Return to Transcripts main page


World Leaders Reach Agreement at COP21; Saudi Women Vote For First Time; Ted Cruz Now Leading in Latest Iowa Poll; Libya Factions to Sign Unity Agreement in Rome. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired December 13, 2015 - 11:00   ET


[11:00:12] BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: Tackling the danger on Europe's doorstep, world powers try to bring Libya's feuding factions to a deal as

ISIS expands in the country.

I'm going to the new United Nations special envoy for Libya in just a moment on what can be done, and whether it may already be too late.

Also this hour...


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have to take baby steps to reach the goal that you want. But this is a very, very important big step.


ANDERSON: An historic vote in Saudi Arabia as women go to the polls and are elected to local councils for the first time. I talk to one activist

who ran for office. That is ahead tonight.

Plus Trump, the billionaire front runner for the White House, loses ground to a rival. We are live to Washington for more.

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

ANDERSON: It is a very good evening from here just after 8:00 in the evening. Right now, top diplomats from the United States, from Italy and

elsewhere are gathered in Rome to maintain momentum on pressing Libya's two competing factions into signing a UN-backed peace a deal.

Now, on Friday, representatives said they would sign by Wednesday. Both sides will need support from back home to get that done

Well, the groups are splinted into what are effectively parallel governments, after Islamist leaning militias seized control of the capital

Tripoli last year, forcing the international parliament to relocate east to Tobruk. And in the power vacuum ISIS.

Let's hope that the deal will help stop militants from burrowing further into the country.

Western security sources tell the AFP that both sides will have 40 days after signing the deal to form a new government together or else sanctions

will kick in.

Well, to give us some background on the deal, CNN's international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson joining us tonight live from Geneva. He

has reported extensively from inside Libya over the last few years.

Nic, given what you've seen so far, is this a deal that will solve the current chaos in Libya?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The best analysis at the moment seems to be no, in part because these two governments, the sort of

Islamist leaning government that's in Tripoli and the more secular internationally recognized government in Tobruk, it doesn't seem that

there's a full commitment of either of those governments. Perhaps part of that is based on the fact that they know that even if they could come

together, they don't have power and the influence to control the whole country. Since Moammar Gadhafi was ousted from power in 2011, the country

has fractured and broken down into city-states, some of them controlled by Islamist militias, some of them controlled by strong counsels and militias,

some of them now controlled by ISIS.

So you have a fracturing there, sort of geographically among city-states. You have a fracturing of the tribal alliances that Moammar Gadhafi was able

to leverage to keep the country stable during his power, you have infighting who would control the country's oil reserves, and I don't think

either of these governments believe that they have the power, there's no national standing army that they can suddenly call to their side to back up

whatever agreement they come to.

So there is a lot of skepticism. However, there's a huge amount of pressure from outside, knowing that ISIS is trying to sort of forward

retreat from Syria and relocate part of its machine to Libya from the international community to make a deal. So, these are the sort of two

trading sides, if you will.

ANDERSON: We are hearing from stakeholders, and we will continue to hear from this -- and I know there's a news conference going as we speak -- I

wonder just how much support this deal really has in Libya, Nic, and whether sanctions are as a stick are enough.

ROBERTSON: Sanctions as a stick could only ever apply to a small fraction, you know, of the participants of the talks, because -- you know, oil is one

of the principle exports. It's not -- Libya is not exporting at full capacity. Not all parties to talks have the right to export oil. What

else can be sanctioned?

There's very little that can be sanctioned.

The reality is, in Libya, a very, very fractured -- a very, very fractured country. So the key question is how do you bring these constituent

elements (inaudible), what is the deal that you can stitch together that will serve all their interests 40 days after an agreement reached in Rome.

It is still a very short space of time to make that happen.

The international community has said, look, if they sign up and agree to this, it will give them economic back, it will give them security backing

and perhaps the security backing element, although it's hard to envisage what that might be, knowing the reluctance of the international community

to commit troops to this sort of thing endeavor, it is, you know, how would you provide that security.

And then look at the neighboring states. Egypt faces its own crisis with ISIS, Tunisia to, you know, the west, Algeria beyond that, both face rising

Islamist factions that are dangerous to the government there, potentially destabilizing.

[11:05:53] ANDERSON: Nic Robertson out of Geneva for you this evening. Nic, thank you for that. And later in the show then I will be joined by

the head of the UN special mission to Libya, the man who brokered this deal to ask him just how effective he believes it can be in stopping ISIS from

cementing its foothold in Libya and beyond.

Well, Russia wants answers after it says it was forced to fire warning shots at a Turkish vessel to avoid collision in the Aegean Sea. It 22

kilometers north of the Greek Island of Limnos.

Russia says its patrol ship made numerous attempts to contact the Turkish ship via radio. Russia has now summoned the military attache from Turkey's

embassy in Moscow.

Let's bring in our senior international correspondent Sara Sidner who joins us live from Istanbul tonight.

Any response from Ankara at this point?

SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Interestingly enough, no, they haven't responded to our phone calls, the prime minister's office,

foreign ministry, nothing. They have also not given any kind of statement to Turkish press as well.

But we do know from the Russians that there has been some sort of incident just as things were really calming down a bit over this downing of the

Russian SU-24 bomber in the Turkish-Syria region area.

You now have this. It is small in comparison, we need to make that very, very clear. This wasn't a Turkish military vessel, for example, it is a

fishing vessel that appears to have gotten close to a Russian vessel, and then was fired upon. We are not hearing of any sort of injuries or

anything like that.

But as you mention, the attache being called in from Moscow from Turkey.

What we have heard from the semi-official news agency here, Anadoglu (ph), they have said that Turkey is banning all of its military personnel from

traveling to Russia for holiday, and it is out of precaution for their safety.

So, that's all we're getting as far as reaction. But no, they have not reacted in any way and made any kind of comment about this latest

accusation from Russia, Becky.

ANDERSON: Sarah, you say this was just as things were beginning to quiet down a little bit. How do you think this latest incident is likely to, or

could impact, what are quite clearly already fraught relations between Russia and


SIDNER: I think what you'll probably see is a little bit of war of words saying this is wrong, but again this wasn't necessarily Turkish -- this

wasn't a Turkish military vessel, this was a Turkey kind of making a stand against Russia. This was a fishing vessel, so a very different situation.

And I don't think you're going to see this escalate in any way, nothing like what we have been seeing where Russia decided to ban, for example, its

citizens from being able to vacation here in Turkey, also ban some items from Turkey to be able to import into Russia. You're not going to see that

sort of thing.

This is just a little aggravator, I guess you could say, with the attache being brought in to Moscow, but I don't see this blowing into anything

further -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Sara Sidner is in Istanbul for you this evening. Sara, thank you for that.

Still to come tonight, as the polls are first in Saudi Arabia, women ran and voted in municipal elections. We're going to get the story of one

candidate coming up for you.

And not everyone is singing the praises of the landmark climate deal reached at the COP21 conference. Why some environmental activists say a

more immediate fix is needed.


[11:12:42] LU STOUT: Well, historic firsts in Saudi Arabia on Saturday. Women in the conservative country ran and voted in municipal elections.

Well, now the ballots are being tallied. Women for the first time will hold elected office in the oil rich Gulf state.

At this hour, at least six women have been elected to public positions, and that is according to preliminary results published in state media. And the

more we get in, of course, we will bring to you.

A total of 979 female candidates, nearly a thousand, stood in the election. And over 130,000 women voters participated, according to Saudi election


Well, I spoke to one woman in Saudi about her road to running for municipal office.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I am going to try to cross the Saudi borders. I am driving a car that I own and I have a UAE driving


ANDERSON; This is Loujain Alhathloul. That attempt to drive across the border late last year landed her in jail for over two months.

Take me back to that drive in those days.

LOUJAIN ALHATHLOUL, SAUDI ARABIA MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS CANDIDATE: It was just an attempt to confront the ban on Saudi women to drive.

Technically in legal terms I was was allowed to drive inside Arabia with that license. Those (inaudible), but I was arrested regardless.

ANDERSON: A year later, some things are changing. While women in the conservative kingdom still can't drive, they can and have now for the first

time in Saudi history run for public office and voted in an election.

Municipal elections were held and ballots cast on Saturday.

NAJD ALHABAHI (ph), VOTER: I can't explain how excited I am for this big improvement in our country. I'm very proud and lucky that I can

participate in it.

HAIFA ALHABABI, SAUDI ARABIA MUNICIPAL ELECTION CANDIDATE: I am one of the candidates. I work at the university as a lecturer in architecture.

ANDERSON: Loujain also hoped to have her name on the ballot.

ALHATHLOUL: When they announced the finalists of the candidates, I discovered that I was eliminated. So, I decided to object and appeal. And

I went to verify with the council that my name was back into the list, and they said yes, it will be added. But then I discovered yesterday at the

voting center that my name wasn't yet added. So no one was able to vote for me.

[11:15:14] ANDERSON: I know your experience of these elections has by no means been perfect, but just how significant are the elections?

ALHATHLOUL: As for impact, I think it is an important one, especially for women, to finally feel and experience how it is to be socially and

politically equal for men. That's a great move forward. And also it is opportunity for men to see how capable women are.

ANDERSON: Are you optimistic for the future?

ALHOUTHLOUL: Yes, extremely optimistic.

ANDERSON: An historic election, raising hope that change can come one vote at a time.


ANDERSON: Still to come on tonight's show for you at 15 minutes past 8:00 here in the UAE, taking a short break. There appears to be a new front

runner in the U.S. state of Iowa. The rivalry now heating up in the race for the White House coming up for you.

Plus, we will get more on that newly passed climate change deal. What it means, and why protesters are still skeptical. Short break. Back after



ANDERSON: Well, back with us on a cool evening in the UAE. I am Becky Anderson, 19 minutes past 8:00 here.

U.S. President Barack Obama says it is our best chance to save the planet after an ambitious climate deal this week at the COP21 gathering in Paris.

Now, once ratified, it will limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, but strive for 1.5 degrees if possible.

Now, nearly 200 nations participated in drafting what's called the Paris agreement.


[11:20:05] BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Because no nation, not even one as powerful as ours, can solve this challenge alone.

And no country, no matter how small, can sit on the sidelines. All of us have to solve it together.

Now, no agreement is perfect, including this one. Negotiations that involve nearly 200 nations are always challenging.

Even if all the initial targets set in Paris are met, we'll only be part of the way there when it comes to reducing carbon from the atmosphere, so we

cannot be complacent, because of today's agreement.

The problem is not solved because of this accord.


ANDERSON: That was the U.S. President with more on just how significant this is. We've got two reports for you from Paris. CNN's Kelly Morgan

takes us to the streets near the Eiffel Tower where skeptical environmental activists

gathered after the agreement was adopted. First up, though, CNN digital correspondent John

Sutter, who attended the conference.


JOHN SUTTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Here in Paris on Saturday we really saw history made. 196 countries came together at the UN climate change

conference to say that we are going to tackle global warming all together, 196 countries, and try to get off of fossil fuels. This is seen as a real turning point.

It's being heralded by many scientists, NGO leaders, and well as heads of state from around the world as a real turning point in our fight against

global warming.

What it means to actually attain the ambitious goals set in these targets, is that we will have to get off of fossil fuels shortly after mid-century

between 2050 and about 2080.

The Paris agreement as it is being called, sets the target of limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius or even 1.5 degrees. Those are seen

as hugely ambitious goals, the second one, 1.5, would never have been on the table

before these talks. And I think there's a lot of momentum coming out of this process that, you know, could carry through board rooms and heads of

state around the world to try to implement these sorts of changes.

I think what remains to be seen is whether this international agreement can come to the national level and will seed policies in the United States, in

China, in India, some of the high polluting countries, whether we will actually see those changed enough to meet these ambitious targets.

What the countries have put forward on the table to date would end up increasing warming to about 3 degrees Celsius over industrial levels. So,

you know, we are not quite there yet, but I think many people have a lot of hope that after this agreement, we're seeing a new era in the fight against

climate change and for renewable energy.

John Sutter, CNN, Paris.

KELLIE MORGAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We are at the end of what has been a long day of demonstrations in Paris. The Eiffel Tower the stage for just

one of three demonstrations that have taken place on the 12th, this, the 12th day of COP21.

Now organizers say some that 40,000 people have taken part in what have been peaceful and largely festive...

The message they're trying to deliver, though, is quite dire. They are calling for a declaration of emergency when it comes to climate change.

They want immediate action. They have very little faith that any decision or agreement comes out of COP21 will ensure that global warming levels

remain below that critical two degree limit, let alone 1.5 degrees, which activists say, by the way, should be the

absolute threshold.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anything above 1.5 degrees is death for a lot of people on this planet.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ...people in island nations, do they matter? They're kind of us, they're humans, they matter, too.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We can't wait any further because we need to stop producing CO2 now -- tomorrow or today. We will already reach 1.5 degrees.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a very big demonstration, which at the end of this will just generate a very small results.

MORGAN: So, a lot of doubt from activists. They want see more immediate action than what COP21 is pledging. They want to see a quicker transition

to reliance on renewable energy sources. They say there is a red line and that is to ensure that 80 percent of fossil fuel remains in the ground.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are certain limits that if crossed, the world is going to go into like disaster that can't be reversed. And we are

concerned that the world is crossing these red lines and that the politicians at the COP that they don't recognize this.

MORGAN: Kellie Morgan, CNN, Paris.


ANDERSON: The latest world news headlines are just ahead for you as you would expect at this point on CNN. Plus, Donald Trump facing a new rising

challenger in the Republican race for U.S. president.

The latest poll numbers from what is a key voting state.

And the future is golden for some dogs from the streets of Istanbul at least. We will tell you about the woman who came to their rescue in the

new country that is home.



[11:30:25] ANDERSON: Let me get you back to our top story this hour. As I just mentioned, high level talks taking place in Rome as negotiators try

and work out a deal to help stop scenes like this: ISIS militants brazenly parading through Libya just across the sea from Italy, neighboring Tunisia

and Egypt.

That is rattling western leaders and accelerating efforts to bring Libya's feuding factions together to fight them.

Well, in the last hour, John Kerry in Rome said that Libya's rival factions are both now ready to sign a deal, world powers promising full political,

economic and security backing if that happens.

Well, for a closer look at what is the growing threat of ISIS there, Martin Kobler, the head of the UN's mission to Libya, a new position for him,

joins us now on the phone from Rome.

And Martin, whether or not these two parliaments, these two feuding factions, sign this deal, even vote on it, they won't necessarily be a

formal vote in Libya.

So, at this point, what is the point?

MARTIN KOBLER, UN MISSION TO LIBYA: Well, first of all, I'm very encouraged by this conference in Rome, which was co-chaired by Secretary

Kerry and Minister (inaudible) here.

The point is really to end the division, to end the unity, and there is a sense of urgency, because the Islamic State is expanding, the economic

situation is deteriorating. So, there is a broad consensus among the Libyan people to

really come to grips now with having a government of national unity in place.

Because this is the starting point to solve and to tackle all the problems in Libya.

ANDERSON: That is all well and good. Let me just press you on this. Your predecessor Bernadino Leon (ph) admitted recently, Libya is, and I quote,

"divided, the militia are not obeying directly any of the political representatives. They also have to join and support this political


What chance of that? And why would Libya's rival militia on the ground, many of them Islamist, see this deal in having any relevance to them?

KOBLER: I think they're all united in the fight against Daesh, the Islamic State. This is a serious threat. And we have been observing the last year

the expansion. There are areas of the Gulf of (inaudible) which are occupied by the Islamic State. The neighboring countries, Egypt, Algeria,

the southern neighbors, Chad, Niger, they are worried.

And this has influence on the political discussion inside Libya.

I have been sitting together with the members of the Libyan political dialogue in the last days. And I failed the consensus, not on everything,

but to go ahead with the signing of the agreement, and they decided themselves to go ahead on 16th of December with signing the agreement.

ANDERSON: Which, sir, leads to what? Are you -- with this deal expecting members of these competing factions in two different parliaments to

realistically get together and work together at this point?

Because we have seen very, very little evidence of that in any of the negotiations leading up to this point. Everybody wants that to happen, but

how realistic, sir, really, is that?

KOBLER: Well, of course all options come with risks. If you delay further the signing of the agreement, and there is no government of national unity,

there are serious risk involved, the economic situation is deteriorating and the Islamic State is expanding.

Now, the signature of the agreement alone does not solve all of the problems. You mentioned rightly that the country in Tripoli is in the

hands of militias. This has to be tackled, this problem. But the starting point is to have a government of national unity which is a legitimate

government. There is no legitimate government at this stage. At least then you have a government and you have a starting point.

And I do not want to belittle the problems. The new problems are there. And the new government of national unity has first of all single most

important topic to address the security situation in the country, but also the humanitarian situation. 4 million are in need of human care and

assistance, out of 6 million. And this is a rich country. And everybody agrees now, in particular the people of Libya, that this has to end and the

country has to at least to go back into a process of normality. And this political agreement is just for one year.

The constitutional process is going in parallel and leading to a final kind of structure of the state of Libya after one, maybe two years.

[11:35:21] You've talked about influence, the footprint that ISIS has on the ground in Libya and how big a risk they are and could be going forward.

If this plan doesn't work, sir, is there a plan B?

KOBLER: Well, there is always something you have to deal with in crisis. Of course there is not a plan B, but there is a mechanism in place then to

deal with the matters. For example, this conference in Rome today, this is a very good form. 17 states and international organizations were around

the table also discussing with members of the Libyan political dialogue on the way forward.

I would like have a greater role of the African Union, because the southern neighbors of Libya are very worried. Yes, there must be an international

community must accompany this process. And if we run into trouble, and there will be obstacles and there will be stumbling blocks, I do not want

to belittle this, then the international community provides a means to discuss with all of those who are in Libya to solve the problem, yes.

One runs into trouble, then there is the international community also being ready to accompany this very difficult process.

ANDERSON: All right, and the international community that many people in Libya will say has fundamentally let them down.

For the time being, sir, we thank you very much indeed for joining us. I know you just entered that news conference. I hope we'll speak again in the

days and weeks to come in what is an incredibly important story. Thank you.

Well, I turn to U.S. politics now. And a new poll appears to be shaking up the Republican race for president in 2016. With just seven weeks to go

before primary season kicks off.

The Des Moines Register/Bloomberg politics shows Republican candidate Ted Cruz has surged ahead of Donald Trump by ten points in Iowa. Iowa now

plays a pivotal role in the race as the first state to choose during primary season.

All right, well, Cruz and Trump face off Tuesday in Vegas, Las Vegas, at the final Republican debate this year, right here on CNN.

CNN's Jake Tapper spoke to Trump about this growing rivalry between him and Cruz just a couple hours ago. Have a listen to this.


TAPPER: Why -- why should voters go for you over Ted Cruz?

TRUMP: Because I'm more capable, because I have a much better temperament, because I actually get along with people much better than he does.

You know, people don't know that about me. I actually have a great relationship with people. In fact, I was criticized at the beginning,

because I get along with Democrats and liberals and Republicans and conservatives. I get along with everybody.

TAPPER: And he doesn't?

TRUMP: Because, as a world-class businessman, that's what you have to do.

No, I don't think he does. And I like him. He's been so nice to me. I mean, I could say anything, and he said, I agree, I agree.


TRUMP: But I think the time will come to an end pretty soon, it sounds like.

TAPPER: Let's talk about the reason why a lot of Republican leaders are -- say they're expressing such anxiousness these days, and that is your call

Monday for a -- quote -- "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the U.S."

There's now some polling information -- and you cite polls all the time. You say, what can you go by if not the polls? And a majority of Americans,

58 percent, reject this call, reject this proposal to ban Muslims from entering the U.S.

Now, I know your supporters agree with you, but this is a poll of the American people writ large.

TRUMP: Jake, I didn't do it for polls, so I don't even care what the polls say. I didn't do it for polls.

Now, my polls happen to have gone up a lot since this announcement. A lot of people thought it would go down. I didn't do it for that reason. But,

with that being understood, when you're getting a phone call from a polling agency, and they're saying, well, do you support, you know, the banning of

Muslims, et cetera, do you think you're going to say -- who's going to say yes?

I don't think the polls are accurate. At the same time, I have many friends that are Muslims. And I will tell you, they are so happy that I did this,

because they know they have a problem. There is a problem.

TAPPER: Your Muslim friends are happy -- are happy?

TRUMP: Radicalized -- I have many friends, and at the highest level. And they -- I have partners that are Muslim. I have unbelievable relationships.

TAPPER: And they support a ban on Muslims entering the U.S.?

TRUMP: They said -- no, they said, it's about time that somebody spoke up as to radicalism.

You have radicalism in this country. It's here. And it's trying to come through. I just read where ISIS has gotten ahold of a passport- printing

machine for the migrants to get them into the United States.

Now, maybe that's true, and maybe it's not. It's an early report. But how crazy are we, allowing ourselves to be subject to this kind of terror?


[11:40:16] ANDERSON: Right, I know you want us to do more on this. So, Chris Frates joins me now from Washington.

Chris, look, timing is everything here seeing as we are now heading into primary season, which of course is part of the nominating process of U.S.

presidential elections and therefore when things really do start getting serious.

Firstly, let's look at these latest polls. How significant are they?

CHRIS FRATES, CNN CORREPSONDEND: So, these polls are really significant, Becky. And you take a look at them, we are talking about this Des Moines

Register/Bloomberg poll, for instance.

We saw Ted Cruz jump 21 points. That is the biggest jump that the Des Moines Register has seen in the last 20 years. So, now he is leading

Donald Trump by ten points. That's huge in Iowa.

And part of the way that Ted Cruz has done this, is he has been courting the evangelical vote. There's very religious people in Iowa. Of course,

they're the first state to choose in the presidential nominating process here in America. And he's kind of being stealthily building coalitions

among those evangelicals, while Trump is out there being brash and loud. He has kind of come under the radar here

about six weeks before Iowa makes that choice in February.

ANDERSON: Chris, what is fascinating, if not a little alarming to many people in this region and beyond, is that Donald Trump isn't as one analyst

put it trying to play the villain, he is trying to be popular when he says for

example Muslims should be prevented from entering the United States.

Does he garner support with words like that? Do people like what he says?

FRATES: So this is a great question, Becky. And I think when you look at polling across America, 60 percent are opposed to his idea of preventing

Muslims coming into the country, so that's an overwhelming majority here.

But what Trump is doing is playing to the GOP base. These are the folks who come out to vote, the primary voters who will choose who the Republican

nominee will be. And in those quarters he gets more support and he is channeling an anger where people feel like nothing is being done. ISIS is

on the attack in Paris, in San Bernardino, and he is speaking to that.

But what's been interesting with this, getting back to kind of the Cruz/Trump dynamic, is that Ted Cruz hasn't criticized Donald Trump. He is

in fact, he said the strategy here is to kind of bear hug him to death, kind of love him to death, keep his enemies closer than his friends in this


And he's hoping that as Donald Trump starts to fade, he can fill that gap with those voters that Trump is appealing to, and we have seen this love

fest start to break apart a little bit, Becky, as Donald Trump has started to lose some ground to Ted Cruz.

ANDERSON: Chris Frates for you tonight on what is going to be a very interesting next 16 months or so -- 12 months or so.

As we mentioned CNN will host the final Republican debate of the year. CNN's Wolf Blitzer will moderate coverage, which starts Tuesday this week,

6:00 p.m. Eastern time in the U.S.. That is 3:00 a.m. Wednesday in Abu Dhabi. Do watch the replay if you don't want to stay up until that time.

Then it will be 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, London, midnight here in Abu Dhabi. That is right here on CNN, expect that to be full of surprises.

Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World. Coming up, it's good to be home. Hans Solo is back with his blaster pistol for a new Star Wars. Now

can we get him to reveal some Star Wars secrets? We'll find out in about ten minutes.


[11:47:12] ANDERSON: We're going to get you back to Turkey this evening with some good news. Some street dogs with a new chance at a good life

thousands of miles from their home.

CNN's Sara Sidner once again this evening in Istanbul where their story begins.


SARA SIDNER: It is play time. First this raucous crowd greets each other in all manner of ways.

Then they turn to the humans.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They want love and affection.

SIDNER: All these dogs are here because of Yasemin Baban. All of these dogs were once abandoned and unwanted on the streets of Istanbul. And you

won't believe where they're about to end up.

YASEMIN BABAN, DOG RESCUER: Dogs have no chances, they cannot talk, they cannot beg, they don't steal, they just want food and affection.

SIDNER: After seeing the conditions of the shelters 12 years ago in Turkey, she dedicated her life to saving domestic animals.

BABAN: I left the shelter crying, and I went agani, then I cried. And then I said crying is not enough, someone has to do something. And then I

started to volunteer in shelters.

SIDNER: She was soon warned of a disturbing trend.

The reason so many golden retrievers here being rescued is because people in Turkey love the puppies, they're really popular. But once they get

grown up, they end up putting them out, either on the streets or in the forest. And that's also why they're also good-natured, because these are

people's pets at one time.

But their sweetness hurts their chances of survival on the streets of Istanbul, where tens of thousands of hardcore stray street dogs live.

AHMET, DOG RESCUER: We vaccinate them, we neuter or spay them, and then put them a chip which is for the identification of the dog and we issue

their health certificate, their passports.

SIDNER: That's where the story turns into a very long journey for these Goldens, from Istanbul, Turkey to Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Turns out

Americans love their golden retrievers, and Baban found just the place: Adopt a Golden, Atlanta.

BABAN; American golden rescues have lists of people waiting to adopt dogs. Here we don't find anyone.

SIDNER: So far, Adopt a Golden Atlanta has taken in 123 golden retrievers from Istanbul. They call them Turkey dogs.

With all of the animosity building between east and west, this is one connection that has no bark or bite.

Sara Sidner, CNN, Istanbul.


[11:50:04] ANDERSON: Live from Abu Dhabi, or should I say from a galaxy far, far away. This is Connect the World. Coming up, we're going to take

a look at how the desert landscapes right here around this city were transformed into another

world for the latest Star Wars movie.





ANDERSON: Tonight's Parting Shots. You are looking at Abu Dhabi, not quite as you may know it. Some of the scenes from the new Star Wars movie

were filmed right here, and the movie's Facebook page gave fans a tantalizing glimpse how the

landscape was transformed in the 3D movie that they could control.

You're seeing a clip of that experience now. Now, the Force Awakens will premier here on Wednesday night.

Well, the movie has its world premier on Monday in Los Angeles. And as you can imagine, fans can hardly wait.

Isha Sesay catches up with the famous smuggler, Han Solo.


FORD: Chewie, we're home. It's good to be home.

ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As you say in the trailer, Chewie, we're home. What's it like to be back?

FORD: It's good to be home. It's good to be home.

SESAY: You've done so much since the original film, so much time has passed, but I wonder whether coming back to this character, whether it's

almost like muscle memory?

FORD: It is. You know part of it is that muscle memory, but you put on the clothes of the character, you remember the gate of the character, the

swagger of the character. It's all -- you know, it comes back. It comes back.

SESAY: How has Han changed? I know there's not a lot you can tell me. You i may have to kill me first, but imagine that wasn't the case.

FORD: I'd have to kill you after I told you, then I'd want to kill myself.

He's certainly 30 years older. There's no attempt to soften that blow. The story involves some of the changes in his -- in his understanding of

the world.

SESAY: Are you ready for the latest round of fandom?

FORD: I'm delighted. I hope the film is successful as, you know, as it can be. And I'm ready for whatever comes.

SESAY: And no regrets to coming back, because I know in the past you seemed a little...

FORD: No, I just thought at a certain point I thought that when we were making the third film that we could make an interesting -- we had an

interesting opportunity with the character, who had always been cynical and outside the story for him to sacrifice himself for the greater good, for

the -- for the benefit of the good side of for the light side as opposed to the dark side that he might lend some gravitas to the proceedings if he

were to sacrifice himself.

SESAY: Well, I'm personally pleased they never killed you off.

FORD: Very grateful, thank you.

SESAY: Harrison Ford, thank you, best of luck with the film.

FORD: I appreciate it.


ANDERSON: And we will post both that interview and the scenes from Abu Dhabi straight after this on our Facebook page. All things Star Wars

You'll also be able to find our interview with UN special envoy to Libya on why unity government is the only way forward in the face of increasing

chaos there.

Catch that again on our Facebook page.

And do get in touch with me by tweeting me @BeckyCNN.

I'm Becky Anderson from the team here. That was Connect the World. A very good evening. Thanks for watching.

Your headlines, though, are up after this short break. We will be back with those. Stay with us.