, belastend wirken weiterhin die Niedrigzinsen.“ Unterm Strich dürfte über alle Sparten ein Beitragsplus von 1,3 Prozent stehen.
Ansprechpartner für Journalisten:
Christian Ponzel
Telefon: 030/2020-5901
E-Mail: c.ponzel@gdv.de

Dienstag, 30. Januar 2018

AXA fokussiert sich in der betrieblichen Altersversorgung

AXA fokussiert sich in der betrieblichen Altersversorgung



AXA fokussiert sich in der betrieblichen Altersversorgung

• AXA fokussiert sich im Geschäftsfeld der Betrieblichen Altersversorgung und veräußert die Pro bAV Pensionskasse an die Frankfurter Leben-Gruppe.
• Mit der Übertragung optimiert AXA den Einsatz von Managementkapazitäten und Kapital, um Wachstum in anderen Feldern der betrieblichen Altersversorgung zu beschleunigen.
• Kunden profitieren von niedrigeren Kosten der Pensionskasse und damit höheren Renditechancen.
• Private und betriebliche Vorsorge bleiben unverändert strategische Säulen von AXA in Deutschland.
• Transaktion hat keine Auswirkungen auf Arbeitsplätze bei AXA.
AXA richtet seinen Geschäftsbereich Betriebliche Altersversorgung (bAV) neu aus. Der Versicherer wird sich fortan auf die Direkt- und Rückdeckungsversicherung konzentrieren. In diesem Zuge hat das Unternehmen eine Vereinbarung geschlossen, mit der ein Teil des betrieblichen Vorsorge-Bestandes – konkret die Pro bAV Pensionskasse AG – an die Frankfurter Leben-Gruppe veräußert wird. Kunden und AXA profitieren davon gleichermaßen. Denn die Frankfurter Leben-Gruppe führt alle Versicherungsverträge der Pro bAV Pensionskasse 1:1 mit unveränderten Garantien, Konditionen und Bedingungen fort. Sie hat verbindlich zugesagt, die Kosten der Pro bAV pro Vertrag und Jahr dauerhaft um mehr als 15 Prozent gegenüber dem Jahr 2016 zu senken. Die Veräußerung steht noch unter dem Vorbehalt der Prüfung der Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin).
Dr. Patrick Dahmen, im Vorstand der AXA Konzern AG verantwortlich für das Vorsorgegeschäft, erklärt dazu: „Für Kunden sind zwei Faktoren ausschlaggebend: die Rendite ihrer Anlage und die Sicherheit ihrer Altersversorgung. Wir haben dafür Sorge getragen, dass beides gewährleistet ist und sind daher davon überzeugt, dass dieser Schritt auch zum Wohle unserer Kunden ist. Die Frankfurter Leben-Gruppe hat aufgrund ihres grundsätzlich anders gelagerten Geschäftsmodells die Möglichkeit, ein niedrigeres Kostenniveau für ihre Kunden zu erzielen.“
Die Übertragung umfasst in Summe etwa 6 Prozent des gesamten Bestands im Vorsorgebereich beziehungsweise rund 260.000 Einzelverträge und Kapitalanlagen in Höhe von knapp drei Milliarden Euro. Veränderungen im Markt und im regulatorischen Umfeld führten zu stark schrumpfendem Neugeschäft und abnehmenden Beständen bei der Pro bAV Pensionskasse. Ohne die Kostenbegrenzung der Frankfurter Leben-Gruppe bestünde die Gefahr, dass die Stückkosten pro Vertrag ansteigen und damit die Rendite für die Kunden sinkt. Als vergleichsweise „junge“ Gesellschaft musste die Pro bAV ihre Überschussbeteiligung im anhaltenden Niedrigzinsumfeld schon deutlich reduzieren. Gegenüber anderen Produkten hat die Pensionskasse insbesondere im Neugeschäft so deutlich an Attraktivität verloren.

Weniger Komplexität, attraktivere Produkte

In allen anderen Durchführungswegen bleibt die betriebliche Altersversorgung ein wesentlicher strategischer Schwerpunkt für AXA. Die Gesellschaft reduziert durch die Übertragung maßgeblich Komplexität und optimiert den Einsatz von Managementkapazitäten sowie Kapital.
„AXA steht hundertprozentig zur privaten und betrieblichen Altersversorgung. Wir sind von den Marktchancen in diesem Bereich überzeugt und haben noch viel vor. Die Pro bAV Pensionskasse ist ein Sonderfall. Mit ihrer Veräußerung an die Frankfurter Leben-Gruppe können wir uns stärker fokussieren und uns operativ auch so aufstellen, dass wir unser Vorsorgegeschäft mit Nachdruck vorantreiben und noch stärker wachsen“, erläutert Dr. Alexander Vollert, Vorsitzender des Vorstands der AXA Konzern AG, den strategischen Hintergrund.
Im Rahmen der Unternehmensstrategie „Ambition 2020“ konzentriert sich AXA auf die Produkte und Kanäle der betrieblichen Altersversorgung – Direkt- und Rückdeckungsversicherung – die für neue Kunden unter den veränderten Gegebenheiten den besten Mehrwert bieten und gleichzeitig dazu beitragen, das Unternehmen effizienter aufzustellen. Der Fokus wird auf der Entwicklung neuer Produkte und Verkaufsansätze liegen, die konsequent auf heutige Kunden- und Marktanforderungen zugeschnitten sind und insbesondere die Chancen des Betriebsrentenstärkungsgesetzes nutzen.

Reibungsloser Übergang

AXA und die Frankfurter Leben-Gruppe haben alle erforderlichen Vereinbarungen getroffen, um für Vertriebspartner, Geschäfts- und Endkunden einen reibungslosen Übergang und eine gute Zusammenarbeit zu gewährleisten. Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter, die aktuell mit Aufgaben rund um die Pro bAV Pensionskasse betraut sind, werden auch künftig im AXA Konzern weiterbeschäftigt. Sie werden die Pro bAV-Bestände vorerst fortführen und nach erfolgter Migration andere Aufgaben übernehmen.
Als deutscher Lebensversicherer unterliegt die Frankfurter Leben-Gruppe deutschen Regularien und ist Mitglied im gesetzlichen Sicherungsfonds Protektor. Das Unternehmen ist erfahren, finanzstark und auf die Verwaltung großer und stabiler Bestände ausgelegt. Positive Kundenerlebnisse sind deshalb im ureigenen Interesse der Frankfurter Leben-Gruppe. So wird das Unternehmen beispielsweise einen unabhängigen Beirat für seine Kunden einrichten, der die Geschäftsleitung in allen die Belange der Versicherten betreffenden Fragen beraten und unterstützen wird. In den vergangenen Jahren hat die Frankfurter Leben-Gruppe bereits mehrere vergleichbare Bestände anderer Versicherer übernommen und verwaltet sie seither erfolgreich und professionell.
Weitere Informationen, speziell aufbereitet für unsere Kunden, finden Sie hier.

Handlungsbedarf bei kleinem Sonderbestand

Für einen kleinen weiteren Bestand – die Größenordnung bewegt sich im Promillebereich gemessen am Vorsorge-Gesamtbestand – hat der externe Partner, der diesen Bestand bislang verwaltet, den Dienstleistungsvertrag mit Wirkung zum 31.12.2018 gekündigt. Bei dem Bestand handelt es sich im Wesentlichen um ehemals von der DBV-Winterthur Lebensversicherung AG abgeschlossene, fondsgebundene Versicherungsprodukte. Eine in diesem Fall hochkomplexe IT-Migration wäre im eigenen Haus aus Kapazitätsgründen bis zum Ablauf der Kündigungsfrist nicht abzuschließen. AXA strebt daher für diesen Sonderbestand eine Vereinbarung zur Übernahme durch einen externen Partner an. Eine finale Vereinbarung liegt noch nicht vor.
Pressedokumente

Samstag, 27. Januar 2018

Special Address by Donald Trump - I Believe in America

Trump at Davos: Trade, taxes and what America First means for the world | World Economic Forum

Trump at Davos: Trade, taxes and what America First means for the world | World Economic Forum



"America First does not mean America alone," President Donald Trump said in his speech at the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
Here are some other key quotes from the 45th US President's address.

On why he came to Davos

"I am here today to represent the interests of the American People, and to affirm America’s friendship and partnership in building a better world. Like all nations represented at this forum, America hopes for a future in which everyone can prosper, and every child can grow up free from violence, poverty, and fear.
"Over the past year, we have made extraordinary strides in the United States. We are lifting up forgotten communities, creating exciting new opportunities, and helping every American find their path to the American Dream—the dream of a great job, a safe home, and a better life for their children."

On the US economy

"After years of stagnation, the United States is once again experiencing strong economic growth. The stock market is smashing one record after another, and has added more than $7 trillion in new wealth since my election.
"Consumer confidence, business confidence, and manufacturing confidence are the highest they have been in decades.
"Since my election, we’ve created 2.4 million jobs. Small business optimism is at an all-time high. New unemployment claims are near the lowest we’ve seen in almost half a century. African American unemployment has reached the lowest rate EVER RECORDED in the United States. So has unemployment among Hispanic Americans.
"The world is witnessing the resurgence of a strong and prosperous America... America is open for business."

On tax reform

"We lowered our corporate tax rate from 35%, all the way down to 21%. As a result, millions of workers have received tax cut bonuses from their employers in amounts as large as three thousand dollars. The tax cut bill is expected to raise the average American’s household income by more than four thousand dollars.
"And the world’s largest company, Apple, announced it will bring $245 billion in overseas profits home to America. Their total investment into the United States economy will be more than $350 billion over the next five years.
"Now is the perfect time to bring your business, your jobs, and your investments to the United States of America.
"This is especially true because we have undertaken the most extensive regulatory reduction ever conceived. Regulation is stealth taxation. In the United States, like in many countries, unelected bureaucrats have imposed crushing anti-business and anti-worker regulations on our citizens with no vote, no legislative debate, and no real accountability.
"In America, those days are over."

On 'America First'

"As President of the United States, I will always put America First. Just like the leaders of other countries should put their countries first.
"But America First does not mean America alone.
"When the United States grows, so does the world. American prosperity has created countless jobs around the globe and the drive for excellence, creativity and innovation in the United States has led to important discoveries that help people everywhere live more prosperous and healthier lives."


On global trade

"As the United States pursues domestic reforms to unleash jobs and growth, we are also working to reform the international trading system so that it promotes broadly-shared prosperity and rewards those who play by the rules.
"We cannot have free and open trade if some countries exploit the system at the expense of others. We support free trade, but it needs to be fair and reciprocal.
"Because in the end, unfair trade undermines us all... Just like we expect the leaders of other countries to protect their interests, as President of the United States, I will always protect the interests of our country, our companies, and our workers.
"The United States is prepared to negotiate mutually beneficial bilateral trade agreements with all countries. This includes the countries in TPP11, which are very important. We have agreements with several of them already. We would consider negotiating with the rest, either individually, or perhaps as a group, if it is in all of our interests."

On security

"To make the world safer from rogue regimes, terrorism, and revisionist powers, we are asking our friends and allies to invest in their own defenses and to meet their financial obligations. Our common security requires everyone to contribute their fair share.
"My administration is proud to have led historic efforts, at the United Nations Security Council and around the world, to unite all civilized nations in our campaign of maximum pressure to denuclearize the Korean peninsula.
"And we continue to call on partners to confront Iran’s support for terrorists and to block Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon. We are also working with allies and partners to destroy jihadist terrorist organizations such as ISIS."

On immigration

"America is a cutting-edge economy, but our immigration system is stuck in the past.
"We must replace our current system of extended-family chain migration with a merit-based system of admissions that selects new arrivals based on their ability to contribute to our economy, to support themselves financially, and to strengthen our country."

On jobs

"In rebuilding America, we are also fully committed to developing our workforce. We are lifting people from dependence to independence – because we know the single best anti-poverty program is a paycheck.
"To be successful, it is not enough to invest in our economy – we must invest in our people. When people are forgotten, the world becomes fractured. Only by hearing and responding to the voices of the forgotten can we create a bright future that is truly shared by all."


Here's the full text of Donald Trump's speech to Davos.

Warum der vermeintliche „Crash der Lebensversicherung“ Panikmache statt echte Gefahr ist | GDV

Warum der vermeintliche „Crash der Lebensversicherung“ Panikmache statt echte Gefahr ist | GDV

AXA | Shareholders' meeting in Lyon with Thomas Buberl

AXA | Shareholders' meeting in Lyon with Thomas Buberl

Discover the key moments of the latest Axa shareholders' meeting in Lyon.

Axa Shareholders' meeting in Lyon

Shareholders' meeting in Lyon

His Majesty King Abdullah II Conversation with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria | Royal Hashemite Court

His Majesty King Abdullah II Conversation with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria | Royal Hashemite Court




His Majesty King Abdullah II Conversation with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria

25 January 2018

His Majesty King Abdullah spoke on Thursday to CNN’s Fareed Zakaria at a session held at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, attended by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah and His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II.
Below is the full text of the conversation:
Fareed Zakaria: Thank you so much for doing this, Your Majesty.
King Abdullah II: Morning, Fareed. Good to see you.
Zakaria: You spoke many years ago about the dangers of a Shiite Crescent in the Middle East. It seems that that prediction has come true. How do you see what is happening in the Middle East, where the central dynamic now seems to be this cold war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, stretching from Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Qatar, everywhere.
King Abdullah II: Well, I think, maybe just to quantify what I said a while ago, the term that I use now is Iranian Crescent because I think the challenge that we've had is seeing religion used as a tool through politics. And as the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, what we cannot afford is an inter-religious conflict that, you know, the fault lines run from Beirut to Bombay. So, there are issues that we're having in our part of the world with Iranian foreign policy that is affecting our region. As Jordanians, we believe that dialogue is the way to solve issues, and not to exacerbate the situations that lead to armed conflict. But, obviously, we do see Iraq. We have our challenges in Syria and Lebanon, and Yemen is another example of where priorities from the Arab point of view of how to deal with Iran.
Zakaria: Do you think that Iran is, right now, more aggressive? Is it in a period of pullback because it has certain internal difficulties? How should we read the current Iranian government and its policies?
King Abdullah II: Well, I don't think there's been a major change in policies because, I think, they are long-term, strategic thinkers. So I think the foreign policy has been ongoing for a while. And as you've seen, the internal challenges are, I think, two separate stories and two separate narratives from their point of view. Again, I caution the drums of war because that's not going to be good for any of us. And I hope that through dialogue, that we can come to an understanding, but there are major issues. For example, Jordan on the borders of Syria dealing with groups that are supported by Iran. That is a problem for us, actually right up to the borders. And again, you know, we're concerned on the future of Lebanon. Lebanon has had tremendous suffering, historically, over the last several decades. And we don't want those dynamics to create more problems inside of Lebanon. So, I am hoping that common sense, you know, is the name of the day.
Zakaria: President Trump has said that he has made the last waiver on the Iran sanctions that he will make, which means there is a very distinct possibility that the United States will somehow withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. He says that he wants the Europeans to toughen it up. The Europeans have already said publicly they have no intention of doing so. They think the deal is a good deal, and they believe Iran has abided by it. What happens if the United States unilaterally pulls out of the Iran nuclear deal?
King Abdullah II: Well, I think, maybe ask the President tomorrow.  The Jordanian position is: We are fully supportive, and have been, since our existence of a nuclear-free zone for the Middle East, but for everybody. And the potential of nuclear weapons in our region is a pretty scary thing. We understand the American position and that of the Europeans. And I know that the Europeans and the United States are still talking about this issue, and I hope that they come to some sort of common understanding.
Zakaria: President Trump did something else that affects you. He announced that the United States would move its embassy to Jerusalem. How much does that complicate your life?
King Abdullah II: It is a complication for Jordan, and we've had some very good exchanges with the President and with the Administration over the past year. And our position was that, look, we understand that this is something that is important to the President. It was a campaign promise. But the subject of Jerusalem has to be part of a comprehensive solution for Israelis and for Palestinians. The decision was taken, as you all know. It has created a backlash because it has frustrated the Palestinians where they feel that there isn't an honest broker. I like to reserve judgment because we're still waiting for the Americans to come out with their plan, but tremendous sympathy to where the Palestinians are feeling. And Jerusalem is such an emotional subject for everybody. And, I think, we have to look to the future of what we want for Jerusalem. Is Jerusalem a city that ends up dividing us, which I think would be catastrophic for mankind, or is it a city of hope that brings us together? It is eternal to Jews, Christians, and Muslims. And if you remember His Holiness Pope Francis' message in Christmas, hoping that Jerusalem would be dealt with as part of a negotiated settlement, that the status quo is represented. So it is as important to Muslims as it is to Christians. And all the Christian church leaders in Jerusalem have asked Jordan to plea on their behalf to the United Nations and international community.
So this is not just a one-off for Jews and Muslims. This is a city that could either create tremendous promise for us in the future or it is an umbrella that gives us hope on how we propel. And I've said this before, strategic is a Greek word. You won't find it in the Hebrew or Arabic dictionary. And I think that's one of the problems that we're facing. So these decisions are made. What are we thinking of Jerusalem looking like down the road? And it could be a tremendous city that brings us together or it could create aggression and violence that we've never seen before.
Zakaria: There was some hope that, among, certainly, Palestinians and Arabs that while President Trump announced this move, the embassy wouldn't actually move. Vice President Pence now says the embassy will move next year. Would you urge delaying that actual move?
King Abdullah II: Well, again, it comes back to, how do we look at this? So one part of the offers of peace has been Jerusalem to the Israelis. What is the incentive to the Palestinians? We are all, and I'm not going to say just people in the Middle East, but our European and Western colleagues, are waiting for the peace proposal to be provided. The hiccup at the moment is, out of tremendous frustration, the Palestinians don't feel that the United States is an honest broker, but in the same time, they are reaching out to the Europeans. And I think, to me, that is a signal that they do want peace. How do we build the confidence and trust between the Palestinian leadership and the American leadership so that we can get Americans, Israelis, and Palestinians at the table?
And, again, we all know—and the Europeans I think are looking at this in a very positive light—that we cannot have a peace process or a peace solution without the role of the United States. So we have the next month or two. How do we bring everybody together? And what is the plan? None of us have ideas of what the plan is. Some people say it's a tough plan, which we have to be concerned about. But is it a good plan? And if the Palestinians, because the plan is not good, walk away, where do we go from there? And I think that's the problem.
Zakaria: And where do we go? Because there are many Palestinians who now say Bibi Netanyahu's government and many of the policies they have essentially make clear that the two-state solution is dead and that they should, maybe, start pursuing a one-state solution and simply asking for political rights within Israel.
King Abdullah II: So going back to the strategic challenges—and this is a question that we have debated with our Israeli colleagues for a while—where do you see your future? So if it's a one-state solution, is it a one-state solution with equal rights? As we look at the Arab-Israeli demographics, we look at Palestinians under occupation, we're basically discussing, and have for a while, is an apartheid system. Now can we deal with this apartheid system and make it fair for everybody? And it's not just the Arab Israelis and the Palestinians under  occupation. The second-class citizens are also the Muslims and Christians, Israelis, all those in the West Bank. So, in my view, with the demographics, with the population changes, that's more challenging from the Israeli perspective than the two-state solution.
Zakaria: Do you believe that Prime Minister Netanyahu still believes in the two-state solution? Or did he ever believe in one?
King Abdullah II: What we're seeing today, we have to reserve judgment. I have my scepticism, but until the Americans show us the other part of the plan, and I would imagine that the challenge that the Americans have with the Israelis is that if this is to make any sense, is to give something pretty good to the Palestinians. And I think that's the point where we will see whether the Israelis will accept. But I have a feeling that the two-state solution the way that we envisage is not the same two-state solution that they are looking at.
Zakaria: You're placing a lot of hope in this American plan. Do you have any realistic prospect that it would be ambitious and comprehensive?
King Abdullah II: Well, listen, you know, we've been at this for a while and looking always at the glass half full. I think we have to give the Americans the benefit of the doubt and all work together to make sure that we help the Americans, Israelis, and Palestinians come together. However, in the very near future, if it is not a good plan, so the discussions all of us are having, what is plan B? I don't think we've got a plan B at this stage. Or is that a one-state solution? And how do we do that in a positive way where Israel is integrated in part of the future of the neighbourhood?
Zakaria: You could imagine a one-state solution where—as long as—the Palestinians had equal rights?
King Abdullah II: I don't see that happening. I just think the complication is to the character of Israel and I think what the leadership want, in my mind, I can't envisage a one-state solution that would be acceptable.
Zakaria: Has Russia won in Syria—Russia and Iran? The Assad government seems pretty firmly in place, but it doesn't control half the country. So what is the future of Syria?
King Abdullah II: I think you've just said it. I don't think anybody wins in Syria. The Russians are major players. We are moving from Astana, which was a military disengagement platform, to—heading for Geneva. As a result of Astana, but not part of Astana, in the south, and I can speak on behalf of Jordan, we, the Russians, and the Americans came together to figure out how do we create stabilised zones in the south. And that's one of the good stories that we can say about Syria. So starting of the spring of last year and to this day, American and Russian military, under our umbrella, run a 24/7 centre of deconfliction and stabilising the south. Where we want to go from there is can we replicate that in the centre and the north—north becoming a bit more complicated because of the recent Turkish challenges. But we have to understand that at the end of the day, we've got to get to Geneva for the political aspect of this issue.
Zakaria: Will Assad go to Geneva? Just to be clear, Geneva is the political solution, which envisages elections and things like that. Every time Assad has done well militarily, he has shown less and less inclination to go to Geneva and negotiate, in a sense, a political transition away from his regime.
King Abdullah II: Well, as I think you alluded to, the situation in Syria is not over by a long shot. And when you see that there's a lot of international players there with their own agendas. You know, I think he needs to get to Geneva. Geneva is not a one-stop shop. I mean, there is a Sochi meeting coming up very soon. And Sochi is a one-off that gets us in a better light, hopefully, to Geneva. Geneva is going to be an ongoing process because we're dealing with elections and the constitution. And then, what is the next step out of there? So it’s reviving Geneva, understanding, and I think all the players, all the sensible players, understand that Syria is not going to get any better. It is complicated; it is challenging. And we're all paying the price. And I think from the Russian point of view, they need to find a solution, and Geneva is the way to go.  
Zakaria: What is the strategy behind Saudi Arabia's seemingly aggressive new foreign policy? It is challenging Iran in Lebanon, in Syria, in Iraq, in Qatar, and, of course, in Yemen. In all these places, it seems to have taken the most, kind of, aggressive stance it could. In all these cases, so far, it has not met with much success. Why is this happening and do you expect it to continue?
King Abdullah II: I think His Majesty King Salman is going in a proactive Saudi role that we haven't seen for a while. And as I said earlier, we do see the interference of Iranian policies in a lot of the Arab states, and, again, the danger of using groups and issues in our part of the world from a religious context. And I think I've covered that. So I think, not only Saudi Arabia, but some of the Gulf countries have their concerns, having seen what they saw in, as you mentioned, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, and the other parts of the world. So there is this tension between us, that there is politics being played in our region, which we’d like the Iranians to stop. And so, I think the Saudi policy is to say the red lines are here.
Zakaria: You know, you are a military man, you understand war very well. In Yemen, it seems that the Saudis have created a bigger problem than they are solving. This poorest part of the Middle East is devastated—famine, cholera, typhoid. And, of course, this is Saudi Arabia's next-door neighbour. Aren't they creating a generation-long problem?
King Abdullah II: Well, Yemen has historically been a challenge for any military campaigners. And you know, there are challenges, obviously, in Yemen. The concern, I think, that we all have—and there was a meeting in Saudi Arabia two days ago on how do we deal with the humanitarian crisis, which is something that needs to be moved on as aggressively and as quickly as possible because, as you say, if we don't get that right, it's going to be something that's going to haunt us for a while. I know that two days ago, the decision was taken in Riyadh, with the coalition, to get at least USD1.5 billion worth of aid to Yemen. But I think that's just the start. And again, the GCC are working on a political solution to this, and I think we need to support the GCC in this endeavour, but the quicker we can move from combat to talking politics and trying to solve the problem, I think, it would be better for all of us.
Zakaria: During the campaign for the presidency, Donald Trump said something, on CNN actually, he said I think Islam hates us. By us, I think he meant America. In your conversations with President Trump, have you tried to persuade him that that was not the case?
King Abdullah II: Absolutely, to all Americans, and whether I am in Washington in the Congress or with the Administration, I think, maybe there is a lack of understanding of Islam. Islam is built on moral virtues that you see in Christianity and Judaism and other religions. You know, it is not a religion of hate. We, as Muslims, believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah. We believe in the Holy Virgin Mother. We believe in the Bible and the Torah. And I think this is the way that all of us were brought up, and I've said it before, when we all greet each other as Arabs and Muslims, we say assalamu alaikum, peace be unto you. That is probably the most said sentence that anybody says from the minute he gets up in the morning till he goes to sleep in the night. And I think that is the basis of Islam.
We have challenges because there are fringe groups that have created problems. As I've said before, we have a fight inside of Islam. This is a civil war between all of us and those that not only consider us heretics, but consider Christians, Jews, and other religions all heretics and should be put to the sword. The problem that we have now, and maybe the lack of understanding, is that it is us, Muslims, working side by side with Christians, Jews, and other religions to fight this scourge, which is still going to be a long-term problem. This is not going to be something to be resolved. In other words, you know, as I've said, Third World War by other means.
So in the United States, the challenge has to be—I am not so worried about the United States being affected by terrorists getting in. You know, the secure programme on protecting the United States is quite robust. What you don't want—and not just in the United States, in my country, or in Europe—is to have the Muslim population feeling victimised and isolated. And that creates the breeding ground of contempt because everybody hates us. I am more worried that the narrative creates more internal challenges of security if Muslims—at the end of the day, we all want a better life. We want a better future for our children and their children. For them to feel isolated, that’s the danger. And the rhetoric that moves in that direction is not a good story for anybody.
Zakaria: But part of that rhetoric does still emanate from Donald Trump. Every time there is a terror attack in Europe, he tweets about it. Do you sense in your meetings with him that you have been able to persuade him? Has this topic come up?
King Abdullah II: We have discussed this. And, again, don't forget that in our global fight against international terrorism, the United States is the most active partner in the world, not just with Jordan, but with Europe, countries in Africa, in the Far East. So they are our allies, and, you know, our relationship with the United States is institutional. I think that, you know, we are all partners in this global challenge. And I think the challenge to look at is: How do we do it, what I call the holistic approach. It is not just Syria or Iraq or Libya. We have challenges with East Africa when it comes to Al Shabab, Boko Haram. The Balkans could be a potential blow-up unless the Europeans, if I am allowed to say this, really concentrate on the South because the Balkans have historically not been very kind to Europe and to world history. That could be a potential problem because of extremism. We have the problems in the Philippines and Indonesia, and that is something we also want to nip in the bud. So part of this global coalition is to be able to chew gum and walk at the same time and deal with this in a holistic approach, but then not isolating Muslim societies to feel that they are victimised.
Zakaria: Finally, let me ask you, Your Majesty, at Davos this year, there is a reasonable amount of optimism around the world. The United States is growing economically. Europe is growing. Japan is growing. China, India, Latin America. The Middle East has always been this one area where there isn't that much optimism. Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the Middle East?
King Abdullah II: Again, I think that the Middle East went through a very important crossroads several years ago—Arab Spring. This was started by young people who wanted dynamic change in our region, hijacked unfortunately by organised—religious organisations with an extremist agenda. But it is a crossroads that we're, I think, still getting through. I've said to my Arab colleagues for many years; I said, you know, a lot of the Middle East always looked down on Africa. And I used to say, listen, you know, the Africans are talking to each other. They have proper trade with each other. Their military alliances are working together. They are combating terrorism together. And, as I see today, Africa has moved beyond where we are in the Middle East. Now, is it that we are still overcoming the Arab Spring? But we need to get our act together and start to talk to each other. And I think when you look at Africa, where a lot of Arab countries were looking down on, they are showing us an example how to move in the right direction.
Zakaria: And the Arab Spring seems to have turned into the Arab winter very quickly. We have returned to strongmen and authoritarianism. It doesn't seem like that promise worked out.
King Abdullah II: Well, if you would allow me, I think the Arab Spring, as I said, was started by young people who wanted change—and change that they deserve. It was then hijacked by religious entities that, in my view, were supported by the West, were supported by Western media, when all of us that were living there were going: Oh my goodness! We know exactly how this story is going to end. And that created the instabilities that you see in a lot of the countries that we talked about. We have to overcome that. And, again, our region is going through a major change—historical change—and some of it is still some battles that we have to win.
Having said that, I think there are other countries that are coming to each other inside the Middle East on bilateral, and growing together, saying, OK, you and I think the same, so let's come together and try, build more cohesion in Arab strategic policy. Arab nationalism, I think, ended in the Arab Spring. And where as countries, we started saying, OK, I do have Arab concerns, but actually I am a Jordanian; I care about Jordanian issues. I am a Lebanese; I care about Lebanese issues. I am a Moroccan. And so, it's going to take some time until everybody then gets past their nationalist feelings and get back to looking, as Europe, to the bigger picture.
Zakaria: Fascinating…Your Majesty, thank you so much.
King Abdullah II: Always a pleasure.