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CONNECT THE WORLD
Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad; Middle East's Perception of Barack Obama; Egypt's Coptic Christians Display Faith In Tattoos; Swiss Authorities Reveal Details of FIFA Investigation; Greek Central Bank Warns of Possible Exit from Euro. Aired 11:00a-12:00p ET
Aired June 17, 2015 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:10] BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Hello. And welcome to what is a special edition of Connect the World. We're back in Cairo for day three of
what is our month-long tour of the region. Welcome.
Coming up this hour, heading home the first Syrian refugees return to Tal Abyad after Turkish fighters drive ISIS from that key city.
Also ahead, holy ink: Egypt's Coptic Christians wear their faith on their wrists, this an ancient and revered tradition, but it could cost them
And America and the Middle East: six years after Barack Obama's famous speech here in Cairo, and the race for the White House heating up. We'll
ask, is America's influence in the region on the decline?
ANNOUNCER: Live from Cairo, this is Connect the World with Becky Anderson.
ANDERSON: And at just after 5:00 in the evening, Tahrir Square on the move once again.
Hundreds of men, women and children are streaming across the Turkish border into Syria anxious to return home after their town was liberated
Now these refugees are among the first to head back to Tal Abyad. Kurdish militia captured the strategic border town after days of fierce
fighting sent more than 23,000 Syrians running for their lives.
Now many fled with little more than clothes on their backs. Some, so desperate to escape that they cut a border fence to get into Turkey.
Well, let's get more from Jomana Karadsheh. She's following the story from Amman in Jordan for you this evening -- Jomana.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Becky, as you mentioned there today we're seeing the first wave of returnees, of
residents of Tal Abyad and towns and villages that surround that area returning to their homes just a day after we heard that the announcement
from the Kurdish YPG militia, also supported by Syrian Arab rebel forces who managed to recapture the town of Tal Abyad from ISIS.
Really, it was a very surprising and unexpected gain by the group, because it was really fast, Becky. It was only a couple of days that they
managed to capture a very strategic town that has been held by ISIS for the past year.
This is a very strategic location of course as we have reported in the past, because of where it lies -- right by the Turkish border and also on
the main route to Raqqa. This is the main supply route from that Turkish border area, which ISIS has used for smuggling, for bringing in supplies
and more importantly of course we're funneling in foreign fighters into their territory.
So, really it was an unexpected fast capture of the town, but of course today as we're seeing those scenes of people, hundreds of them
returning to their homes. These are families, as we have seen -- my colleague Arwa Damon in the past few days on the Turkish border reporting
really desperate scene that they were forced to flee after they decided to live under ISIS because they come from rural areas, from villages. They
didn't have much. And they did not want to give up and so they lived under the ISIS rule. And now very anxious to get back to their homes and to see
what is left of it after the fighting, Becky.
ANDERSON: That's right. And this story really just informing what is going on sort of across the region and in Jordan where you are, of course,
another country buckling under the amount, hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees who have fled the fighting in Syria.
Jomana, we know that ISIS slip in, they slip out, they regroup and they reorder. Just how secure is this town at this point and it's
sustainable for those people who have returned home?
KARADSHEH: That's a very big question here, Becky, is we have seen these forces on the ground, the YPG, the Kurdish fighters along with the
Syrian rebel factions that have been fighting in that area slowly over the past month taking over villages and holding them.
Now Tal Abyad in a couple of days that town fell. They also, as you know, and we have reported, have captured the Syrian side of the Akcekele
(ph) border crossing with Turkey. The question is, will they be able to hold it? This is yet to be seen in the coming days.
And as we know, ISIS may have lost this town, a very strategic town for them, but in the overall battle this group is really not defeated. We
do know in the past few weeks, as we have been seeing, Becky, they are still capable of carrying out attacks despite the continuous airstrikes and
fighting forces, local forces on the ground, they are still capable of gaining territory, whether it is in Syria, as we saw in Palmyra, or in Iraq
where they gained -- where they took over the city of Ramadi, the provisional capital of Anbar province.
So, a lot of concern, of course, about why this happened so fast and whether ISIS might be planning some sort of a counterattack, something to
be seen in the coming days, Becky.
[11:05:35] ANDERSON: Jomana Karadsheh on the story for you out of Amman Jordan this evening.
Well, we want to update you now on a story that we brought you on Tuesday. Police say one of three British sisters who disappeared with
their nine children may have made contact with their family back in the United Kingdom. This comes just a day after two of their husbands made
what was an emotional plea for them to return home.
Police say they received information suggesting the family may now be in Syria. They were reported missing last Thursday. Now, the family is
thought to be heading to ISIS-controlled territory.
Well, a group of Syrian doctors testifying before the U.S. congress today about what they say is the Assad regime's ongoing use of chemical
Coming up this hour, we're going to look at the ongoing impact that that war is having on this region.
We'll also look at how America is perceived six years after Barack Obama's famous speech in Cairo. And as these presidential runs get
To Greece now where a dire warning has been issued by the country's central bank. It says if Greece doesn't reach a deal with its foreign
creditors, the country could ultimately drop out of the Eurozone, and indeed out of the European Union.
Well, the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has said he won't agree to any debt repayment deal that calls for more austerity measures.
Well, in just over an hour, demonstrators backing his position will hold a rally in Athens.
Elinda Labropoulou joins us from Athens now.
How many expected on the streets, Elinda?
ELINDA LABROPOULOU, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we expect (inaudible) that it's something in support of a government ahead of
tomorrow's crucial euro group meeting in Brussels and (inaudible) it's asking the government to stick with (inaudible) and not to give all away to
any of the pressure from the creditors. And at the same time, it's there (inaudible) and austerity.
And (inaudible) from the demonstrators that today, just a few (inaudible) feel about what's going on, a very interesting poll has just
come out showing that about nine in 10 Greeks actually believe that there will be a deal, and seven in 10 say that Greece will be the one making most
of the concessions.
It also shows that at least three-quarters of Greeks want to be in the EU, though interestingly enough half of them say that this is not because
they think Europe is necessarily the best -- has the right policies for Greece, but simply because they fear that otherwise they will be excluded
And you just mentioned the governor of the bank of Greece's message today. He has painted an absolutely bleak picture if there is no deal
between the country and its creditors. He spoke of an uncontrollable crisis, he spoke of going to default that would then be followed by an exit
from the EuroZone and potentially even the EU.
So very strong words from the governor of the bank of Greece just ahead of that EuroGroup tomorrow, Becky.
ANDERSON: Elinda, thank you.
We're in a very windy Cairo this evening.
On to Russia. And it says it doesn't want a new arms race with the west, but that any NATO expansion eastward will force Moscow to protect its
The comments by a Kremlin official are the very latest in what is a verbal tit-for-tat.
Now Russia accuses Europe and the U.S. of wearing blinders and only seeing Moscow through the prism of the, quote, Cold War. NATO, meanwhile,
says Russia's pledged to add 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles to its nuclear arsenal is, quote, saber rattling.
Meant to underline his country's military prowess, Russian President Vladimir Putin has cut the ribbon on a new military theme park.
CNN's Matthew Chance went along to take a look.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you join me here at this vast military theme park, about an hour's drive from Moscow.
It's brand new. It's called Patriot Park. And when it's finished, it's set to become a kind of Russian military Disneyland where children can
clamber over heavy weaponry, even play with grenade launchers instead of riding on the normal kind of fairground attractions. You can see there are
children and some adults all over this military hardware right behind me.
Now the park was opened earlier this week by Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, at a time of heightened nationalism and confrontation
between Russia and the west, particularly over the conflict in Ukraine.
President Putin used the opening to announce the addition of 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles for the Russian arsenal, a move that's
been criticized by NATO as unjustified and dangerous. The Kremlin says it's just part of a wide reaching program to modernize the country's
The park itself won't be completed fully until 2017. At the moment you can see there is an arms fair underway here as well. And thousands of
people have come to visit, many with their families.
There are souvenir shops selling a new range of military clothing. And of course Russia's -- some of Russia's most modern and lethal military
hardware. Apart from these tanks, there's a BUQ missile launcher just over here that's believed to have shot down MH17, the Malaysian airliner in
eastern Ukraine. There's even a nuclear missile launcher.
All of this is proving immensely popular amongst what is an extremely patriotic Russian public here at Patriot Park.
Matthew Chance, CNN, at Kobinka (ph) outside Moscow.
[11:11:40] ANDERSON: Still to come this evening out of Cairo for you today, a sign of identity. We look at the practice of tattooing starting
at what is a very young age for many Coptic Christians here in Egypt. That is about 25 minutes from now.
First up, though, U.S. lawmakers are hearing allegations that the Syrian government is still using chemical weapons against its own people.
I'm going to get you to Capitol Hill when Connect the World returns.
Taking a very short break here, back after this.
ANDERSON: A very warm welcome back. You're with us in Cairo tonight. This is CNN and Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson.
Well, Syrian doctors are asking the world to help protect their people from what they call a new type of terror. They told U.S. lawmakers just
moments ago that the Assad regime is attacking civilians with barrel bombs filled with chemical weapons. Doctors are testifying before a house
committee this hour.
Syria's government denies ever using chemical weapons against its people. In 2011, UN investigators concluded the chemical weapons were used
in Syria, saying one of the most horrific instances happened in Gutr (ph) area of Damascus. Activists say more than 1,300 people were killed.
We'll talk about that story in a moment. One of the remaining allies of the Syrian government of course, is Russia, but it's not just Syria,
Moscow is also trying to cozy up to the government here in Egypt.
For more, I'm joined now by H.A. Hellyer, a nonresident fellow at the Brookings Institution and a regular guest on this show. And thank you,
sir, for joining us.
I just want to give our viewers a sense of what is, as it were, Russia in Egypt these days. Egypt has been strengthening ties, of course, with
Russia. Just last week, the two countries concluded joint military exercises in the Mediterranean Sea. It comes after a visit by President
Putin to Cairo in February and one by President el-Sisi to Moscow last month.
Now Moscow has been trying to bolster its presence here in the region after losing influence in Europe following the annexation of Crimea.
Sisi's first big trip abroad, Moscow, August 2014. Putin here February 2015 with his images plastered across much of Egypt, even though
(inaudible) on the bridges below. Is this a pivot east?
H.A. HELLYER, BROOKINGS INSTITUTE: I don't think so. The symbolism of Cairo engaging more with Moscow is certainly quite profound, but in
terms of actual substance on the ground you don't really see much of a pivoting of Cairo whether in terms of political relations, in terms of
military hardware. This is a country who is -- still wants to be aligned with the west, still wants to go to Paris and London and New York and
doesn't particularly want to go to Moscow.
So I think really that the intensification of the rhetoric around closer relations with Moscow is really directed at the west more than
actually a real change in policy.
ANDERSON: We have a choice. We don't need you if you don't want us.
HELLYER: Indeed. And that I think it's essentially a bit of a message to places like D.C. and elsewhere in the west that, look, we have
But I doubt very many people actually take that seriously.
ANDERSON: Le's take Russia on, then, outside of Egypt to the wider region. What is its influence here? How much more does it want to do with
HELLYER: Well, the strongest part of influence I think that Russia actually has on the region is really with Syria. It's one of the last, as
you mention, one of the last allies of Bashar al-Assad in Damascus. And that's really where I think it plays the largest role.
And that puts it at loggerheads with really most capitals in the region. The Gulf pretty much entirely is opposed to the Assad regime in
Damacus. And as a result is opposed to Russia's moves there.
It's not -- it hasn't received quite the same response in Cairo, but Cairo is far more interested in maintaining good relations with the GCC
than it is with Moscow, even on that issues.
ANDERSON; And clearly Syria continues to inform the roiling conflicts that are this Middle East region today.
HELLYER: Absolutely. And I think that that's going to be the case for quite some time. We talk a great deal about ISIS, about DAESH in the
region. And it is spreading in different places. But obviously within Syria, it is that big festering wound alongside, of course, with the mass
casualties that have been inflected on the Syrian population by the regime in Damascus.
ANDERSON: Yeah, we've been reporting of course in the past couple of days at those Syrian refugees fleeing the fighting across the Turkish
border and then feeling -- looking to return home. How sustainable and secure that will be is another question.
I want to move on. I want to read and excerpt from what is your latest op-ed for the viewers. You say analysts whose scope of interest
includes Egypt regularly get asked questions such as how stable is Egypt. Is it sustainable. No one, you say, in this piece wants to ask the real
question what can we do to make Egypt more stable?
So, let me put that question to you.
HELLYER: Well, it is a rather troubling question. Because we look at Egypt as an island of stability in the region as compared to places like
Libya and Syria and Iraq. And as a result I think we look at Egypt primarily through a security lens where you don't see DAESH actually taking
over a huge place of the country in spite of the fact that there is obviously a security problem in the Sinai.
And I think that that might be a bit shortsighted, because unless you have a comprehensive security solution within the country that looks at
really human security on the ground, I think that you do allow for many problems to fester and indeed they could develop into something much more
problematic as time goes on.
And that relates to human rights, that relates to good governance, that relates to developing the population in terms of the Sinai and
elsewhere. And right now, the focus has really been on a very security centered response.
[11:20:09] ANDERSON: We're going to talk more. Stay with me. You're with me throughout the hour. For the time being, thank you very much
Live from Cairo, this is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Coming up, minorities and their rights in Egypt. We explore that in 10
minutes. A look at a Coptic Christian tradition that dates back centuries.
African Start-up takes us to Zambia today where one entrepreneur is picking up profits with used cooking oil. That is up next. Stay with us.
You're with CNN.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Vegetable oil, widely used in cookie, frying and typically discarded after its use. But it's a pair of industries in
Lusaka, Zambia, old oil gets a new purpose.
MUTOBA NGOMA: We're a business that focuses on the production of biofuels. And we also produce natural (inaudible) products.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mutoba Ngoma purchases used vegetable oil and converts it to fuel for cars and machinery. He says the business generates
$15,000 a month.
The inspiration to pursue alternative energy came unexpectedly in 2006.
NGOMA: I just completed by schooling in the UK in aeronautical engineering. And I came across a program about renewable energy in Brazil.
At the same time, Zambia is going through a problem of fuel shortages.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ngoma got a loan from his father and launched his business that very year.
NGOMA: That time we were a backyard startup doing about 200 liters per month.
Right now, we're doing 3,000 liters a month.
So this is our (inaudible) used cooking oil after it comes from the restaurants.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mutoba says he designed his own processing machines and is building his clientele.
NGOMA: We've got one major client that takes the bulk of what we produce and then we've got about seven or eight small clients start coming
for small quantities.
We have also diversified our product range. We are not only doing biodiesel, we're also organize soaps.
The idea of making soaps came about as a result of one of our challenges of securing the (inaudible) for the diesel. We realized that as
we were awaiting for more oil to come about, we could actually be producing something else and we found that we could actually produce soap from the
same oil. So we just had to lean it a bit more and then it's (inaudible) the diesel. We start with it, because we felt that it's also good income
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But his focus remains on growing the biofuel side of his business.
NGOMA: We are working on securing financing so that we can increase our capacity, our production rate and also the raw material base. We want
to set up in a bigger facility and through that we hope that we can expand to where we intend to be.
[11:27:37] ANDERSON: Well, a city always on the move, Cairo, home to Connect the World all this week.
And some music there from the Egyptian duo Saramufas (ph) who will join us in what is a special show tomorrow, Thursday. Do join us for that.
This is CNN with the news, of course, always come first. The top stories for you this hour. Syrian refugees who fled fighting in the border
town of Tal Abyad are returning home. Violence between Kurdish forces and ISIS militants forced thousands of people to cross into Turkey.
The Kurds were able to completely push ISIS out and at this point, at least, reclaim the city on Tuesday.
Police in Georgia's capital have shot and killed a white tiger, which escaped from the city's flooded zoo. The tiger had attacked and killed a
man and injured another in Tblisi. The zoo lost about 300 animals in the floods, including lions, tigers, bears and wolves.
Well, the Greek central bank is warning that Greece could ultimately exit the EuroZone and the European Union if it doesn't reach a deal with
its foreign creditors. The country's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is resisting demands for austerity measures in exchange for the aid.
And an austerity rally set to start in Athens in about an hour's time. Do stay with us for that.
Pope Francis preparing to outline the Catholic church's position on climate change. He is due to release the letter called an encyclical on
Thursday. Speaking ahead of the release, the pope said all should help to save what he called our ruined planet.
We are learning a little bit more about the Swiss investigation into alleged corruption at FIFA. Attorney General Michael Lauber says FIFA
President Sepp Blatter could be questioned by Swiss investigators who are looking into the bidding processes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
FIFA's general secretary Gerome Valcke could also be questioned.
Neither man has been charged. Lauber says the football world should brace itself for what he describes as a long investigation.
Well, let's get the latest from Bern in Switzerland. CNN's Alex Thomas is there. What do we know, Alex?
ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Becky, in the space of a few weeks, we've now heard two countries' attorney generals talk about rooting
out corruption in football. And in two very different manners.
There was that explosive news conference from America's Loretta Lynch just two days before Sepp Blatter was reelected as FIFA president. And now
her opposite number here in Switzerland Michael Lauber, not quite as entertaining maybe, more sedate, but no less serious talking about the need
for patience, his investigation is only months old compared to the years that the FBI's probe has been going on.
He did confirm that a tailor made task force is wading through nine terabytes of data in more than 100 cases of suspicious banking activity.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter in all likelihood will be formally interviewed, although he's done nothing wrong yet. And also Lauber talked about the
difference between his case and America's. They, of course, had Chuck Blazer, the former ExCo member as a whistleblower. Lauber himself wouldn't
say if they got any informants on the inside, but he certainly appealed for any information.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL LAUBER, SWISS ATTORNEY GENERAL: We have also the rules that we can get information from people who really are willing to give us real
information. The thing is that we have different rules. We are perhaps more strict than in the U.S.
But if there is anybody out there who wants to give me information in helping me in this case, we have our rules. They are known. And I'm
welcoming any useful information for this case.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
THOMAS: Becky, that was Michael Lauber speaking to us exclusively, the only TV channel he did a one-on-one with after his news conference
earlier. He admits this is probably the biggest case he's had to handle. And he's been in charge of the organized crime division here in Switzerland
as well. He's also been head of the banking association.
He knows all about tracing down the money. He says he's treating this case like any other. He wants to get to the source of the money who is
behind it, Becky.
ANDERSON: How long is this going to take?
THOMAS: Years is the short answer to that, Becky.
He wouldn't give an exact timeframe, but he did compare his investigation with that FBI one, which we know has been going between four
to six years. And he was also very cagey about the scope of it.
We know as well that FIFA's independent ethics committee have also announced earlier today that they are widening the scope of their
Becky, it's a funny thing, isn't it, you can almost say that if you look at the two investigations in America and Switzerland and the ethics
committee at FIFA itself, the net is kind of widening and tightening at the same time.
Still worrying times for FIFA and for Russia and Qatar the hosts of 2018 and 2022.
ANDERSON: Let's just get this straight once again for our viewers. Is Blatter going to be questioned?
THOMAS: He wouldn't say categorically yes, but he certainly didn't rule it out. So as far as Michael Lauber is concerned, FIFA President Sepp
Blatter is someone that probably in all due course, if their investigations continue, will be interviewed.
It's very unlikely that they're going to turn around next week and say there's no evidence, or not enough evidence to pursue this case. They have
gone too far down the road, this is too high profile a case for them to turn back now. He admitted he doesn't normally do this sort of media
activity. He understands the global interest, but he's warned football fans I'm not he game's savior. I'm not here to save football's image, I'm
here to pursue the bad guys effectively.
ANDERSON: Yeah, fascinating. All right, Alex, thank you for that.
Alex is in Switzerland for you.
Now, to a practice that dates back more than a millennium for Coptic Christians here in Egypt. And it starts at a very young age. Ian Lee
tells us the significance of what is the holy tattoo.
IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: At first you hear an ominous sound. Then, the painful reality hits. Others put on a brave face all in the name
Coptic Christian tattoos date back to the early centuries. Magdy has carried this mantle for 20 of those years.
10 Egyptian pounds, or little over a dollar will get you a simple cross, more for a complex design.
His parlor sits on a side street in Coptic Cairo. Today, 2-year-old Farima (ph) is receiving her holy ink as her proud parents look on.
"We feel that this is a blessing and it will protect us," says Farima's (ph) mother Karama. "For this reason, we get them for our
Receiving a tattoo is a right of passage for many of Egypt's roughly 8 million Christians.
It's 12-year-old Engi's (ph) first tattoo, but the sound of the gun is too much.
Fahdi Ragdi (ph) remembers his first. It was difficult, he says.
But he's back to Magdy for his fifth, because well style. They're cool, he tells me.
The times are changing. Young people want more tattoos with more complexity, proudly showing off their different ink.
"Tattoos are getting popular," Magdy tells me. "The United States and Europe are huge influences. Before we'd just see normal crosses, but now
they want 3D and pictures."
Magdy only engraves religious symbols. This sign of identity and devotion at times have become a matter of life or death.
Last February in Libya, ISIS militants beheaded 21 Christians who were easily identified by their tattoos.
It's more than just wearing your faith on your sleeve.
"The cross for us is very important. And we're proud," says Magdy. "But you first need to have Jesus in your heart."
Remember Engi (ph)? She's back after some persuasion by her parents. After all the buildup, she admits it only hurt a little bit.
Ian Lee, CNN, Cairo.
[11:36:30] ANDERSON: Well, and Ian is with us now for more on Egypt's minorities.
Just how much trouble are they in?
LEE: Well, Egypt's minorities have bore the brunt of the political instability over the past few years. Case in point, 2013 after the army
ousted Mohamed Morsy, his supporters attacked and burned tens of churches.
Now Christians here do support the president by and large, but talking to them they still feel like second class citizens. If you look at the new
constitution, there should be freedom of religion for the minorities, but Christians still need to get permits to build or renovate churches. And
that has been a source of contention in Rural Egypt where radical imams have seen rumors, or heard rumors about Christians trying to build
churches. And we've seen incidents of violence when that happens.
ANDERSON: What's the prospect, then, of things improving any time soon?
LEE: well, things are getting better. You look at the situation with Christians, it is better. And a case recently where 23 men were sentenced
to 14 years in prison over the mob killing of four Shiites. And that is something we haven't seen before.
But you have to look at Egypt's other minorities. There's B'hais, there's Shiites and there also are atheists here, and they still haven't
reaped the benefits of this new Egypt.
ANDRESON: What does the government say about minorities?
LEE: Well, the government depends on who you're talking about. If you're talking about the Abrahamic faiths -- the Jews, Muslims and
Christians they are people they say that they are protected under the constitution, that they have rights.
But if you talk to the government about Shiites and about atheists, they see them as a threat to the Egyptian society and something that needs
to be dealt with. and so, that has -- we've seen the problems there.
ANDERSON: How many people are we talking about here?
LEE: In terms of Shiites -- minorities?
You know, numbers are very hard here. There's never any official statistics. Some put it in the tens of thousands of Shias are here.
Egypt's Christians are roughly around 8 million.
So, there is a really significant amount of minorities here and it's something that they have been fighting for, but to different degrees. It
depends on which minority you belong to is how much your voice is heard.
ANDERSON: Ian, thank you.
Live from Cairo, this is Connect the World, a special week for you out of this fine city of Cairo.
Coming up, findings Egypt's soul on tonight's parting shots. We're going to speak to one photographer who has captured ordinary Egyptians
during the last what have been quite honestly turbulent years, haven't they?
And the U.S. presidential race of course is heating up as another well known personality throws his hat into the ring. How that is seen from this
part of the world after this.
[11:41:35] ANDERSON: And CNN coming to you from what is a lively Cairo. Some music there from (inaudible), a dynamic Egyptian band that
will be on what is a special edition of Connect the World tomorrow. Do join us, quite different show at this time.
The latest person to enter the U.S. presidential race announced his candidacy in what was an energetic speech to supporters.
While American billionaire Donald Trump may be best known as a reality TV star these days, that is not stopping him from entering the campaign.
CNN's Joe Johns has the story for you.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDETN: The Donald is in, delivering a jolt to the already crowded 2016 presidential race.
DONALD TRUMP, REAL ESTATE DEVELOPER: I will be the greatest jobs president god created.
JOHNS: Donald Trump kicking off in New York by to thing wealth as a selling point.
TRUMP: I don't need anybody's money. I'm using my own money. I'm not using lobbyist or donors. I don't care. I'm really rich.
JOHNS: And foreign policy.
TRUMP: Nobody would be tougher on ISIS than Donald Trump.
I'll bring back our jobs from China, from Mexico, from Japan, from so many places, I'll bring back our jobs and I'll bring back our money.
JOHNS: He's long been a favorite target of late-night TV for behaving exactly the way he did today.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course, most of you know who I am already, because I'm rich and I'm handsome.
JOHNS: This isn't the first time trump flirted with it.
TRUMP: Well, this is very serious. I am seriously thinking about it.
I am seriously considering it.
I've never taken it seriously like this.
I think you'll be surprised at what my announcement is.
JOHNS: But now that he is officially in the race, he's quickly taking aim at GOP rivals.
TRUMP: You looked at Bush, it took him five days to answer the question on Iraq. He couldn't answer the question. He didn't know.
JOHNS: And President Obama.
TRUMP: Our president doesn't have a clue. He's a bad negotiator.
JOHNS: He also went after some of the Republican contenders, including Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio.
His challenge will be his low approval ratings, 58 percent of Iowa Republicans who responded to a poll said they would never vote for him.
The Trump campaign says that dynamic will change now that he's in the race. They expect his approval ratings to rise. A Trump campaign was
welcomed by some who said they hoped he would make the race more entertaining.
But some Republican strategists fear it could turn the race into a reality show.
ANDERSON: Well, Donald Trump not the only candidate taking swipes at President Obama's foreign policy record outside of the U.S. How do these
Well, I want to do more on that. I'm joined once again by Arab affairs specialist H.A. Hellyer.
Is Donald Trump a man that the Middle East would want to do business with, do you think?
HELLYER: I'll be frank, Becky, and say that I don't think many people actually have heard of Donald Trump in this part of the world. And those
that have his comments on the region more generally probably don't go down too well. So I wouldn't be entirely positive about that.
ANDERSON: Well, at 16 or so -- 16, 17 month run-in now to the U.S. elections. Big story. And it will clearly resonate here.
I want to remind our viewers that President Obama visited Cairo of course in 2009 during his early months in office speaking at Cairo
University. He I remember called on people to overcome the toughest issues of our time.
Let's just remind ourselves of a little of what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[11:45:18] BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And I want to particularly say this to young people of every faith in every country,
you more than anyone have the ability to re-imagine the world, to remake this world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: I don't think, H.A., it will be an understatement to say that this is a man who has disappointed much of the Middle East,
particularly the youngsters.
HELLYER: Tremendously. I think that actually disappointment in the Obama administration cuts across political divides, age demographics across
HELLYER: Because there were many expectations. The Cairo speech was quite a strong policy direction that he put out there not only for Egypt,
but for the Arab and the Muslim world more generally. And very little of that has really come to pass. On the contrary, things don't seem to have
gone much better. And even at the height of optimism during the Arab awakening in 2011 it didn't seem like the United States was actually really
in it for the long haul.
ANDERSON: All right. Well, let's take a look at some of these front runners, because at some point the Middle East and Egypt is going to have
to do business with somebody else at the White House.
The presidential election, of course, is more than a year away, as I said, but more than a dozen significant candidates have already officially
announced that they are running. Real Estate mogul, Donald Trump, as we saw, the latest to join the race. Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida and
brother of the former president George W. Bush entering the competition Monday.
They join, well, it's got to be said a crowded field of 12 major Republican candidates with several more notables still expected to be heard
Among the Democrats, of course, former secretary state Hillary Clinton is in. She is facing competition from three significant other candidates
for her party's nomination.
Do people in the Middle East have a preferred candidate, do you think?
HELLYER: I think that Hillary Clinton has a certain profile here primarily obviously because she was secretary of state. But I think
depending on which country you go to there will be different references.
ANDERSON: She was secretary of state, slow, I think many people would say in this region to really understand what was going on at the beginning
of the Arab spring.
I remember many others do when you speak to here that the U.S. had a very, very, very slow, very lethargic reaction to what was going on. What
do people think of Hillary Clinton here?
HELLYER: Well, the issue with how the region generally thinks about the United States and its policy in 2011 and onwards is that really you
have a multitude of opinions.
There were some that thought the United States backed the uprisings far too much, others who thought that they should have backed them a lot
more. And the -- I think the consensus has been that there's been a very confused policy from D.C. on many of these countries.
Certainly with regard to Syria and particular, but also with regard to other countries in the region. And now with the imminent deal, or the
expected deal with Iran and the nuclear deal that's due to come through later this year, there are new concerns about, you know, how invested
really is the United States in this region.
Whether or not that's true or not, the perception is definitely there, particularly within the Gulf and then obviously you have issues to do with
Libya and Syria and Iraq that are really dividing opinion tremendously.
ANDERSON: What do, then, people here in Egypt and the wider region want to hear from these presidential candidates.
HELLYER: I think they want to hear a focus on the region. And also particularly with regards to the Iran deal, a commitment that they're not
going to leave these capitals to fend on their own.
ANDERSON: That's going to be done and dusted pretty much -- you know, some -- probably more than a year before the actual election.
HELLYER: So what we've seen quite consistently over the past six months is a lot of concern about the imminent deal with Iran, but not
really that much in terms of expressing an alternative or what to do in the instance of that deal actually comes through. And I think that that's
going to continue for quite some time.
ANDERSON: The latest Gallup poll ratings, H.A., of world leaders puts the global approval of President Obama actually interestingly enough above
the leaders of China, Russia, the EU and Germany. The report says, viewers, and I quote, the U.S. receives the highest approval ratings of all
major global powers asked about with a median approval rating of 45 percent, while the 27 percent median disapproval is also on the higher side
for the Obama presidency.
Does that actually surprise you?
HELLYER: It doesn't. But we should also put that bit into context. The approval rating for President Obama earlier on in his tenure was much
higher. So certainly he does better than a lot of other world leaders on the international stage, but in comparison to where he was it's not a
pretty picture. And a lot of that is down to how he's perceived in the region and elsewhere as not really fulfilling those expectations.
If you remember, he got the Nobel Peace Prize very early in his tenure just purely on the back of expectations that he really would be quite a
[11:50:23] ANDERSON: So, clearly his (inaudible) normally comes from the Gulf.
And very briefly, so often I hear people in this region say to me we cannot hang around for the next 16 or 17 months for the Americans to work
out who is going to be president. We need action in what is this roiling region now and we need focus, which I think is speaking to your point.
HELLYER: I think that's true. And I think that you'll find that that concern expressed many, many times in different capitals within the region
that they feel that American foreign policy on the region isn't really in a dynamic mode at all. It's almost in a suspended animation mode.
Whether or not that's true, it's another issue. But the perception, particularly among the intelligentsia in many different capitals of this
region is certainly that.
ANDERSON: Always a pleasure having you. You are going to join us for what is a special show tomorrow. Sir, thank you very much indeed for that.
This is Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson. We're live out of Cairo for you tonight and tomorrow, closing out our week here.
Still ahead, what's extraordinary about this Egyptian capital? We asked and you told us and that is up next.
ANDERSON: Live from Cairo.
You're with us for what is a special edition of Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. And you can find special digital content from here on
the website, including a look at sexual more and morals in the Middle East. The author of this op-ed will be joining me here on Thursday.
So, you've got any questions for Shareen el-Fekhi (ph) leave it in the comments and we will put some of the best ones to her tomorrow.
Let's bring in our senior digital producer Nick Thompson. He doesn't normally do TV, but I've dragged him in this evening.
What has our global audience been interested in so far online?
[11:55:05] NICK THOMPSON, EDITOR, NEW YORKER.COM: Hey, Becky. You know, we've been having the discussion all week on the show about the big
issues facing Egypt, we're also having that conversation online asking people in a personal way what Cairo means to them. We got hundreds of
responses on Twitter, on Instagram, on Facebook, and we pulled those all together into a story called 13 Signs You Might be in Cairo, everything
from the terrible traffic to the coffee. And it wouldn't be Cairo without a couple of photos of the pyramids.
ANDERSON: All right. Good stuff. Do join us for what is our first CNN cafe live from Cairo tomorrow. Nick will be with me. We'll be taking
the show to the people. That's what it's all about. Crowdsourcing the narrative, as it were. That's at 5:00 p.m. Egypt time, 4:00 p.m. London
time, only on CNN.
And in tonight's Parting Shots, we speak to a photographer who tried to capture the dignity of optimism of ordinary Egyptians even as they
struggled to cope with the chaos of the last couple of years. Just before we close out tonight, have a look at this.
UNIDENTIIFED MALE: I worked together with the (inaudible). We decided to go to Cairo, because we knew that something was changing during
these years. We wanted to portray something that talked more about the dignity of the Egyptian people, a kind of dignity that you can find that's
only in the worst moments.
Cairo gives you a mixed sense of good energy with chaos. Inside this chaos, you find order.
People make their own revolution, so the people was important in our project. And the energy mixed with the rage and the dignity that they use
during these days would remain for probably generations.
They are very optimistic people, even if they are facing so many problems. You know that they are going to face it and they are going to
overcome. So, the energy that they have there, you cannot find it in any city, just in Cairo.
I am (inaudible), and this was my Cairo.
ANDERSON: I'm Becky Anderson. That was Connect the World.