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CONNECT THE WORLD
Interview with Egyptian Foreign Minister; Shia Militia Hold Front Line In Iraq; Interview with Novak Djokovic; Tour De France In London; Egypt Under the Microscope; Oscar Pistorius Video Controversy; Egypt Tourism; Parting Shots: Sharm el-Sheikh
Aired July 7, 2014 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Well, you join me live from the one-time powerhouse of the Middle East and North Africa, Egypt is celebrated as the
home of one of the world's most ancient civilizations. More recently, it's prized as the region's economic hub and a tourism spot. And yet today, the
connotations, well they're not so positive and the challenges for this country's new leader are immense.
I'm Becky Anderson and this is Connect the World live from Cairo. Coming up, Egypt's foreign minister admits that the nation's image abroad
has been tarnished by recent events. I'll bring you my exclusive interview with Sameh Shoukry.
Also ahead, Baghdad prepares for an ISIS onslaught. We'll give you an exclusive tour of the militia defenses on the city's outskirts.
And reliving the night he shot and killed his girlfriend, we'll bring you the reenactment the court hasn't seen in the Oscar Pistorius trial.
Well, you join me this Monday in a country divided even though the results of Egypt's recent election tell a different story. Ex-military
chief Abdel Fatal al-Sisi with almost 97 percent of the vote, but behind that impressive statistic, there are millions of silent mouths, supporters
of ousted President Mohamed Morsy who took office in the country's first truly democratic election two years ago.
Well, if the Arab Spring was meant to relieve Egypt of authoritarian rule, to increase rights, to kickstart a flagging economy and to boost
opportunity for young people, well it hasn't yet fulfilled those promises. And now austerity measures are hitting locals where it hurts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Who will pay for this? The customers. Not me. I will never carry the difference.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, Mr. al-Sisi has plenty on his plate to turn things around and rebuild vital relations overseas. In an exclusive interview I
spoke with Egypt's new foreign minister who admits the country's image needs a makeover.
SAMEH SHOUKRY, EGYPTIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: I recognize, of course, that there has a bit of perception of heavy-handedness or of motivations
that are suspicious. That perception, in particular, needs to be changed by a more realistic view of what is going on in Egypt.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: We'll bring you that exclusive in about 10 minutes from now.
Well, we've got a big week of distinctive content coming up for you from Cairo in a country with a well documented youth unemployment problem
we'll sit down with students to get some future generation views.
Also examining relationship between the state and Islam, the crackdown on unlicensed mosques and concern of a Muslim Brotherhood revival.
And we'll explore hidden Cairo with a local architect as we continue our secret city series.
Well, first up, though, tonight in Iraq security being stepped up around the capital amid fears of attacks from ISIS fighters and Sunni
insurgents. Earlier, at least seven people were killed and 14 more were wounded in a suicide car bombing close to a Shiite shrine in Baghdad.
Meanwhile, state run Iraqiya TV says that the country's parliament has postponed its next session until August due to political wrangling and the
inability of the country to agree.
Now on the leadership posts, well the Iraqi government maybe getting some help in its battle to hold back extremists from the capital for the
first time in more than a decade, a militia known as the Badr (ph) brigade has taken up arms to defend Baghdad's front line.
CNN senior international correspondent Arwa Damon met them and she joins us now live from the Iraqi capital -- Arwa.
ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And Becky, they are being deployed along a very vital front line. An initial U.S. assessment
of the qualifications of the Iraqi security forces did lead them to state that they believe that they would stand and fight when it comes to Baghdad,
but they did also express their concerns about ISIS's advances from the northwest, especially towards the vital Baghdad Airport now being defended
in part by the Badr (ph) brigade.
ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Baghdad's airport is about 3 kilometers, 1.5 miles in that direction. This is its first outer
perimeter of defense with fighting positions like this one set up all along it. The boundary that they're using is natural. It's the canal that's
just down below.
There are seven similar concentric lines of defense between here and the front line, about a 20 minute drive away, which we visited last week
and is, we are told, still being held by Shia militiamen that once fought the Americans.
But Baghdad has been eerily quiet this last week. And everyone is on edge, anticipating spectacular bombings and sleeper cells emerging.
That is especially of concern out here, this close to Baghdad's airport and the capital's western edge.
They're seeing a lot of activity at night, especially after 2:00 a.m.
(SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
But they don't exactly what those cars are doing.
(SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
They're quite suspicious because they're coming at 2:00, 3:00 in the morning. And this is one of the areas, because it is predominantly Sunni,
that people are quite concerned that ISIS has sympathizers if not sleeper cells.
Shia Brigadier General Ayab Derrazak Shimari (ph) tells us he doesn't want to turn it into a sectarian matter. But, he says, "this area has safe
havens. Whenever you see Sunni areas, you will have safe havens."
These men are with the Badr brigade (ph), Shia Iraqis trained in Iran to fight Saddam Hussein's regime. They joined U.S. forces as the Americans
invaded Iraq and then announced they would become a political movement. Now, officially at least, taking up arms for the first time in over a
decade as Iraqi security forces desperately need reinforcement.
That house right there next to the cell phone tower is one of the locations where they've been seeing quite a bit of a suspicious activity at
fairly odd hours, but they haven't yet been able to secure the permission to go in and search it.
So they watch and wait, bracing themselves for battle. Mosul, they vow, won't be repeated here.
DAMON: But the issue, Becky, is that ISIS is not going to be defeated by military means alone, there has to be a political movement in parallel
to begin forming that government of national unity we've been talking so much about so that the Sunni tribesmen, the various Sunni insurgent groups
that are at the very least supporting ISIS or providing safe haven for them, feel as if they have a political stake in the country.
Now, with parliament postponing its meeting until August 12, that provides ISIS with an opportunity to potentially capitalize on this growing
Sunni anger, growing Sunni resentment and gain even more land, territory -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Arwa Damon is in Baghdad for you.
Well, both the Israeli and Palestinian leaders are calling for calm as tensions soar over the murder of a Palestinian teenager. Now Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with the father just a few hours ago. He condemned the 16 year old's murder and promised the killers would be, and I
quote, dealt with to the fullest extent of the law.
Palestinian authority president Mahmoud Abbas says he wants the UN to investigate the death as well as other crimes against Palestinians.
Well, meanwhile, Israel has stepped up its air strikes as rocket attacks from Gaza increased. The Israeli military says 33 rockets have
landed in Israel since midnight. The Gaza health ministry says at least nine Palestinians have been killed in air strikes.
Well, Diana Magnay is monitoring the tensions for us from Jerusalem. What is the atmosphere like on the streets this hour, Di?
DIANA MAGNAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORREPSONDENT: Well, in Shoafat, the house of Mohammad Abu Khdeir, there is a steady stream, really, of
delegations going to pay their condolences to the family, to his family. There is a mourning tent there, which has been extremely busy with visitors
over the past three, four days.
But there have not been any kind of violence on the streets of East Jerusalem the likes of which we saw on Saturday and certainly Friday and
Thursday last week which -- in which Mohammad's cousin Tariq, a 15-year-old American was caught up clearly in some sort of capacity and very badly
beaten by police.
So there does seem to have been a calming here in East Jerusalem.
But, as you mentioned, along the border with Gaza, there has been a steady barrage of rockets landing in Israeli towns and the IDF has
responded with air strikes.
And I've just come off a conference call, Becky, with the IDF, the Israeli Defense Forces spokesman. He said that the position of the IDF in
that area has changed. Whereas last week they were focusing really on de- escalation, now they are aware that there will be a possible deterioration in the situation around that region and that therefore they're preparing
for it. So they are getting ready to bring in extra reservists.
He also mentioned that the deaths of some of those Hamas militants were due to an explosion in one of the tunnels. And part of the IDF, sort
of assault on that region in recent days has been to try and stop Hamas militants from crossing into Israel through tunnels. He said that seven of
the Hamas militants whose funerals were held today in Rafa have been killed not because of an Israeli airstrike. But because they had had explosives
in these tunnels that they were planning a major assault against Israel and that those explosives had somehow detonated.
So, a very complicated situation down there, but one that could deteriorate rapidly and the IDF say they are getting ready for that
ANDERSON: Diana Magnay for you in Jerusalem.
Well, still to come tonight on Connect the World with me Becky Anderson, the defense is set to wrap up its case in the Oscar Pistorius
trial. We're going to have the latest on what happened in court for you live from Pretoria.
And a year on from the June 30 revolution, a nation in transition, Egypt's new foreign minister shares his concerns about his country and the
wider region in his first extensive interview with an international TV network. We're taking a break. Back after this.
ANDERSON: Well, a very warm welcome back. You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson. Coming to you live from the
Egyptian capital Cairo will be here for the next four days in the capital. Explore your wide range of issues facing this nation.
Now on the face of it, this is a city on the move once again. You can hear the sounds of -- possibly you can't tonight, but you normally can hear
the sounds of the city behind me -- if you're out in the street you certainly can.
But as a deeply divided country emerges from a revolution looking for stability with a new leader, we'll be talking politics, the economy,
diplomacy, tourism and what needs to happen to improve the lives of all Egyptians, that over the next week.
One of those key areas is diplomacy. And Egypt's role and influence in a region that desperately needs stability.
Sameh Hassan Shoukry was named Egypt's foreign minister just last month replaced Navil Fahmy (ph). Now he is a veteran diplomat with a long
history representing Egypt around the world. He's been Egypt's ambassador to the United States and to Austria. And before that, he was Egypt's
permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva.
Well, recently Egypt's image has been tarnished by a perception of heavy-handedness, not least during the arrest, trial and sentencing of
three al Jazeera journalists.
Even Egypt's president has acknowledged that, saying he wished they had never been put on trial, but instead deported.
Well, I sat down with the foreign minister for what was an exclusive interview. And started by asking him whether he agreed with the president.
SHOUKRY: I do. I do. I recognize, of course, that there has been a perception of heavy-handedness or of motivations that are suspicious. That
perception in particular I think needs to be changed by a more realistic view of what is going on in Egypt and not by focusing on individual cases
of that might be characterized one way or another, but in the final context this is all done within the framework of a judicial system which is
competent and which has resort to several stages of appeal.
ANDERSON: Critics would say it wasn't a competent judicial process here.
SHOUKRY: I would challenge -- I would challenge that categorization. We are a...
ANDERSON: Harsh, draconian is what John Kerry has said of these sentences...
SHOUKRY: Those were unnecessary categorizations as far as I'm concerned and not quite typical of what is usually expected in terms of a
ANDERSON: What is the process? And will they be pardoned?
SHOUKRY: Well, the process is that there's still two levels of recourse to appeal. And I will presume that those who presume themselves
innocent would resort to that judicial process. It's is only through the rule of law can any society can develop and advance.
ANDERSON: There is an option for the president to pardon these journalists at the end of that process.
ANDERSON: Is that something he is considering, or is that something he has written off?
SHOUKRY: He has not made any declarations in terms of his intentions. And I wouldn't presume to make one on his behalf.
ANDERSON: With regard to the case of the al Jazeera journalist that brings us to the sort of wider story of Egypt's relations with Qatar. Are
they retrievable at this point?
SHOUKRY: It is a difficult relationship. It's a relationship that has been challenging, that has not been typical of the warm relationship
that Egypt has with all of the Arab states. We are constantly looking for motivations why that is the case. It's not certainly been our doing?
ANDERSON: What do you think the motivation has been?
SHOUKRY: I fail to be able to speculate. But there is a dysfunctionality in terms of the relationship that needs to be addressed by
the government of Qatar. Egypt is always willing to reengage and to forge its relationship, especially a regional relationships and those with the
Arab states, but it has to be on very clear and defined basis.
ANDERSON: Qatar will say you'll take its money, but you don't want to do business with it -- doing business with it...
SHOUKRY: We're not taking Qatar's money. We're -- whatever Qatari money is here is here because of the potential investment opportunities and
we leave it at that.
ANDERSON: The ongoing Israeli-Palestinian crisis clearly provides Islamist militants an excuse as far as they are concerned for ongoing
insurgency around the region feeding not least the likes of ISIS across Syria and Iraq. Let's talk about Syria.
The president here in Egypt has said recently that he supports a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis and doesn't believe in a military
solution or armed intervention. Clearly that flies in the face of the Saudi's position, a friend of Egypt's, who says they want to arm the
opposition. How do you rationalize that?
SHOUKRY: Well, our position has been that we consider that a political solution is the best way forward in resolving the crisis in
Syria. And I think the developments have indicated that neither party is able to resolve this issue militarily and it is only the affects of the
struggle as being felt most severely on the Syrian people.
ANDERSON: What's your position on Iraq at present? Who would you back as a new prime minister?
SHOUKRY: Well, we are supportive of the choices of the Iraqi people. We recognize that there is an ongoing political difficulty that there is a
segment of the political spectrum which is dissatisfied and needs to feel greater inclusion in the political process.
ANDERSON: Is Iran meddling in Iraq?
SHOUKRY: Well, there are many parties who have interests and who have shown their ability to influence developments in Iraq. And they are all
trying to do so I'm sure that by geographic proximity. Iran has an influence by virtue of its relationship to Iraq and the government.
Let's say it is one of the players in Iraq.
ANDERSON: When you hear, as you travel the world, from people who say -- and you must have hard this -- that Egypt is back in a Mubarak type era,
that there is an autocratic dictator running this country. This is what you must have heard as you've traveled the world. This is no democracy.
What's your response?
SHOUKRY: I haven't really. I've been reading in the press. I haven't heard that in my travels, but...
ANDERSON: What is your response when you read that in the press?
SHOUKRY: Well, my response is when a leader is elected by 22 million voters who participated in elections that were internationally monitored I
think that's a disingenuous categorization.
ANDERSON: The foreign minister in Egypt speaking to me in wide ranging interview just before we came to air.
We've got a lot more on the transition of power in Egypt and the issues facing the population online in English and in Arabic. Visit our
sister website CNN.com -- CNNarabic.com to get the latest news and features from the region in the language of the region of course.
Live from Cairo, this Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Coming up, the rising cost of fuel in this country is unbearable for taxi
drivers in Cairo.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Who will pay for this? The customers? Not me. I will never carry the difference.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, expensive fuel means expensive food in markets, the definition of high inflation. We're going to tell you what the new
government is doing about that.
And game, set and match, Novak Djokovic clinches the second Wimbledon title of his career. We talk to the newly crowned world number one about
his epic win. That, after this.
ANDERSON: You're watching Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Live from Cairo. As our month of special programming from around the
Middle East continues. Welcome back.
Now tens of thousands of cycling fans have lined the streets of London -- moving away from the region of course -- as the Tour de France whizzed
passed famous landmarks like Big Ben and Buckingham Palace.
CNN's Jim Boulden got up early to secure a spot on the route.
And Jim, it seems that the Brits are happy to take some ownership as the Tour de France makes a tour of the other side of the Channel, sir?
JIM BOULDEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. That's absolutely right. There's been three stages of the Tour de France here in the UK -- on
Saturday, Sunday and on Monday. Today's race, 155 kilometers from Cambridge going through the beautiful countryside into central London
around the Olympic Park, past many, many landmarks. The race has just completed here on the mall next to Buckingham Palace, won in 3 hour and 38
minutes by Germany's Marcel Kittel. He was one of the favorites. And it was a real sprint to the finish line I have to say.
Now, fans behind me, you can see, are still lining the streets here. It has been raining, Becky. Of course Tour de France in London, of course
it's going to rain isn't it?
So a lot of people here were looking to see if they could see some of their favorite riders as they came in just to the end of the finish line.
One of the complaints, though, Becky I have to say was from the riders themselves about too many Britons wanting to take selfies, in other words,
standing out on the road, turning their backs to these cyclists and taking a photo when one of them came by. They said please don't do that, you're
interfering with the drivers, extremely dangerous to turn your back on these cyclists.
Now why London? Well, I talked to the deputy mayor a few hours ago and he said having this kind of a race in the UK can bring $170 million to
the UK economy. That's his words.
And you remember, of course, two years ago the London Summer Olympics, two years ago this month, really. And the cycling was so popular,
especially the road cycling. So millions of people, we're told, have lined the streets in the last three days. And they can watch it for free.
What's better than that, Becky.
ANDERSON: Fantastic stuff. All right, Jim, thank you very much indeed for that. That's a warning, isn't it, keep away from the cyclists
when you've got your backs to them.
Well, men's tennis has a new world number one. Mr. Novak Djokovic regained the top spot after what was a thrilling five set match against
Roger Federer on Sunday. It was Djokovic's second triumph at the All England Club and his seventh grand slam title overall.
CNN's Christina MacFarlane spoke to him shortly after a win that he described as the best of his career.
CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: After an epic battle on Center Court, I'm delighted to be joined by the 2014 Wimbledon champion
Novak Djokovic. Novak, congratulations.
Tell me, what does this win mean to you at this stage of your life?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC, 2014 WIMBLEDON CHAMPION: It means a lot to me. I think with no doubt this has been the highest level of the grand slam final
that I was ever part of. Proud of all the achievements I had in my career, the highlights of my career so far was 2011 win in Wimbledon, but this is
even more special, because of the fact that I've lost the last five or six Grand Slam finals, because I've been through some tough moments privately
and professionally and team has done a great work to encourage me to keep on going. And I worked on myself and tennis and off the court as well to
strengthen my mine and my character and learn from the experiences I had and it's opening up.
MACFARLANE: You had a chance to close out the match in the fourth set and you weren't quite able to do it. How difficult was it to stay mentally
strong out there today?
DJOKOVIC: Well, look, you know, Roger proved why he's a 17-time Grand Slam champion and proved why he has been so successful and dominant in this
sport for so many years, because he knows exactly what challenges he's facing and what to play in important moments. And he hasn't dropped his
level much during the whole match, so he didn't give me too many points. I had to earn everything that I had today, and that's why I thought the level
was tremendous and that makes this win even more special.
MACFARLANE: And any words from Boris after the match for you today? What did he have to say?
DJOKOVIC: It's a huge relief for both me and him and the whole team, because there's a lot of pressure on us. And since we started working
there was a lot of doubts if we can win the grand slam and since, you know, he became the head coach, but you know we made it. And we're going to try
to embrace this win and enjoy it.
MACFARLANE: Well, congratulations again. And that's Novak Djokovic with his second Wimbledon title. This is Christina MacFarlane for CNN at
ANDERSON: Now we have much more on Wimbledon, the Tour de France, and of course all your footie fans out there the upcoming World Cup semifinals.
That is all on its way after the Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson, on World Sport at the top of this hour.
Well, the latest world news headlines are next, plus the Oscar Pistorius trial is set to resume in South Africa, but neither the
prosecution nor the defense have drawn up a controversial video involving the Bladerunner. We're going to show you that just ahead.
ANDERSON: A very good evening from the Egyptian capital. It is half past 5:00 here, and this is CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. The
top stories for you this hour.
Hamas says it will retaliate against Israel for the death of eight Palestinians in Gaza. The Health Ministry says the victims were killed in
a series of air strikes from Israeli defense forces. Rocket attacks on Israel and airstrikes on Gaza have been stepped up in recent days.
A 6.9 magnitude earthquake has hit off the southern coast of Mexico near the border with Guatemala. We're getting our first images of damage
from the area. The quake's epicenter in the Pacific Ocean about 35 kilometers west-southwest of Tapachula in Mexico. These are images from
the airport there.
For the first time, Pope Francis has met victims of the church's sex abuse scandal. The Vatican says he asked for forgiveness, saying the
failure of church leaders to act led to greater suffering.
The defense is set to rest its case in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial, but lawyer Barry Roux says he needs to consult with Pistorius first.
Meanwhile, an Australian network denies it illegally obtained a video of the Olympic athlete reenacting the shooting of his girlfriend, Reeva
Election officials in Afghanistan say preliminary results put Ashraf Ghani ahead of last month's presidential voting. The former World Bank
economist has just -- won just over 56 percent of the vote. Abdullah Abdullah is in second with 43 percent. Official results are expected on
July the 22nd. You'll get them here first on CNN.
Welcome back, we're live in Cairo all this week, taking an in-depth look at the nation at a crossroads, I think it's fair to say. One year
after President Mohamed Morsy was forced out of office, his supporters, at least, hit the streets in protest. Crowds demanded his reinstatement. The
Egyptian president is speaking as we speak, and more on that shortly. He is talking about the economy.
And despite the political divisions in Egypt, President Abdul Fattah el-Sisi of course swept into power last May with a huge mandate, a long
list of challenges including turning around a flagging economy, high unemployment, and high fuel prices. And as Ian Lee now reports, some of
the government's belt-tightening measures are not playing well for many Egyptians.
IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When the Egyptian defense minister Abdul Fattah el-Sisi announced the army overthrew
President Mohamed Morsy, to the fanfare of Tahir Square, he inherited the country's staggering problems: a faltering economy, unsustainable
subsidies, high unemployment, and a growing political crisis. A recipe that took down now-President Sisi's predecessor.
One year later, the anger is boiling once again. The recent easing of gas subsidies --
(CAR HORN HONKS)
LEE: -- infuriated taxi drivers near central Cairo. The cost of petroleum went up 78 percent. The cost of filling up the taxis fueled by
natural gas shot up 175 percent.
"Who will pay for this? The customer?" says taxi driver Khaled Hosny. "Not me. I will never carry the difference."
But it's not just cab drivers feeling the pinch. Uarda (ph) sells vegetables at this market in the Cairo neighborhood of Dothan. Every
morning, trucks bring everything from tomatoes and garlic to watermelons and oranges from the surrounding farms. For Uarda, higher fuel prices
means more expensive produce, something she'll have to pass on to the consumer.
LEE (on camera): With most people living day-by-day and food prices rising, a true test of Sisi's presidency will be whether he can survive the
LEE (voice-over): "I see a lot of anger, so another coup could happen," says Uarda. "I want to tell President Sisi to pay attention to
the people and see what's happening.
The government tried to ease the anger by explaining, "Debts have piled up. The question is, do we leave our children a country whose debt
and poverty increase every year?" says Prime Minister Mehleb. Mehleb pledged that $3 billion saved from the cuts would go to education and
The subsidies have to go, but a vital component is missing, says economist Wael Ziada.
WAEL ZIADA, ECONOMIST: The question is, has the government done enough to create the social safety network that would tackle the issue of
all that would shield the lower-income segments of the population.
LEE: The most vulnerable is the quarter of the population that lives below the poverty line, and the roughly 14 percent of the population
unemployed. That's according to the government. Ziada believes Sisi will need all the political good will he can get.
ZIADA: At the end of the day, if you believe that this would put the country on a sustainable fiscal path in five years, I think the entire
population will have to endure the costs.
LEE: Opponents believe good will won't come easy, pointing to Sisi's lack of compromise.
MOHAMED NAEEM, POLITICAL ANALYST: It is going to escalate, the problem, because we don't have a political consensus. So, taking a serious
economical decision might lead to big problems.
LEE: For now, President Sisi's political future and that of the poor is up in the air.
Ian Lee, CNN, Cairo.
ANDERSON: Well, joining me now on set here in Cairo is Hisham Hellyer. He's a non-resident fellow with the Brookings Institution. We've
just been to Ian's report. At present, el-Sisi, the president here, is talking and he's talking about the economy. You've been listening, what
has he said?
H.A. HELLYER, BROOKING INSTITUTION: He said that Egyptians basically have to recognize that this is a wartime economy, they have to treat it as
such. Egypt in involved in (inaudible).
HELLYER: And Egyptians have to accept that there are a number of problems and restrictions that (inaudible)
HELLYER: -- of the situation going on for two years. And as such, the subsidies being cut were something that people have to accept despite
ANDERSON: Those past decades, Egypt has spent something like $96 billion on these fuel subsidies, for example. Clearly unsustainable, given
the state of the economy here. But Sisi said ahead of this election that wages needed to rise before people wouldn't be hurt too badly in their
pockets, as it were.
Now, these subsidies are hitting across the board, but who are the hitting worse? Or the cuts in subsidies, of course.
HELLYER: Well, this is a subject of some dispute, because the minimum wage has actually been implemented in certain parts of the state sector, so
he hasn't reneged completely on that.
But for example, the fuel subsidies that have been employed -- that have been cut right now, they seem to be hitting those from the poor
section of society more than those who are from the richer sections of society.
So, the top type of fuel, which is 95 here in Egypt, has actually been cut not that much, whereas the lowest type of fuel, which is the fuel that
is used by taxis, by minibuses and so on, that's actually been hit the worst. So, it's actually impacting them disproportionately.
ANDERSON: These are tough times. And el-Sisi has said as much, as he's been speaking over the past half hour or so. There is, Hisham, no
secret that Egypt needs a lot of help when it comes to its current economic situation. Cairo -- and let's remind our viewers, one of the top five
recipients of US aid, for example, receiving $1.5 billion from the US each year -- a majority is in the form of military aid from the US.
But take a look at these figures. This is the amount of aid that's poured into the country from Saudi Arabia, from Kuwait, and the United Arab
Emirates since the ousting of former president Mohamed Morsy. It's difficult to actually get concrete figures, and it's also difficult --
HELLYER: It is.
ANDERSON: -- to know where that money has gone. I put that to the foreign minister today. Is it clear where that money is going? And it
didn't seem to be that clear. So clearly at this point, the money needs to be spent and spent well. But Egypt still reliant on an awful lot of money
coming in and looking to the IMF for more.
HELLYER: Indeed, and this is something else that Sisi said in his speech, that even after all of these steps have been taken, Egypt is still
suffering from a huge amount of debt, and servicing that debt actually costs Egyptians a tremendous amount all the time.
He mentioned and singled out particularly Gulf countries actually assisting Egypt's economy by providing a great deal of aid on a daily
basis. But he has said now, as he said before, that this is unsustainable.
And I don't think that anybody can really doubt that. And indeed, even in 1977 with President Sadat, he also tried to roll back on some of
these subsidies, and then had to cancel those decisions in the wake of riots. And I think that everybody is aware that the economic situation in
Egypt is actually unsustainable. The question is, how do you get past that?
HELLYER: And how do you actually ameliorate that situation without hurting the most vulnerable sections of society.
ANDERSON: Have they worked that out here yet?
HELLYER: I think that's open to discussion. I think you've seen over the last few days surprising measures being taken in a very short amount of
time, and it remains to be seen whether or not this population can tolerate it.
It's certainly a good time, strategically speaking, to do it, it's Ramadan. And I think a lot of people are going to be trying to sort of put
up with more than usual, particularly since he's just become president.
HELLYER: So, he hasn't waited that long. But at the same time, it is Ramadan, which is the most expensive month of the year in the hottest month
of the year, which means that energy consumption, food consumption, that all goes up during July anyway, and particularly with Ramadan coinciding.
So, I think it's a very tricky situation that Egypt now finds itself in.
ANDERSON: We're going to do more with you, so stay with me for the time being. Live from Cairo, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD with me,
Egypt home to some of the most unique tourist spots, of course, in the world. But the unrest in recent years has frightened away many would-be
visitors. Let me show you how Egypt is trying to win them back in a few moments.
First, though, an Australian TV network aired what is a controversial video of Oscar Pistorius. Why that video may never be seen in his murder
trial, up next.
ANDERSON: The defense says it is ready to rest its case in the Oscar Pistorius trial. We could see that happen as early as Tuesday. But it
seems the trial may wrap up without the court ever seeing what is a controversial reenactment video commissioned by the defense team.
Now, it shows Oscar Pistorius recounting his version of events the night he killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. The video aired on
Australia's Network 7 on Sunday night. Robyn Curnow is in Pretoria with the very latest on this controversy. What do you know?
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Becky. Well, this video, as you rightly say, is unlikely to make it into the court
record, Oscar Pistorius's legal team very emphatically saying that it's an abuse of the client-attorney privilege.
What is interesting about it, it's out there in the public sphere now. There has, of course, been such huge public interest, particularly here in
South Africa, around this trial. So, there has been a lot of opinion from many South Africans and elsewhere about what they thought happened that
This is the first time we're really getting a sense from Oscar Pistorius, and he's physically demonstrating what he says he did that
(OSCAR PISTORIUS SCREAMING)
CURNOW (voice-over): For the first time, you're listening to Oscar Pistorius reenact the chilling screams many neighbors testified to hearing
the night the athlete discovered he had shot and killed his model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, 7 Network in Australia airing audio and
footage shot months after Reeva's death.
In a play-by-play of Pistorius's version of events, he reenacted how he ran to the bathroom door he shot through four times.
OSCAR PISTORIUS, DEFENDANT: That's probably the speed, the fastest speed that I would have been able to go.
CURNOW: Pistorius on his stump with his hand outstretched, as if he's holding a gun. After finding Steenkamp, the athlete describes what he did
PISTORIUS: I went over to her.
CURNOW: The role of Steenkamp played by Pistorius's sister, Aimee, who was hunched over the toilet just like Steenkamp allegedly was that
fateful night. Pistorius's spokesperson issued a statement explaining that in the run-up to the trial, they'd hired a company to help the defense team
visually map the events of that night with the intention of assisting his legal team to prepare for the case.
Airing the material, Pistorius's spokesperson says, constitutes a staggering breach of trust and an invasion of the family's privacy. It's
unclear if this newly-uncovered footage will impact Pistorius's ongoing murder trial.
GERRIE NEL, PROSECUTOR: He, with intention to kill, shot the person behind the door.
CURNOW: The special, also re-airing surveillance video of Pistorius and Steenkamp kissing at a local convenience store, footage captured ten
days before she died. And on the even of her death on Valentine's Day 2013, the Australian network showed surveillance videos of the athlete's
girlfriend smiling when she arrived at the main gate of Pistorius's estate before she was killed that night.
CURNOW: Now, of course, Oscar Pistorius has all along said that it was a tragic mistake, a tragic accident the night he killed his girlfriend.
As for this dispute with Network 7, well, Oscar Pistorius's legal team and spokesperson has said that that footage was obtained illegally. But for
the broadcaster, they say not so. They've defended their right to air that video. Becky, back to you.
ANDERSON: Robyn Curnow for you, live in Pretoria this evening. Robyn, thank you. Coming up after this short break on CONNECT THE WORLD
with me, Becky Anderson, Egypt's hard sell after the unrest. We'll look at how this country's tourism industry is luring back visitors to its ancient
sites. That after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TEXT: Cairo is the largest city in the Middle East, with a population of about 11.2 million.
Egypt had about 9.5 million tourists in 2011, down from 14 million in 2010.
Cairo's Oasis restaurants and entertainment is the world's largest food court.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: So as you saw there, one of the areas that's going to be key for Egypt's economic growth will be tourism, of course, making sure
more people come and enjoy what this city has to offer. I'm looking at the Nile beneath me, and it really is a most extraordinary place.
Let's get a closer look at those figures. You can see a slow climb that reached a peak of some 15 million in 2010. The numbers, though, fell
by almost 5 million during the unrest leading to the ousting of Hosni Mubarak. The most recent data show they began recovering in 2012, and it's
assumed that has continued.
Hisham Hellyer of the Brookings Institution still with me here. And the president, who's just been speaking here as we've been on air, alluding
to tourism, suggesting that so much foreign currency that used to come in has been lost through this downturn in tourism, and alluding to the fact
that now Egypt only has the Suez Canal for that. Can you just explain that for our viewers.
HELLYER: I think what Sisi was referring to is that historically, Egypt has benefited a great deal from different types of trade, including
tourism trade, as well as what Egypt benefits from in having the Suez Canal on its territory.
Tourism has dried up tremendously over the last few years since 2011, as your report mentioned. And the Suez Canal is really what's left, plus a
smattering of tourism that in some parts of the country is increasing, but other parts it's not.
So, I think that that was something else that was very important for him to emphasize with regards to the economic subsidies that have to be
scratched, because otherwise, where are they going to get the money from?
ANDERSON: Yes, well, where are they going to get the tourists from is the issue here. Because just over -- I'm just thinking since January alone
here, I'm not seeing a week doesn't go past, but a month doesn't seem to go past without some sort of attack, be that bombs that are killing people or
ANDERSON: -- just maiming people. But for goodness sake, when I say "just maiming people," things are still tough in Cairo. There is still a
sense of insecurity here.
HELLYER: There is.
ANDERSON: And there is certainly that sense of insecurity within insurgency across Sinai, isn't there?
HELLYER: What you're seeing very clearly over the past few years is that countries that used to deliver quite a lot of tourists to Egypt have
not only started diminishing the numbers of people that they're sending over, but travel advisories are also coming into effect from different
governments, particularly on the European continent, but also from elsewhere.
So, tourism -- tourist operators are actually decreasing the number of packages that they provide for Egypt, some of them are closing them down
altogether. And all of that is very closely related to the political situation in Egypt.
It may seem that across the country, things are generally fine in terms of security, for example. And that it's in isolated pockets where
things sometimes happen. For example, yesterday, a soldier was killed, OK?
Those sorts of things will immediately come onto the international media stage, and that plays into a sense that the country isn't stable,
which in turn will play into --
HELLYER: -- why tourists just aren't going to come.
ANDERSON: I was talking to the foreign minister today, and I have to say I was here in July last year when things were very, very tough. It was
certainly a different sense in Cairo --
HELLYER: We were together.
ANDERSON: -- as you walk the streets. We were together at the time. There was certainly a different sense in Cairo. There's much more of a
sense of security as you walk around in general. This is Ramadan, of course, and things get a bit busy at night, but that's kind of Cairo and
its chaos, to a certain extent.
ANDERSON: I was talking to the foreign minister today, he admitted and agreed, with the president here, who admitted that Egypt's brand has
ANDERSON: At least perceptually. It's the perception that Egypt has been tarnished --
ANDERSON: -- through a number of events, not least the incarceration and sentencing of the Al Jazeera journalists. How important do you think
this image is to those who are leading this country now, and what are they going to do about it?
HELLYER: I think that he Egyptian authorities are very sensitive about how the image is perceived internationally. You've seen how they've
reacted to demotions from international organizations, foreign governments and so on. They get very sensitive.
The question is what they then do about it. And so far, we haven't seen very much in that regard. There's been many criticisms, for example,
of Egypt on its human rights record within the United Nations and elsewhere.
There have been a lot of concerns expressed about this particular trial, where three Al Jazeera journalists are incarcerated, also with the
number of students who are also incarcerated -- those, unfortunately, we don't hear so much about -- as well as others who were included in the
overall trial but were tried and sentenced in absentia. We've seen a lot of concern about that. As yet, we haven't actually seen very much done
ANDERSON: We'll leave it there. We thank you very much, indeed, for joining us.
HELLYER: Thank you.
ANDERSON: We're here all week. I think you'll probably join us again at some point.
HELLYER: Happy to.
ANDERSON: For the time being, Hisham, thank you very much. The team at CONNECT THE WORLD wants to hear from you, facebook.com/CNNconnect, have
your say. You can tweet me @BeckyCNN. We're on Instagram, of course, as well, Becky CNN.
Throughout this month, we'll be live from Cairo, from Beirut, from Istanbul, from Sharjah, and in Abu Dhabi. If any of those cities you've
got images of and you'd like to share them from us, you can visit the ireport.com site and follow the instructions from the home page there. The
best pictures we will, of course, feature right here on CONNECT THE WORLD.
Hash tag #CTWlivefrom if you want to discuss anything about the region, anything about Egypt, for example, and its role as a leader going
forward in the Arab world, as it once was. Anything, let us know what you're thinking, that's hash tag #CTWlivefrom as well as every other way
you can reach us in this multiplatform world.
And we'll leave you this hour with the sort of images of Egypt that the world wants to see more of. Sharm el-Sheikh on the Red Sea was briefly
famous as the place former dictator Hosni Mubarak fled to after the 2011 revolution. It's better know, though, around the world as a sun, sea,
sand, and snorkeling resort, and its tourism industry has rebounded better than the Egyptian average.
While some historic sites have languished, Sharm has been -- seen occupancy rates rise to around 70 percent in the recent months, which isn't
bad. There is, of course, room for more. Egypt's latest tourism tagline reads simply, "We miss you."
We don't want to miss you, so join us again tomorrow night at this time. I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thank you for