Return to Transcripts main page
CONNECT THE WORLD
Turkey Mourns Protesters Killed in Bomb Attack; Northwest German Town Population Quadruples After Influx of Refugees; Russian Intervention In Syria Complicating Peace Outlook; All Blacks Haka Explained; Mystery Surrounds Jason Rezaian Verdict in Iran. Aired 11:00a-12:00a ET
Aired October 12, 2015 - 11:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:12] BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: The deadliest attack in Turkey's recent history, a nation in mourning, and nowt he investigation into the Ankara
bombings focuses in on ISIS. We are live in Turkey's capital for you up next.
Also ahead, air power: with more than 100 airstrikes so far, Russian President Vladimir Putin laid out his goals in Syria. We've got a report
from Moscow, plus analysis on what Russian involvement in the Middle East means for its relations with Gulf nations.
And she was supposed to be sold as a young bride, instead this Afghan woman is studying music and hoping to change the world through rap. Her story
later in the broadcast.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with Becky Anderson.
ANDERSON: A very good evening. Just after 7:00 here in the UAE. ISIS now the focus of Turkey's investigation into what's described as the deadliest
terror attack ever to hit the country.
There is grief and anger as the nation mourns at least 97 people killed by bombings at a peace rally in Ankara, the capital in Saturday, nearly 250
others were wounded.
As you can see on this map, the capital city is deep inside the country's interior away from the volatile borders it shares with Syria and Iraq where
it faces ISIS and Kurdish fighters.
And Saturday's attack is now the third to target rallies involving Kurdish groups inside Turkey this year alone. No one has claimed responsibility.
I'm going to get you to Turkey now, straight to Ankara where CNN's Arwa Damon is following the latest developments for us and joining us from
What evidence, Arwa, does the Turkish government has at this point to suggest that ISIS are behind Saturday's attack?
ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's not disclosing the information that it has just yet, just saying that over the last 48 hours
they have managed to gather significant intelligence not directly saying that ISIS was responsible at this stage, but saying that the terrorist
organization is their main focal point, alluding, however, to the fact that other groups may have also been responsible.
There have additionally been a series of arrests that took place since Saturday's bombing of people that the government says are either affiliated
to or members of ISIS. But again, not saying if those arrests were directly linked to Saturday's bombing that took place at the train station
and square right behind us where around 14,000 people were gathered when twice suicide bombs detonated their explosives. The casualties the
deadliest in Turkey's modern history.
This still very much a nation in mourning, people trying to come to terms with what happened, trying to understand their emotions and of course a lot
of overwhelming sentiments and emotions at the various funerals taking place throughout the entire country.
But coupled with all of that, Becky, and series of demonstrations where quite a bit of anger has been expressed. And much of that anger being
directed at the government.
At one of the university campuses we were at earlier, people chanting that this was a murderous government, but also at the same time chanting for
peace, a lot of these signs that you see being laid down at the site of the attack also talking about the need for peace at this stage.
The government coming out and saying -- the Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu saying that this was an attack against the state, but this rhetoric is
already becoming politicized and very heavily so with barbs being traded along with members of President Erdogan's government, and especially those
of the opposition, notably the opposition leader of the pro-Kurdish HDP. He was coming out and saying that the government is responsible for this
and he along with others demanding accountability.
Of course, Becky, all of this unfolding at a very tenuous time for Turkey security-wise and politically speaking as well.
ANDERSON: Arwa Damon is in Ankara for you this evening. Thank you, Arwa.
Israeli police are now reporting the third stabbing attack of the day in Jerusalem. These are the first pictures that we are getting from the scene
in Piskadzine (ph) in East Jerusalem -- it's a settlement.
Violence between Israelis and Palestinians continues to escalate after a weekend of deadly clashes. Four Israelis have been killed in attacks since
the beginning of this month while 24 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces, including teenagers.
Let's bring in our senior international correspondent Ben Wedeman who has got the very latest for you live in Jerusalem this evening.
Ben, how have we got here? Why are things seemingly spiraled so out of control?
[11:05:23] BEN WEDEMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's hard to say specifically what -- and it depends who you speak to to understand that,
but certainly what has sparked this latest outbreak of violence between Palestinians and Israelis is tension over the status quo on the Temple
Mount or the Haram al-Sharif as is known to Muslims. In this instance, there is a feeling among many Palestinians that the understanding that
existed after 1967 when Israel conquered eastern Jerusalem was that Jews would not worship on the Temple Mount.
But increasingly over the recent years there have been groups of Jews allowed on to the Temple Mount accompanied by heavy Israeli security and
Palestinians have heard a variety of Israeli politicians talking about possibly rebuilding the third temple on the Temple Mount. So that has
become a focus.
Every year about the time of the Jewish high holidays, tensions mount. And they're mounting again this year.
But, you know, you have to look beyond this particular tree in the forest of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. And keep in mind that Israel has
maintained essentially a military government on the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 1967. And increasingly in the absence of any sort of sign,
even, a sign of a peace process, let alone a peace process itself, increasingly people have come to believe Palestinians that there is no end
to this occupation.
They're frustrated and angry at their own leadership for not being able to come to some sort of eventual settlement and the situation is essentially
getting out of control. There's no -- nothing on the political horizon, so it would appear people, perhaps egged on by Rhetoric on the Palestinian
side are starting to take matters into their own hands with these individual lone wolf stabbing incidents, which are increasing at an
alarming rate and three today so far. There was one incident yesterday. Every day seems to have something.
So, however, you look at it, the situation is definitely getting much more tense -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Ben Wedeman who has reported for CNN from Jerusalem for many, many years. Ben, thank you.
Russia coming under mounting criticism over its involvement in Syria's war. On Monday, the EU foreign ministers called on the country to stop
airstrikes on non-ISIS targets, saying it could prolong the war. Similar claims came out of Saudi Arabia with a source telling Reuters that Saudi
Leaders urged Russia to join the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS instead.
Well, nonetheless, Russia continuing with its operations claiming its forces hit 53 ISIS targets in the past 24 hours alone.
And as for U.S. concerns about who those strikes are hitting, President Vladimir Putin had a clear response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): In case they really know better and want to fight terrorism, let them name us the
specific places where terrorists are hiding, where their headquarters and warehouses and weapons and equipment are. Give us the targets. What can be
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, CNN's Matthew Chance now reports from Moscow on the very latest developments.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're into the second week of Russia's air campaign inside Syria now. The Russian
government is finally spelling out what its real strategy is.
Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, giving an interview to state television over the weekend talking about the aim of the Russian forces in
Syria is to stabilize what he called the legitimate authority in Syria. He's talking about the government of Bashar al-Assad, Russia's longstanding
ally in that country.
He wants to create the conditions for political compromise, that was the other message that came out of this interview. And so clearly, what's
going on is the Russians are trying as much as possible to neutralize the rebel groups who pose the biggest threat to Bashar al-Assad -- and they're
mainly non-ISIS groups at this stage -- in order to strengthen the Syrian government's hand so that if there is a peace negotiation in the future, or
when there is a peace negotiation in the future, the government's hand will be better played. It means that they can protect Russia's considerable
interests in Syria more effectively. And it does have quite, you know, wide interests there. It has military installations, it has a naval base
at Tartus, it has economic ties worth billions of dollars as well. And it doesn't want to see those lost. And so that's one of the reasons why it's
giving the Syrian government so much backing.
There have been other meetings on the sidelines of this main event, this Syrian war as well. Over the weekend, Vladimir Putin met with the Saudi
defense minister. They're both on opposite sides of the conflict in Syria. Of course, the Saudis are supporting some of the rebel groups, and the
Russians are supporting Bashar al-Assad. And they are rivals in other spheres as well like over the issue of the oil price.
And so those two people obviously had a great deal to discuss.
They said they had a constructive round of discussions with nothing specific coming out on what can be done. But, you know, it's interesting
that Russia is meeting with all of the sides, or trying to meet with as many of the sides as possible in this Syrian conflict as it can, clearly
trying to achieve its aim of sparking a political process in which the Syrian government has a strong hand to bring an end to the fighting in that
Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow.
ANDERSON: Still to come tonight, I'm going to take a closer look at Russia's involvement in Syria. Trying to understand the impact its having
on Russian relations with others, particularly key Gulf states. First, though, I want to turn to just over the border form Syria to Turkey as this
nations reels after deadly bombings, politicians are arguing over who is to blame.
I'm going to speak to an opposition MP there up next.
ANDERSON: Welcome back. You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. 14 minutes past 7:00 in the UAE.
I want to go back to our top story this hour, the deadly bombing attack Saturday that struck Turkey's capital killing at least 97 people, wounding
hundreds more, that is the worst attack on the country in recent history. As people continue to lay flowers undersandably to honor the victims,
politicians have begun arguing over who they think carried out the attack.
Now Turkey's prime minister pointing the finger at ISIS, but not everybody agrees they are the most likely culprit. And it is deepening what is
already wide political divisions in the country just weeks ahead of national elections.
Well, for more on the fragile political and security situation in Turkey, let's bring in Hiyar Ozzoy who is a Kurdish member of parliament with the
people's Democratic Party, a left wing political party in Turkey, no supporters of the party that Mr. Erdogan and his prime minister belong to,
and he has his own thoughts on who has carried out this attack. He joins us now on Skype from Bingal (ph) in the country's east.
Sir, the government blaming ISIS, certainly, do you support their view, unsubstantiated at this point? And if not, why now?
[11:16:19] HIYAR OZZOY, KURDISH MP: No. Becky, could you please repeated it? I couldn't get it.
ANDERSON: I'm sorry, I think you couldn't hear me there. Let me try one more time. The government blaming ISIS for the terrible attack on
protesters on Saturday. Do you support that view unsubstantiated as it is at this stage or not? And if not, why not?
OZZOY: Most probably. We are also suspecting that. But I think the situation is a bit more complex. The people here, both the families of the
victims as well as our political party. We are commanding a larger perspective on the issue, because Turkey -- unfortunately, the Turkish
government has been supporting all kinds of jihadist groups in Syria. And we find this situation kind of boomerang effect on Turkey. In the past, we
ANDERSON: You say they're supporting lots of Jihadist groups in Syria. This, of course, an attack right on the center of the country and the
capital. So just -- I'd like you just to explain a little more by what you are alleging.
OZZOY: So, you hear me?
ANDERSON: I do, yes, carry on.
OZZOY: So, here is the situation. So, in the past we talk to the government representatives several times and they were supporting the
jihadist groups to undermine Assad's regime. And at the same time, they were giving all kinds of support to those groups, those Sunni extremist
groups who were fighting the Kurds in Syria.
And the end result of this was that now Ankara actually is hated by Fatah, by Damascus, by (inaudible) somehow (inaudible) Erdogan Syrian policy
(inaudible) Kurdish policy in Syria, unfortunately has turned Turkey into a Syria. Now the war is coming to our country. And he's very ambitious
political agenda on Syria has backfired and now the war is not in Syria, it is right at the heart of Turkey, the capital city. The place where the
bombing incident happened is only three kilometers away from the Turkish parliament.
And Ankara is the most well protected city in Turkey. And it seems that this is just the beginning of a larger war, a bigger war.
ANDERSON: All right. And we are sorry for that. And I have to apologize to our viewers and to you, it doesn't seem as if the technology is working
particularly well. So, sir, you are very difficult to understand. But we'll have you back on when we get the technology sorted, so that we can
actually hear your what is important analysis another evening. Thank you very much indeed for joining us.
Live from Abu Dhabi -- apologies for that, viewers, this is Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson. Coming up, the Washington Post called it an
outrageous injustice. Its correspondent Jason Rezaian has been convicted in Iran, yet his fate remains a mystery.
Plus, shouting chanting and flexing their muscle, but just why does New Zealand's Rugby team do this before their games? We're going to explain up
[11:23:18] ANDERSON: Well, Ireland beat France to top their group in the Rugby World Cup, and again it wasn't for the faint-hearted. They won 24-9,
but it cost them a lot. Top players Johnny Sexton and Paul O'Connell were injured and may not play in next week's quarterfinal against Argentina.
France still qualified, but their next task is a daunting game against the world champions New Zealand.
Welcome back. I'm Becky Anderson out of Abu Dhabi for you. This is Connect the World.
Before that game begins, France will face one of the most familiar sites in World rugby, and that is the New Zealand team's Haka. The war dance has
wowed supporters for decades, but what does it really mean?
Well, CNN went to speak to a few famous players from the team to find out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a war dance. It's a challenge. It's stand before you go to battle.
It's just paying, also speaks to the warriors that used to do it before they went to battle.
Making sure that I don't disrespect it and make sure that I do it -- give it your all when you do it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For me, the Haka is -- it's a symbol of who we are and where we come from.
This is who we are, and it's obviously a -- comes from a Maori background, but I think it all resonates with all Kiwis.
[11:25:09] UNIDENITIFIED MALE: I'm a huge fan of the Haka. I think it's one of the great spectacles in Rugby. People say are you scared, you know,
facing the Haka. And you go, well, if you're scared facing that, there's no point playing the game. For me, you know, it's a challenge. And if you
challenge me, then fine, you know, let's play. I think it's great.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For me personally it's more about us in terms of New Zealand, our indigenous people, the people that had gone before us that are
born this amazing jersey. And coming together as one to hopefully defeat the opposition. As we say, it was a great way to start work.
UNIDENITFIED MALE: Maori and its history is as huge here in New Zealand. And you know that's reflected through this team, through performing the
Haka, which we do before every game, which is something, you know, very special to the All Black and to New Zealanders.
When you're an All Black, you're united as one and we show this through performing the Haka.
ANDERSON: Right. I know you want to know more about the Haka. And you can do that and find out how the reigning champions are doing during the
world cup by checking CNN.com and the New Zealand website AllBlack.com.
The latest world news headlines as you would expect at the bottom of this hour of 7:00 here in the UAE. Plus, as Russia steps up airstrikes in
Syria, it's upsetting some Arab states. We take an in depth look at what the latest developments will mean for this the Middle East region.
[11:30:57] ANDERSON: At just after half past 7:00 in the UAE, this is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson, these are the top stories. Turkey
is officially in mourning as its prime minister says the investigation into the bombings that killed at least 97 people in Ankara on Saturday is
focusing on ISIS. It comes just before national elections and it's the single worst terror attack to ever hit turkey.
Israeli police are reporting the third stabbing attack of the day in Jerusalem. They two Israelis are wounded, including a teenager who is in
critical condition. Nearly two weeks of violence between Israelis and Palestinians continues to escalate. 10 Palestinians were killed in clashes
over the weekend.
Hillary Clinton is heading into the first Democratic presidential debate with a comfortable lead. A new CBS News poll puts her 19 percentage points
ahead of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. The debate will include three other candidates as well. It takes place Tuesday night in Vegas.
Don't miss that debate happening right here on CNN. Anderson Cooper, my colleague, will moderate with Don Lemon posing questions submitted via
Facebook. Our coverage live from Las Vegas starts 8:30 p.m. this Saturday on the eastern U.S. coast. If you can't make that, watch the replay 8:00
p.m. Wednesday London time, 9:00 p.m. Central European time. I'm sure you can work out form those times where and when it will be scheduled where you
Well, the Washington Post is urging Iranian leaders to overturn the conviction of its Tehran bureau chief calling it an outrageous injustice.
According to Iranian state media, a revolutionary court is convicted Jason Rezaian in highly secretive espionage trial.
Now the Washington Post says it is working on an immediate appeal.
Well, there are still many things that we don't know about Rezaian's fate. We don't even know what his actual sentence is.
Let's bring in Federik Pleitgen who was only recently on assignment in Tehran to join us from London.
And Fred, we've just received this statement from Jason's brother that reads, in part, this is the latest in what has been a long travesty of
justice and an ongoing nightmare for Jason and his family. And he goes on today, it follows an unconscionable pattern of silence, obfuscation and
delay by Iran who have until this day provided no proof of the trumped up charges against my brother. Clearly incredibly frustrated.
What do we know about what's going on and what happens next?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it really is very little, Becky, that we know because that's -- the reason for that is
that there is very little that the court is actually making public.
Usually, begin made public through Iranian state broadcasting, nowt they have said indeed that he has been found guilty. They didn't say of what
he's been found guilty, because remember some of the information, the little information that was trickling through over the past couple of weeks
and months is that apparently this was an espionage trial, but also involved him allegedly conspiring with what the Iranians call a hostile
government, which is of course the government of the United States for allegedly having contact to U.S. authorities, but also for allegedly
disseminating information that was, quote, harmful to the establishment in Iran.
All of that, however, was very vague. Jason's lawyer got very little access to any sort of documents, of course no access also to the proceedings
themselves. And one of the things, of course, that we don't know is what the sentence was, on which charges he might have been found guilty, and
whether or not he even knows that he's actually been found guilty.
And remember, one of the things that was said on Iranian state television was that there is now a deadline to file an appeal. The Washington Post of
course has said it wants to do that, but the big question is how do they do that? Are they able to do that? And does Jason actually know that he has
been found guilty and does he maybe have to file this appeal himself.
So there are still a lot of things that are unclear simply because of the very secretive way that this revolutionary court works, and that's of
course one of the reasons why you have these scathing statements, not just from the U.S. government, but from the Washington Post as well.
In fact, I want to listen in to the Washington Post's foreign editor and what he had to say about all this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DOUGLAS JEHL, FOREIGN EDITOR, THE WASHINGTON POST: What we're seeing unfolding here is a sham. For Iran to say that there has been a verdict,
but that it's not final simply suggests again that this is not a matter for the courts, it's a matter that's being decided in the political spheres in
We've been pleased with the efforts the U.S. government has made to raise attention to Jason's case throughout. On the other hand, we do believe
there's much, much more the U.S. government could be doing at the very highest levels to work with Jason's family and the Post to bring Jason
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PLEITGEN: And of course, Becky, one of the things that some people in the United States had thought that the Obama administration might have done is
made all of this an issue in the ongoing nuclear negotiations as well. It seems as though it was talked about there, but of course it was no way part
of that nuclear agreement that was reached not only, of course, between the U.S. and Iran, but between the U.S. and several other countries as well.
ANDERSON: Fred, is in London for you tonight as I say recently reporting for you out of Tehran, thank you.
Well, let's delve deeper into concerns about Russia's military involvement in Syria. This is a big headline, isn't it. And particularly in this
region of the Middle East.
Leaders from Saudi Arabia and the UAE held talks with President Putin on Sunday and talked about those strikes. Reuters reports a Saudi source
claimed the kingdom used those talks to ask Russia to stop backing President Bashar al-Assad and join the international coalition which is at
present fighting ISIS. Well, to help make sense of what are these complex relationships at play in the region, I'm joined now by Analyst Salman
First off, how concerned are states like Turkey and then those of the Gulf -- Qatar, the UAE, and Saudi -- about Russia's involvement and intervention
SALMAN SHEIKH, MIDDLE EAST ANALYST: Well, they're extremely concerned. They were looking for a political settlement. They were working for a
context which would bring that about, which was to put pressure on Assad, and particularly its backers like Russia. And now this Russian
intervention, first and foremost, has saved Assad, voices in Moscow that we've been hearing said that basically the Russian military told Putin
Assad has two months. And so he come in and he's now started to change the dynamics on the ground.
Well, because their interests they don't believe can best be served by Assad going at this point in time. And I think there's also a
ANDERSON: Why does the Gulf want to get rid of him?
SHEIKH: Well, a guy kills 300,000, 400,000 of his people...
ANDERSON: But they wanted to get rid of him before that. Let's face it, they've wanted to see regime change in Syria for a very long time. Sure,
there is now a very good reason, but I'm asking you why in the background?
SHEIKH: Not at the start of this conflict. At the start of this conflict, Qatar was still very good friends with him. Saudi Arabia, the king did not
come out until August 18, four or five months after this started. Behind the scenes, they, as well as friends from Europe like France, were trying
to convince Assad reform, change, set a process of transition, share power. He didn't do it. What did he do? He started killing more of his people.
ANDERSON: I want to take a look at the response from Shiites in the region to president Putin's recent decision, images like this one circulating
widely on social media with some people referring to the Russian President as Sheikh Putin.
This is a man who has decent relations with the Sunni Arab world. He had visited from the UAE crown prince and the Saudi defense minister at the
weekend. How does Moscow's intervention, then, affect relations going forward?
SHEIKH: Well, you could see from that, that this is becoming increasingly a world sectarian problem. This is not essentially a Shia-Sunni battle,
but that is what Iran has made it and now Putin is being perceived as someone who has come on the side of not just the Alawite minority, but Iran
and Shia Islam.
And this is a very bad place to be, because I don't believe the Russians want that. The Russians understand Syria and its society perhaps better
than most. What is really a shame is that it's not allowing that spectrum of Syrians to talk to each other, to help create the space for that kind of
ANDERSON: Well, President Putin says his intervention could help that dialogue going forward. Let's take a look at what's next.
I spoke to Philip Gordon who used to advise President Obama on Middle Eastern policy. He, you and I were at a big conference here discussing
what happens next with Syria just this weekend. I know you know him well.
He says Russia and Iran getting involved in Syria could provide the impetus needed for a peace deal. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[11:40:10] PHILIP GORDON, FRM. WHITE HOUSE COORDINATOR FOR MIDDLE EAST: They also want the violence to stop, they also want to prevent the
extremists from taking power. They also want to prevent chaos. So, they're not necessarily completely incompatible.
ANDERSON: So you concede that this is an opportunity?
GORDON: I think it could be an opportunity. It's certainly time to explore whether there is an opportunity.
I mean, there are no guarantees. And I think it will be enormously difficult to get what we would need out of the Russians and the Iranians to
stop the war.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: We don't know how long President Putin will keep his planes in the air, his navy ships firing missiles in support of the cover of the
Assad regime, but is Philip Gordon right, is this an opportunity? And do you see a game plan from the Russians here which includes a transitional
period after this initial military intervention?
SHEIKH: Could be an opportunity, but the Russians are not going about this the right way. It's clear that they're trying to decimate the moderate
opposition, the ones that they would -- who have already said to us and to many others that we're willing to negotiate with the Russians and their
interests about the base, and we are the ones who have been fighting Daesh.
I think President Putin has put three to four months timeline on this. But what he's pursuing is the logic of military power, not trying to really
create the conditions for a political settlement by going after those moderates. He has to join a consensus whereby which we do deescalate. We
stop the barrel bombs. We open up the (inaudible) and we put pressure on Assad to do that.
ANDERSON: I know you say that there is no stopping those moderates, whatever Russian President Vladimir Putin thinks. I think our viewers will
be surprised by that, because many people watching this may say who are the moderates? How many of them are there? How many of them are there left on
the ground? You say hundreds of thousands.
ANDERSON: Well armed?
SHEIKH: In terms of fighters, hundreds of thousands. Well armed. And their regional backers, I can tell you, are going to support them.
ANDERSON: Who are they?
SHEIKH: Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey -- Turkey will be crucial in terms of supply -- and others. Even the UAE at the end of the day doesn't want
Assad to stay. It wants a transition at this point in time.
And, look, Syrians have endured the most incredible conditions. And they blame largely the Assad regime for this.
Of course, they're also fighting Daesh, and they will, probably 98 percent of Syrians would fight against Daesh. The question is why are they not
right now? It's because of Bashar al-Assad at this point in time.
They'll even fight with bows and arrows if they have to.
But we don't want to get into this. We don't want a military escalation. And this is what is so worrying that the Russian intervention came two
weeks -- sorry, 10 days to the day and two weeks after President Putin and President Obama sat in New York at the United Nations and talked about a
And I can tell you as someone who has been engaged in talks with hundreds and hundreds of Syrians over the last four years, they -- it is possible to
bring Syrians around a political consensus, around a political transition that includes Alawites, that includes Syrian Christians, that includes the
majority Sunni communities, tribes, business leaders and others, we just haven't given them the chance to do so.
ANDERSON: Salman, it is an absolute pleasure having you on the show. Come back. Thank you.
Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Coming up, we visit a town in Germany with a proud tradition of taking in
refugees, but says it just can't cope with any more.
And we speak to the Afghan woman battling forced marriages with a microphone. Stay with us.
[11:48:00] ANDERSON: Well, thousands of migrants and refugees are still traveling from the Middle East into Europe. They may not be making the
headlines, but they are still en route. Many hope to end up in Germany.
Atika Shubert visited one town with a proud history of helping refugees.
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Seventy years ago, the tiny village of Friedland opened doors to thousands without homes at the end of the second
World War. It had more than 100 emergency barracks to house those streaming back in. It was known as the gates of liberty. Today, Friedland is still
welcoming refugees. Nearly 4,000 at its peak. About four times the capacity this historic camp was designed to hold at any one time. Most are from
Syria and Iraq. But, also, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Eritrea.
The camp manager has worked here nearly a quarter of a century, long enough to see waves of refugees come and go. More than 4 million have passed
through from Vietnamese in the '70s to the Syrians that arrive today. It's open 24 hours, 365 days a year, rain or shine. But, even in this idyllic
setting nestled in the German countryside, there is now a problem. Too many refugees. People queue everywhere, he says, whether in the registration
offices or during meal times, sometimes up to two hours or when refugees get their clothing vouchers. It's a problem.
Privacy is almost nonexistent. There are no private places and the infrastructure of the camp is maxed out, he says. A festival tent has been
pitched on the kids' sports field, now home to 200 refugees who hang their launry on the goal posts. Mattresses line the office hallways of the camp.
Every spare meter devoted to sheltering refugees
Ideally, refugees are here for two weeks before moving on. But the recent surge of refugees and a backlog of asylum requests has turned weeks into
months. In the last two weeks, he said, new arrivals in Friedland are brought to alternative housing facilities within 24 hours. We're seeking to
reduce the number of migrants in Friedland by half, which would still be more than double of what our capacity truly is, he explains. Refugees now
outnumber Friedland's residents 3 to 1. The mayor says the village has gone above and beyond for refugees, but it can't take any more.
We do not have a problem with Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans, says the mayor. They have received a big welcome and the residents want to help. That said,
there is a fine line between wanting to help people and being stretched too thin. Just as it was 70 years ago, Friedland still welcomes those that need
shelter. But, it warns even the gates of liberty has its limits.
Atika Shubert, CNN, Friedland, northwestern Germany.
[11:51:00] ANDERSON: You're watching Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Coming up, the story of one Afghan woman using rap to escape
from a forced marriage.
ANDERSON: Well, your parting shots tonight, a story of a young Afghan woman who was supposed to be sold off as a teenage bride, but wasn't.
SONITA, RAPPER: I'm Sonita. I"m from Afghanistan. And I want to change the world with my music.
I was born in a poor family. We have to hide because of Taliban, because of war. And then my family decided to go to Iran. In Iran, you can sing.
It's hard, especially for woman. A few years ago, my mother, she said there is a man and he is waiting to get married with you. They didn't have
money. And they were forced to sell me.
After that, I wrote a song called daughters for sale.
My mother, she got mad at me, but now she's very good and she's waiting for my new song. She don't want any more to sell me.
Selling girls in Afghanistan, it's a tradition.
Everyone has the right to choose their own husband. If I want to get married, I will choose.
[11:56:50] ANDERSON: I'm Becky Anderson, that was Connect the World. From the team here, it's a very good evening.