Return to Transcripts main page

CONNECT THE WORLD

British Inquiry Blames Russian President for Assassination of Litvinenko; Volatility Continues in World Markets; Amateur Golfer Brian Dechambeau Leads Abu Dhabi After First Day; Saudi Arabia Hints at Oil Strategy Change at World Economic Forum; Turkey's Quiet Automotive Behemoth; Eastern United States Gets Ready for Massive Snow Storm. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired January 21, 2016 - 11:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[11:00:13] BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Sign off from the top? Well, an inquiry in the UK finds that the Russian president probably approved the operation

to kill former spy Alexander Litvinenko. We're live next in London, and in Moscow where those findings are making big waves.

Also ahead, ripple effect. Record low oil prices have global ramifications, and that's not all that is worrying investors. A check of the global

markets for you coming up.

And bracing for a blizzard. A severe winter storm warning in the eastern U.S. and it's got it on edge. We'll cross to Washington to see how

preparations there are coming along.

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

ANDERSON: Well, a very good evening. Just after 8:00 here in the UAE.

Stunning new revelations about the poisoning of a former Russian spy who died in London

more than nine years ago. A British investigation has concluded that President Vladimir Putin probably approved the 2006 operation to kill

Alexander Litvinenko.

Now he was a former Russian security agent who came in Britain in 2000 after becoming a whistle blower on the FSB. The FSB, of course, succeeded

the infamous Russian spy service the KGB.

Well, Litvinenko was poisoned with a rare radioactive substance he claimed while meeting former Russian operatives in a London hotel.

CNN's Nic Robertson has more on his death and the evidence that led to Thursday's inquiry report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: When this picture was taken, 20th of November, 2006, Alexander Litvinenko knew he was dying. Even

claiming he knew who had killed him with the rare radioactive poison polonium 210, authorizing this statement on his death.

ROBIN TAM, LAWYER TO LITVINENKO INQUIRY: You may succeed in silencing one man, but the howl of protest from around the world will reverberate, Mr.

Putin, in your ears for the rest of your life.

ROBERTSON: The former KGB spy-turned British agent had fled Russia in 2000, and was increasingly critical of President Vladimir Putin. He said Russia

orchestrated apartment bombings that killed hundreds and led to Russia's invasion of Chechnya.

In the days before he died, he told police he suspected the poison had been planted in tea he drank here three weeks earlier, in the upmarket central

London Millennium Hotel. He told police he was having a business meeting with two Russians, his former KGB associate, Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitry

Kovtun.

Hotel security cameras caught vital moments. Minutes apart, both Lugovoi and Kovtun visit reception, then the lobby bathroom. Traces of the poison

polonium 210 were later found in the bathroom, on the chairs where the three met, and in the teapot Litvinenko drank from.

So serious the evidence and allegations the British government opened an inquiry. Putin was robust in his denials of involvement.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Alexander Litvinenko was fired from security forces where he served in convoy;

ministry of the interior didn't possess any secrets.

ROBERTSON: Denials escalated to tit for tat expulsion of diplomats. When Russia refused extradition of Lugovoi to face trial in the U.K. both

Lugovoi and Kovtun deny allegations and Russia refuses to extradite them.

ANDREI LUGOVOI, INVESTIGATED ON LITVINENKO'S DEATH (through translator): Regarding my position on traces of polonium, I think these questions should

be addressed to U.K. security services as they had direct involvement in whatever was going on around Litvinenko.

ROBERTSON: It is a denial the British police say doesn't stand up against the huge weight of evidence they have and until both Lugovoi and Kovtun

stand trial in the U.K. Litvinenko's murder remains an open case.

Nic Robertson, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Well, Matthew Chance is in Moscow for you this evening. Matthew, what is the response from Russian authorities?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, there's been a very dismissive response. First of all, the Russian foreign ministry has said

that this cast a shadow effectively over the relationship between Britain and Russia. There's been a denial again from

the prime suspect in the case, Andre Lugovoi, who is accused categorically in the report of carrying off the poisoning along with his colleague Dmitry

Kovtun saying that this is a politically motivated hearing in Britain.

And there's been reaction finally this evening from the Kremlin as well saying that this report may poison the relationship between Britain and

Russia.

So there is a lot of concern here in Russia that the British government may take steps that could spark off what they would see spark off a further

diplomatic row between these two countries.

[11:05:37] ANDERSON: What sort of steps, Matthew?

CHANCE: Well, already Teresa May, who is the British home secretary, has announced a couple of measures matches that have been put in place, the

issuing of arrest warrants by Interpol for the two prime suspects, Dmitry Kovtun and Andrei Lugovoi. Also, and this is new, financial sanctions

against those two individuals, including freezing their assets.

So it's not altogether clear what assets either of those prime suspects have in the United Kingdom that could be frozen by the British government.

You know, but the British government has a real problem on its hands. It has to balance the need to respond to this report, which was categorical in

pointing the finger of blame at Vladimir Putin and his underlings, with the need to maintain a working relationship with Russia. It's engaged with

Russia on all sorts of issues on all sorts of issues, not least trying to find a solution to the conflict in Syria. And it doesn't want to the need

to continue engaging with Russia it doesn't come up with an answer with the conflict in Syria, and it doesn't want to isolate the

country necessarily at a time when it's already pretty isolated and it's in the process of being brought in from the cold.

ANDERSON: Matthew Chance is in Moscow for you on what is our top story today. Thank you, Matthew.

Well, we've seen extreme volatility in financial markets this week, haven't we, oil prices continue to hover near their lowest levels in more than a

decade. Asian stock markets closed firmly in the red on Thursday.

U.S. stocks, though, are bouncing back at this point. About six minutes past 11:00 in New York.

The Dow Jones up about 1 percent, 168-odd points higher. That market was some 400 odd points lower at one stage yesterday, closing down about 250

points.

Our CNNMoney chief business correspondent Christine Romans following developments for you from New York. And a better day. But that doesn't

mean these markets are out of the wood by any stretch, correct?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, Becky, you're right.

I mean, look, we're taking this day by day here because it is a very dangerous situation with all the fear. You know, you know that markets

behave on a spectrum of fear and greed, right? And right now fear is firmly, firmly the emotion that is driving sentiment around the world.

Asian stocks down sharply, European stocks trying to buck that. The U.S., thankfully, and Europe sort of breaking with the trend from overnight. But

mostly you've seen these markets when one moves violently lower, the rest of them go down with them.

This sell-off has really reverberated around the world this year. I want to show you the countries that are in a bear market, that are down 20

percent from their peak.

I got a map with these red markings that show you where there are bear markets around

the world. And they are spreading from Canada to the U.K., France, Germany, China, Japan. And when you look at -- add onto those the yellow

countries that have a 10 percent correction, you can see there aren't very many major markets that are immune to all of this selling.

Really fear around the world. Some of the best known stocks, some of the most widely known

stocks -- Walmart, Goldman Sachs, Apple, Disney all of them in a bear market or worse here.

So, the feeling is -- and as you know it's slowing China, it's a crash in oil markets and concern about what that's going to mean for the U.S.

economy, a U.S. economy that is still relatively stable and strong compared to the rest of the world.

What these markets are telling you is there is a fear that there could maybe be a recession at some point, that the ill winds blowing around the

world and the crash in oil is going to mean something dire for the U.S. But as of now, the U.S. economy is still holding in there. That's why you

tend to see these little bounces where people say, wait a minute. If there is a recession, is this too much built in here? Maybe this is a buying

opportunity.

ANDERSON: Yeah, this is interesting, isn't it? It was a rosier picture in Europe after European Central Bank president Mario Draghi hinted the

possibility pumping more money into the system earlier.

Let's just have a listen to what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARIO DRAGHI, EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK COMMISSIONER: We have the power, the willingness and the determination to act. There are no limits to how far

we are willing to deploy our instruments within our mandate to achieve our objective of the rate of inflation which is below or close to 2 percent.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[11:10:05] ANDERSON: And to a certain extent, it's what he said around that, which was pretty gloomy. He had a fairly negative outlook.

And we are hearing similar gloomy predictions from politicians and business leaders, Christine, meeting in Davos for WEF, or the World Economc Forum.

Though the U.S. increased interest rates late last year, did the Fed jump the gun, do you think? And might we see that rate rise reversed if there's

no sign of life in these global markets: oils, equities, commodities, any time soon?

ROMANS: It's interesting, because is the Fed responding to global markets? Is the Fed responding to the internals of the U.S. economy. And so far,

the stock market has been leading the doom and gloom in the U.S., but not the economic indicators, really.

So, the question is -- you know, there's an old saying on Wall Street, right, the stock market has predicted nine of the past five recessions

meaning that sometimes the stock market gets out ahead of itself. It is a leading indicator, but sometimes it does get out ahead of itself.

What Janet Yellen and her team are looking at are wage growth, anecdotally at least you've been hearing from sectors and companies and economies that

are -- and people in this country, CEOs in this country who have been saying that they're having to pay up for top talent. And you're seeing

wages rise from Walmart to restaurants to retailers in this country. So wages are definitely starting to rise.

If, the U.S. labor market, and if the core of the U.S. economy can basically shrug off all the concerns coming out of China and oil, then you

have a pretty decent chance for the Fed to stay on course here for this year and not have to reverse its rate hike that happened in December.

ANDERSON: Yes, fascinating, isn't it?

All right, we're just under 16,000 on the Dow Jones Industrial average, viewers, hold on to your hats and your funds, as it were, at the moment,

because things are going to be choppy, I'm sure.

The falling price of oil doesn't only have business ramifications, it will also have major geopolitical impact. Take the war in Syria. The savage

conflict that started five years ago as a civil war soon morphed into one involving almost all major powers today.

Another round of U.S. peace talks set to start next week, but with four days left to go, a lot is still unknown.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: It's a war everyone agrees must be stopped, but nobody agrees on how. Twice, international peace talks have failed, and already it's not

looking like third time lucky.

STAFFAN DE MISTURA, UN SPECIAL ENVOY FOR SYRIA: There is still a lot of work to be done. What we want to ensure is that this time it would not be

like Geneva II. A serious talk about peace and not talk about (inaudible).

ANDERSON: But days to go, the United Nations still hasn't issued invitations, saying it's up to

major powers like Russia and the U.S. both supporting different sides to agree on who is attending.

But despite a last minute meeting, there's still no clarity.

In particular, a new Saudi-backed opposition council says it won't accept any other opposition groups attending.

RIAD HIJAB, HEAD HIGH COMMITTEE OF NEGOTIATION (through translator): There will be no negotiation in any way whatsoever if there is any addition. We

will not go to negotiate. This thing is settled and we will not succumb to pressure.

ANDERSON: So who might be at the table? Well, the negotiations are UN- mediated, bringing together the Syrian government and the deeply divided opposition. That includes political and fighting groups backed by Saudi

Arabia, Turkey, and France; and veteran secular dissidents who oppose Assad and Islamist rebels. Major world powers like Russia, the U.S., Saudi

Arabia, Turkey and Iran will also attend.

Everyone agrees that terror groups like ISIS and al Nusra have no part to play despite their huge

influence on the battlefield.

And just to illustrate how complex and delicate this all is, for some, even the presence of one of the strongest rebel militia is problematic.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Well, having shocked the world by parading prisons as human shields last year as you've just seen there. The Army of Islam is among

those Saudi Arabia wants to send to the talks. In a war where human rights groups say all sides are committing atrocities, if a guest list is finally

agreed on, there are sure to be some difficult compromises involved.

We will await to see what happens. The date was January 25th, those talks to begin, so let's see

whether we actually get a table full of participants.

Still to come, an act of defiance through art. We're going to me tell you why Syrian artists are making models of some of the landmarks destroyed in

the conflict.

Oil prices, as we've been talking, have stabilized somewhat after the beating they've taken this week. We're going to talk about the impact that

is having with our emerging markets editor and my colleague John Defterios in about 20 minutes from now. Taking a very short break. Back after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:17:28] ANDERSON: 17 minutes past eight. We are in UAE and Abu Dhabi. You're watching Connect the World with me Becky Anderson.

A monster storm appears headed for the United States' east coast. It could dump up to 60 centimeters of snow starting on Friday. But as Rene Marsh

reports, the Washington area has already gotten a taste of what's to come.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I was just talking with my photographer here. I mean, it took us hours to get home. We're not the only ones. Lots

of people driving in the D.C. area, they were stuck in traffic for hours. This morning, we saw people with gas cans. They had to abandon their

vehicles, because they simply ran out of gas. And as you mentioned, Chris, that was just the preview.

(voice-over): A crippling evening commute causing a gridlock nightmare in the D.C. metro area. People stuck behind the wheel for hours.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was pretty rough driving home, and it took a while. It took him an hour to get four miles.

MARSH: As the snow on slick, untreated roads turned to ice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It usually takes me about 20 to 25 minutes. I've been on the road close to five hours now.

MARSH: Causing more than 160 crashes, including one fatality in Virginia. Only one inch of snow wreaking havoc, and it's only a preview of the

potentially historic blizzard to come. The nation's capital could be in the bull's-eye for a record-breaking 30 inches of snow by Sunday.

This traffic app showing the accidents inside and outside of the D.C. Beltway. An absolute mess, crashes snarling traffic for hours, forcing

drivers to abandon their cars.

Pedestrians not spared from the hellish conditions, including President Obama, nearly slipping as he exited Air Force One. The commander in chief's

motorcade slipping and sliding on snow-glazed streets, taking motorcade drivers more than an hour to get back to the White House.

Snow crews in nearby Virginia and Maryland scrambling overnight, piling up salt and positioning plows to prepare for the wintry onslaught.

The expected blizzard dredging up memories of D.C.'s "Carmageddon" in January 2011, when heavy snow fell fast across the region, knocking down

trees and cutting power to hundreds of thousands along the East Coast.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Still better than New York. I was living in New York this time last year. And it was already pretty bad up there.

[11:20:03] MARSH: All right. Well, we are not far from Reagan National Airport. We are seeing flights take off and land here. Not seeing a whole

lot of cancellations. But of course, all of that could change within a matter of hours because of what airlines want to do is pre-cancel those

flights ahead of the storm. Because what they don't want is aircraft stuck, and they also don't want the passengers stuck.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Absolutely.

All right, well, Chris Frates is in Washington for you live where road crews, Chris, are getting ready for what is this second blast of wintry

weather. What's going on?

CHRIS FRATES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, what's up, Becky?

So I'm standing in front of what's 39 tons of some of the salt they're going to use all over the road in the next few days in Washington, D.C.

And we just heard from Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and she apologized for the mess that was last night's commute.

She said that the road crews didn't get out early enough, they didn't have enough resources to

deploy, and that was part of the reason why traffic was a mess, taking some people five or six hours to get home. In fact, President Obama's motorcade

from joint base Andrews to the White House, usually a 20 minute right, a half an hour, took the president an hour to get home last night.

She says that this next few days will be much better. They've been prepping for this storm. She declared a state of emergency here in

Washington, D.C. That means that FEMA and the National Guard could be deployed if need it. Schools will be closed on Friday ahead of this storm.

The storm isn't expected to roll in until about 4:00, but they're taking all kinds of precautions. City government will leave early. They want to

make sure that the roads are as clear as possible for those salt trucks to start to treat the roads so we don't have a repeat of what happened last

night, Becky.

ANDERSON: Chris, Rene just talking about preparations at the airports as well. There will be lots and lots of viewers watching this thinking,

what's going to happen to my flight? And how long is this all going to take?

Any suggestions, any advice at this point?

FRATES: Well, certainly the airlines have already started to warn passengers that there could be delays and cancellations. We're seeing

airlines who are refunding, essentially, people who want to change their ticket for free. If you do want to change your ticket, you should contact

your airlines. They might allow you to do that change for free as they prepare for this storm, because remember, it's not just when the weather

hits. A lot of these airlines don't want to bring planes into the area that then get stranded here.

So sometimes they will begin canceling those flights a little bit ahead of when the storm is supposed to come so that they don't have to dig out the

planes later.

So the best advice, of course, is to check with your airline, see if they're offering those free changes and to just be ready, Becky. Anything

can happen. We're talking about a storm that might be of historic proportions, over two feet of snow. That's sure to shut down things here

in the Capitol area for a long time.

ANDERSON: Remarkable. All right, Chris, thank you for that. Chris Frates is in Washington. Live from Abu Dhabi, a little warmer here this evening.

This is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson.

Coming up, oil prices have many investors panicking. Will there be any relief, then, any time soon? We're going to take a look at that coming up.

Before that, though, there is no internationally recognized Turkish car brand, but chances are a vehicle near you was made in Turkey. We head out

to get a look at the country's booming auto industry. In our next installment of the Silk Road. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SAIMA MOHSIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's not what you would normally associate with Turkey but car production is a massive

earner for the country that straddles Europe and Asia.

Cars account for one-fifth of all Turkey's exports. And at the center of automotive production

is Bursa, a city of over 3 million people, often known as Turkey's Detroit.

1 million square meters in size, the Tofas factory is a workplace of approximately 7,000 people who make passenger cars and light commercial

vehicles for the Fiat-Chrysler group.

AKIN AYDEMIR, DIRECTOR, Tofas: Anybody who talks about Bursa will mention the (inaudible) and Tofas.

MOHSIN: Of his 20 years in the car industry, Akin Aydemir has spent the last six with Topsah (ph).

AYDEMIR: I think it's very easy to duplicate this factory next door if you invest $2 billion, but at the end, the know how and the skill and knowledge

that we have accumulated so far is unique, I would say.

MOHSIN: Tofas relies on a dedicated team of local workers to produce more than 300,000 vehicles per year.

AYDEMIR: We make a car every 55 seconds, so less than a minute. So every day we make about 1,200 cars.

MOHSIN: On the factory floor, (inaudible) assembly. He has been working for Tofas for 25 years.

A few meters away, his daughter Hatide (ph) works in electric systems control.

HATIDE ELOIT, ELECTRICAL TECHNICIAN (through translator): I'm taking care of reporting at the moment. I report the mistakes I see on the line. We

record them into a computer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): When I started working in this company, I was

single. Then I got married. Then I had a baby. Then my daughter grew up. Now she is working here. And I am hugely proud of this.

MOHSIN: Tofas makes 2,000 different body types for six different brands in countless colors, exported to 80 countries worldwide. These ram vans are

destined for the USA.

CENGIZ EROLDU, TOFAS, CEO: 20 years ago for us, to export to the U.S. market was a dream. But now we are seeing that this is the level that's

reached and it shows us that our stratgy is correct. So, that's why we decided to make a diversification of the market

and diversification of the product and diversification of the brands.

MOHSIN: Turkish branded cars no longer driver our streets, but chances are a vehicle near you

was made in Turkey.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(HEADLINES)

[11:32:08] ANDERSON: U.S. troops can now go on the offensive against ISIS in Afghanistan and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani says he welcomes the

change.

Mr. Ghani told our Christiane Amanpour it was a very good decision for the U.S. to designate ISIS in Afghanistan a foreign terror organization.

The classification frees up the rules of engagement for U.S. forces. Previously they could only go after ISIS in the case of a direct threat.

Well, another militant group, the Taliban, also heightening concerns in the country. Taliban militants claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing

targeting TOLO TV staffers. The Afghan network says seven people were killed.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A key Kabul street, home to embassies, parliament, now unsafe. A suicide bomber killing seven

people here Wednesday. Unsafe now, too, are Afghanistan's journalists, a bus carrying TOLO TV employees was the target. The blast, like so many so

often now in the capital, felt blocks away.

The Taliban said it meant to target the journalists, that the channel had accused their fighters of raping women when they bravely seized the city of

Kunduz last year.

Still, the signal was felt more widely. The Taliban killing the messengers, showing broader savagery in a bid to intimidate the media.

Would it work? TOLO TV pledged it would not.

LOTFULLAH NAJAFIZADA, HEAD OF TOLO NEWS: It took us by surprise. When we first had heard that the Taliban threatened TOLO and channel 1, and for us

it's indeed a very big question as to why it happened, And I think the Taliban have just stepped up their act, and by attacking the media, they

have chosen to attack soft targets.

The newsroom is still working, as you can see, 24/7 as any other day to report on other casualties as we do any day around the clock.

WALSH: Kabul increasingly unsafe for the Taliban's opponents. The vacuum left by the United States felt most acutely here, from fewer jobs to less

security on the streets.

The United States Wednesday approved strikes against ISIS here, but it is the Taliban emboldened who for years said they would have their moment

again when America left, who are on the march.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Beirut.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Well, all this week we are covering Iran's reentry onto the global stage after the lifting of some sanctions against it. It will now

be able to sell its oil, for example, on world markets and its banks will be able to connect to the global system.

Well, in an exclusive TV interview, the foreign minister Javad Zarif told CNN that the deal is a win-win situation.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

[11:35:11] CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: First senior Iranian official to talk about implementation and the new day. Is

Iran happy about this new chapter?

JAVAD ZARIF, IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Of course.

We worked very hard for several years. We withstood pressure, sanctions, probably the most

extensive sanctions that have been imposed on any country. But our people did not give up their rights just because they were under economic

pressure.

We started the negotiation based on the principle of non-zero sum.

AMANPOUR: Win-win, as you put it.

ZARIF: Win-win as you say it. As here economist say a positive sum came so that everybody would look at what they needed to achieve, explain what

they needed to achieve, and achieve it.

From our perspective, we wanted two things. We wanted to have our nuclear program, which was peaceful, and we wanted the removal of sanctions.

From the other side, ostensibly they wanted to make sure that we wouldn't build nuclear weapons. So, from my perspective from day one it was a win-

win situation, because we could provide them what they needed because we didn't expect or didn't intend to develop nuclear weapons, and at the same

time we just had to work out the details.

And because of the extent of mistrust that existed, we needed to work out every minute detail

of what we needed to do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: All right, well that was the Iranian foreign minister.

Oil continuing to hover around $28 a barrel, the lowest levels in more than a decade.

My colleague John Defterios hosted a panel discussion on the oil prices at the World Economic Forum earlier today in Davos. The panel included the

chairman of Saudi Arenco. He answered questions -- well, in fact, the question that is on everybody's minds. Will Saudi Arabia finally cut

production?

Well, John joins me now from Davos. We've had a 12-year low this week. Is there any indication that the major players are willing to cut production,

especially Saudi Arabia?

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: You would think that $27 oil price would start to set the tone from the major producers. And of course

Saudi Arabia, Becky, has the largest proven reserves at 265 billion barrels. So, the tone from chairman of Saudi Arenco is, look, we've worked

very hard to get the market share, we're not closed to the idea of cooperation, but don't

expect Saudi Areeco to be a first mover when it comes to cutting production. Let's take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KHALID AL FALIH, CHAIRMAN, SAUDI ARANCO: Balancing short term with long term is what the Saudi Arabian strategy has been all about decades ago. We

will continue to do it. If there are short-term adjustments that need to be made, and if other producers are willing to collaborate, Saudi

Arabia will be also willing to collaborate.

But Saudi Arabia will not accept the role of -- by itself, balancing structural imbalance that is happening today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DEFTERIOS: So you can see, Becky, we're starting to evolve here in terms of the attitude from Saudi Arenko, following the minister of energy and the

minister of petroleum in Saudi Arabia. They're not going to make a move unless they see real offers within OPEC and on OPEC producers.

The other thing that did come up, though, is Iran. I asked him, are you going accommodate the new supply from Iran? Saudi Arabia took 1.5 million

barrels of more marketshare under the sanctions for Iran. He says that's not our job to make room for Iran going forward. He didn't want to put his

reputation on the line when asked about prices and how far they will go lower. But he said that the short-term will be, quote, in his words very

bleak. But he said that the sell-off that we've seen particularly in the last week, quote, unquote, is very irrational,

Becky?

ANDERSON: All right. Well, Venezuela, John, the latest country to call for an emergency

meeting of OPEC. Did you get any indication that that is going to happen?

DEFTERIOS: Well, it's interesting that you bring up that question, because from Mongolia to Venezuela, they've been calling for an emergency meeting,

and the most vociferous for that call was Nigeria while he was in Abu Dhabi last week, as you recall. He, indeed, came to the panel today and

suggested, look, it may not need to be in a formal emergency meeting, I was just looking to see that all the OPEC members are on the same page before

we go to the non-OPEC members like Russia seeking cuts.

This is what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EMMANUEL KACHIKWU, NIGERIAN PETROEUM MINISTER: I think looking at the global outlook for oil is what is key. It's not so much addressing

immediate price reactions. And I think that's why I am calling for a meeting, because I think we need to have that conversation earlier than

June.

But if we don't have it before June, that's fine. But we're talking to each other informally over the last two or three weeks, I think I've talked

to a lot of OPEC ministers. There's a lot of concern about it. Even Saudi Arabia still has his own concerns about this. But it's just an issue of

approach. And I think what we need to do is to get everybody more comfortable.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DEFTERIOS: The minister of Nigeria toning down his remarks, Becky.

As you know, back in December, 9 of 13 were willing to walk out because they didn't like the

position of Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf producers like the UAE.

It was interesting, because Azerbaijani president was on the panel today and he was saying in jest it's not good for OPEC to call a meeting. He

says every time they call a meeting, the price goes lower. And that's what's happened the last two times, as you know, because they have not

reached a consensus.

I asked him the multi-billion dollar question. Have we reached the bottom in the market? He suggested we can go two to three dollars lower from

where we are today. But he's expecting a recovery in the second half of 2016 and even higher next year.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[11:40:58] ILHAM ALIYEV, PRESIDENT OF AZERBAIJAN: I think for companies, for investors, for governments, 60 to 70 dollars per barrel will be an

excellent price. And I hope to see that sooner than later.

DEFTERIOS: But by 2017?

ALIYEV: I think so, by 2017. This year, the second half of the year I think will be the period of stabilization, and hopefully we can see the

growth.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DEFTERIOS: So the president of Azerbaijan hoping for better times ahead, not sure that's wishful thinking or not.

But there was some tone here, Becky, about being a bit more positive about next year, because we're seeing 400 billions dollars of contracts for 2016

to 2020 canceled. This is the first time back to back years, about a third of all investment canceled in the oil sector.

We could see it spike up, but right now it is pressured down, at least in the first quarter of

2016.

ANDERSON: Yeah, it's fascinating. I hate to say it, but I think I agree with you, I think that's wishful thinking by the president of Azerbaijan

there.

What is interesting, though, isn't it, is that the Iranians who are saying don't panic everybody, you know, we're not here to steal the market, have

also moved away to a certain extent from their need for oil to spur growth. They've got this sort of non-oil-based growing market that they are

concentrating on, given the fact this price is so low.

Anyway, all of this I'm sure is going to come out in the wash in the next couple days at Davos. John, thank you for that.

The major sell-off has been causing many people to panic. The term "sell stocks" seems to

be a popular internet search lately. But what are smart investors doing? Well head to CNN Money's

website to read about the three things you might want to be doing during these uncertain times. That is CNNmoney.com.

You're out of Abu Dhabi with us this evening. This is Connect the World with Becky Anderson.

Coming up, making models in the hope of rescuing history. Find out how a group of Syrian

refugees is trying to preserve the country's heritage. This is a fantastic story that's coming up after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:45:21] ANDERSON: Excuse me. You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World with

me, Becky Anderson. Welcome back.

45 minutes past 8:00 here in the UAE.

Earlier we discussed the brutal war in Syria and the devastating toll it is having on people and politics in this region. But conflict there an in

neighboring Iraq is also erasing history.

Take a look at what are these remarkable satellite images, which apparently show the destruction of a 1,400 year old monastery, Christian monastery

near Mosul. Now it's thought to be the oldest of its kind in Iraq.

And here is what the Saint Elijah monastery looked like in 2009. these pictures were taken on a visit by U.S. forces.

Well, although there has been no official confirmation that ISIS destroyed that monastery, the terror group has demolished other historic sites in the

past, including the monuments at the ancient ruins of Palmyra.

One group of exiled refugees is hoping to focus world attention on the atrocities, they say are wiping out Syria's rich history. They're

recreating these major landmarks using whatever materials they can.

Well, two of the people involved in documenting that project are Christopher Herwig and Charlie Dunmore of the UN refugee agency. They join

us now live from Amman.

How did this project come about guys? Christopher.

CHRISTOPHER HERWIG, UNHCR: We -- both of us work with UNHCR in the camp, and we had come across these artists, this group of artists and thought it

was a really good story to document.

ANDERSON: Well, look, Charlie, I want our viewers to get a look at some of the work. This is Mahmoud (ph) who was an artist back home in Syria. Our

viewers are about to see a model of Palmyra that he making used kabob skewers and clay.

Now, this is what Palmyra looked like after ISIS attacked it in May last year, destroying parts of the ancient ruins.

Charlie are these artists hoping that these models may be used to recreate the structures someday? Is that part of this process?

CHARLIE DUNMORE, UNHCR: I don't think so. I mean, these are a group of Syrians who are very proud of their heritage, they knew what was going on

back in Syria. They know the threat to these sites. And even though they can't do anything, you know, in practical terms, they wanted to do what

they could symbolically to try to preserve the memory of these sites for themselves and for the

other refugees in the camp.

ANDERSON: And Christopher, I know that there are lots of kids living in the camp who may never have seen Syria or have no memory of it, at least.

How important is a project like this for them?

HERWIG: I mean, I think this project is very important for the children who are living there who don't know the Syria that their parents came from.

I mean, there is thousands of children even being born in the camp who haven't even seen the country at all.

And I think for the parents who created these, they're sites that they're really proud of and

that they want to share with the children because it is a very rich heritage that -- I mean, I think they were building the model of Palmyra

before they knew it was being destroyed or anything, so it was also something they were building because it was something that they missed and

they were really proud of, and they wanted to share it with their future generations.

ANDERSON: Yeah. And we're looking at some video of artists in action. It's absolutely remarkable.

How therapeutic do you think this is, Charlie?

DUNMORE: Yeah, I mean, I think there is definitely an element of that. I mean, these are all -- they're all artists, but these are all refugees.

They're in a camp where there is not a lot of work. Any work there is is irregular, and a lot of people spend a lot of time just sitting around in

their shelters for want of anything else to do.

This group of refugees used their own initiative to get together as a group and chose this project themselves. No one directed them. They've spent

months working on the models, and I think they do feel a real sense of achievement and now they're very keen to share that with as many refugees

and other people around the world as they can.

ANDERSON: And I think our viewers will be pleasantly surprised to sort of hear how people in these camps get together and sort of work for

themselves, as it were.

I think this is a camp of what 79,000, 80,000-odd refugees. And I mean there are community centers sort of all over this camp, correct? And there

are other projects, one assumes, going on as well bringing people together.

[11:50:16] DUNMORE: Absolutely. There are all sorts of projects, women coming together to make beautiful handicrafts, learning new skills. As you

say, it's a real community. There is also an economy that has sprung out from the refugees' own initiative. There is about 3,000 shops, refugee-

owned and run, in the camp.

UNHCR and our partners provide the necessary essentials, the shelter, the food, the heating,

the electricity, but a lot of what you find in this vibrant camp has come from the refugees themselves.

ANDERSON: Charlie, Christopher, thank you. It's great to see people with a sense of dignity, a sense of hope in what is a pretty dreary situation.

Thank you.

The conflict in Syria is one of many that has driven millions from their homes, as you are well

aware. And as always, you can do your part to help. The UNHCR's winter crisis of appeal is saving lives quite literally on the ground, but

desperately needs your help. Do head to UNHCR.com/donate if you can.

You're watching Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson. 51 minutes past 8:00. We're going to take a short break. Back after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Right. Well, some of the world's best golfers are right here in Abu Dhabi, but for the annual HSBC championship which teed today, Thursday.

All eyes on World Number One Jordan Speith and the third ranked Rory McIlroy.

But there's been a surprise on day one with amateur player Brian Dechambeau (ph) leading the pack. There he is. The Americans ranked a might 644th in

the world.

Well, joining me now is Tom Bushell, a sports journalist here in the UAE. You walked the course today. He is relative unknown, this chap, who heads

the leaderboard. What do we know about Brian DeChambeau. He's not French, is he?

TOM BUSHELL, SPORTS JOURNALIST: He's not French, he's American. And here in Abu Dhabi, they also say expect the unexpected. And we certainly got

that today for the first day of the championship.

He's an American. He's an amateur, still, but those in the golfing world really do know him very well, because last year, 2015, he had a phenomenal

year. He won the U.S. amateur open, he won the NCAA championship as well. And only four other players have

done that, the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Jack Nicklaus as well.

So he's in good stead. And he's had a great start to the tournament today.

ANDERSON: All right, the 22 year old amateur spoke after today's action. Let's just have a listen to what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRIAN DECHAMBEAU, GOLF: Shooting 64 was pretty cool, I guess, right? Not too bad first start in the European tour, but I'm just glad to be here

honestly and I'm looking forward to the next couple days if it amounts, so...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Well, he's definitely one to watch.

All eyes, of course, on Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy as well. They were paired together. How did they do?

BUSHELL: absolutely. It was one to get the crowds in early this morning. They teed off at 7:40. Tomorrow just after midday, but to have the world

number one here Jordan Spieth and also the world number three Rory McIlroy it's fantastic for Abu Dhabi, it's fantastic for the tournament.

They did very well as. Rory more so. He's six under after the first day. And he'll be -- he has been a runner-up here four times.

He wants to win that tournament. Of course, he ended last season with that win in Dubai. He wants to start this season with a win in Abu Dhabi.

And Jordan Spieth, well, the American here for the first time. He loves the golf course. Of course, he's getting used to it a little bit, first

time he's played it. But four under for today. And what a fantastic performance that is going into the weekend.

ANDERSON: He's had a really good start to the year as well.

It is, of course, a start to the year for golf. Got the Olympics and the Ryder Cup coming up.

Who is going to dominate, do you think? Is it going to be Spieth or McIlroy?

BUSHELL: Well, it's hard to say isn't it? I mean, Spieth at 22 years of age, what a fantastic player, 2015 for him. He earned $20 million. He won

The Masters, he won the U.S. Open.

Rory McIlroy, interestingly on the Christmas break, he has had his laser eye surgery, so he's going to actually be the more powerful, you would

think, this year.

It's going to be a battle between the two throughout the year, I think.

ANDERSON: Good stuff. All right, good to have you with us.

BUSHELL: Thank you very much.

ANDERSON: We're sticking with golf, your Parting Shots tonight. These four often criticized for its lack of excitement with an unusual

alternative to the golf cart, then Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth were paired against each other in this one-hole challenge using

these so-called golf boards to get around.

There was a close encounter when world number one crashed into McIlroy.

I have to tell you, nobody was injured, neither player was injured, and they joked about the incident afterwards, but it could definitely be a sign

of the competition to come in 2016.

Either way, these motorized scooters certainly offer a whole new take on the Ryder Cup.

I know, pretty bad.

Well, from a hoverboard to golf board or just sitting down at home, you can always follow the stories the team is working on throughout the day. Use

the Facebook page, Facebook/cnnconnect and get in touch with me as you will know. You can tweet me @beckycnn. That is @Beckycnn.

That was it for us. It's actually the end of our working week from the team here it is a very good evening. CNN, of course, continues after this.

END