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Five Arrested In Connection With Boris Nemtsov's Murder; French Policeman Arrested With Connection To Amedy Coulibaly; Transformations: Dubai Design District; Can Libya Be Brought Back Together?; Solar Impulse 2 Sets Off From Abu Dhabi
Aired March 9, 2015 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Taking over ISIS territory, Iraqi troops make inroads around the city of Tikrit, but as America's top military officer
arrives in Baghdad, we'll examine who is really calling the shots in the battle against the militants and what Iran's growing influence means for
both the fight and the future of the region.
Also ahead, how young Nepalese dreams of construction work in Qatar can lead to every parent's nightmare.
And the height of green ambition. The first solar powered flight around the world sets off from right here at the airport beside me in Abu
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN London, this is Connect the World with Becky Anderson.
ANDERSON: And a correction on that, we're in Abu Dhabi this evening of course. It is 7:00 here.
It's one of the largest offensives to retake an ISIS stronghold. Iraqi troops, along with militia forces, they are entering closer to
driving the terror group out of Tikrit.
And the U.S. is keeping a close eye on developments. U.S. military's top officer Martin Dempsey landed in Baghdad earlier today and is set to
hold talks with high ranking Iraqi officials while he's there.
Well, a CNN team travel with Iraqi security forces to the front lines. Fighters there tell CNN's Ben Wedeman that they'll liberate the city in a
matter of days.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We're about one mile to the east of Tikrit. Now as we came along this road, we saw cars that had
just the day before been hit by Iraqi, we believe, aircraft and there were even dead bodies by some of those cars as we passed by.
Now just about an hour or so ago here, there were a lot of troops. They were firing rockets in the direction of Tikrit, but what we saw was
the entire force has moved forward. The goal today is to retake the town of al-Alam (ph), that just on the outskirts of Tikrit. And with the taking
of al-Alam (ph) they believe that they will now have Tikrit completely surrounded. And it's just a matter of days, the commanders here tell us,
before they can retake the city.
Now while we were here, we had the opportunity to talk to Hed al-Amari (ph), he's the head of the Badr Organization (ph) and the leader of the so-
called Hash Tashabi (ph), that's that paramilitary organization formed after the near collapse last year of the Iraqi army.
And he said yes, we -- there's no -- we're hiding nothing that we have help from Iran in the form of advisers and some leadership on the ground
providing guidance, but he insisted, he stressed that this is purely an Iraqi operation, that they're receiving assistance from the Iranians, but
it's being fought and led by the Iraqis. And he also had some harsh words for the United States saying that their assistance has not amounted to what
people were hoping for and he said at this point, the Iraqis with a little help from their friends, can retake not just Tikrit, Mosul, but the rest of
I'm Ben Wedeman, CNN, reporting from outside Tikrit.
ANDERSON: Well, let's get you some response from Washington to some of what Ben was reporting there.
Suzanne Malveaux standing by. Suzanne, Ben's report begging the question exactly what is the U.S. role at this point in what is a crucial
offensive against ISIS?
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly, Becky, the U.S. through its air campaign has already cleared the path for those forces on
the ground to take out ISIS. We heard from General Dempsey over the weekend when he was with his French counterpart expressing a great deal of
confidence, actually, that the fight against ISIS to take back Tikrit will actually happen easily, after all he noted there are roughly 23,000 Iraqi
soldiers and Shia militiamen going up against ISIS fighters who number in just in the hundreds of so.
So, the U.S. is going to continue to use its advisers, the intelligence on the ground, to strategically call in those aerial bombings,
because as Dempsey said, the carpet bombing through Iraq, that is not the answer, that would just cause massive civilian casualties and really play
right in to ISIS's propaganda that the U.S. is engaged in a holy war against Islam.
ANDERSON: Suzannne, we want to remind our viewers of some of those comments made by America's top military officer general Martin Dempsey.
These were last week. The U.S. joint chief's chairman said that Tehran's involvement in the fight against ISIS in Iraq could be positive if it
doesn't feed sectarianism. Let's just listen to exactly what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY, CHAIRMAN, JOIN CHIEFS OF STAFF: This is the most overt conduct of Iranian support in the form of artillery and other things.
Frankly, it will only be a problem if it results n sectarianism.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, that's a big if, Suzanne, isn't it. If experience of Iraq tells us anything, it's Iranian-led fighting in Tikrit runs the risks
of Sectarian revenge.
Is this a gamble that Obama is prepared to take in his effort to, what, speak to his foreign policy doctrine that the U.S. cannot do for
others what they must do for themselves, even if that means conceding that it is Tehran taking the lead in Iraq, not the Iraqis themselves.
MALVEAUX: Yeah, that's a very good point, Becky, because it's the reason General Dempsey is not just meeting with military leaders, but the
prime minister as well to emphasize how important this political fallout is going to be after Tikrit is won, because as you mentioned in the past the
militia fighters who are Shia backed by Iran after they've retaken territory from ISIS they don't give the land back to the Sunni who lived
there, instead they've been involved in sectarian violence and ethnic cleansing.
So it is a big problem for Iraq, because it remains unstable. We've seen that in the past. And it's also a very big concern for the Arab
allies in the region who fear that Iran has a growing influence there. So Dempsey is there today to urge the Iraqi government don't just step up
militarily, but step up politically because after the battle is over you've got to make sure that the situation on the ground does not devolve into an
ethnic blood bath as we have seen in the past, Becky.
ANDERSON: Suzanne Malveaux on the story in Washington for you. Always a pleasure. Thank you.
And some news just coming in to CNN. Reports of more wanton destruction by ISIS. Iraq's ministry of tourism and antiquities says that
it has received reports that militants have destroyed the ancient archaeological site of Khorsabad in northern Iraq, about 19 kilometers
northeast of the city of Mosul. And in its heyday, Khosabad was one of the most important capitals of the Assyrian civilization in Nineveh Province
going back to the 8th Century B.C.
This, of course, follows video of ISIS destroying ancient artifacts in Mosul. It also bulldozed the site of the ancient Syrian city of Nimrud,
also in northern Iraq.
Well, we're going to have more on the conflict in the country later in this show, including a much deeper look at Iran's role in the fight against
ISIS and the reaction from neighboring Gulf regions. Incredibly important the way that the conflict has been played out here.
And as ISIS extends its reach into Libya, we'll speak to the U.S. ambassador there on the political fallout.
Moving on for you. And a suspect in the killing of the Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov has blown himself up. State-run
television reports it happened in the capital of Chechnya in southern Russia as police tried to arrest him.
Two men have been charged and three are still being investigated.
Now he was shot near the Kremlin in central Moscow, this is Nemtsov, of course, last month. Four of the suspects are said to be from Chechnya,
mainly Muslim Republic ruled by Putin loyalist Ramzam Hadirov (ph).
Well, Matthew Chance joins me live from Moscow for more -- Matthew.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Thank you. Thanks very much.
Well, it's certainly the case that five suspects are now in custody. Two of them have been charged. One of them has confessed to the killings.
And you mentioned that sixth suspect who killed himself apparently in a grenade explosion as police tried to arrest him in the Chechen capital
A great deal of questions, though, still hanging over this case. The question basically it's falling into two camps at the moment. Were these
individuals, if indeed they were responsible for the killing -- and we're a long way from establishing that, of course.
But if they were responsible, were they hired as guns for hire to kill Boris Nemtsov for some unrelated reason, or another narrative is starting
to emerge as well, which seems to be backed by the investigation, which is these are individuals, Muslims, who acted independently out of anger at the
comments Boris Nemtsov may have -- or did make -- in support of Charlie Hebdo earlier this year after the attacks there were carried out.
Whatever, the authorities are casting the arrests as a major breakthrough.
CHANCE: With hands tied and heads bowed, the suspects were manhandled into the Moscow courthouse. Four of the men are protesting their
innocence, but one named as Zaur Dadaev from Chechnya has confessed, according to the judge.
"I love the Prophet Mohammed," he told the court.
One of Russia's most prominent opposition leaders, Boris Nemtsov, was gunned down just steps from the Kremlin. His killing has shocked this
nation and Russia's president accused by opposition activists as responsible has vowed to bring the killers to justice.
As well as being a fierce Kremlin critic, Boris Nemtsov was of Jewish heritage, and spoke out against the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris. A line
of inquiry dismissed by the opposition, but being pursued by the official investigation.
In an unexpected twist, the pro-Kremlin leader of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov has issued a statement praising the prime suspect who served in the
Chechen security forces.
"Dadaev is a true Russian patriot," Kadyrov posted on social media.
Everyone who knows Zaur claim he is a deeply religious man and that he, like all Muslims, was shocked by the actions of Charlie and comments in
support of printing the cartoons.
But those close to Boris Nemtsov say it's hard to believe he was killed for religion, not political, reasons, especially in a country where
they say those who oppose the Kremlin are increasingly seen as enemies of the state.
CHANCE: Well, Becky, the opposition figures that we've spoken to within the last few hours since these arrests have taken place say they
believe this official investigation has no credibility, it's merely an attempt to put as much distance as possible, they say, between the Kremlin
and the killing. Back to you.
ANDERSON: Matthew Chance in Moscow.
I want to get you some context on this. Chechnya is a mainly Muslim republic in the multiethnic south of Russia. It has been part of Russia
since the mid-19th Century. And have a look at this, an independence movement in the 1990s eventually became dominated by Islamist extremists.
Chechen-led militants carried out high profile attacks against (inaudible), you may remember this, leading to a theater siege in 2002 and a school
siege in Beslan in 2004.
After two wars, Chechnya is now comparatively peaceful, but also completely under the thumb of Ramzan Kadyrov. He's been president since
2007. But with a powerful force for years beforehand, Chechens have been implicated in several high profile murder cases dating back to that time.
Now five Chechen men were convicted in the murder of the campaigning journalists Anna Politkovskaya in 2006 who had criticized Putin and Kadyrov
Now three years later, a human rights group accused Kadyrov of murdering -- sorry, of ordering the murder of the human rights campaigner
Natalia Estemirova in Chechnya, an allegation he has denied.
More recently, he also denied allegations of Chechen fighters being among reported Russian troops in eastern Ukraine. Some context for you on
one of our top stories today.
Still to come tonight, a life cut short: we have the story of a Nepalese family mourning the loss of their son who went to Qatar in hopes
of a better life, but met his death there.
Also, Iranian businesses are anxious for relief from those international sanctions they feel each and every day.
ANDERSON: And a developing story that we're following out of Paris for you this hour. Police in the French capital say they have arrested
four men in connection with the January terror attacks.
Now the suspects are linked to Amedy Coulibali who killed four people in a kosher market before he was killed in a shootout with police.
Now authorities also confirm that in the course of the investigation they detained a police woman whose companion was reportedly seen with
Coulibaly the day of the attack and arrested two weeks later.
We're going to get you a live update from Paris and in the coming moments.
You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson out of the UAE. It's 16 minutes past 7:00 here.
The world still waiting to see whether a nuclear deal with Iran will get done before this month's self-imposed deadline for what is a framework
agreement. In the meantime, a team from the UN's nuclear watchdog is in Tehran pressing for answers to what are certain technical questions that
Iran has been refusing to provide. They concern such thing as detonators and neutron calculations.
Well, so far sanctions have been the main talk the westerners use to tighten the screws on Iran over its nuclear program, which Tehran claims is
entirely peaceful. Various industries are feeling the pinch of those sanctions as CNN's Frederik Pleitgen found out during his visit to Tehran.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORREPSONDENT: The mechanics at this garage in Tehran take pride in their work, whether it's a wreck or a
breakdown, they say they can repair pretty much anything.
But the international sanctions against Iran often hold them back. They have to order most parts through middlemen, which is expensive and
But owner Naby Asjiani (ph) says he's hopeful all that could change soon.
"We will provide even better service for our customers," he says. "We will repair higher tech cars here for sure when the sanctions are lifted.
We will have a much better opportunities."
Other sectors are gearing up for possible sanctions relief as well. 200 construction workers are currently employed building the Behesh Mall
(ph) and office buildings.
Owner and building designer Hamid Sahih says he could get the complex done even faster if he didn't have to deal with restrictions ordering and
paying for goods.
HAMID SAHIH, HANDS CONSTRUCTION: Usually a shopping mall like this should be taken about three years to get. But right now, you're already in
year three, so it takes another year to do it.
PLEITGEN: Make no mistake, Iran's construction sector is already booming, but companies say things could heat up considerably if a nuclear
deal comes through.
The lifting of the sanctions wouldn't only help Iranian firms, it would also open this country up to investment from outside. And many
believe that the potential here is gigantic.
Iran and the U.S. acknowledge there still is a long way to go before a potential agreement can be reached. The west fears Iran is seeking an
atomic weapon while Tehran says its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes.
The investment firm Turquoise partners is trying to attract investment into Iran. Its CEO tells me many foreign companies are already making
RAMIN RABII, CEO, TURQUOISE PARTNERS: I'm sure as soon as these sanctions are lifted, especially banking sanctions, we're probably going to
see the flood gates opening and hundreds of millions, even billions of dollars coming into the Iranian market.
PLEITGEN: But for now, the mechanics at the garage are still using their old tools, trying to make up for a lack of high tech equipment,
hoping things will change soon.
Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Tehran.
ANDERSON: I want to get you a closer look at how the various players in this region -- and I'm in the Gulf, of course -- are watching not just
these Iran nuclear talks, but also Iran's growing influence in events playing out now beyond its borders. For that I'm joined by our regular
contributor Abdel Halek Abdullah. He's a professor of political science at Emirates University.
It's not the first time you've talked about this, nor will it be the last.
Before we talk about Iran and Iraq, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere, let's just talk about this deal. Does this region, a majority Sunni Arab region,
want a deal with Iran -- and when I'm talking about a deal, I'm talking about P5+1.
ABDULKHALEQ ABDULLA, EMIRATES UNIVERSITY: I think the nuclear deal is acceptable if it is a good deal. I mean, that's the cliche. What is a
good deal? Technically, there is a technical side to it. If it limits Iran's nuclear ability to go nuclear, so be it, because it takes us into
where we all should be a nuclear free zone.
However, there is also the other side of all of this, which is the politics of the deal, the political application, which is a bit vague,
Becky, we don't know what's going on between Tehran and Washington. Is there a big -- I mean, a grand bargain of a sort? It's the politics that
is not really sitting very well, these things.
ANDERSON: And for that reasons, perhaps, we saw John Kerry, the U.S. Secretary of State leave Geneva last week and go to Riyadh, whether it be
in the sort of revolving doors of diplomacy as it were, the new leadership in Riyadh, in Saudi, had seen the leadership from Jordan, Egypt, Turkey of
And then you get John Kerry coming in who says out loud we realize that you in this region understand the destabilizing effect of Iran, how it
can be and might be and could be going forward a destabilizing factor in what is going on in this region.
So let's step back for a moment. How concerned do you think Riyadh is and this new emerging leadership about its old foe Tehran?
ABDULLA: Massively concerned, massively worried. I think Iran has grown too big already since 2013. Iran is already too big. It's all over
the place from Afghanistan all the way to the Mediterranean. For the first time, they even -- some are already talking about building the second
Iranian -- or Persian empire.
So, people in Riyadh and all over the place are massively worried if this is the case with Iran with the sanction in, without the deal, just
imagine how things are going to be with the deal and lifting up the sanctions.
ANDERSON: With respect, sir, you inform what is this Iran having these expansionist ambitions. Tehran would say it's simply trying to get
back into the fold.
But we are seeing evidence of its influence, certainly in and around the military effort in Iraq, if not with troops on the ground. We're
seeing its influence in Syria. We're seeing its influence with Hezbollah in Lebanon.
We also, and I want to just allude to this, the flashpoint, the latest flashpoint, one that is shared with Saudi Arabia and that is Yemen and
Iran's influence there, something that people have long been concerned about in this region. Yemen is shaping up to have two governments with
Iranian-linked Houthi rebels controlling the capital of course in Sanaa while ousted President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi has fled to Aden.
How big an issue is what is going on in Yemen at present?
ABDULLA: Well, the least that Saudi Arabia and the Gulf state would have expected is to see all of a sudden a big Yemen exploding in there,
right in their midst.
ANDERSON: It's not going to happen.
ABDULLA: Well, it's about to explode. We have two capitals and two legitimacy, et cetera. So -- and somebody is going to drag all of this
into probably a military confrontation.
So, all of a sudden we're seeing also not only Iran a de facto presence in Iraq where Qasem Suleimani is acting as a de facto leader and
governor of Iraq, but we're seeing right again in our midst Iran in Yemen.
So just imagine a region where you have in the north Iran and suddenly on the south Iran. I think it's extremely worrying time for us to see all
this Iranian expansion.
ANDERSON: Let me put this to you, then. Perhaps a little counterintuitive, but what about -- and we saw this last summer -- the
sense then could be, might be a rapprochement with Riyadh and Tehran going forward. Is that unlikely at this point? Is it less likely?
ABDULLA: Very unlikely. Extremely unlikely. And it has to do with two things. One has to do, of course, with Iran expansion all over the
place, but the second has to do with Iran unleashing the Shiite militia groups all over the Iraq, playing havoc in Sunni populated areas, in Sunni
I think our heart goes for at the moment for the Sunni population of Iraq, because these guys...
ANDERSON: Not for ISIS, of course.
ABDULLA: Of course. Because these guys could be as vicious, as ugly in their revenge thinking as ISIS itself.
So, there is the Iranian expansion on the one hand, and the Shiite militia has been unleashed by Iran on the other hand, so it is once against
concern is very (inaudible) to yours for a moment.
ANDERSON: Fascinating. Always a pleasure to have you on. Thank you.
ADBULLA: Pleasure to be with you.
ANDERSON: Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Coming up, I'm going to speak to the U.S. ambassador to
Libya on the situation there. So unstable, her embassy had to decamp last summer. Is there any cause for optimism as we look to what is going on in
Libya. That's in about 10 minute's time.
First up, though, Dubai famed for building some of the biggest developments on the planet, got a new design district is showing the
biggest isn't always best. And that creativity goes a long way. Transformations up next.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Glass skyscrapers rising from the sands. Manmade islands for the super rich and luxury brands at every corner. Now, a new
project in the heart of Dubai is hoping to inject a whole lot of hipster into that mix. The Dubai design district, also known as D3.
As with most projects in Dubai, the D3 is big and bold in scale and ambition. Once, a barren patch of desert with nothing but a few unused
building shells, it's being transformed into a vast creative hub that hopes to nurture the city's innovative spirits. When complete, the D3 will
measure almost 200 hectares, that's about two square kilometers consisting of everything from offices to galleries and event spaces.
In addition to infrastructure the space also has tools to attract the lifeblood of a project like this, the entrepreneurs.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We realize that when it comes to regulation, we also have to be different in the way we look at things, so there will be
the free zone license and of course they will be granted all the benefits that comes with that: 50 years tax free, the 100 percent ownership. We got
100 percent support from the government entities to be able to implement this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Phase one of the project is now almost complete.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This one actually is an office space with retail. So all the ground floor is the retail, mixed retail between food and
beverage, all kind of retail. Plus, an office space for headquarters, for designers, for either local, either design consultant, it's a completely
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: By the end of the year construction of a space named the creative community will also begin, providing flexible shared
offices for startups and individuals.
Developers hope this unique project will give up and coming local talents a platform for global exposure.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gathering all the creative minds in one space is quite important to, you know, effect and start to inspiring each other.
The stereotype that Dubai or the Gulf region is an importer it starts to change. It's becoming now an exporter. You see a lot of great talent from
the region, you know, accomplishing something internationally.
So, this was more of an individual effort previously, but now with this phase, with this project, it's going to be more of a community effort.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Twice in Dubai on the global design map may seem like a goal as tall as the Burj tower, but one that's so far seems to be
ANDERSON: This is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. The top stories for you here on CNN.
Iraqi troops along with militia forces say they are inching closer to driving ISIS out of Tikrit. It comes as U.S. military's top officer Martin
Dempsey landed in Baghdad for talks for high ranking Iraqi officials.
Well, two men have been charged and three are still being investigated in the killing of the Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov. A sixth
suspect blew himself up during a standoff with police. Four of those suspects are from Chechnya, mainly Muslim republic in the south of Russia.
Troops from Chad and Niger have opened a crossborder offensive against Boko Haram militants in northeastern Nigeria. Hundreds of vehicles were
seen heading towards the militant group's stronghold. Now this offensive follows an audio message purported to be from Boko Haram's leader in which
he pledges allegiance to ISIS.
French authorities have arrested four people with alleged ties Amedy Coulibaly. He's the gunman who killed four hostages in the kosher
supermarket siege in January. Investigators confirmed a French policewoman has been taken into custody in the course of the investigation.
And we're going to get more for you now from our senior international correspondent Jim Bittermann joining us from Paris -- Jim.
JIM BITTERMANN, CNN INTERATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Becky, in fact as the police here and investigators continue to kind of go upstream of the
tragedies here two months ago, they are continuing to find more and more things. And this is probably the most startling thing that they've found
for some time now, that is that police woman may have been romantically involved with one of the people who was involved with Coulibaly that has
been under suspicion of having given weapons to Coulibaly, and that he was dating this policewoman who had converted to Islam two months ago -- two
years ago, rather.
And what is even more startling is that she had converted to Islam, and was working in one of the police intelligence agencies, one of their
top centers out to the east of Paris here, in the very center of police intelligence.
So, they're looking at her connections very closely indeed. They're going to have her in custody and questioning. The prosecutor's office
won't confirm anything until they've finished their questioning. And that could take as long as six days. At that point, they either have to let her
go or charge her -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Jim Bittermann is in Paris for you this evening.
All right, let's move you on to a country that we follow closely on Connect the World, Libya's power struggle between rival governments and
their respective armed forces has divided a country and allowed ISIS to get a foothold there.
Western leaders say a political solution is the only way to end the conflict.
Well, Libyan officials are attending talks, but also digging in in the name of defense, demanding access to arms and beefing up their military
Well, just hours ago the new army chief General Khalifa Haftar was sworn in, a former Gadhafi loyalist turned defector. His involvement
infuriates the Islamist factions in Tripoli.
Well, to talk us through these rivalries and resentments and to look at how far the international responsibilities to Libya extend, I'm joined
now by Deborah Jones. She's U.S. ambassador to Libya. Ambassador, thank you for talking to us. You're in Malta, of course, where American
diplomats have been based since last summer.
Let me start with a very simple question, the UN has hailed talks being hosted by Morocco between the rival governments as having made
progress. This with a view to establishing a unity government in Libya. Is that your critique given that the internationally recognized government
says it won't keep talking if Libya Dawn in involved.
You can't surely expect success in talks if only one party turns up?
DEBORAH JONES, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO LIBYA: Thanks, Becky.
In fact, I just returned from Morocco where I was again observing on the side and supporting, as our role is. I just want to underscore that
these are talks between the Libyan parties, that they are the ones who make the suggestions, the recommendations, the proposals facilitated by
Bernadina Leon (ph) and the UN.
And again, what I saw there is what we've essentially seen in Geneva and elsewhere that the parties, you know, take some time to get used to
each other, but once they do they actually start engaging with the proposals themselves. And in fact a statement was issued at the end of the
talks reflecting the views of both sides.
Obviously, it's an ongoing process. This is going to be a, you know, a generational process, this transition in Libya. But I do think that -- I
think there's no alternative. I think we believe that there's no military solution. There's no alternative to having partners across the aisle. And
that ISIS will continue to exploit divisions within Libyan society to achieve gains there.
ANDERSON: Ambassador, the chaos in Libya slips across the border and infects Egypt, and I'm thinking about those Christians who were beheaded in
Libya recently and the very porous border that Egypt is so concerned by. The country has called for new international military intervention. You're
saying that you don't buy that. You don't agree with the Egyptians, are you?
JONES: Well, I think what we've said is that we absolutely understand and the Egyptian concern with the security vulnerability that is presented
by the situation within Libya and certainly the horrifying beheading of the Coptic Christians is a matter of great concern and no country should be
expected to stand by and see something like that happen to its citizens in the absence of sufficient security.
But I think it all -- again, it draws back to the bottom line, which is that unless you have a unified Libya, a Libya that is committed as a
whole to combating this, it's too large a country right now and too fractured for any one element to manage things alone. And I know that, you
know, the relationship of General Khalifa Haftar in Egypt has often been remarked upon by many in reports.
And again, we presume that now that he has been officially brought in to the government of the internationally recognized government, that he
will in fact, his actions will reflect the commitment of that government to continue to engage in the Lyons (ph) process.
ANDERSON: Well, let's talk about General Haftar. All eyes now on him after he, as you rightly pointed out, was named army chief by the
internationally recognized government. I want to play our viewers a clip from a profile piece that CNN's Atika Shubert produced last year to give
our viewers a better idea of his background. And then we'll talk again.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Once a staunch supporter of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, he was cast aside during
Libya's disastrous war with Chad in the 1980s, and Gadhafi abandoned Haftar and several hundred other Libyan soldiers, who were held as prisoners of
He set up a rebel brigade against the Gadhafi regime, but eventually sought asylum in the US, living a quite suburban life in Virginia for the
next 20 years, fueling speculation that he may have been involved with the CIA.
SHUBERT: In the power vacuum left behind by Gadhafi, Haftar returned to Libya, only one of many rebel commanders. But Libya's nascent government
has failed to maintain control over this vast desert country. Its key cities have fractured into fiefdoms, controlled by militias, many of them
ANDERSON: We heard there about Haftar's support for Moammar Gadhafi decades ago. Ambassador, what of this strongman style. How concerned are
you, and should others be, that he might be cut from the same cloth?
JONES: Well, you know, obviously this issue has been raised. But again, I would just point out that Khalifa Haftar has been active on the
Libyan scene now since last May. And in fact if you look at what has happened in the nine to 10 months following, in other words, the entrance
of ISIL into Libya, the devastation of its courts, its airports, the fact that Benghazi remains still only 60 percent at best controlled by his
forces and the fact that Dynra (ph) remains a festering rat hole for ISIS and other groups, I think that just simply underscores again what we're
saying that there's no faction that can do this alone and can emerge single-handedly to dominate the situation. I mean, it's got to be a
unified government that includes the support of Libyans across the board.
And in that context, we have had individuals and groups on the Misrata side and across the board reach out and say they are prepared to partner
with the United States and with Tobruk on combating ISIL. And we think that that's an offer that the Tobruk government should take up.
ANDERSON: Ambassador, very briefly, there is concern certainly in this region, that Libya has reached the point of no return. Do you buy
JONES: Not in my business. I don't know how you measure the point of no return. It's kind of like a Zeno's Paradox. I think that Libya has
reached a point of great -- of grave concern, certainly, but in -- despite everything that's happened, I think what's been fascinating to watch is
that with all of the tragedies, all of these events that still go on in an effort to disrupt the talks, the talks continue to go forward. We expect
that people will be back in Morocco this week to bring some ideas together for a national unity government. If not this week, it will be next, but
the process continues, because everyone knows there is no alternative to that process.
ANDERSON: Ambassador, I know your time is very precious. We very much appreciate the time with us here on CNN. Thank you.
There's a lot more in depth coverage of this on the website. CNN.com is where you'll find reports and analysis, including a new piece by our
national security analyst Peter Bergen. He looks at how the ISIS terror group went global ISIS of course with its presence now in Libya as well.
Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson.
Could this be the way we fly in the future? Two men attempting to fly around the world in a plane powered only by the sun.
Up next, though, he was a breadwinner for 10 family members back in (inaudible). Now his family is in mourning. The plight of migrant workers
in Qatar up next.
ANDERSON: You're with CNN. This is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson for you out of the UAE at 47 minutes past 7:00.
Well every year thousands of workers from around the world head here to the Gulf region in search of work and the opportunity to earn money for
their families back home. For some migrant workers, the dream of a better life comes to a tragic early end.
CNN's Sumnima Udas reports from Nepal.
SUMNIMA UDAS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Once a symbol of hope and opportunity for so many Nepalese, now a harbinger of tragedy. Every
day, an average of three to four coffins arrive from the Middle East; every other day a coffin from Qatar, burying the bodies of Nepali migrant
When 38-year-old Kishin Dali's (ph) body arrived in his village in southern Nepal, unbearable pain. The wailing went on for hours.
Kishin (ph) was the only breadwinner for his family of 10, his father tells us. Desperation forced him to sell his only piece of land and travel
to Qatar eight months ago. He was still in debt. An all too common story in Nepal, one of the world's most impoverished countries, with some 1,500
Nepalese leave every day in search of work.
The one thing that really stands out is just how few young men are in this village. The majority who are of working age have gone to places like
Qatar and the rest of the Middle East, leaving only the women, the elderly and the children behind.
Human labor is Nepal's biggest export. The money they send back to their families accounts for some 25 percent of the country's GDP.
The majority are illiterate and unskilled, unaware of their rights, easy targets for exploitation.
"Of course it feels like prison. Nobody likes it. But we have no choice," Kishin's (ph) younger brother Bishnu (ph) says.
Bishnu (ph), too, work in Qatar. He's helped build some of the 2022 World Cup infrastructure.
So he's just showing me the clothes his brother used to wear while he was working as a construction working in Qatar.
How Kishin (ph) died is still a mystery. Official data shows half of those who come back in the bulk died of heart attacks, the rest from
workplace accidents and suicide.
Nepali authorities say 10 percent of the laborers who work in Qatar are exploited, oftentimes by middlemen who themselves are Nepali. So,
Qatar is not solely to blame.
But the hosts of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, once considered the land of dreams by so many Nepalese, now dubbed the desert of death.
Sumnima Udas, CNN, Danucha (ph), Nepal.
ANDERSON: Well, a heartwrenching human angle to a story with global implications, especially given Qatar's preparations for the 2022 World Cup.
Now Qatari officials refused to join us tonight for a live interview, but they did send us this statement. And I quote, "approximately 400
Indian and Nepalese workers die annually in Qatar, but it would be wrong to suggest that all deaths in a population of 1.5 million people are
apparently the result of workplace conditions either directly or indirectly."
They go on to say, "while the vast majority of workers in Qatar are fairly treated, we recognize there's a minority are not. That is why we
are reforming labor laws and practices."
Well, Doha also maintains that there have been no deaths on World Cup project sites, presumably aware that such allegations can reignite a debate
about the country's hosting rights.
But accountability is not limited to the Qatari side. We also asked officials in Nepal to react to the report we just aired and the Qatari
response. This is what they had to say.
The government body in charge of migrant workers there told us, and I quote, "Nepali work related deaths in Qatar have increased seven-fold since
2013, but Kathmandu doesn't have statistics on how many deaths have happened at World Cup sites. And to do that would require a thorough
investigation," the said. A somewhat muted call for an investigation. And that may be due to the fact that nearly 30 percent of the country's GDP
comes from remittances sent by workers all based all over the world around $2 billion sent annually from Qatar.
But there's clearly more to be done to increase awareness amongst workers of the risks that they might face if they do travel abroad. And we
will remain on this story for you and we'll continue to challenge both capitals to raise awareness of the human stories and what steps they are
taking to meet those challenges.
Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World. Next up, this flight took off from the airport right next to us here at the bureau earlier today
and could make its way into the history books. We'll tell you why up next.
ANDERSON: Well, in tonight's parting shots, could solar power be the future of aviation? Well, a flight using only the power of the sun's rays
took off today from right here in Abu Dhabi. The pilots set to make their way around the world.
CNN's Amir Daftari was there for what was the big takeoff.
AMIR DAFTARI, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The final touches to a world first, a solar plane getting ready to fly into history.
We're in the early hours of the morning here and this aircraft, the Solar Impulse II, is being pushed out onto the tarmac, ready to embark on
its ambitious around the world journey, powered purely by nature.
But once out on the runway, delays. Technical problems and poor visibility mean the plane where more than 17,000 solar cells built into its
wings has to sit idle. Then after an hour, the all-clear: 12 years of hard work come to to this single moment. Then, takeoff, without using a single
drop of fuel.
But this is no flight of fancy. The pilots believed this is the future of aviation. And ahead of the big day, their anticipation was
BERTRAND PICCARD, CO-PILOT: Nobody has done it before. And we don't know exactly if it's possible or not, honestly. We have to try it. Like
every new thing in history, you have to try.
DAFTARI: And history should be made in just a few months when they are set to land back in the UAE capital.
But how does it all work?
PICCARD: This wing is the largest that you can find. I mean, it's bigger than the wing of a 747.
So, if we are propelled by electric motors. So we have four gondolas. In each, we have a motor and we have a set of batteries, which will help us
to fly through the night. And of course on top of this wing we have solar cells, and that's the source of energy.
DAFTARI: For Swiss co-pilots Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg (ph), the journey will undoubtedly be a recordbreaking show of technology
and invention. They'll share grueling shifts in a tiny cockpit with few comforts, making the attempt a mental challenge too.
PICCARD: The entertainment in that cockpit is the beauty of the world when you fly with no fuel, no pollution, no noise and you just feel
the privilege you have to fly the most extraordinary airplane in the world.
DAFTARI: The 35,000 kilometer trip will take place over 12 stages, bunny hopping from cities like Nanjing in China to Phoenix, Arizona. And
until its return back here, the Solar Impulse team will be hoping that the sun just keeps on shining.
Amir Daftari, CNN, Abu Dhabi.
ANDERSON: And you see the Sheikh Zaid mosque there, which is the same -- it's just behind me here, that plane due to land in the Omani capital
Muscat any moment now after its first leg.
I'm Becky Anderson. That was Connect the World. From the team here, it is a very good evening.