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CONNECT THE WORLD
Interview with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Reports Claim Russia Building Forces In Syria; United Arab Emirates Mourns Soldier Deaths in Yemen; The Piano Man of Syria; Israel Debates Refugee Crisis; Refugees Praise Germany, Merkel; German Chancellor Says Others Most Do More. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired September 6, 2015 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:12] ANDERSON: Happy embrace along an arduous trip is over for some refugees as several thousand reach Munich. But for others, the difficult
journey drags on. We'll have live reports from Austria and from Germany for you up next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, TURKISH PRESIDENT (through translator): This is of course a result of being a mere spectator to all the developments in Syria
and all the developments in Iraq.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan tells me why the international community has to tackle the root causes of the migrant
crisis. My exclusive sit down interview coming up.
And a country in mourning. United Arab Emirates pays respect to the nation's fallen as it buries 45 soldiers killed in Yemen.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with Becky Anderson.
ANDERSON: At just after 7:00 in the evening we begin today with the wave of humanity that's been making its way into Austria and Germany after a
long and difficult journey from Syria.
Mainly from Syria, here you see migrants and refugees being cheered as they got off their train in Vienna, some hurt, but mostly just exhausted. More
than 11,000 people have poured into Austria from Hungary since Saturday. More are on their way.
Blocked from taking trains, many of them simply decided to leave the country on foot. Eventually buses arrived that took them to the border.
Now, this map shows their journey into Austria from Budapest. But having completed it, few are looking to stay now that that border has been opened.
Well, CNN following every angle of this crisis for you as we have been doing now for days. CNN's Fred Pleitgen is in Vienna for you. And further
west, Atika Shubert is where many migrants hope to reach, that being the city of Munich in Germany.
Fred, I want to start with you. You're at the Wesbanhoff (ph) is Vienna, which tends to be where trains to and from Hungary generally go. Just tell
me what you're seeing and what you're hearing.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's an unbelievable scene here at the Vienna western train station. You just have
thousands of potential refugees who have come here so far. And you're absolutely right, they come in trains from the Hungarian border. What's
gone on right now is that there are still people crossing the border in buses, some of them on foot. And then they go to a small town in Austria
called (inaudible) to then either take a train here or take a bus here. The Austrian government is doing a lot in the way of logistics and trying
to get people here to the Wesbanhoff (ph).
And from here on, there are actually special trains that that take these people to Munich and Germany that are free of charge for the refugees and
something that the Austrian railway agency has put into place.
But, you know, it's been unbelievably emotional scenes that we've seen here both in Vienna as well as at that crossing point in Nickelsdorft. Here's
some of what we've been seeing over the past 24 hours.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): It was Saturday in the early morning hours when the standoff between the refugees and the Hungarian government ended. Budapest
provided dozens of buses to take thousands of asylum seekers to Austria. Once they crossed the border, their fatigue and frustration turned to
elation. Some like this man who lost a leg in Syria's civil war finding strength for the final walk into Austrian territory. I left about a month
ago, he says. The journey across the sea was very hard, and so was the border with Macedonia. Everything was hard. Nothing was easy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know. I'm very happy. All people, very happy. Thank you, Austria. Thank you, Germany.
PLEITGEN: As more and more buses arrived, the lines of people kept moving west towards the Austrian border guards.
(on camera): Even though these people are obviously absolutely exhausted, many of them have been on the road for months, have endured horrible things
while they were trying to make their way over here, you can still see smiles on almost everybody's faces, simply because they are so happy to
finally have made it to Austria.
(voice-over): The small town of Nickelsdorf launched a massive aid drive on very short notice. Clothes, food, drinks, supplies kept arriving throughout
the day, making sure the busloads of refugees received a warm welcome. "I had to wake my colleagues up this morning and get them out of bed," the
police officer in charge says. I think in light of the circumstances, we have done quite well. Austria says it received thousands of asylum seekers
this day and the people in Nickelsdorf made sure they were taken care of. Austria's rail company launched a special train service that will bring
many of the refugees to other places in Austria or to Germany and a chance to begin a new life.
PLEITGEN: And it certainly is some very inspiring scenes there, especially when you see those children who are smiling there and the children, you
know, many of them for the first time in such a long time could just sort of sit down, play games, play with some toys. You could see that they were
all really happy. And then you had those scenes that we saw at the beginning of the refugees arriving here at the Vienna train station where
people were just cheering them on. And I have seen some people who were sort of breaking out into tears of joy as they got here. But of course for
many of them, for most of them, actually, the journey isn't over, Becky, as they hope that their next stop, then, will be Munich and then possibly
other places in Germany, Becky.
ANDERSON: Many of these people, men, women and children, have been on the road now for days. It's five past 5:00 in Austria. Where will they eat,
drink and sleep tonight?
PLEITGEN: Well, I mean most of them actually will probably go on to Munich tonight. It looks as though the train service there is running quite well.
Most of the ones that we've been speaking to say that they would like to go onto Germany, however, those that don't make it will probably stay here at
the train station. And you know, what you see right here is obviously the main sort of platforms, Becky, where also a lot of the other commuter
traffic happened, so it looks a little bit chaotic, but things are actually working quite well.
However, there is also another area here in the railway station where people can bed down for the night, where they can get supplies, they can
get things like food, water. They can get a play area for children. It is actually very well organized here at the Vienna train station to make these
people feel as good as they possibly can considering they don't really have any other place to stay.
I have to say the volunteers here are doing a great job. And one thing that is absolutely key here, which we have to point out, one of the good
things that they have here is they have a lot of people who speak Farsi, who speak Urdu, who speak Arabic. And that just helps the refugees who
come here a great deal to simply know why they're being taken to one area, to know what the process here is going to be, to know what the process
going to Munich. It really facilitates things a great deal. And also relieves some of the possible tension that of course can ensue when people
don't speak the same language, Becky.
ANDERSON: Fred is in Austria for you this evening. Fred Pleitgen, thank you.
I want to move on. Atika is standing by for you in Munich in Germany. And Atika, I was struck by an image that you posted on social media just a
little earlier today, a little girl in pink offering chocolate to two Syrian brothers that had just arrived on that train from Austria. Just
describe the scenes where you are if you will in the atmosphere?
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that scene actually happened right here. This is just outside of the Munich train station.
And it just is testament to how organized it is. We had a group just come through right now. And they come in sort of groups several hundred or so.
And they come through, get registered and then get on to buses and then are brought to temporary refugee shelters.
And what happened in that moment with that little girl is that she was standing here and just giving out chocolate to whatever kids came by. And
this time it was two Syrian brothers who came, one with a very small teddy bear in hand. And we've seen scenes like this throughout the station in
Munich. Spontaneous applause for people when they get off the trains, when they -- at the entrances here. And there is this feeling here of welcoming
We asked Munich police how many people have arrived. They said 8,000 yesterday. They expect about 5,000 today. And I asked if they felt that
they will becoming overwhelmed. And they said, you know, this has become routine now, that they have developed a system by which to get people
registered quickly and into a safe, warm location for the night as quickly as possible and hopefully registered for the long-term as well, Becky.
ANDERSON: Atika, there's been lots of questions asked about why this sort of wave of humanity, as it were, has been making its way across Europe at
this point. There are various arguments, it seems -- you know, the crossing -- these treacherous crossings are easier between say, Turkey and
Greece at this time of the year. There's been a lot of social media sort of advising Syrians how they might do this journey.
And also as we know many people have been pointing out that they feel that Germany has this open doors policy post what Angela Merkel the Chancellor
said about 10 days ago, you know, effectively, you know, the doors are open, please come on in.
Some German politicians rowing back on that in the last couple of days.
What is German policy at this point? Are they going to try to differentiate between true asylum seekers and economic migrants, those who
just sort have been part and parcel to this sort of movement across Europe and may not have perhaps as much justification. Is there a clear policy at
this point about what happens next?
[11:10:23] SHUBERT: Well, Germany is very clear that it will differentiate between refugees fleeing war, fleeing persecution and those who are coming
here simply for a better life, what it sees as economic migrants. And Germany has always been very clear about that.
Having said that, they have said anybody with a Syrian or an Iraqi ID will have their refugee application sped up here. And that's really what
triggered this idea that Germany is opening its doors.
Now, in terms of how this goes forward, Germany has made very clear that even this routine that we see here, this organization is temporary. It is
not something that should be regularized. For that, Germany says, Europe needs a joint asylum policy, Becky.
ANDERSON: All right. And that is yet to be delineated, as we know.
All right, Atika, thank you for the time being.
That the situation in Munich, then, and indeed as you saw in Austria at this hour.
Humanity is drowning in the Mediterranean, well that is how Turkey's president describes this crisis. He's been condemning European countries
for how they are handling the situation.
Turkey itself hosts close to two million refugees from Syria alone, many of them are trying to escape what is a deadly violence.
Well, in my exclusive interview with the president of Tureky Recep Tayyip Erdogan, I began by asking him about who he thinks is to blame for the
deaths in the Mediterranean. This is what he told me.
ERDOGAN (through translator): To be honest, the whole western world is to be blamed, in my opinion.
ANDERSON: You have accused Europe of turning the Mediterranean into a cemetery. Did you mean that?
ERDOGAN (through translator): Well, yes, I meant that. I said that wholeheartedly, because that's the reality on the ground. But, because the
countries bordering around the Mediterranean, they do not want these people, no matter what the cost. But that's not our outlook on the matter.
That's not how we see it. If they are at our borders, if they want to come in, we do welcome them in as guests. And then if there are those who need
to be sent back to their countries, that's what we do.
But otherwise, if we have the means to house and welcome them in our country that's what we do. And that's the reason why the number of people
from Syria and Iraq in Turkey is in excess of 2 million as we speak.
For instance, Greece, Italy, Spain and other countries including France, Hungary, well, they could easily do the same thing. Unfortunately, it
hasn't been done so far. The same goes for Germany.
I mean, consider, the fact that a minister from Germany was saying that Turkey should accept these people in and then a (inaudible) people will
kick some of those and we'll accept those people, and other European countries were saying the same thing.
What kind of an approach is that? It is not possible to understand that. I mean, just like I'm in an office of responsibility, these people are also
in offices of responsibility. So what they need to do is conduct a joint operation and, you know, give these people an opportunity to save
And this picture you were showing, we do not want to see similar cases.
ANDERSON: Well, to avoid situations like that, more will have to be done, not just in the places that refugees are looking to get to, as we've been
reporting on, but in the places that they are fleeing from.
Just ahead, how many refugees have been bombed from their homes? We'll have more of my exclusive interview with Turkey's president where he shares
his thoughts on the root causes of the migrant crisis in his own region.
Plus, they've opened their checkbooks, but not their borders. My special report on why places like right here, Abu Dhabi, the UAE, haven't taken in
a single refugee despite their vast wealth.
Then his life cut unbearably short: how the death of this 2 year old refugee evokes sympathy and anger and is now forcing some European leaders
to act. Back after this.
[11:16:54] ANDERSON: This is CNN and Connect the World with me Becky Anderson at 16 minutes past 7:00 here in the UAE.
Now, a lot of our reporting on the refugee situation so far has rightly focused on the human story of people struggling to get into places like
Austria and Germany.
And don't forget, this is about people, isn't it.
But when I met with the Turkish president, Mr. Erdogan last week at the presidential palace in Ankara, he was adamant to point out that the time
has come to focus on the root causes of the conflicts that people are fleeing from, only then can real solutions be found, he says. And that's a
reality he feels many in the west have failed to acknowledge.
ERDOGAN (through translator): This is, of course, a result of being a mere spectator to all the developments in Syria and all the developments in
Iraq. An intervention in Syria was not wanted since the beginning. Syria is led by a tyrant. And this tyrant has always been protected. What we
have to do to move him out of there was never thought about.
I always talked about this with our friends. There are things Russia should do. There are things Iran should do. They are all countries that
are supporting them.
And I say this openly here, because I tell them as well.
I must say it, because I am in pain. They are giving them arms support, financial support, and they are allowing this administration to continue.
And they are trying to get rid of the opposition there.
Isn't Daesh in cooperation with the regime right now? Daesh's biggest supporter right now is the regime. And those who make the effort to keep
this regime standing are the ones who carry this responsibility.
Why do they feel themselves in debt to Assad? We are facing a Syria that is destroyed, burned, and its own people wiped out. They are still trying
to support such a Syrian president who supports a separatist terror organization.
I've talked to them about this. I told them, this cannot go on. I told them, come withdraw your support, remove your hand and he'll fall in 24
ANDERSON: How has recent Iranian diplomacy helped, if at all, shape a solution for Syria?
ERDOGAN (through translator): Unfortunately, Iran is standing by Assad on this issue. I have discussed with Mr. Putin as well this issue at length
at the games in Bakku (ph). I saw Mr. Putin differently. And we assigned our foreign ministers to work together, but then statements from Russia
that followed truly shocked me. I am having trouble understanding this.
ANDERSON: Mr. President, in the past you have insisted that joining the coalition fight against ISIS, or Daesh, wasn't in Turkey's interest. So, I
am wondering what has changed? And since signing up to the coalition, just how many strikes have Turkish forces launched against Daesh position as
opposed to Kurdish positions in Iraq and Syria?
[11:20:20] ERDOGAN (through translator): You know that from the very beginning we have been against this. And we are still against it. Our
fight is not only against Daesh, we are fighting against the PYD, the PKK and the DHKPC, all of these terror organizations. And unfortunately our
western friends have always left us alone in this fight. The European Union, which declared that the PKK is a terror organization, has always
looked the other way as members of the PKK live in the countries that they are tied to.
Unfortunately, they've even given opportunities to their leaders to make shows of force. And they are continuing to do so.
Next to that, the fight against Daesh is ongoing, which is a coalition with countries such as America, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan and even France and
England. At the same time, our fight against the PKK, which is our own internal threat of terror, is continuing and will continue, because we must
fight this until its end.
ANDERSON: I want to talk about threat of the PKK and domestic terrorism to national security, but just before I do that, your opponents argue that
safe zone in Syria, which is what you have been pushing for, is an attempt to simply stop Kurds from forming their own territory. Your response, if
ERDOGAN (through translator): A complete lie. There is no truth to it. The operation there is the PYD's policy to open up the Mediterranean by
occupying Syria's north. We see this. And they are doing this, of course.
Look at when Kobani happen, 220,000 people left for Turkey. Who hosted these 220,000? we hosted them. And now 80,000 of the 220 from Kobani have
returned. But the rest are still in Turkey.
This means that we are hosting them, showing them hospitality despite the difficulties. And we will continue to do so.
ANDERSON: I want to talk about what you believe is the greater threat to national security today. Is it the PKK terror organization or ISIS?
ERDOGAN: We of course define all terror organizations as threats, but the PKK is the primary threat. The PKK is the number one threat in terms of
terror in our country.
Daesh for us is a threat that is outside the country. If we have to list a priority, it would be like that. We have lost 50,000 people in our fight
against the PKK until today. We've lived with this threat in our country, therefore, the PKK is the number one threat and Daesh is the second. We
will continue to fight against both with determination.
ANDERSON: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan there. As you heard, Syria clearly a major area of concern for the president and one he'll be
discussing with the leaders of Russia and Iran going forward.
Head over to CNN.com where you can find all the latest on the developments on the ground in Syria, including reports of a possible Russian military
buildup in the country and how Washington is hoping to prevent that.
Well, live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World. Coming up, the migrant crisis causes a funding crunch at the World Food Program. We're
going to tell you who is now going hungry.
Also, a deadly day for small nation with big ambitions. We'll look at what the loss of dozens of its soldiers means for the United Arab Emirates.
Stay with us.
[11:25:47] ANDERSON: A flag at half staff, a nation in mourning, a leadership vowing to continue playing their part in a war that is entering
its sixth month with no end in sight.
Live from Abu Dhabi, as the United Arab Emirates marks its third day of mourning for its soldiers killed in Yemen. You're watching Connect the
World with me Becky Anderson.
Well, as the Saudi-led war in Yemen drags on, the coalition has suffered its biggest loss since March. Alongside 10 Saudi soldiers and five
Bahrainis, 45 Emirati soldiers were killed in an attack by Houthi rebels on Friday. It is a huge blow to what is a small nation in what is one of its
most ambitious foreign ventures to date.
ANDERSON: A coming of age for a young country in a region riven with ancient rivalries. 45 Emirati soldiers died in Yemen, almost one man for
every year the United Arab Emirates has existed.
It's the first time since its foundation in 1971 that the UAE has lost so many in battle. And the deaths has hit the small Gulf nation hard. As the
people mourn, their leaders say they are still committed to the fight.
SHEIKH MOHAMMED BIN ZAYED, ABU DHABI CROWN PRINCE (through translator): This painful incident has greatly increased the resolve of our armed forces
to liberate Yemen and flush out the scum.
ANDERSON: The Emirati soldiers were part of a Saudi-led coalition against Yemeni anti-government rebels. A war in which the Emirates has played a
key role in the ground fight.
The five month old conflict is just one front in the Iran-Saudi Arabia power struggle simmering across the Middle East, a standoff pitting the
Sunni Gulf states against Shia Iran playing out in Yemen as well as in Syria, in Lebanon and in Iraq.
For a state so concerned with security and stability, the sight of coffins and casualties arriving in airports is a new one, a sign, perhaps, of a new
disturbing reality nobody here wants to have to adapt to.
ANDERSON: The latest world news headlines are just ahead, as you would expect here on CNN.
Plus, much more on Europe's migrant crisis and how it's forcing nations across the continent to work through their disagreements to provide a
solution. That's coming up. Stay with us.
[11:30:52] ANDERSON: You're watching Connect the World. These are your top stories this hour at half past 7:00 in the UAE.
And the United Arab Emirates says it is more committed than ever to the war in Yemen. The small Gulf state is observing three days of mourning for 45
soldiers killed there. A Saudi-led coalition has been fighting anti- government rebels since March. The UN says more than 4,000 people have been killed, many of them civilians, since air strikes began.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Saturday over concerns of a Russian military buildup in Syria.
According to the U.S. State Department, Kerry told Lavrov that if true, a buildup could escalate the conflict there.
People in Guatemala are voting to elect a new leader just days after the former president Otto Perez Molina was jailed over corruption scandals.
It's expected no candidate will earn more than 50 percent of the votes, which will send the election to a runoff.
New video from Austria showing migrants and refugees receiving a warm welcome at a train station in Vienna. Austria says more than 11,000 people
across the border from Hungary since Saturday. Most say they want to continue to Germany to apply for asylum, but Germany's foreign minister
says the emergency situation that allows this weekend's influx should be seen as the exception and not the rule.
Well, thousands of migrants move further into Europe, the EU is trying to find a clear and fair way to accommodate all of them. Ministers have
agreed to a general outline for tackling the crisis, but as CNN's Nic Robertson now reports, European leaders still have their work cut out for
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So many peoiple on the move, so much suffering.
FEDERICA MOGHERINI, EU FOREGN POLICY CHIEF: It is a regional crisis, it is not only a European crisis, it's a regional crisis. It is also a global
ROBERTSON: After months of watching this crisis unfold, Europe's leaders are showing more compassion. Following a two-day meeting, they've agreed a
five points plan.
Ensure protection of asylum seekers.
Manage borders within European Human Rights.
Fight smugglers and traffickers.
Strengthen ties to countries of origin.
Solve long-term causes -- Syria and Libya.
Getting to this agreement not without tension.
MOGHERINI: The time for blame games is over. It's time for taking decision, turning decisions into actions, and doing it united as Europeans.
ROBERTSON: Meanwhile, at the global G20 summit, Finland's prime minister offering his house to refugees.
But the detailed European picture who takes who far from decided.
JEAN ASSELBORN, LUXEMBOURG FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): I myself will refrain from using the word quota. But, obviously, there needs to be
some burden sharing here.
ROBERTSON: Quotas still a divisive issue. Britain's prime minister for one pushed back on that Friday.
DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISER: We're not part of your decision making about this quota. We happen to think that this is not the right
ROBERTSON: Also divisive, defining the problem: refugee or economic migrant?
MOGHERINI: We also have to start using the right words. It is partially a migrant flow, but it is mainly a refugee flow.
ROBERTSON: For leaders like Cameron, any flow of people has a political backlash.
CAMERON: For those economic migrants seeking a better life, we'll continue to work to break the link between getting on a boat and getting settlement
ROBERTSON: Europe's plans are still far from united. But after a summer of tragedy, slowly a season of sympathy and support seems to be
Nic Robertson, CNN, London.
ANDERSON: Well -- let me start that again. Let's see how this crisis is being felt by Syria's closest neighbors.
Soaring demand has caused a cash crunch at the World Food Program. And 200,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan are paying the price. They'll now just
get 50 cents a day for food. Israel shares a tense border with Syria and has given medical treatment to thousands.
But just today, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said Israel is in no position to take in refugees.
I'm going to talk about both of these stories. Oren Liebermann is in Jerusalem with more on Netanyahu's comments.
First, though, to Ian Lee who is in Cairo, who has been following the story out of Jordan on those Syrian refugees who are quite frankly facing hunger.
And the refugee crisis, Ian, nothing new to a country like Jordan. We've reported extensively on the impact of the hundreds of thousands on a tiny
country like the Hashemite Kingdom. Now some of the world's most vulnerable expected to survive on the equivalent of 50 cents a day, if they
are lucky enough to get anything at all in food aid.
Now this is a huge shortfall in financing, I know, for the WFP program. And how are people coping?
IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, people tonight, you have 230,000 Syrian refugees that are looking for their next meal. Up until
recently the World Food Program has delivered food for them. And even though it is that small amount, they're living off 50 cents, less than 50
cents a day, they did have something and that was one of the main goals for the World Food Program.
So, those people are going hungry tonight. And a lot of them are looking at their next step. Where can they go to get food.
Some of them actually, believe it or not, have returned to Syria. And other ones are contemplating the best way to get to Europe. And as we've
seen that massive influx of migrants on Europe's shore. A lot more are expected to come if they cannot fix this. And this is really, when you
look at it, this is where a lot of them are able to at least survive in a third country that's next to Syria, potentially going back once the war is
over, but now these people are looking for alternatives, Becky.
ANDERSON: 685,000 Syrians in Jordan -- excuse me. And a real shortfall in financing for the WFP program.
All right, clearly much more needed there.
Oren, you are in Jerusalem. We pointed out that Israel shares a tense border with Syria. What's the prime minister been saying?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, there is suddenly a very active debate going on here about whether Israel should play any
role in taking in and caring for these refugees.
It was in fact the prime minister's chief rival Isaac Herzog who was the first to come out in a big way and say, yes, Israel should do something
here, needs to do something to help all of these refugees. But it was prime minister Netanyahu who pretty much immediately responded and said
Israel can't do anything. Here is what Netanyahu had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Israel is a small country, a very small country, that lacks demographic and
geographic depth. Therefore, we must control our borders both against illegal migrants and terrorism. This is what we've done with our border
with Sinai. We've blocked illegal migration from there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LIEBERMANN: And this debate really got going over the course of the past 24 hours. But now a number of politicians from all the different political
parties, and here in Israel, are weighing in on this. But it's a debate that doesn't fall along party lines here. So when Isaac Herzog came out
and said, yes, Israel has to do something there were even a number of -- or at least one Likud member, which is Netanyahu's party, who said, yes,
Israel should play a role in this.
But again, Becky, that is an ongoing debate.
It would be difficult politically at this point for Israel to do something just because of how the Israeli parliament breaks down, though.
ANDERSON: Fascinating. We've spent, what, the last 10, 12, 14 days talking about many of those men, women and children who are making their
way out of Syria, maybe Turkey at this point, possibly from some of the camps around this region trying to get in to Europe. We've also reportedly
extensively over the past year, sadly, on African migrants ofttimes trying to get into Europe for a better life from Libya and the horrors of what
happens to so many thousands of them as they take these boats from Libya.
I know, into Israel another route that African migrants use. And I know that you've been reporting on that. What have you found?
LIEBERMANN: Well, Israel sealed its border with Sinai two years ago, but there is still a fairly large population here of Eritrean and Sudanese
migrants. And that's part of this ongoing debate about whether Israel should do anything for Syrian refugees, because it has these African
migrants here, and as we learned Israel hasn't quite out what to do with them. So they live in this sort of state of political limbo. Here is
[11:40:09] LIEBERMANN: Beyond the walls of graffiti and the mounds of garbage is a place the African migrants and Israel know well. One of the
ministry of interior offices in charge of their visas. The migrants come in the morning, hundreds of them every day, set up their chairs and wait to
find out their future.
The ministry of interior office where these migrants come to renew their visas every two months is next to this decrepit empty warehouse here in
this ally that's filled all over with trash.
Here, these migrants come. They arrive at 5:00 or 5:30 in the morning, and they wait all day hoping they'll get a two-month extension to stay.
Shui D'afar (ph) left Eritrea and came to Israel four years ago to find a better life. Like many others waiting in line, he worries he will not get
his extension and be sent to the migrant detention center.
"We're refugees, not infiltrators," he says. "We work and live like human beings. So they put us in prison."
D'afar (ph) uses the word mistanim (ph), infiltrators, it's the Israeli government's word for migrants. The ministry of interior in charge of
migrants refused to comment for this story.
But the government says the migrants, most of whom come from Eritrea or Sudan, are looking for work, not refugees seeking asylum. If the country
lets in too many, they argue, it would threaten Israel as a Jewish state.
"Why do they make our lives so difficult over here?" He says. "We have nowhere to go back to. Listen, there are those here that make problems
like in every place, but not everyone does this. Everyone who does this gets what he deserved, but it's not all of us."
One Eritrean migrant show us his papers asking if we can help him find answers for him. His visa is expired. And he's now an illegal immigrant
wondering what to do next.
LIEBERMANN: Israel has offered these African migrants $3,500 and a plane ticket to Africa if they agree to leave. So, Becky, you see that as we see
this new debate about what to do with refugees from the Middle East, there is this ongoing debate, this ongoing discussion about what to do with the
African migrants who are already here.
ANDERSON: I want to get back -- thank you, Oren.
Let's get back to you, Ian. We've been discussing the plight of the Syrian refugee, 2 million people being accommodated from Syria in Turkey, a
million in Lebanon, 680,000 Syrians alone in Jordan and many, many Iraqis for example, Palestinians. On the issue of the World Food Program, which
is clearly incredibly important and significant for so many of those who are vulnerable, we've discussed the fact that there is this shortfall in
funding. How much more assistance does, for example, a WFP need in order to simply feed those who are some of the most vulnerable in the world at
LIEBERMANN: Well, Becky, just a key -- that bare minimum for everyone to get some food, they're telling me that they need roughly $230 million for
food vouchers and assistance, that will carry them through November.
But that still puts them at $14 per person per month.
I asked them what would be ideal? What would be enough to make sure that these people are getting a nutritious meal, they're well fed. They said
that number should be doubled at $28 per person per month. And they've told me they've been scaling back for quite some time since December,
reducing the amount they've been able to give not just in Jordan, but also in Lebanon and in other places saying that they desperately need this
influx of cash to really keep this going.
And when you look at the World Food Program, it is the primary source of food for a lot of these people.
So, when they aren't able to deliver food, you have, as we're seeing tonight, 230,000 people going hungry.
ANDERSON: Ian is in Cairo for you, Oren in Jerusalem. Both of you, thank you.
Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson.
Coming up, the musician who won't be silenced by ISIS. Syria's piano man continues to make music, even after terrorists burn his instrument.
[11:46:33] ANDERSON: You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Welcome back.
Now to a development that could complicate the situation in Syria even more. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has spoken with his Russian
counterpart Sergei Lavrov about reports that Russia is increasing its military presence in Syria. The Los Angeles Times reports U.S.
intelligence has captured satellite images of what looks like a military base under construction. Kerry says a military buildup could further
escalate the civil war there and make the refugee crisis worse.
Well, CNN international correspondent Matthew Chance joining me now from Moscow with more.
It is no secret that Russia is, and has been in the past, supporting the Assad regime. How are they responding to this report, if at all?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, you're right. I mean, the Russian government has been a strong diplomatic and political
supporter of the Syrian government. They've got a naval base, of course, at Tartus on the Mediterranean, which they see, the Russians, as a key
military asset in the Mediterranean. It's their only base in the Mediterranean.
They've also are opposed to the Islamic State. And sot they've got a lot of interest in supporting the Syrian government. And so it's not beyond
the realms of possibility and of imagination, that they could chose to bolster the Syrian government in this way by deploying an aerial
contingent, perhaps, that's what's been reported, for instance, in the Israel press. It's been corroborated as well, apparently, by U.S.
officials speaking to U.S. newspapers. You mentioned the Los Angeles Times, but also the New York Times as well saying that the U.S. officials
have observed a good deal of military activity taking place apparently from Russians around an air base in a location in Syria, Latakia, in fact.
For their part, though, the Kremlin has denied that this is what it's doing. They said that -- a Kremlin spokesman said, look, you shouldn't
believe these reports. Vladimir Putin, the Russian president a few days ago said that it was premature to be talking about Russia joining any
military activities against the Islamic State.
But at the same time, obviously again it's not beyond the realms of imagination that this could happen.
ANDERSON: I'm fascinated to hear how you think the Russians will respond to these comments, or what is it you think Secretary John Kerry actually
said to Sergei Lavrov and what the consequences of that discussion might be? Is Russia listening to Washington these days?
CHANCE: I think the Kremlin will be very reluctant to do what it's told by Washington, that's certainly not something we can expect from Moscow. In
terms of what Sergei Lavrov was told by the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, I mean, the American -- the Russians haven't said anything, but the
Americans have come out and spelled out hte conversation that John Kerry had with Sergei Lavrov saying that if these reports are true this is
quoting John Kerry, it could escalate the conflict, could lead to a greater loss of innocent life, increase the refugee flow, and crucially risk
confrontation with the anti-ISIS forces already on the ground.
And that's the real problem, because if the Russian forces are there, if they back the Syrian government, and they choose to attack other rebel
groups, not just ISIS, but other rebel groups, for instance, ones back by western powers, that could very much complicate the situation. And it
could really turn the tide in the conflict in Syria.
[11:50:22] ANDERSON: I spoke to the Turkish president late last week and we've been running part of that interview today on the show, Matthew, he
has always insisted that the root cause of the Syrian crisis is Bashar al- Assad, the Syrian president and that you've got to get rid of him before you sort the situation out, nevermind what is going on with these other
armed militant or terror groups.
There seems to be very little momentum, as we now know, at this point, at least, to see the removal of Bashar al-Assad as part of any potential
political solution. Do you sense any momentum from Russia at this point? Or is is Bashar al-Assad or no solution as far as Russia is concerned?
CHANCE: Well, one of the big questions has been to what extent will Russia continue to support Bashar al-Assad? I mean, he's in some ways he's become
something of a liability for them.
But I mean, if these reports are true that they are choosing to bolster their military presence in support of the Syrian government, it would
appear to answer that question.
And I think the big concern for the Kremlin is a loss of influence in Syria. That's why they're so close to Bashar al-Assad, that's why they're
so reluctant to see the Syrian government headed by him, be overturned and replaced by something else.
As I mentioned earlier, its their last foothold, really, in the Middle East. They feel if the Syrian government fell then so would Russian
influence in the entire region. And that's why I think that it's so likely they're going to continue to back him.
ANDERSON: Matthew Chance is in Moscow for you this hour.
When they make it to Germany, thousands of migrants, refugees, men, women and children, are hailing the country's chancellor as a hero. Angela
Merkel says that Germany is happy to welcome them, but is also telling Europe her country can't do it alone. Here's Natalie Allen.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ask any refugee where they're going and it's...
CROWD: Germany, Germany, Germany.
ALLEN: When they were stuck at the Budapest train station, they appealed directly to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
They hold up pictures of her. Some call her momma.
Merkel is determined that Germany can and will help those who are legitimate refugees.
Thousands of volunteers are stepping up and following her lead. They bring supplies, toys and welcoming smiles to refugees. Germans even have a word
for this phenomenon: Willkommenskutur, a culture of welcome.
Merkel has been able to drown critics by insisting that people in need must get help. And she can afford to be so bold: Germany's economy is robust.
Her government will pump millions into cities around Germany to help with the flood of refugees.
MERKEL (through translator): This is literally a nationwide task. And we can't leave communities fending for themselves.
ALLEN: And she promises to do it all without raising taxes. But Merkel knows the tides can shift if other European countries don't accept more
MERKEL (through translator): It's impossible that four or five countries carry all the burden.
ALLEN: Merkel is banking on European values, she says. And they include protection for those in need.
ANDERSON: Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connec the World. I'm Becky Anderson. Coming up, it is, what, 53 minutes past 7:00 here. Just before
we close out this hour. Syria's piano man defies threats form ISIS to sing the songs of war. That is up next.
[11:55:48] ANDERSON: Your Parting Shots this evening. A story of resilience in the midst of war. Above all other terminology, migrant
refugee asylum seeker illegal immigrant on stands out, a human. A story of one man who refuses to stop playing music, even when ISIS tries to silence
ANDERSON: I'm Becky Anderson. That was Connect the World. From the team here, it's a very good evening. Thank you for watching. CNN continues
after this. Stay with us.