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Belgium on Lockdown; UAE Attempts to Remake Economy with Innovation Week; Russia, Iran Leaders Meet; Britain Pledges Support for France's Fight Against ISIS; Anti-Refugee Rhetoric Filters Into U.S. Presidential Campaigns. Aired 11:00a-12:00p ET

Aired November 23, 2015 - 11:00   ET




the crosshairs is here. Raqqa lost in the haze.


BECKY ANDERSON: A CNN exclusive, our own Nick Paton Walsh travels close to ISIS's stronghold in Syria, that's where international forces are

carrying out airstrikes against the terror group. That exclusive reporting is next.

Also ahead, British Prime Minister David Cameron meets with the French president Francois Hollande. Will the UK join France fighting ISIS in


And diplomacy in Iran, Russian President Vladimir Putin sits down with Iran's

supreme leader who is calling for closer ties between Moscow and Tehran.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with Becky Anderson.

A very good evening from here. It is just after 8:00 in the evening. France using a powerful new weapon in its fight against ISIS. Airstrikes

launched from the warship Charles de Gaulle are now underway. The first missions over Syria

and Iraq began hours ago, France deploying the carrier to the region after the Paris attacks to increase its fire power against the militants.

It's concentrating on their self-declared capitol of Raqqa in Syria.

Well, our Nick Paton Walsh recently visited the Kurdish front lines near Raqqa. Getting as close as possible to the headquarters of ISIS

operations. He is now in Irbil in Iraq.

And you join us, Nick, with some extraordinary reporting. What did you find?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The most staggering thing is the progress of the Kurdish forces, with some U.S. assistance, not

as much as they would like -- the progress they've made moving west and in many places to the border, but also how fast they've moved towards Raqqa,

the airstrikes which so many of them can hear so clearly.


WALSH (voice-over): After Paris, the Sinai, in the crosshairs is here. Raqqa, lost in the haze, yet they can hear it. Loud thuds, heaviest at


"Three days ago," says Barhos (ph), "we saw 40 airstrikes southerly hit just nearby, and then the French said that they'd started bombing.

We'll do our best to avenge Paris."

He, like the other young Kurdish fighters here, have lost friends, but say fighting ISIS is a duty for humanity rather than vengeance, as they man

a series of trenches and outposts about 20 miles from the city.

(on camera): We have just heard the distant thuds of what could have been two airstrikes, but from where we're standing, here is the Kurdish

front line, a trench dug, as far as we can see, and then all in this direction, flat, open land, until you reach the outskirts of Raqqa, the

capital of ISIS's self-declared caliphate.

(voice-over): Four Russian missiles hit Raqqa this day, activists said, but otherwise, it's the silence of stalemate in the desert.

Weapons here are scant. This man carries the AK-47 of his friend, who died eight months ago. Out here in the flat, open ground, with ISIS in the

next village, they still scorn ISIS's leaders and welcome help.

"If French, Russian, or American fighters," this commander says, "come here to fight, we'll cooperate with them, as we're all fighting to clean

the area of ISIS for humanity."

ISIS left their mark on nearby Ayn al-Issa, as has to fight for it. Even the mosque littered with mines.

The silence there is breathtaking. This is directly the road down to Raqqa, and you can just hear the complete absence of human life. There is

little in victory left to fight for.

On the way out, we meet these guys. They don't look much like white knights, but that's what the Pentagon hopes they are. The Syrian democratic

forces, getting American aid, who explain they've secured the major deflection of Sunni tribes inside Raqqa to fight ISIS.

"We weren't expecting this large number to join, but there are now 4,000 tribesmen," he says. "When we want to move, all of them are ready,

and we've already managed to sneak weapons to them. We're moving forward."

Western leaders call this a global fight, but here, alone, you feel the dust, death, and determination.


[11:05:03] WALSH: Now just in the last 24 hours, Becky, that area has seen ISIS try and move towards those Kurdish positions, activists reporting

clashes yesterday. And in response to that, the coalition announced in a more recent statement, in fact they've targeted four ISIS positions in the

Ayn al-Issa area just recently.

So, still very much an active front line despite that overwhelming sense of distance between those Kurdish trenches on the outskirts of Raqqa.

There is real feeling of optimism and determination amongst those Kurdish fighters and those Syrian Democratic forces you saw there. They weren't

anything like the numbers to attack a city, but the notion of defections amongst the tribesmen and the potential for American assistance is pretty

clear the Americans are already in that area. That will certainly boost their confidence -- Becky.

ANDERSON: That's the situation on the ground.

Nick, thank you.

As western leaders try to build more momentum for a wider anti-ISIS coalition, the heart of Europe is on partial lockdown. Schools, museums

and the metro system closed in Brussels because of fears of an imminent Paris-style attack.

Another five people were arrested overnight in Belgium, bringing the total number of arrests there since Sunday to 21.

But the surviving suspect in the Paris attacks is still at-large after crossing into Belgium shortly after the carnage unfolded.

We're going to get you to Belgium in a moment. Paris started, too, this week

with stepped-up security measures including bag searches at every school.

CNN's Jim Bittermann is in the French capital.

I think many of our viewers will be very alarmed to hear that schools closed

in Belgium, school searches in France.

What are authorities saying about why they are carrying out that sort of activity?

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think they just are fearful that something else could happen here, there's no question

about it. I mean, they are on the manhunt for the missing bomber from the attacks on Friday the 13th. They're not sure where he is. They believe

he's in Belgium. Of course, they're scouring that area, but here in France they're also worried about that.

And I think they're trying to reassure people at the same time. The fact is that these kids coming to school with their backpacks, they're

going to be finding out about the anti-terrorism measures. There's also been a lot of cancellations here. For example, school trips to the climate

change conference next week that begins next week, a lot of people were -- a lot of schools were going to send their

children off to see climate change exhibitions, that sort of thing, all canceled because they don't want to have gatherings of young people

anyplace where they might be vulnerable to attacks.

So, it's a heightened security here that is going to continue, I suspect,

probably until Christmas -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Jim, stand by. I want to get across to Brussels, bring Fred in who is standing by, CNN senior international correspondent there.

And Fred, the city of Brussels on the highest of alerts. What are authorities telling you about what they've achieved over this period?

BITTERMANN: Well, I think the main thing they believe they've achieved, Becky, is that they've managed to keep the people of this city

safe. I mean, they say that one of the things that's most important to them is on the one hand to try, of course, to keep people safe, to keep the

soldiers and the police here on the street to make sure the people also have this feeling that they're not under threat.

But then, of course, you also have these raids that are taking place, and in the past 24 hours there's been a lot of raids that took place, some

22. And the authorities there initially came out with a number. They said 16 people had been

apprehended in those raids. They later raised that number, saying they had taken in an additional five people, so raising that level to 21.

Now, they said they didn't find any weapons or explosives. However, there are some people still in detention.

The big thing, however, Becky, of course, is that they have not detained yet the man that everybody is looking for at this point in time,

Salah Abdelsalam. He is someone where the authorities say they believe he is somewhere in Brussels, but at this point in time, they really can't

tell, because the last time that he was actually seen, he was, of course, on the border between France and Belgium in the little town of combre, and

then they lost track of him.

Two of the associates who were with him in the vehicle at that point in time when he was questioned by French authorities before they let him

go, they have been arrested. However, at this point in time, Saleh Abedlsalam still very much on the

loose. Of course, this is someone whom the police want to get their hands on. And then on the other hand, Becky, they of course saw this threat

level going on where they believe that there could be an imminent attack in the works.

LU STOUT: Jim, back to you for just a moment. A show of strength in the fight against ISIS by the French with the launch of air missions from

the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier, and a show support by David Cameron who was in Paris earlier today, that's the British prime minister, of

course. What was said in his meeting with the French president?

[11:10:09] BITTERMANN: Well, there was some things that were said were a little aspirational. David Cameron is going back to parliament. He

said he believes the French are absolutely right to do be doing what they're doing. But he's going back to parliament to try to get

authorization to hit the targets in Syria that the British have up until now not been able to hit. They've been able to hit ISIS targets in Iraq,

and join fully in the coalition.

And then there was -- in addition to that, there was a very concrete offer made by Cameron, and that is that the French can use the base on

Cypress, the British air base on Cypress, if they need to, for support of the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle which is somewhere between Cypress

and the mainland, I would imagine, towards Lebanon or Syria.

In any case, they can use that base for supporting the aircraft carrier or any other need they might have in the area, so that's a very

concrete development as far as Cameron is concerned.

Then Hollande now is going on to the White House tomorrow. He's going to be flying off to Washington to meet with Obama, President Obama. And

then from there will come back here, meet with Angelica Merkel on Wednesday.

And on Thursday another diplomacy is going to Moscow to meet with Vladimir Putin. So, trying to build up make a very solid coalition in

response to the attacks that happened here on Friday the 13, Becky.

ANDERSON: And David Cameron, of course, laying out his case for more British involvement to British lawmakers on Thursday, and we stand by to

consider what happens out of that.

He also laid out his vision of new defense spending in order to better fight ISIS and other terrorist threats once he left Paris and returned to

London today.

Fred, people in Brussels say these are the heaviest security measures they can remember. What is the impact on daily life been there? Before

you answer that, let's just have a listen to those we've spoken to on the street.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I am totally worried. I have lived in Brussels for 20 years and I have never seen this. Walking the

street, I was stopped earlier and told it would be best not to walk in the street now.

It's making me panic.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): There is a climate of insecurity, which, unfortunately, in my opinion, is not about to stop.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): For how long are these measures going to be maintained? That's the question. We do this for one

week, then two weeks, and then that will create a lot of problems like the metro. It's a big problem in Brussels, so we're really wondering how long

it's going to go on for.


ANDERSON: Interesting, Fred, the use of the word panic there. And some sense of sort of outrage to a certain extent. How long will this go


FRED PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's a very good question and the Belgian authorities are saying that they're

constantly re-evaluating whether or not to keep this highest terror alert level in place, because they also know, Becky, that they can't keep this

going on forever.

And we have to keep in mind today is Monday, and that means that people are not only coming to work out of their weekend here in Brussels,

but of course Brussels is also very much the administrative capital of Europe and that means a lot of bureaucrats, a lot of politicians are coming

from all sorts of other places in Europe as well.

And of course for them it's very difficult. If there's no subway system

running, if the schools are not working, if a lot of the shops are not open, that is something that has ground public life to a certain extent to

a halt here.

Now, there are more people coming out in the afternoon hours. It was a little different early morning, a lot different yesterday when more

people were actually staying home. But still, it is a very, very tough situation for


I have been speaking to a lot of folks who are working at think tanks here in Brussels, who are working at companies here in Brussels, and many

of them said the only thing they did today was they cycled to work, they got their laptop. They went back home and then worked from home, that's

all they can do at this point in time and that is certainly not the way this city is going to be run for a longer

period of time. So they do have to find a way to make sure they come to terms with this threat level.

ANDERSON: Fred Pleitgen is in Brussels, Jim Bittermann out of Paris for you this evening. Gentlemen, thank you.

Still to come tonight on this show, a deadly attack in a hotel in Mali has left that nation on edge. What the country's president says is needed

to defeat those responsible.


[11:16:49] ANDERSON: This is CNN and Connect the World with me Becky Anderson out of the UAE for you. Welcome back.

The president of Mali is calling for international solidarity to reach out and defeat those responsible for last week's deadly hotel attack. The

UN says 20 people were killed in Friday's shooting rampage. Two attackers were also killed. Two Islamist militant groups are reported to have

claimed responsibility.

Now, this all happened at the Raddison hotel in Mali's capital Bamako where UN forces are now patrolling these streets.

Our David McKenzie has spoken to Mali's president and joins us now from Bamako.

In the wake of this attack, what did the president have to say? I mean, he talks about international solidarity in the fight against these

militants. What does he mean by that?

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, he means they need all the help they can get, Becky, and certainly already with that

insurgency that Mali dealt with some years ago, or in 2012, when Tuareg groups and Islamic groups pushed almost to the capital here in Bamako.

They were effectively bailed out by French forces, some 4,000 came in to Mali to stop them in their tracks and that was handed over to an

international UN force.

So, just over the last few years, Mali has needed the help to keep the terrorists and militants at bay. I spoke to President Keita on the steps

of the Raddison.


MCKENZIE: How will Mali respond to this threat? And do you request help from the international community?

IBRAHIM BOUBACAR KEITA, MALIAN PRESIDENT: Any country would need support and help and that support and that help have been given to our

country since by the United States, by the French government. It's only through international solidarity that we'll be able to win and to beat



MCKENZIE: President Keita also thanked the U.S. and Europe for the help in the fight against terror here. Two groups, as he described, Becky,

have claimed responsibility for this. They released through al Jazeera here in the

region an audio message a propaganda message saying Islamic Maghreb were jointly involved in the attack. They named the attackers and they said it

was in retaliation of the efforts of the French and others in Mali -- Becky.

ANDERSON: David is in Bamako for you this evening.

Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World. Coming up, ten days after the Paris attacks, we've been reporting on the heavy security

measures that French are now living under. How they are coping in one town, up next.

And Vladimir Putin visits Iran for the first time in almost a decade. The latest on that trip after this.


[11:24:08] ANDERSON: Well, we've been reporting that France has stepped up anti-terror measures following the attacks 10 days ago.

Security checks have been introduced, for example, at all schools and a three month state of emergency is in place. But only one town in France

has a nighttime curfew, a fact that is embittered residents, even as the nation's leaders are calling for unity.

CNN's international diplomatic editor Nic Robinson has the story for you.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Southeast of Paris, the Sunday market in Sens is busy. A few hours earlier,

it would have been illegal to be here. There was a curfew -- and that upset some residents.

"They are making this all too dramatic," this trader tells me. "There are no problems here."

The curfew between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. is the first of its kind in France since emergency powers were imposed last week and applies only to

this, the Pleasant Fields neighborhood fields of Sens. An area that includes low cost housing, has a reputation -- unfairly, locals say -- for

low-end crime and very occasional confrontation with police.

The new powers are prompting debate.

UNIDENTIFIED FMEALE: It is strict compared to the rest of the town.

ROBERTSON (on camera): And that's not good?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. I find it's not good. That's exactly the contrary of what we should do.

ROBERTSON: The curfew was imposed here after police raids turned up some weapons and some forged documents. Several people were taken into

custody, but most of those have been released now.

(voice-over): At the city center, Catholics celebrate in one of the oldest Gothic cathedrals. Although several hours from Paris, all in this

tiny tourist city fear another ISIS attack.

The curfew was intended to make police raids easier. When I meet the mayor, however, she seems unsure if the curfew that ends Monday is worth

the division it's causing.

"I want to guarantee the tranquillity of the entire population, even if it means limiting the liberties of some. But the curfew was not my

decision. It was a decision of the state."

Back in Pleasant Fields, Ahmed Zina who runs a cafe and helps underprivileged kids was shocked how fast the curfew was imposed, but

worked to support it.

"We respect the curfew," he says. "It was necessary for the police to do their work safely."

Most here feel the same, but worry in the rush to follow terror leads, jobs may be lost, more problems created.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People don't have to be afraid to come here. It's a tourist city. We have nice place in this country.

ROBERTSON: So far, no terrorists have been found and few here expect they will.

Nic Robertson, Sens, France.


[11:26:16] ANDERSON: Well, the latest world news headlines are just ahead here on the show. Plus, ramping up the rhetoric, we're going to take

a look at the reaction to the Paris attacks in the U.S. and how that is feeding into the race for the presidency in 2016.


[11:30:16] ANDERSON: You're watching Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson, the top

stories for you here on CNN at half past 8:00 in the UAE.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has laid out his new defense spending with a focus on fighting ISIS and other terror groups. It comes

on the same day that he met with the French President Francois Hollande in Paris. The French leader is trying to build a wider anti-ISIS coalition

following the terror attacks 10 days ago.

Well, in Argentina, it's the end of a political dynasty. Opposition candidate Mauricio Macri

is poised to become the next president after winning Sunday's runoff election. Daniel Scioli, the Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de

Kirchner's handpicked successor, conceded defeat late on Sunday.

Myanmar media say the number of people killed from a landslide at a jade mine now stands at 104. It happened two days ago when a huge mound of

waste material from the mine collapsed around the living quarters of workers as they were sleeping. Well, the military is helping with the

rescue and recovery efforts there.

Belgium's capital remains on partial lockdown and its highest ever terror alert level, because of fears of an imminent Paris-style attack.

Schools and museums in the metro system are closed in Brussels and there is a heavy security presence on the streets. Another five people were

arrested overnight in raids, bringing the total number of arrests there since Sunday to 21.

Well, the Paris attacks have reignited a debate in many countries on how to handle the threat from ISIS. It's a central issue in the U.S.

presidential race as candidates try to sell their proposals for keeping America safe.

The Republican Marco Rubio unveiled his first television ad focused entirely on national security. His words are stop, his warning dire. Have

a listen.


SEN. MARCO RUBIO, (R) FLORIDA: This is a civilizational struggle between the values of freedom and liberty and radical Islamic terror. What

happened in Paris could happen here. There is no middle ground. These aren't disgruntled or disempowered people.


ANDERSON: Well, let's bring in Steven Collinson, a senior reporter for CNN politics. He's live in Washington.

Certainly a lot of posturing from the presidential candidates and plain talking. How much of this is about the campaign, do you think? I

mean, some people might call this scare-mongering at this point. Certainly we've seen a refugee crisis basically transformed into a security issue,

not just in the U.S. but in Europe as well.

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN CORREPSONDENT: Yeah, Becky, a lot of it has to do with the campaign. Let's remember, we're just about two months away

from the first voting in the presidential nominating contest. But what we've seen has been fascinating to watch over the last week or so, how

national security and the fear of terrorism has been injected into U.S. politics in a more overt way than it has been since the terror attacks back

in 2001.

But back in 2001, the issue was a uniting issue. Americans came together. Now Republican presidential candidates especially see terrorism

and the fear of terrorism as a way to polarize the electorate but to get political gain from hawkish, conservative voters that are going to dictate

the Republican nomination.

Marco Rubio, who you saw there, is one of the more temperate establishment candidates. So, if he's using that kind of rhetoric, which

you rightly said was stark, you can see where the sentiment is right now in the Republican nominating race.

ANDERSON: Yeah, well, the frontrunner Donald Trump taking heat for remarks that he made about the aftermath of 9/11. He told a campaign rally

that we cannot believe, quote, "thousands of people in New Jersey cheered as the World Trade Center came crashing down." He's standing by those remarks. As you can hear in this interview

with ABC News. Have a listen.


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: You know, the police say that didn't happen and all those rumors have been on the internet for

some time. So, did you misspeak yesterday?


STEPHANOPOULOS: You saw that with your own eyes? Please say it didn't happen.

TRUMP: George, it did happen. There were people that were cheering on the other side of New Jersey where you have large Arab populations, they

were cheering as the World Trade Center came down. I know it might not be politically correct for you to talk about it, but there were people

cheering as that building came down, as those buildings came down.

And that tells you something. It was well covered at the time, George. Now, I know they don't like to talk about it, but it was well

covered at the time. There were people over in New Jersey that were watching it, heavy Arab populations that were cheering as the buildings

came down. Not good.

STEPHANPOULOS: As I said, the police have said it didn't happen.


ANDERSON: Stephen, does the Republican frontrunner, Donald Trump, do his views reflect his constituency? I want our viewers to get a sense of

just what kind of cohort in the States might buy into what he was suggesting there.

COLLINSON: Certainly the sector of the Republican electorate, which is about 25 percent, maybe 30 percent who Donald Trump particularly appeals

to is very receptive to this kind of message.

You heard him talk about political correctness there. Now, a number of media organizations have looked into these claims. Nobody has found any

proof that it happened. People among the supporters of Donald Trump people are so distrustful of the media, so distrustful of government, that they

believe it happened if Donald Trump said it did. It's almost a deficit of reality in this campaign at this point.

What Donald Trump is doing is playing up the fears of people. He is profiting from it. He's still leading the presidential race months after

most people thought, you know, that he would have collapsed, that his support would start to end.

Now, the question is, could he win the nomination by taking this kind of tact? Possibly. But is this the kind of rhetoric that's going to help

the Republicans win the general election next November? That's a much more doubtful case and that's something that has a lot of Republicans very

worried about the turn this rhetoric has taken after the Paris attacks.

ANDERSON: Stephen, thank you.

Out of Washington for you this evening.

Well, also on this Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin made his first visit to Iran in eight years. He met with Iran's Supreme Leader

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Monday before holding talks with President Hassan Rouhani.

Mr. Putin also took part in what was a major international gas forum underway in Tekran.

Well, for more on his visit CNN's emerging markets editor John Defterios joining me.

And John, Putin met with Iran's supreme leader today, so this wasn't just a business trip. Syria, one assumes, likely to be high, if not

highest, on the agenda.

JOHN DEFTERIOS, EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: That's what it certainly looks like. In fact, the official business was for a major gas summit,

Becky, but in fact the optics suggests that something bigger on the agenda for President Putin.

He held a two-hour meeting with the supreme leader, and even afterwards, after a very extensive meeting, the supreme leader put out a

glowing tweet to President Putin suggesting that he's an outstanding figure. He wanted to thank Russia for the support.

Then after that bilateral meeting, which Foreign Minister Zarif and Foreign Minister Lavrov of Russia attended, that was a bilateral meeting

with Hassan Rouhani. And afterwards they said Russia and Iran right now see Syria with complete unity and then suggested that world leaders should

not try to impose their will on Syria or the Syrian people.

Now, you and I know that Russia has put forward an 18 month timeline to parliamentary election. They purposely left out the fate of Bashar al-

Assad right now. Iran's been even a stauncher supporter of Bashar al- assad.

I think it's worth noting right now that Russia's airstrikes, as we have a helicopter coming above us here -- in fact the Russian airstrikes

are being closely coordinated with Iran right now using Iran, Iranian and Iraqi airspace and avoiding Turkey. And also that Iranian military leaders

have been and supporting the national defense force.

Now, this is where the balance of interest could come into play here. How far is Iran going to push this and what are the objectives that Russia

has? Right now they left the meeting tonight saying they had a very similar agenda, but how far is Iran going to go to support that militia in

support of Bashar al-Assad at this stage?

ANDERSON: The same side, then, in Syria

What about the energy? Russia and Iran of course both major producers, aren't they?

DEFTERIOS: This is where, again, you can see competition in the future. This is the gas exporting country's forum. Not well known, but

it's supposed to be the OPEC of natural gas bringing countries like Algeria,Russia and Venezuela under one umbrella.

But let's look at the major players. Russia is number one if you look at the chart, 1.6 trillion cubic feet of supplies with Iran at 1.2

trillion, and then you have Qatar at 872 billion. These are the three big proven reserve countries, 18 percent of global reserves, 17 percent, and

say, 13 percent.

But right now Iran shares the largest fuel in the world with Qatar. And I sat down with the deputy oil minister in Tehran recently, and he

said, look, we have that south Pars (ph) field, but we have three more of similar size that we haven't brought online. There's a lot

more in the pipeline. Let's take a listen.


AMIR ZAMANINIA, DEP. MINISTER OF PETROLEUM, IRAN: I believe that we have a lot of areas that we are studying and there is great potential, much

more than south Pars (ph). And within ten years, our production will be high, much higher, I think, than what Qatar is producing now.


DEFTERIOS: He's not mincing any words -- much higher than Qatar.

And Becky, he also said to me afterwards, look, we want to have LNG -- liquefied natural gas -- going into Europe within the seven to 10 years.

Right no that would put them in a head-to-head battle, as you know, with Russia going into the European Union.

Not going to happen overnight, but they have a lot they have not discovered yet and brought online, so right now they see eye to eye, trying

to create this gas exporting forum, but they will be competing within the next decade.

[11:40:28] ANDERSON: Optics are certainly interesting that they see eye to eye, and that's certainly what they're telling us.

All right, good stuff. Thank you. John Defterios, always a pleasure, thank you.

All right, we're going to move on and get you a very short break. You're watching Connect the


Coming up after that break, one Middle Eastern country is investing billions in technology, but why is innovation becoming more important to

Gulf states?

And later, Parisians find comforting in the words of Ernest Hemingway as they try to move past the terror that grips their city.


ANDERSON: You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Welcome back.

Now, throughout this hour we've spoken about conflict and turmoil here in the Middle East. But despite growing volatility in this region, some

countries are looking to invest into the future, more doing more than others. This week, the United Arab Emirates announced over $18 billion

worth of projects all related to technology as part of a drive to innovate its economy here.

Well, CNN's Jon Jensen me now and he joins me now.

Why are countries in this region, and specifically here in the UAE, looking to innovate, John?

JON JENSEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, simply put because oil is not going to be here forever, and everyone in the Gulf knows that, so what

they're hoping is that innovation and technology will be the oil of the future.

So what leaders here in the UAE have done is launched a project called innovation week, and it's an initiative to really get local businesses, and

indeed, government, to start transforming the economy away from one that is oil-based and start focusing on things like knowledge, highly skilled labor

and technology.

And they're doing it right now. And they're doing it in sectors from space technology, in renewable energy and they're doing it even in



[11:45:29] JENSEN: Imagine a world where robot's rule, even at lunch where you order food by computer and then have it cooked and served by


It's a world Syrian entrepreneur Balil al-Hattab believes is not only possible, but not far off.

BILAL AL-HATTAB, MANAGING DIRECTOR, DIGROBOTICS: The way we solve the technology today in the worldwide is going in this direction to have

unmanned vehicles, to have unmanned plans, drones, more automation in industries.

JENSEN: al-Hattab runs a Dubai startup providing solutions with robots, one of the few in the region. Everything they make is automated

from cars to industrial welders.

And it's not just for show. This unmanned firefighting system, he says, could save lives.

AL-HATTAB: so there is a fire alarm, it will be driven by itself, brought to the fire area by


JENSEN: The idea here is to use technology to make production safer and more efficient. And it may be catching on. As the UAE positions

itself to become a hub of innovation in the next decade, many local companies are adopting high-tech solutions. Finding customers, though, can

be a challenge: cutting into technology isn't cheap.

The fire bot costs around $1.7 million, considerably more than a truck.

The cafe bot? Possibly twice that.

But with $30 million of his own money in the company, al-Hattab says you need to invest to innovate.

AL-HATTAB: In life we always have to be caretakers. We would like everyone in the company here all our teams, actually, to have new ideas,

something out of the box.

JENSEN: Including a flame grilled burger that could one day could be dished up by machines.


JENSEN: And Becky, that's just one of many stories of people actually spending money investing in innovation here for tomorrow.

We're going to stay across innovation week all week long and we'll come back with more stories.

ANDERSON: Excellent stuff, thank you very much indeed, sir.

Live from Abu Dhabi, This is Connect the World. Coming up, we're going to tell you why

the French translation of Ernest Hemingway's Paris memoir has soared to the top of the best-selling list in France. Stay with us.


[11:50:58] ANDERSON: A reminder of our top story this hour, in the war against ISIS here in the Middle East we are seeing a diplomatic push

for the end of the war in Syria. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited Abu Dhabi earlier today for talks on finding a peace plan.

He met with the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan, as well as Saudi officials.

Mr. Kerry said he had, quote, no doubt that ISIS will be defeated.

When Ernest Hemingway penned his thoughts on Paris almost 100 years ago, few would have

predicted its resurgence under such circumstances. But since the deadly attacks early this month, copies of the French translation of his work have

been flying off the shelves. CNN's Ivan Watson has more.


IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDNET: All of the sadness of the city came suddenly, with the first cold rains of winter, that's a line

from "A Moveable Feast," a memoir about life in Paris in the 1920s written by Ernest Hemingway. The book is his love letter to the city of light,

celebrating its cafes and cobble stone streets, immortalizing an English language bookshop where you can find a first edition copy of the American

writer's iconic book.


Hemingway's book is pretty required reading for most visitors to Paris. What is unexpected is that it has also become a source of comfort

for many of it the French in the wake of the deadly Paris attacks.

At bookshops across Paris, owners have seen a sudden spike in sales of French versions of Hemingway's 51-year-old novel.

What is your number one selling book?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a Moveable Feast (inaudible) from Ernest Hemingway.

WATSON: Do you have any more copies?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. No more. It sold out now.

WATSON: Sold out.


WATSON: Part of the appeal is clearly symbolic. The French title of "A Moveable Feast" is Paris Est Une Fete, which translates back into

English as "Paris is a Party."

Jean-Paul Duines (ph) says he's buying the book to remind himself that the city of light

is also a city that loves to party.

"We have to live. We have to go out," he says. "And we have to stick out our tongues at the terrorists."

Shop owners say they've also seen a surge of interest in books about Islamist radicalism. But those sales don't compare to the rediscovery of

Hemingway's book, no doubt boosted by the fact that "Paris Est Une Fete" has also become a hashtag slogan of defiance on French social media.

As many honor the dead, others are determined to live up to Hemingway's immortal words. "If you are lucky enough to have lived in

Paris," he writes, "then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you for Paris is a moveable feast."

Ivan Watson, CNN, Paris.


ANDERSON: Just before we go tonight, your parting shots. And as Belgian police conducted

multiple anti-terror raids overnight, they've asked the public not to tweet what was going on for fear of alerting targets.

Well, the internet responded the only way the internet knows how: with cats, lots of cats.

Using the #brusselslockdown, they flooded Twitter with different pictures showing a humorous side during a difficult time for the country

while helping to bury any intelligence information that was being shared.

And we will post those after the show on our Facebook pages as well as some of the other stories that the team here has been covering. You can

find that at You can get in touch with us. Please do. Tweet me @BeckyCNN, that is @BeckyCNN.

And a reminder of our top story this hour, western leaders trying to build a momentum for a wider anti-ISIS coalition. The heart of Europe

still on partial lockdown. Schools, museums and the metro system closed in Brussels because of fears of an imminent Paris-style attack. Another five

people arrested overnight in Belgium, bringing the total number of arrests there since Sunday to 21.

But the surviving suspect in the Paris attacks is still at-large after crossing into Belgium shortly after the carnage unfolded.

I'm Becky Anderson. That was Connect the World here on CNN. Thank you for watching. From the team here and those working with us around the

world, it is a very good evening.