Return to Transcripts main page

CONNECT THE WORLD

Japan Reacts To Kenji Goto Murder; Jordan Still Waiting for Proof Of Life; First Catholic Church In Half A Century In Cuba; Ukraine Peace Talks Fail as Violence Escalates; Super Bowl Kickoff Hours Away; Egypt Releases Jailed Australian Journalist; Fujairah Rising; New Global Energy Hub; Eye on Gas; Gas Strategy

Aired February 1, 2015 - 11:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: After 400 days in an Egyptian prison, Australian journalist Peter Greste is on his way home. The al Jazeera

reporter was deported just hours ago. But he leaves behind two colleagues. We are live there with the latest.

Also ahead this hour, sorrow in Japan after a hostage is killed by ISIS. Jordanians, meanwhile, are still waiting for news of their captured pilot.

And why these Catholics in Cuba will soon have a new over their heads. We'll have that report from Havana.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN London, this is Connect the World.

SOARES: A hostage crisis that has gripped two countries has come to a tragic end. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called the apparent ISIS

beheading of journalist Kenji Goto atrocious and despicable. And he says his government will increase humanitarian aid to the Middle East.

Meantime, the nation is left to mourn the second Japanese national killed by ISIS in two weeks.

CNN's Will Ripley has more on that from Tokyo.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The news of Kenji Goto's brutal murder at the hands of ISIS broke in the very early morning hours here. But by late

morning the newspapers were already out with special editions. And like us they chose to show a single frame of the ISIS propaganda video showing the

apparent beheading of Kenji Goto.

But more importantly, what filled the pages of the newspapers much more were photos like this -- Goto doing what he loved, telling the stories of

women and children in war zones, the kind of compassionate reporting that the Japanese public has come to know as they have learned about him as this

hostage crisis has unfolded in the last week.

Even though ISIS has manipulated and tried to dominate the news cycle with their propaganda messages, the media here have chosen to focus more on how

Goto has lived his life. And they've told people his personal story. We've heard from his wife Rinko, the mother of his two young daughters who made

an emotional appeal for her husband's life just hours before that final ISIS deadline. She described her husband as an honest man. And she hoped

that their two daughters, one just two years old, the other a newborn, would be able to grow up knowing their father.

We've also heard since his death from Kenji Goto's mother. And she says that she doesn't want people to remember how her son died, but instead how

he lived.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I'm shedding tears of sorrow. I just can't think of any words to say. But I don't want this sorrow to

create a chain of hatred.

RIPLEY: Goto's story has touched complete strangers, dozens of people stood outside the prime minister's office in a silent protest holding up signs of

support for the journalist and his family.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SOARES: That was Will Ripley there.

Well, the death of Japanese journalist Kenji Goto calls into question the fate of another ISIS captive, a Jordanian military pilot. A Jordanian

government spokesman says the country is still working to get proof of life from the militant group.

Let's bring in CNN's Jomana Karadsheh from Amman with more details. Jomana, in previous videos from ISIS, we have heard -- we had heard the fate of

Kenji Goto and Lieutenant Moaz were bound together. But this latest video from ISIS made no mention of the pilot. What has been the reaction from

where you are?

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATION CORRESPONDENT: And this has been the concern, Isa.

We heard from the Jordanian government in his statement earlier today. They say they strongly condemn the apparent execution of Kenji Goto. They say

they did not spare an effort to try and save his life. Now their efforts, they say, are focused and continue to be focused on trying to get any proof

that the pilot, Moaz al-Kassasbeh is alive and well and to try and bring him back home.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KARADSHEH: All the Kassasbeh family can do is sit and wait for word on the fate of 26-year-old Moaz held captive by ISIS for more than a month. The

wait is taking its toll.

JAWAD AL-KASSASBEH, PILOT'S BROTHER: It's too hard. It's too hard to wait in circumstances that we (inaudible) now make us to nervous to -- we can't

sleep. We can't eat. We can't do anything. Our work has stopped. Our lives have stopped.

KARADSHEH: In Amman, life is normal, but since ISIS threatened to execute the Jordanian pilot, it's been a mood of anxiety and uncertainty.

RAFAT YOUSIF, JORDANIAN CITIZEN: Actually the rumors -- we (inaudible) so much of rumors on TV, on Facebook, Twitter, (inaudible). In fact, our

government has taught up that never listen to any like rumors. We just wait a statement of the government. This is the unity of Jordan. Trust our

government, trust our king.

KARADSHEH: Rafat Yousif, like many other Jordanians, believe the government's decision to not give ISIS the female prisoner it demanded

until Jordan gets proof that al-Kassasbeh is alive was the right thing to do.

At this bustling bakery in western Amman, Nasri Nawwar, a retired air force engineer thinks ISIS's silence since the deadlines passed is part of their

strategy.

NASRI NAWWAR, RETIRED AIR FORCE ENTINEER: So, they're trying not to (inaudible) in order to break this unity, in order to embarrass the

Jordanian government and to make the people here to quake against the government. It's not the case, because I think their game is very well

understood by everyone here in Jordan.

KARADSHEH: But most here realize what happens next is up to Kassasbeh's captors.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But what should we do? There's nothing in our hands. We are praying for him that he will come back to his family and to his

friends, his job.

KARADSHEH: There is no sign al-Kassasbeh is alive, not clear if he will ever come home. But for now all this nation can do is wait.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KARADSHEH: And Isa, after the news came out that apparent execution of Kenji Goto, we did speak to the family of Moaz al-Kassasbeh. They say they

were saddened and devastated by this news. And they were just really terrified about what this might mean for their own sons.

SOARES: Yeah, and Jomana, we've heard there in your piece from the many people who had voices talk about ISIS -- I mean, the communication between

ISIS and Jordan. But what's been the reaction on the ground from Jordanians regarding their country's participation in the coalition fight against

ISIS?

KARADSHEH: Well, this whole situation, Isa, the issue of Moaz al-Kassasbeh being held captive, has really sparked this debate in this country. Not too

many people were keen on Jordan taking part in the coalition. And this is something we spoke to people about again yesterday.

And some believe that Jordan should be part of the coalition. Some say that Jordan should prove that it is a strong military power, that it is ready to

defend this country, its borders, from that threat that is emerging in this region and continues to grow from ISIS that is controlling so much

territory in two neighboring countries in Iraq and Syria. And they say that Jordan's participation is important to show that it's not only reliant on

the United States and other international allies to protect its borders, that Jordan is also capable of doing that itself.

But also you have others who say that this is not Jordan's war. And we hear this also from the pilot's family and others saying that if Jordan had not

taken part in this coalition, it would not have been in this current position in a situation where it has to negotiate with ISIS, where it has

one of its citizens being held captive by the group.

So, really a debate in this country and of course the longer the wait for any word on the fate of Moaz al-Kassasbeh goes on, this really exacerbates

those feelings of whether Jordan should be part of the coalition or not.

SOARES: Absolutely. And for the family's anxiety and uncertainty. Jomana Karadsheh for us in Amman in Jordan. Thanks very much, Jomana.

An Australian journalist is on a flight home after spending more than a year in an Egyptian prison.

Peter Greste was locked up with two other al-Jazeera journalists accused of supporting the banned Muslim Brotherhood. CNN confirmed just minutes ago

that he arrived in Larnaca International Airport in Cyprus. That is the first leg of his journey.

CNN's Ian Lee has been following the latest developments from Cairo and he joins us now.

Ian, let's start off with what we know about Peter Greste release. What can you tell us?

IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Isa, what we heard is that the general prosecutor here in Cairo sent documents to President Abdel

Fatah el-Sisi to sign that would pave the way for Grete's release. Then it was sent to the ministry of foreign affairs here who worked with the

Australian embassy here to help get him out of the country. We are told that that took place around 4:00 local time. And as you said that he has

now landed in Cyprus.

And we're talking to Greste's lawyer. He said that this isn't really a deportation as more as it's an extradition, that he is being sent to

Australia to serve out the rest of his sentence according to Egyptian law, although it is very, very unlikely that Greste would see any sort of time

in a jail there.

But this does save the Egyptian government's face politically as they can say that they allowed due process -- Egyptian due process to go forward and

use all the means possible.

Now focus shifts to the other two journalists that remain in prison: Mohamed Fahmy and Bahar Mohammed. I talked to the family members of both

and there's mixed emotion there. They're very excited that Peter Greste has been released, but now they're wondering what this means for their loved

ones.

Now Mohamed Fahmy could possibly follow the same suit as Peter Greste as he also has dual nationality. He holds Canadian citizenship. But for Bahar

Mohammed, his wife is very nervous that he may not be released because he only holds Egyptian nationality.

SOARES: Yeah, and Ian I just want to have some reaction from al Jazeera from Mostefa Souag, he's acting director general of al Jazeera. And we had

a statement if we can bring it up so you can see. And it reads -- I'm reading out so you know Ian, "we will not rest until Bahar and Mohamed also

regain their freedom," it reads. "The Egyptian authorities have it in their power to finish this properly today. And that is exactly what they must

do."

Ian talk to us if you will a bit about this recent law that was enacted by President el-Sisi?

LEE: Well, this recent law, one of the laws, has that if there is a foreign national here in Egypt serving jail time that they could be deported, they

could be extradited to their home countries and serve out their time there and that's what we're seeing with Peter Greste.

Talking to the family members of Bahar Mohammed, they said they were worried, but they also believed that there will be that continuous pressure

on the Egyptian government until all the journalists have been released. Now they've been in jail for roughly, or over 400 days now and there has

been a lot of pressure on this government to get this out of the way.

President el-Sisi has said multiple times that he wishes that this just wasn't an issue for the Egytian government to deal with right now. So it

seems like that pressure has been making ground and towards freeing these two journalists.

SOARES: Indeed, and many wondering whether this decree is just a saving- face move by the president.

Ian Lee for us in Cairo tonight, thanks very much, Ian.

Well, you are watching Connect the World. And still to come right here, the conflict in eastern Ukraine has taken a heavy toll on families in the

region. We'll venture into what's left of the key Ukrainian town that's been at the center of the fighting.

And a long time coming, find out which country is building its first Catholic church in 56 years. That's coming up in 10 minutes right here on

CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SOARES: You are watching CNN. And this is Connect the World. I'm Isa Soares. Welcome back to CNN.

Now back to one of our top stories. Japan is mourning the loss of journalist Kenji Goto at the hands of ISIS, but the fate of a Jordanian

pilot remains unclear. The government in Amman says it is doing all it can to secure the freedom of Moaz al-Kassasbeh, but the terror group has never

actually offered to release him, it simply threatened to kill him if Jordan did not free a jailed suicide bomber with ties to ISIS.

Now Jordan says it will be willing to do this, but only if proof of the pilot's health is provided.

Well, the plight of al-Kassasbeh has fueled public disquiet in Jordan over the country's role in the U.S.-led fight against ISIS. We heard from our

piece there earlier from Jomana Karadsheh.

Well, Jordan's King Abdullah signed up to the campaign in early September last year while attending the NATO summit in Wales. But despite the very

real threat ISIS poses to a nation sharing a long border with Syria, the campaign has never been a popular one. When Kassasbeh's plane crashed in

northern Syria on Christmas Eve opposition only intensified.

Well, Jordanians in their hundreds have joined the young pilot's family to campaign for his release. But that eventuality seems no closer now than it

did when the fellow hostage Goto was still alive.

I'm joined now by Jordanian government spokesman Mohammed al-Momani. Mr. Momani, thank you very much for taking the time to speak to us. I want to

start off by asking you whether you've heard anything regarding the plight of Lieutenant Moaz. Have you received a proof of life?

MOHAMMED AL-MOMANI, JORDANIAN GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN: Hi, Isa. I'm not as of this moment we have not received any proof of life that we requested. We

have requested this two days ago and we said clearly and publicly and we would like to see a proof life before we can seek any more about further

details. And we have not received that yet.

SOARES: And is the line of communication still open, though?

AL-MOMANI: Our special agencies and relevant teams do have their (inaudible) indication. And they do send these messages not only

(inaudible), but also we communicated indirectly. And some of these messages we have stated clearly that we emphasize that we would like to see

a proof of life and there will be to make sure that we are comfortable and we know that our pilot is alive and well.

SOARES: Indeed. Well, Jordan has vowed to do everything it can to save the life and secure the release of its pilot. May I ask exactly what is being

done?

AL-MOMANI: This is not the place to discuss the details of what we are doing, but we do have a crisis management team that is following on this

issue over the hour. And we are following in this issue and taking every step necessary, including our statements publicly and in the media, in

order to try to secure the return of our pilot.

At this moment, we again our position is that we demanded a proof of life and we think that this is the wise and correct move for us to take. And we

have not received anything in return.

SOARES: And Mr. Momani, you know, Jordanians have already been voicing their anger at what is happening with some saying this is not their war. Is

Jordan still committed to the coalition fight against ISIS, or is this a time to assess your participation?

AL-MOMANI: Well, right from the beginning we said that fighting extremism is of the interest of all society in the Middle East and the international

community. And we still stand behind it. And we think that this is the moral thing to do and the right thing to do. We stand by this. And there is

some discussion that this might have different political calculations so long as the differences in opinion within the zone of difference of opinion

and political opinion is this the right approach to tackle this, is it not?

But all legitimate (inaudible) in society. For us, we think the right thing for society and states in the Middle East is to (inaudible) together and to

bring their efforts together in order to stop extremism from spreading all over the region.

SOARES: Mr. Mohammed al-Momani, the Jordanian government spokesman, thank you very much for taking the time to speak to us here on CNN.

Well, we have lots more on this story on our website, including a look by our Jim Shiutto on what to expect from ISIS in 2015. It's been almost two

years since the terror group announced its formation under the leadership we know today. But its roots go all the way back to the war in Iraq more

than a decade ago and beyond to have U.S.-led airstrikes manage to weaken the battle hardened militants. Watch that video at CNN.com/international.

And this is Connect the World. Still ahead, as U.S.-Cuban relations soar, so does Cuba's relationship with a certain faith. After the break, how

building is about to begin on the country's first Catholic church in over half a century.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SOARES: You are watching Connect the World. Welcome back. I'm Isa Soares.

Now for the first time in over half a century, Catholics in Cuba are being allowed to build a new church.

After the 1959 revolution, Cuba became an atheist state and Catholics fell under suspicion. Pope Francis has taken an active role in Cuba, which we

saw when he brokered a breakthrough in U.S.-Cuban relations. And now foundations are begin laid to boost the number of Catholics on the island.

CNN's Patrick Oppmann has visited the building site for the new church and he joins us now from Havana. And Patrick, for years requests to build new

churches have been ensnared in red tape. But now they've begun to the get the government approval. How much is this thanks to Pope Francis?

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, there's no sign that this is a specific quid pro quo, Isa, but certainly Catholics were

taken aback to hear Raul Castro on several occasions thank Pope Francis for his help. And they've said they've seen changes just in the last few months

in terms of how Catholics are treated in Cuba. You have to think over the last few decades anybody who was openly religious faced the sigma of living

in an officially atheist state, but Catholics are celebrating this new sign that they finally after all these years of Cuban revolution will get to

have a new church.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

OPPMANN: Father Serillo Castro (ph) holds mass in a converted garage. There are no walls and just a tin roof. It doesn't always have enough chairs, but

this is the closest thing the isolated Cuban town of Sandino (ph) has ever had to a Catholic church.

After the service, Castro takes me to the site of a new Catholic church, the first to be built in Cuba in over 56 years, not since the Cuban

revolution seized control of the island.

"I hope the church doesn't stay within these four walls," he says, "that it will go farther than that, that with the building of the new church there

will be more people of faith."

Right now the building's cornerstone sits in an empty field. But when the church is completed in 2017 Father Castro tells me it will hold 200 people.

The new church represents a mending of relations between the Catholic Church and Cuban government, which in the first years of the revolution

seized church property and expelled thousands of priests from the country.

For the residents of Sandino (ph), the church has added significance.

Sandino (ph) is an isolated town deep in the Cuban countryside. And here's where in the early 1960s, many people considered to be enemies of Fidel

Castro's revolution were sent by the government to live in internal exile. For them, life in Sandino (ph) was nothing short of a punishment.

Digna Martinez's (ph) family were among the hundreds, perhaps thousands of people who in the early 1960s were considered to be opponents of the Cuban

government and forcibly moved to Sandino (ph).

"They brought us here," she says. "It was a process to make a community for those who were called political prisoners. They took away our farm and made

us come here."

Church officials say the new building is not about writing old wrongs, but at long last meeting the needs of the parishioners.

"It has to be built," he says. "It can be the first, the second, the third, it doesn't matter to me. The important thing is people build what they need

where they need it."

But here and elsewhere in Cuba, as old walls and restrictions fall, there is a sense that slowly hope is returning.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

OPPMANN: And Isa, there are still significant challenges for this new church. Of course Cuba being a poor country means that all fundraising for

this church is coming from outside of Cuba. They're still about $40,000 short. But they say the new church will proceed. They realize the

importance, the symbolism of a new church and they hope very soon that it will be erected in that empty field and that where there is an empty field

today that very soon there will be Cuba's first new Catholic Church -- Isa.

SOARES: And you just answered what was going to be my question, where the money is coming from, but that makes perfect sense. Patrick Oppmann for us

in Havana. Thanks very much, Patrick.

Now the latest world news headlines are just ahead. Plus, a gridiron showdown on Superbowl on Sunday. Players and fans gear up for the most

watched sporting event in the U.S.

And another sporting final is taking place this evening with a little less fanfare. We'll show you how one of the teams competing for the handball

world championships is a little unorthodox. Both of those stories just ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SOARES: This is CONNECT THE WORLD and these are the top stories this hour. An Australian journalist jailed for more than a year in Egypt is on his way

home. A spokesman for Egypt's interior minister says Peter Greste left Egypt hours ago and he has arrived in Cyprus. He was ordered to serve the

rest of his seven-year sentence in his home country. Greste was arrested along with two other Al Jazeera journalists accused of supporting the

banned Muslim Brotherhood.

A Jordanian government spokesman says Jordan has not received the proof of life it requested from ISIS proving its captured military pilot is alive.

The negotiations are ongoing. ISIS said it would kill Muath al-Kaseasbeh if a convicted terrorist isn't released.

Meantime, Japan's resolve not to give into terrorism is only strengthening after the apparent beheading of a second Japanese hostage by ISIS. Japan's

prime minister called the killing of Kenji Goto "despicable" and says his government will increase humanitarian aid to the Middle East.

Nigeria's military says it has repelled an attack by Boko Haram militants near the key city of Maidurguri. This was the militant group's second

attempt to seize the strategically important city in a week.

Peace talks in Ukraine finally were convened in Belarus this weekend, but it only took a few hours for them to fall apart. That effort to stop the

violence comes as fighting between separatists and government supporters gained new momentum. Our senior international correspondent Nick Paton

Walsh is following developments from eastern Ukraine for us.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The collapse of peace talks in Minsk which, frankly, never really had much of a chance is

just going to cause violence to escalate here in eastern Ukraine.

The 24 hours prior to those parties getting into the same room in the Belarusian capital, Ukraine said it had lost 15 of its soldiers, and we

hear from a diplomat that in the last week alone, at least 67 civilians have lost their lives in the fighting here.

We went to one of the key towns on the Ukrainian front line here against the separatists, Debaltseve, that has been under substantial shelling for

the past days.

WALSH (voice-over): This road is the one lifeline through a key Ukrainian village separatists are encircling, and it's been shelled for days. Ukraine

says it has thousands of troops here, but we did not see them. Just the dead and the destruction that took their lives, 12 reported killed here

this day.

WALSH (on camera): Debaltseve pock-marked by the shelling, destroyed. You can hear shelling constantly in the background. But so few people left

here, so many having fled for their lives.

WALSH (voice-over): But some cannot or won't leave, and here, tussle over food. About a hundred here, they say, people who have farms, the elderly,

those who can't leave. She says it's scary, of course. The man adds, "We're poor. What else are we to do?" Underground, one light bulb and the sound of

separatists nearing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): We've not left here for two weeks. There is water and electricity down here, but nothing at home.

Everything is destroyed. There is no heat or water. I've never seen the truth about what's happening on television about what we have lived

through.

WALSH: However little there is left to fight over, Ukraine says it won't give up Debaltseve. But it's the blasts, not their troops dominating here.

The neighboring town perhaps already in separatist hands.

On the way out, we see Ukrainian reinforcements. The fight here perhaps just beginning. The loss, the damage, irreversible.

WALSH (on camera): The key issue is what comes after the Minsk talks. Now, there was always so much confusion as to who was going to attend, who the

parties would have representing themselves, what day, even, the talks would have been on.

And a diplomat with knowledge of them says that the atmosphere in the two hours in which the parties finally got in a room together was poisonous

enough, it was clear it wasn't really going to go anywhere.

It leaves, really, the decision now for the conflict not in the arms of diplomats, but in those fighting in eastern Ukraine here. The separatists

increasingly competent, better-equipped, moving towards that town, Debaltseve, saying they've taken a neighboring village as well.

And a real sense of fear in eastern Ukraine. The momentum is growing, as is their use of heavy weaponry. Ukraine also firing back, I should say, with

its artillery, too, and separatists claiming that's costing a lot of civilian lives as well. But the fear being now this is now an escalating

war rather than a lengthy diplomatic standoff with clashes intermittent.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Svitlodarsk, eastern Ukraine.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SOARES: It is the first Sunday in February, and that means it's Super Bowl Sunday. Kick-off for the biggest US sporting event of the year is about

seven hours away. The New England Patriots will play the defending champion Seattle Seahawks in Glendale, Arizona.

Super Bowl XLIX is expected to bring in millions of viewers from around the world, but many will tune in for more than just the game. The commercials

have become as well known as the Super Bowl itself, with advertisers spending millions of dollars for a mere 30 seconds of air time.

Crews and officials are making sure everything is ready ahead of the match- up. Let's bring in CNN's Rachel Nichols. She joins us now from outside the stadium in Glendale. And Rachel, is everything ready for this big game? A

lot riding on it.

RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Indeed. There's always unknowns in a big event like this, but they certainly have as many security

precautions as they think are necessary. And it's a huge effort, coordination between local and federal governments.

There's a 30-mile no-fly zone around this stadium right now. That's being patrolled by Black Hawk helicopters that were supplied by the US Border

Patrol. So, those are usually the helicopters over the border between the US and Mexico.

They've got the TSA providing screeners, both the equipment and the people who will be getting people into the stadium with x-ray machines. The

federal air marshals have provided behavioral specialists who'll be walking around the crowd and seeing if anyone looks suspicious.

They've got bomb-sniffing dogs, they've got nuclear bomb-sniffing dogs, they tell us, which is a little unusual, but hey, you've got to bring them

out for something like this. There's 4,000 personal private security officers here. There's 3,000 local Phoenix police officers here.

So, they are prepared. Of course, they say you never know what's going to happen for a Super Bowl, but this is a Level One target, they say, so they

want to be as prepared as possible.

SOARES: Indeed. CNN's Rachel Nichols for us outside the stadium in Glendale. Thanks very much, Rachel.

We're going to bring you more on that Australian journalist who spent more than a year in Egyptian prison. It is our top story this hour. Peter Greste

was locked up with two other Al Jazeera journalists accused of supporting the banned Muslim Brotherhood.

Let's turn to Al Jazeera English managing director Al Anstey. And Mr. Anstey, can I get your reaction, first, to the release of Peter Greste?

AL ANSTEY, MANAGING DIRECTOR, AL JAZEERA ENGLISH (via telephone): Yes, in a way, it's a day of very mixed emotions. We're immensely, immensely relieved

that Peter is out of detention and immensely relieved that he's on his way home and to be reunited with his family.

And I'd like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to him and to his family, and Baher and Mohamed and their families, for immense strength and

resilience that they've shown for these extraordinary 400 days.

But also, there's a real irony today. In a way, there's no celebration in the release of an innocent guy. Peter, a wonderful journalist, guilty of

nothing apart from carrying out great journalism, and journalism that is there for the whole world to see.

And I think today, as well, we've got to focus on the facts. Baher and Mohamed are still in detention. Still in detention 400 days on. Our seven

other colleagues, who were sentenced to ten years in absentia, remain sentenced. And I think that is a real focus today. So, really mixed

emotions today.

The other thing I want to say is that the solidarity and the support worldwide from media, from leaders, from politicians, from diplomats, and

from people right across the globe has been immense, calling for an end to this injustice and calling for the right for journalists across the globe

to be able to carry out the job that they do.

So, to so many extents, there should be no rest until this injustice is ended. But we are immensely relieved that Peter is on his way out of

detention as we speak.

SOARES: And Al Anstey, just -- you mentioned they spent -- the three men spent 400 days in jail. I'm just seeing here Reuters' report quoting

security officials saying, "Al Jazeera journalist Mohamed Fahmy is expected to be released from Egyptian prison within days. What are you hearing on

that front?

ANSTEY: We're hearing so many different things, and there's discussion out there about whether this -- whether there could be a deportation or an

amnesty or we move toward the retrial that was held -- that was called on January the 1st, and we were hoping that retrial would have taken place by

now.

So, we're not hearing anything that we can confirm or deny. But let me come back to the fact, this is about three guys who are innocent of all the

charges leveled against them, guilty of nothing, apart from wonderful journalism. And all three of those guys should be free, like Peter, today,

and be able to be reunited with their families.

SOARES: Indeed. Well, Egypt's interior minister is telling CNN that Peter Greste will serve the remainder of the time in prison back home. What are

you hearing from family members of Peter Greste regarding this? Is this something they can enforce?

ANSTEY: Again, it's very difficult for me to talk about that, because we're hearing so many different things. It's actually extremely unclear what led

to Peter leaving Egypt and leaving detention today. So, it's difficult for me to actually comment on exactly what the situation is now. We'll learn

more in the hours to come.

But I think that, again, back to the fact of the matter, Peter is absolutely innocent, guilty of nothing apart from great journalism, as I've

said before. And he should be free to be reunited with his family.

So should Mohamed, so should Baher, and our other seven colleagues who were sentenced in absentia should have that absolutely cleared. Again, they are

innocent of nothing apart from being great journalists.

SOARES: Mr. Anstey, very quickly, why now? Why now? Why are we seeing this now?

ANSTEY: I don't know the answer to that. I think, again, I'll come back to what I call the solidarity and this immense support around the world. There

has been immense pressure on the authorities in Egypt to bring an end to the injustice.

And that's come from all corners of the world. And like I said earlier on, it's come from both leaders and from media and from people out there in the

world. But this has gone on for 400 days. That's in excess of a year with charges that were leveled against these guys which were absurd in so many

senses, with a process in the first trial that was fundamentally flaws in so many senses.

So, it's difficult to answer why now. But we are immensely relieved that Peter is out. It's just got to the same end of the injustice and the end of

the detention has got to apply to Baher and to Mohamed and to our seven other colleagues.

SOARES: Mr. Al Anstey, the managing director -- English -- Al Jazeera English managing director, thank you very much for joining us, taking the

time to speak to us.

And if you're just joining us, we want to bring you up to date with our top story. That is Australian journalist who spent more than a year in prison,

in an Egyptian prison, has been released. Peter Greste was locked up with two other Al Jazeera journalists accused of supporting the banned Muslim

Brotherhood. We have been told he's on his way home.

That is our top story this our. We'll continue to follow developments. We'll bring you more once we have it. I'm Isa Soares, and that was CONNECT

THE WORLD. Thank you very much for watching.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JOHN DEFTERIOS, HOST: It's an often overlooked emirate compared to the UAE's growing mega cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, but Fujairah is looking

to boost its place on the map and become a strategic location for energy exports. This week, MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST heads to the tiny emirate with

lofty ambitions.

Plus, pipeline politics.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NATIG ALIYEV, AZERBAIJAN MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND ENERGY: And it is not only Azerbaijan in the focus of the -- Europe's interests. It is the

Caspian region.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DEFTERIOS: Azerbaijan's industry and energy minister tells us why ongoing political instability is a cause for concern.

Welcome to the program. We're in Fujairah, one of seven emirates making up the UAE. This largely mountainous area covers only 2 percent of the

country. In the past, it did not benefit from Abu Dhabi's oil wealth or Dubai's trade and tourism traffic. But large-scale investment is rapidly

changing the landscape here.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DEFTERIOS (voice-over): Sandwiched between the Hajar Mountains and sandy beaches, the tiny northern emirate of Fujairah has always been the more

laid-back sister city of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Until recently, it is the minerals lying under Fujairah's famous mountains that has helped boost the

emirate's economy.

Sitting on vast resources of limestone and hard rock, Fujairah has been exploited for years by quarry companies producing construction materials

like cement and stone wool. With various activities, like diving, fishing, and even mountain-climbing on offer, Fujairah is now positioning itself as

the UAE's up and coming tourist destination.

More recently, however, this traditionally backwater emirate has turned itself into a major shipping port for trade to and from the Gulf and has

become a key strategic export hub for the UAE's oil.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

DEFTERIOS: It is no surprise that Fujairah's investing in its port and free zone activities. It is the only emirate that has a coastline on the Indian

Ocean south of the Strait of Hormuz. As a result, the UAE is now investing billions of dollars to make it an oil and gas distribution point.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DEFTERIOS (voice-over): The Port of Fujairah is putting new meaning into the phrase build it and they will come. Sitting south of the world's

busiest oil shipping lane, the Strait of Hormuz, it wants to become a global energy hub. The initial idea came during the first Gulf War in 1991,

when there was a traffic jam triggered by concerns of bomb attacks.

MOUSA MURAD, GENERAL MANAGER, PORT OF FUJAIRAH: More than 200 ships just waiting here. From that, we say, yes, I think we should think about how we

consider this shipping as a maritime services.

DEFTERIOS: Today, the once sleepy port is going well beyond loading fuel for ships. After Iran threatened to shut down the strait in 2008, the

emirate of neighboring Abu Dhabi decided to leverage Fujairah's strategic location.

DEFTERIOS (on camera): This is a control room at an energy storage terminal here in Fujairah. The UAE government built a pipeline worth more than $3

billion to take crude from Abu Dhabi to the port on the Indian Ocean. It has a capacity of 1.5 million barrels a day.

DEFTERIOS (voice-over): Opened two years ago, the pipeline can take in about half of the UAE's daily production.

THANGAPANDIAN SRINIVASALU, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, GULF PETROCHEM: The Strait of Hormuz always is a problem. And the Abu Dhabi pipeline came in here, and

I don't see a reason why other producers will not be bringing the pipelines here shortly.

DEFTERIOS: The 30-year veteran of the business says Fujairah has something the top energy hubs in Asia and Europe don't have. It sits in a

neighborhood with 60 percent of proven oil reserves.

SRINIVASALU: Unlike Singapore and Rotterdam, which are the leading ports, you are surrounded by crude producers, surrounded by the foundries. So,

this is what interested us the most. I'm very pleased.

DEFTERIOS: And the UAE is upping the ante, adding a big refinery and the ability to handle so-called VLCCs, very large crude carriers that ship up

to 2 million barrels.

MALEK AZIZEH, COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR, FUJAIRAH OIL TERMINAL: We can save about 90 percent.

DEFTERIOS: Malek Azizeh of Fujairah Oil Terminal says those investments are game changers. He's involved in a joint venture with backing from Sinopec

of China and Concord Energy of Singapore. That opens in December.

AZIZEH: All these things, add them up and they give you the perfect scenario for somebody to take a step forward and get out of the usual thing

and do something different.

DEFTERIOS: And if talks go well with Tehran over its nuclear program, this expanding hub could also welcome Iranian crude if sanctions are lifted.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

DEFTERIOS: Securing energy supplies, of course, is crucial. Tensions remain high, of course, in Iraq and Syria, and also with Russia and Ukraine. We'll

get into pipeline politics and the rising powers in the natural gas industry when MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DEFTERIOS: Welcome back to MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST, this week for the emirate of Fujairah in the UAE. It is widely known that more than half of

the proven reserves of oil are based here in the Middle East, but also better than a quarter of the gas reserves. And with rising gas demand,

especially in Asia, there's a scramble now to bring more gas to market over the next five years.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DEFTERIOS (voice-over): Since the Saudi-led 1973 Arab oil embargo, when the world first realized what life would be without crude, oil has stolen the

limelight when it comes to energy security. But now, there's a new contender that is garnering attention. Natural gas is the world's fastest

growing fossil fuel, with consumption expected to surge over 50 percent by 2040.

The Middle East sits on the bulk of the world's proven gas reserves, with Iran and Qatar holding the lion's share. Iran has over 1,000 trillion cubic

feet of natural gas. That's the equivalent of 206 billion barrels of oil, with Qatar following behind.

Over the past two decades, the Gulf state has undergone a massive transformation, turning a tiny nation of less than 2 million people into a

economic powerhouse and the world's largest exporter of LNG.

But the region is not the only energy player. With gas reserves equivalent to 190 billion barrels of oil, Russia is a dominating force, currently

supplying Europe with 30 percent of its energy needs.

Natural gas is an ever-evolving market, and new players are emerging onto the scene rapidly. The US discoveries of shale oil and gas is a game

changer for the energy sector, with the United States saying it can look to energy independence by 2020, and east African nations of Tanzania and

Mozambique are being dubbed as the new frontiers.

But like oil, geopolitical tensions remain high over a Russia-Ukraine gas dispute, especially this winter, leaving the markets nervous and nations

looking to alternative sources of energy.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

DEFTERIOS: Azerbaijan also has a presence in Fujairah. SOCAR is the state energy company of the country. I asked the industry and energy minister how

the tensions in Russia and Ukraine will impact demand on the southern corridor, taking gas from Azerbaijan to Turkey.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ALIYEV: It is not only Azerbaijan in the focus of the -- Europe's interests. It is the Caspian region. Because we are now work -- we have

free lateral discussions with EU, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, to deliver natural gas to Europe and make a fourth corridor.

DEFTERIOS: It's interesting, if you look at the numbers today, you have about a half a percent of both the oil and natural gas reserves -- proven

reserves. But you think you're just warming up. You've got a long ways to go. Tell us about your targets over the next five to ten years.

ALIYEV: Now we are considered that this is a very pessimistic scenario, that we deliver since 2019 16 billion cubic meters of gas to Turkey, to

Greece, to Italy.

DEFTERIOS: This is almost triple what you are today.

ALIYEV: Yes, right. But in my mind, it will be more. It will be more, up to 25 billion cubic meters.

DEFTERIOS: So today, Minister, Azerbaijan is providing about 5 percent of European supplies. Over the next eight years, you think you could provide

10 percent if not more. Is that a correct calculation?

ALIYEV: Yes. This is correct. But it is what we are waiting for, full development of our resources. If we will be successful, it will give us new

opportunities to have new discoveries.

DEFTERIOS: We see US shale production going up.

ALIYEV: Yes.

DEFTERIOS: East Africa coming onto the market.

ALIYEV: Yes.

DEFTERIOS: Australia coming onto the market.

ALIYEV: Oh, yes.

DEFTERIOS: Could we have a big glut of natural gas in five years, where there's too much natural gas on the market?

ALIYEV: There is a lot of questions. It is uncertain what is volumes, what is really a price of the producing of this gas? Again, I would like to say

that the world economy needs more and more very friendly environmental sources of energy. And natural gas is one of this energy.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

DEFTERIOS: Natig Aliyev, looking at the gas market in the near future, the minister of industry and energy for Azerbaijan.

And that's all for this edition of CNN MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST, this week from the emirate of Fujairah in the UAE. I'm John Defterios, thanks for

watching.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

END