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Pro-Russian Militants To Ignore Geneva Deal; Frustration Mounts For MH370 Search Crew; Death Toll Mounts In South Korean Ferry Accident; Crews Find Ferry Disaster Victims; Kidnapped Journalists Return Home; A Region In Flux; Parting Shots: Christians Celebrate Easter; Dubai Pushes Fashion Forward; Dressing the Stars; Fortnum & Mason in Dubai

Aired April 20, 2014 - 11:00   ET


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Newly released radio transcripts reveal a scene of chaos and passengers trapped. Rescuers in South Korea bring bodies ashore as distraught relatives hold out hope their loved ones could still be alive. We'll take you there.

Also this hour, a bloody Easter in Ukraine. Deadly violence at a checkpoint adds pressure to diplomats working to end the crisis.

Plus, examining identities and regional loyalties -- the politics of Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia are going through a critical phase. We discuss what this may mean for the Middle East and beyond.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with Becky Anderson.

ANDERSON: A very good evening. It is just after 7:00 here, just after midnight in South Korea where the death toll from that ferry disaster has now reached at least 58 people.

Nearly 500 people were on board the boat heading for the resort island of Jeju. Some of the families have begun holding funerals for some of the victims.

This is the funeral of a 36-year-old high school teacher who is said to have said several of the hundreds of students on board the ferry. Meantime, anger and frustration boiling over and some families over both the search and rescue operation and the flow of information from South Korean officials. Dozens of family members demanded they speak with the president.

Well, South Korean officials have now released another transcript of a conversation between the Ferry and the control tower that may help explain why more people didn't get off the boat. Paula Hancocks covering this for us from South Korea.

Paula, scenes of complete distress. At least now some information trickling through about what happened to this ferry. Not going to help those who have lost family members, but certainly providing possibly some answers at this stage.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Becky. This is the second transcript that's been released by authorities. And basically it appears to show just how quickly the ship listed and how quickly communications were lost with the ship.

Now according to the true transcripts that we have now been given, the first distress signal went out at 8:55 am on Wednesday and just one minute later an unidentified crew member from the Seiwal (ph), the sunken ferry said, the ship rolled over a lot right now, cannot move.

Now this conversation continues with a second radio tower up until 9:38 am which is when all communication was lost, which shows it took just 43 minutes from the first distress signal to when communication was lost.

Now in these transcripts it does appear to show from this crew member that people simply couldn't move, because the ship had listed too much.

Now there has been many questions about why exactly people had not got onto these rescue boats and why more people were not able to jump into the water. So this would appear to explain why people were unable to move certainly according to this unidentified crew member.

But of course there are still questions as to why there was an announcement made that people should stay put and they shouldn't actually move because it was more dangerous for them to. So it does answer some questions, Becky. It will certainly be a focal point of the investigation, but there's still a lot of questions as to why exactly this even happened.

ANDERSON: 244 people still missing. Any chance at this stage that they will be found alive?

HANCOCKS: Well, certainly the families will be hoping against hope that there could be survivors still. There hasn't been a survivor found since Wednesday when this ship sank. And since then, Divers have been able to access more of the ship. We saw today that they did find more of the passengers. Unfortunately they're not finding survivors at this point. They are finding bodies.

The officials say, though, that they are working under the assumption that there may still be survivors. So this is still a search and rescue operation. And certainly everyone is hoping that there is still a chance of finding survivors.

But this is the fifth day since that ship sunk. So surely hopes are fading very rapidly that this could be a possibility.

There are four cranes, large floatable cranes that are stationed just around the area of this sunken ferry. They will be brought in at some point to move the ferry upwards, to lift it closer to the surface to make any salvage operation easier. They will potentially be used, as well, to tow the ferry to shore.

But at this point officials are saying they will not be engaged until the families agree. They will get the families' consent to use those cranes, because it is basically an acceptance, an implicit acceptance, that all lives have been lost on board when you brings these cranes into play -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Paula Hancocks in South Korea for you.

Well, a Russian news agency says pro-Russia separatists in an eastern Ukrainian town are calling on Moscow to send in peacekeeping forces.

Now this comes after a shooting near a pro-Russia checkpoint outside the city of Slovyansk. At least four people, its reported, were killed. Russian media report the victims of the confrontation include pro-Russia activists and Ukrainian nationalists.

Meanwhile, the barricades are still standing in the eastern city of Donetsk despite an international agreement to clear the buildings.

Let's get the latest on all of this. Frederick Pleitgen joining us now now from Kiev. And these reports on clashes turning deadly from Russian state media, can we confirm these at this point?

FREDERICK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, there certainly seemed to have been those clashes. The latest that we're getting from the Ukrainian side is that they say that four vehicles appeared to have come towards that checkpoint, that pro-Russian checkpoint and opened fire, indeed, on that checkpoint. That attack apparently was repelled, however. There were those people who were killed in that attack.

Now the Ukrainian side, for its part, of course, says that all of this was launched by Russia. They say that this is a provocation on the Russian side to find some sort of pretext to justify an invasion. So, they are placing the blame fully on Moscow.

But it's certainly something that once again undermines that Geneva agreement that was reached on Thursday. And it's something that the Kiev government has always said it is very skeptical of, very skeptical of Moscow's intentions.

Kiev, for its part, says that it continues to try and deescalate the situation. What they've done is they've called a unilateral truce over the Easter holidays. They say that their military operation, which was started last week, would not continue over the Easter holidays.

But clearly we can see, Becky, that there is still a very volatile, and also in some cases violent situation, going on in the east that really threatens to derail a Geneva agreement that was reached last Thursday, Becky.

ANDERSON: The very latest from east Ukraine with Frederick Pleitgen, thank you for that.

And later on this show, Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. We continue our special coverage of the crisis in Ukraine. We're going to have a report from the eastern city of Donetsk where Russia -- pro-Russia separatists are not budging from their positions inside government buildings. And we'll take you to the heart of the industrial region in Ukraine where residents talk about the kind of future that they want, that is later this hour.

Well, the government of Yemen says at least four al Qaeda militants have been killed in what is a second air strike this weekend. They say al Qaeda training camps in a remote mountainous region in the south were hit.

Now on Saturday, at least 10 suspected militants and three civilians were killed in a strike in central Yemen. A source in the region says the attacks have nothing to do with recent video showing a large gathering of militants. The video has appeared on jihadist websites.

Well, the United States considers the al Qaeda group in Yemen, known as al Qaeda in the Arabia Peninsula, the most dangerous wing of the terrorist organization. So this video has definitely got the attention of global terrorism experts.

Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr with more from you on that.


BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): U.S. intelligence experts have examined every frame of the video showing nearly 100 al Qaeda fighters meeting in Yemen. They're trying to figure out if they're missing any signs of plotting for an attack against the U.S.

CNN was the first to broadcast this. The intelligence community trying to identify blurred faces and asking if they are being sent to attack the U.S. Analysts are also looking at the flashy white truck leading the convoy. Who had the money to pay for it? The expensive camera, even paying attention to the fruit juice being served.

None of the suspected terrorists appear worried about a U.S. drone strike. The rarely seen al Qaeda leader Nasir al Wuhayshi takes time to great fighters who recently broke out of jail. It's a sunny day with a dark shadow.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's quite an extraordinary event. The leadership taking a big risk in doing this. They clearly felt that for propaganda purposes, it was worth taking the risk. They wanted to get the message across there are groups still in business. STARR: U.S. officials tell CNN each image is a piece of intelligence about the group the U.S. calls the most dangerous al Qaeda affiliate.

Most worrisome, on the right, Nasir al-Wuhayshi, the leader of al Qaeda in Yemen, and number two, for al-Qaeda, worldwide. He was a personal aide to Osama bin Laden. In the video, he vows to attack the U.S. On the left, Ibrahim al Rubaish, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee, now the group's main theologian.

The U.S. believes the video was shot in March, just weeks after the U.S. government warned airlines to watch for terrorists attempting to hide explosives in shoes.

MARIE HARF, STATE DEPARTMENT DEPUTY SPOKESWOMAN: They have tried to build explosives that can get around security. We have been concerned about that for many years now.

STARR: The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee telling Wolf Blitzer the group has gone underground in their communications, even as plotting has increased.

REP. MIKE ROGERS (R-MI), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: The more they can get away with plotting, planning, organizing, as you saw there, finance, all the things they would need to do to strike a Western target, they're going through that process, including, by the way, bringing in very sophisticated people to devise new devices that would try to get around security protocols at airports and other places.


ANDERSON: That was Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr reporting for you there.

Still to come, as four French journalists, quote, "breathe free air again," after being held hostage in Syria for nearly a year. Tonight's cafe chat focuses on the conflict in Syria and its impact on other countries throughout the region.

And it may be time for a change in strategy as searchers above and beneath the sea find no trace of Malaysia Airlines flight 370. The latest on that.

You're watching Connect the World with me Becky Anderson live in Abu Dhabi. Stay with us.


ANDERSON: You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World. It is 13 minutes past 7:00 here in the UAE. Recapping one of our top stories, an international deal to deescalate the crisis in Ukraine appears to be on shaky ground. Now Russian media report at least four people have been killed at a pro-Russia checkpoint in the Eastern city of Slovyansk. Pro- Russia separatists and Ukrainian nationalists, we're told are among the dead. A Ukrainian nationalist group, the Right Sector, denies its supporters played any role in this shooting.

Well, in another city just a few hours south, tensions are rising.

You can't see a lot here, but you can hear the gunfire. This came from Mariupol, a coastal city, when pro-Russia protesters tried to storm a military base there on Wednesday.

Today, it is quieter, but still uneasy with some locals wanting a vote to break away from Ukraine.

Arwa Damon with this report.


ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Mariupol is built on steel, a city where blackened factories spew pollution and trains haul the coal of the Donbas (ph) region past weekend anglers trying their luck in the murky waters.

Down the coast is Crimea annexed by Russia just weeks ago. And some in Mariupol would like the same for their cities.

Pro-Russian protesters have occupied city hall for nearly a week, refusing to leave the building despite the Geneva agreement.

Mariupol's youngest, blissfully unaware of the upheaval all around that will decide their future.

As for the organization on security and cooperation in Europe, tasked with negotiating the surrender of these buildings, they were hear a few days ago, but made no headway.

"I figured they were clueless from the expressions on their faces and the way they looked at each other," Irina Vodopayeva (ph), a house wife turned spokeswoman scoffs.

In Mariupol, as in Donetsk, they are planning to hold a referendum on splitting from Ukraine. But tensions peaked here after protesters tried to storm this military base, tucked between apartments, terrifying residents hardly accustomed to scenes like this.

So you were watching everything from that window?

18-year-old Aleksandr Tehey (ph) shows us where he says a bullet hit right underneath, concerned that it could happen again.

The violence that broke out here was the deadliest since the pro- Russian demonstrations began. Three protesters were killed. And the situation in Mariupol feels much more polarized.

All Alexander Bobina wants is to be free from the grip of Kiev and the corruption and chaos which he sees as engulfing Ukraine.

But do you feel Ukrainian?

ALEXANDER BOBINA, MARIUPOL RESIDENT: You know, in this area I was born in USSR. Nobody asked people here where do you like live in Russia or in Ukraine? Now we have chance to take back everything.

DAMON: Fiercely proud of its industrial heritage, the city of steel seems ready to forge a new future, one that has distinct echoes of its past.


ANDERSON: Well, senior international correspondent Arwa Damon joins me now from Donetsk. The prime minister of Ukraine, Arwa, marked Easter earlier today saying the following, have a listen to this.


ARSENIY YATENYUK, UKRAINIAN PRIME MINISTER (through translator): It's the first time on that great day of Easter that Ukraine is confronted with plans to squash and destroy it. But on this holy day, I would like to assure everyone that if we stay united and together darkness will disappear and light will win and Ukraine will resurrect.


ANDERSON: If we stay united, those are his words and yet those you've been speaking to on the ground don't seem interested in being united with Ukraine. What's your reading of all of this?

DAMON: Well, it's a very difficult situation, Becky, because both sides are so hardened in their positions. And even though that agreement was come to in Geneva that should have seen the illegally occupied buildings and public spaces cleared out, obviously that has not been happening with those pro-Russian demonstrators we've been talking to saying that they don't view themselves as being illegal, that it's the government in Kiev that needs to step down. That, of course, is highly unlikely to be a scenario that actually happens.

A lot of pressure right now on the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe that is tasked with trying to convince these pro- Russian protesters to clear out of the various buildings. As of yet, it doesn't seem like they've had any success whatsoever.

So it's very difficult to see how Ukraine is going to pull itself out of this situation, especially with those pro-Russian demonstrators determined to move forward with their referendum.

ANDERSON: All right, that is the situation within Ukraine in the east. Let me just get our viewers some background as to what is going on sort of elsewhere. U.S. intelligence estimates, Arwa, Russia has about 40,000 troops deployed along its border with Ukraine. NATO has highlighted six staging areas. And we're looking at those on the map. Four army sites and two air bases shown here where Russian forces are deployed.

But NATO officials say there are at least 100 such sites all along the border. NATO also says Russian troops are poised for combat operations and equipped with tanks, combat aircraft and artillery.

Now, Arwa, on the flip side there are reports that Poland and the U.S. will announce next week the deployment of U.S. ground forces to Poland as part of an expansion of NATO presence in central and Eastern Europe in response to events in Ukraine.

This doesn't feel like a ratcheting down, does it, in the crisis at this point?

DAMON: No, not at all. In fact, all sides seem to be really taking moves, posturing if you will. And when we speak with people here they'll tell you that they're absolutely terrified no matter which side of this they are on, because Ukraine has never confronted this kind of a crisis, not since its creation as an independent state. The one thing that everyone does seem to agree on, and that is that they don't want war, they do want stability. The big question, of course, is how is that going to be achieved.

Just today after the attack that took place overnight in Slovyansk, we heard the self-proclaimed mayor there saying that he wants a Russian force to enter the city to act as peacekeepers, that he wants Russian weapons. We've heard calls from various other protest leaders throughout all of this that they want Russia to be involved militarily to protect them.

Russia itself has consistently maintained that it reserves the right to protect its interests, to protect Russian-speaking citizens, although it does say that it is not planning on invading eastern Ukraine. But most certainly the indications are right now that the situation is only getting more tense by the day with neither side appearing to back down, nor any of the backers of any of the various players that are involved here backing down from their positions either, Becky.

ANDERSON: Arwa Damon in Ukraine for you this evening. Arwa, thank you for that.

We've set aside a section of our website for all of the latest from the crisis in Ukraine. It's also a place you can have your say as well. Our lead article on protesters refusing to vacate government buildings have generated more than 10,000 comments on who is to blame for this standoff and what should happen next.

Do join that conversation, it's a global one,

Well, live from Abu Dhabi at what is 21 minutes past 7:00 here. You're with Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson. Coming up after a month- and-a-half of frustration, how long will the search for Malaysia Airlines flight 370 continue before they finally call it quits? That, coming up.


ANDERSON: You're watching Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson, from Abu Dhabi. Welcome back.

Now, 11 aircraft, 12 ships, 1 underwater drone. But after 44 days zero progress in the search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight 370 this Sunday. The drone known as Bluefin-21 completed its seventh mission without finding any trace of the aircraft. The search area may have narrowed, but at almost 50,000 square kilometers it is bigger than Denmark or Switzerland and often kilometers deep.

Well, search coordinators have been careful to limit expectations, but six weeks on the lack of any solid evidence as to the plane's whereabouts is clearly proving difficult for family and friends to take.

Miguel Marquez examines the complexity of the operation.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Another day another search another hope of finding something, any scrap of debris related to Malaysian Flight 370.

CAPT. TIM MCALEY, ROYAL NEW ZEALAND AIR FORCE: It's our mission to find it. And we want to be the crew that does find it. But it takes time.

MARQUEZ: Captain Tim McAlevery (ph) some 30 search flights under his command has been everywhere from the South China Sea to the Straits of Malaka and now here 1,000 miles off the Australian coast.

MCALEY: It's roughly analogous to Canadian border to Mexican border. That's the distance we've flown for two-and-a-half hours on station and then climb out now.

MARQUEZ: This New Zealand crew in a P3-Orion, its classified and sophisticated equipment made for hunting enemy submarines stare at screens and at the sea, flying at times just 200 feet above the water. The plane's wingspan 100 feet.

They spot just about everything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah. But that's the nature of the game. We're looking for absolutely anything that could possibly be MH370.

MARQUEZ: In past sortees (ph) they've seen more examples -- what's this? A tangled fishing net or a tangle of straps from an airplane cargo hold.

This crew, the first so far to see an item and successfully direct a ship to pluck it from the ocean.

FLIGHT LT. PETER JACKSON, ROYAL NEW ZEALAND AIR FORCE: We patrolled and detected a small red object that we believed to be not more than one meter by one meter.

MARQUEZ: The Australian naval ship Perth responded from 20 miles away. It launched a team in an inflatable raft. The P3 had enough fuel to stay on the scene and direct them to the object.

JACKSON: It was a large bread basket or bread tray, the kind that you would typically find in a super market holding 20 loaves of bread.

MARQUEZ: Not from MH370. Another frustration, the mission goes on.

Miguel Marquez, CNN, over the southern Indian Ocean.


ANDERSON: Well, the latest world news headlines are just ahead. Plus, taking the temperature of the Middle East. Stay tuned to find out why some say the west just doesn't understand this region. That, coming up.


ANDERSON: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. The top stories for you this hour.

Russian media reports say at least four people were killed at a pro- Russian checkpoint near the eastern Ukrainian city of Slaviansk. Pro- Russian leaders in control of the city have implemented a curfew and are calling on Moscow to send Russian peacekeeping troops.

With about half the ballots in Afghanistan's presidential election counted, former finance -- sorry, former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah is in the lead. He has 44 percent of the vote. Former finance minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai has 33 percent. Final results expected by April the 24th.

A popular Pakistani journalist is recuperating from multiple gunshot wounds in Karachi. Police say gunmen ambushed Hamid Mir on Saturday while he was in his car. Mir hosts a political talk show, "The Geo News." He has spoken out against injustices against the Pakistani people.

Hundreds of divers are searching the Yellow Sea for any sign of passengers from a sunken South Korean ferry, 244 people still missing. Search crews brought more than a dozen bodies ashore on Sunday, bringing the death toll to an official 58. Kyung Lah has more.


KYUNG LAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The first police boat returns from the search site, parents waiting, bracing. They return one-by-one in identical plain white bags. Behind the screen, initial inspection. A blanket to cover. Then a short march back to land.


LAH: Parents rush to the white tents to identify their children.


LAH: "You must have said 'Daddy, save me!'" weeps this father.


LAH: No one is immune to the sound of losing a child. As the families leave the tents, so too do the stretchers, emptied, returning to the gurneys that await the next boat. Another group of someone's children. Another march back to the tents.


LAH: Thirteen return in this group, but more than 200 are still missing. Gurneys on the left side of the dock, divers board ships to the right to continue the search, to bring the rest home.

Kyung Lah, CNN, Jindo, South Korea.


ANDERSON: Well, those singular moments that speak to the scope of what is happening can be seen in the photos coming out of South Korea. These are some of the most poignant, from the anger of protesters marching towards the president's house, to the line of police preventing relatives of passengers from jumping into the water themselves. That is at

Four French journalists held in Syria for the past ten months are now back home and in good health. President Francois Hollande greeted the four, along with their friends and families earlier.

French authorities aren't releasing any details about how they were freed, but reports in Turkish media say an unknown group took the four, blindfolded and bound their hands, to the southeastern border of Turkey. They were found by Turkish soldiers there.

Now, the hostages were taken at different times. Didier Francois and a photographer disappeared in June of last year en route to Aleppo.


DIDIER FRANCOIS, FORMER FRENCH HOSTAGE (through translator): It's a great joy and an immense relief, obviously, to be free, to be out in the open air. I'm saying it again, but we haven't seen the sky for a long time. To breathe the fresh air, walk freely. It was a long time, but we never lost faith.


ANDERSON: Well, the release of the journalists puts to an end what's undoubtedly been a nightmare for them and their families. It's another reminder, of course, of the horrors of a civil war, seemingly frozen in stalemate. But there are signs of what is a noticeable shift on the ground in the situation.

This was Syrian president Bashar al-Assad touring the Christian village of Maaloula that his troops recently took back from rebel forces. The rare appearance for the embattled leader outside of Damascus could be seen as part of a drive to present a more confident grip on power by him.

And it's not only in Syria where the forces unleashed by the so-called Arab Spring seem to have hit somewhat of a roadblock. In Egypt, a presidential race is going to get underway where this man, the leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi is now going to challenge former army general Abdul Fattah el-Sisi, who many feel will simply cruise to victory.

And Egypt's future under el-Sisi one of the first topics of conversation when I sat down with three leading regional experts here in Dubai.


ABDULKHALEQ ABDULLAH, PROFESSOR, EMIRATES UNIVERSITY: I think there is a genuine feeling -- OK? -- that Egypt needs this guy. Why? Because he comes from the military, and there is a good feeling -- there is a good, positive disposition about the military in Egypt, OK? Not Sisi, but the military.

They hate Moha Barad (ph) and they hate the security and they hate the intelligence, et cetera. They don't like them. And they think that they are allying themselves with an institution that is nationalistic.

ABDULKARIM AL ERYANI, FORMER YEMENI FOREIGN MINISTER: I believe that the concept of Maidan is Tahrir. Tahrir Square. It's going to be like the Bastille in Egypt -- in --

ANDERSON: In France.

AL ERYANI: -- France. Anytime a ruler or a president that's -- or a political party that diverts away from democracy, from equality, from equal citizenship, I believe Maidan and Tahrir today would rule Egypt each time the ruler deviates.

ANDERSON: So you think there will be oversight here by the people? You think that there will be an -- people will go back to the streets or hit the squares again if he doesn't get it right?

AL ERYANI: The more -- people are still in the revolutionary mood.

RAGHIDA DERGHAM, BEIRUT INSTITUTE: They have to absolutely insist on building the institutions of democracy. They have to be satisfying the people who would go to the square.

And I want to commend the countries such as UAE, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Honestly, they have done a great job standing with Egypt the country. And I want to give them credit for that, because --

ABDULLAH: Citizen appreciation of that.

ANDERSON: And Sisi will lead the GCC going forward --


ABDULLAH: Oh, he needs everybody's help.

ANDERSON: I mean, he can't deliver without the GCC.

ABDULLAH: I think he needs everybody's help, OK? It's not just the GCC. There's a limit to what the GCC could do. They need the international community. They need the Americans. They need the EU. They need everybody else.

DERGHAM: But I think it's very important that President Barack Obama took a U-turn and did a detour away from his policy in the very beginning, the policy of, "oh, my goodness, let's embrace the Muslim Brotherhood because that's the voice of the people and that's it. We're going to go there and we're going to make the change and this is going to be moderate Islam." And he was wrong.

ANDERSON: What do you make of the revolving doors at the very echelons of domestic politics in Saudi? We've seen Bandar bin Sultan removed from office, a man with a Syria portfolio as it were. Am I reading too much into the moves I see in Riyadh today?

ABDULLAH: That was a military --


AL ERYANI: I think in Saudi Arabia, always whatever the king says, everybody abides. Now, I believe that King Abdullah is keen to make a basic change in the structure and politics of Saudi Arabia. Sadly enough, he's too old.

ABDULLAH: My reading on this, Becky, is that, like all countries, in Saudi Arabia, you have the hawks and you have the doves. And for a while, the hawks -- on all issues, by the way, on all issues -- took over. And they were leading, and they had more access to King Abdullah, who's an absolute king who takes the final decision.

I think the days of the hawk in Saudi's foreign policy is over. Bandar was the prime hawk over there. I think the moderates are coming in, and they are going to set the agenda for the next stage.

DERGHAM: During President Obama's latest trip, I think President Obama understood to Saudi Arabia, to Riyadh, he understood how serious is the issue of Syria to the Saudis, to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. So they discussed rescuing the bilateral relationship, which they did, taking care of many regional issues.

But now they also understood that yes, we we're not going to give you back Iran back to the Arab fold, but the Saudis also said, we're not going to be comfortable giving you Syria into the Iranian fold.


ABDULLAH: They were like everybody else irritated with that hawkish discourse that was coming out of Riyadh, which is very much uncharacteristic of Saudi Arabia.

DERGHAM: I'm sorry, they are also responsible. The Western countries are very responsible for the absolute utter failure in Syria.

ABDULLAH: It's a fundamental misunderstanding and reading of this region. It's inaction that is leading to this problem in Syria, a festering ground for terrorism and for jihad, et cetera.

If you just take just ten years, I'm not going to go even any further, one blunder after the other, every time they created a monster after the other, so they do really misunderstand this region. They are not dealing with it.

DERGHAM: Also, the Americans said attrition, war of attrition, mutual annihilation, what do we care? Let them kill each other. Let this be Iran's Vietnam and let it be Hezbollah's quagmire, and the same thing with al Qaeda and the regime killing each other. But it failed.

This policy failed, because we ended up with the growth of the animal, of the monster, of terrorism, and that is not only Arab, that is also --


ANDERSON: What will the legacy of that be, do you think?

DERGHAM: I think it's the legacy of when the West will have no right anymore to say I have the moral upper hand, because the West deserted Syria.


ANDERSON: Our cafe chat this week. You can see the second part of that later in the week, where we will discuss the future of Middle Eastern youth.

You can send us your suggestions on topics that you'd like to see us discuss or people you want to interview. It is your show. Global conversation, get in touch, You can tweet me @BeckyCNN, that is @BeckyCNN.

Today's Parting Shots. Christians around the world are coming together to celebrate Easter, the day when they believe Jesus ascended to heaven.




ANDERSON: In Vatican City, Pope Francis celebrated mass and addressed an estimated 150,000 faithful.

Christians in Seoul in South Korea held a somber Easter service, praying for the victims of the deadly ferry accident.

Across the Holy Land, thousands of worshipers attended mass. This is an Easter service in East Jerusalem.

Many of the British royals, including the queen and her husband Prince Philip, braved what was the rain to attend church at their Windsor Castle home, while the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their son, Prince George, enjoyed milder conditions attending mass while touring Australia.

I'm going to leave you with some of the pictures from that tour. I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD. From Abu Dhabi, it is a very good evening. Thank you for watching. MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST is next. After that, we'll be back with the headlines, top of the hour here on CNN. Stay with us.


JOHN DEFTERIOS, HOST: This week on MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST, we're in Dubai, already a shopper's paradise. We'll take a look at the plans to place the city among the fashion capitals of the world.

And we look at why a 300-year-old British luxury retailer chose Dubai as the place to open its first-ever shop abroad.

Welcome to MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST, this week from Dubai. The emirate is home to some of the busiest shopping malls in the world, including this one here, the Mall of the Emirates. Little wonder, then, that it's the second-most popular destination for retailers on the planet.

Now, Dubai wants to go a step further by building an industry around its local talents. Leone Lakhani has the story.


LEONE LAKHANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is Fashion Forward, a semi-annual event to promote the Middle East's emerging fashion industry. For the past year, design brands like Amato are drawing crowds.

Aside from shows, pop-up shops tout the region's accessory makers, and fashion leaders hold discussion forums. The event launched just last April, but its founder has grand ambitions.

BONG GUERRERO, FOUNDER AND CHAIRMAN, FASHION FORWARD: I would like to truly have our own fashion heroes. I think every market deserves to have their own point of differentiation. With a global immersion of power brands, where every mall almost looks the same, you really need to have your own homegrown brand.

LAKHANI (on camera): Homegrown brands, like Dubai's very own Zareena line. The real test is whether these creations will make it off the runways here and into stores around the world.

LAKHANI (voice-over): It's a lucrative market. The luxury fashion and design sectors are worth more than $14 billion across the Gulf region, according to the consultants Bain and Company. Big business and still just a portion of the global markets.

To tap into that, industry experts like Fern Mallis, the creator of New York Fashion Week, say the region has to set itself apart.

FERN MALLIS, CREATOR, NEW YORK FASHION WEEK: There's a lot of talent around the world. But everybody's looking for something new. Even buyers in New York and in Paris, they're all looking for something new that nobody else has.

LAKHANI: But emerging talents, like Arwa Alammari from Saudi Arabia, who's just completed her second Fashion Forward collection, say designers like her need guidance to succeed.

ARWA ALAMMARI, FASHION DESIGNER, ARAM: For a new designer, they need appropriate education so they'll be able to understand the concept behind fashion. Because fashion cannot be taken as a hobby. It has to be taken seriously.

LAKHANI: Fostering a creative outlet is part of a longterm strategy that aims to turn Dubai into a global fashion capital by 2020. To support it, the government's creating an entire zone dedicated to design. It's called D3, or Dubai Design District. It'll include commercial areas, manufacturing facilities, and work spaces for artists and designers.

The woman at the helm of the project says it'll be an ecosystem to create jobs and nurture the region's talents.

AMINA ALRUSTAMANI, GROUP CEO, TECOM INVESTMENTS: Education is important. It's -- whatever we do is not only to attract talent from the region, which -- and I believe the region is very really rich with talent in the design and creative sector, but also to have the right base and infrastructure to also develop talent.

LAKHANI: Building upon the city's successful retail sector, where sales are expected to reach $41 billion in 2015. D3 is just minutes from the city's tourist mecca, the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, which towers over one of the world's largest shopping malls and its 75 million visitors each year.

ALRUSTAMANI: We are very strong in attracting brands here, but I believe also we are also ready and have the right opportunity to also develop global brands from Dubai.

LAKHANI: And take designs from these catwalks worldwide.


DEFTERIOS: With the UAE fashion and luxury market valued at over $6 billion, it's no surprise to see that the global designers have a presence within the country. But there's a Dubai-based designer who has his own following amongst the global celebrity elite. Here's a special look inside his studio.


FURNE ONE, DISIGNER AND OWNER, AMATO: My name is Funre One. I'm from Cebu, Philippines. I started designing when I was, like, around 15 years old. And then I joined this competition. I won the competition, the Mega Young Designer of the Philippines Award, and then my prize was to go to Paris and to go to New York to apprentice with Josie Natori.

We started the label Amato 2002. Amato means beloved, because we started for bridal. And then we ended up, like bridal, doing also party dresses. This collection is the Circus of Good and Evil collection. It's all threading -- thread work with acrylic and all laser-cutting organza.

For a simple party dress, we start $5,000 US to $10,000. We started Amato with a very small group, less than 10, and now we're 90 to 100. This one is like the big work department. This one, they're making all the bead works. And this one is doing all the machines, like this is the machine embroiderers, and we have here the tailors.

We're catering mostly with local ladies here, actually in this region, the Middle East and the Gulf. And we have lots of clients, also, from Russia and the US and also Europe.

This one, Katy Perry wore this one in the MTV Music Awards. Dressing of celebrities is a dream. It all started with Katy Perry. The management told us that they wanted us to do the tour. So, we did the tour, the California Dream tour, we did the outfits. So, it's opened doors.

Shakira wore this one in the Grammys. And then I started designing Nicki Minaj video, Beyonce's tour. But now, what's the plan is to bring Amato to another level. To bring Amato to be more international, like a brand, not just a tailoring shop.


DEFTERIOS: The life and times of the Dubai-based designer Amato. Well, from a homegrown brand to one of the most prestigious in London making its Dubai debut. When we come back, we visit the new Fortnum & Mason shop in Dubai, selling its famous English teatime treats for the first time in a shop outside of the UK.


DEFTERIOS: It's a luxury brand known for its hampers and specialty tea. Fortnum & Mason was established in the early 1700s, but it's never had a store outside the UK until now. I caught up with its chief executive, Ewan Venters, at their new operation right next to the Dubai Mall.


EWAN VENTERS, CEO, FORTNUM & MASON: Welcome to Fortnum's Dubai.

DEFTERIOS: Yes, appreciate it.

VENTERS: Good to see you.

Fortnum & Mason is 300 years old. So, over the decades, the business had to change and evolve all the time. And here we are in downtown Dubai, with lots of the traditional aspects of the Fortnum's business, but in a more contemporized way of presentation.

DEFTERIOS: Would you say it's a risk in a way that you're taking a traditional brand and bringing it into a very modern setting, so you don't undermine the brand at the same time, maintain that cache?

VENTERS: Well, one of the key requisites of the strategy is that we said that we must have a standalone site. Dubai's an extremely important commercial center for luxury retailing, but we were never taking Fortnum & Mason into a shopping mall. So, we're only here because this site came available, and I think it's possibly the finest retail site in Dubai.

DEFTERIOS: This is, in a sense, an island or an oasis in a region that's very turbulent. Do you want to go into other markets of the Middle East? Do you see safe harbors with the chaos in the broader region?

VENTERS: I think we'll keep everything under watch and review. But our first priority is establishing ourselves in Dubai through this 9,500 square foot store. But beyond the opening of the store later in the year, we'll launch our website. So, we'll actively develop our online strategy throughout the whole region.

So, I don't suppose we'll be ever in multiple sites across the region. Maybe one or two additional sites.

DEFTERIOS: You have a Gulf base, a Middle East base of customers. Take me through, in a sense, what you're putting on offer, and can you tap easily to expand that Gulf base that you had into Piccadilly?

VENTERS: One of the original attractions of coming to the Middle East, the region, is that after water, the second-most popular drink is tea. And we've been tea merchants for nearly 300 years. So, it's kind of an exciting opportunity just from a tea point of view. So, tea will be at the cornerstone of the product offer and also in the restaurant.

But beyond that, the hamper business, the wicker business that Fortnum & Mason is most famous for, perhaps, across the globe, the UAE, Dubai in particular, very gifting culture, very oriented towards gifting. And of course, the wicker baskets and hamper, the perfect gifting solution.


DEFTERIOS: Ewan Venters, the CEO of the legendary retailer on the decision to move outside of Piccadilly for the first time.

And that's all for this edition of CNN MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST. I'm John Defterios in Dubai, thanks for watching. We'll see you next week.