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Fragments Found But Questions Remain in EgyptAir Disaster; Top Taliban Leader Killed in Airstrike; Obama's First Visit to Vietnam; Iraq's Army Prepares To Retake Fallujah From ISIS; Egyptian Officials Warn Against Crash Speculation; Egypt's FM: Crash Could Have Impact On Tourism; Violence Escalates In Predominantly Kurdish City; Turkey's Ruling AK Party Elects New Leader; Binali Yildirim Seen As Key Erdogan Ally. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired May 22, 2016 - 11:00   ET


[11:00:00] BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: Fragments found but answers remain elusive with the search for the vanished Egypt Air Flight 804 goes on.

I'll be joined by Egypt Aviation Minister to ask if the country has what it takes to find the jet. That's next plus - -


GUEST: Civil aviation has become a very important component in the economy.


ANDERSON: Will the crash make more tourist second guess coming here to Egypt's already fragile economy. And the teenage son killed as Turkey

tries to smash militant Curds inside the country, others are caught in the violence. The full story ahead this hour.

And just after 5 o'clock here in Cairo. Hello and welcome you're watching a special edition of Connect the World, live from just outside Cairo's

airport. Egypt's President says it is still too early to make a judgment about what happened to Egypt Air Flight 804. A submarine is being added to

the fleet now looking for the jet's wreckage and so called black boxes, the flight data and cockpit voice recorders could explain what happened to the

Airbus 320.

Automatic messages sent by the planes computer there were smoke alerts in the last few minutes before the crash, but that doesn't necessarily mean

there was a fire. And victims, families of the victims have been told to prepare for a long process of recovering remains and identifying them.

Well three and a half days after the jet disappeared from radar, I'm joined now by Egypt's Minister of Civil Aviation, Sherif Fathi. Firstly sir,

you're in charge of the search and the investigation. What do we know as of now about the search?

SHERIF FATHI, EGYPTIAN MINISTER OF CIVIL AVIATION: First of all Becky, thank you very much. I'm in charge of the investigation, the technical

investigation, however the search is carried out by the army. And I want to thank them very much for doing that difficult job. And I heard you

talking about the equipment and whether we have the necessary equipment or not. I've got confirmations that whatever equipment required for this are

on its way.

The army and the operation, division of the army, had arranged with partners that we will get within days, all of the necessary equipment

needed to continue the search, number one. Two, try to locate and then recover or retrieve the black box and the other equipment.

ANDERSON: So what's been retrieved to date, and how close are you to finding the black box?

FATHI: I cannot comment on how close we are to find the black box. But I can say what we have recovered so far is the wreckage. Small pieces, not

big pieces and some remains, human remains and wreckage included some parts, interior parts of the aircraft and oxygen masks and seats, stuff

like that.

ANDERSON: And what does that reveal?

FATHI: It reveals nothing. And this would lead to something that is very important because I've been hearing speculations, I've been hearings

opinions from experts I've never heard of. And when I look at their CV, I can say that they are not qualified enough or they were not qualified

enough to make judgment. In cases like this, we need to wait until we base our judgment on facts and there is a process for that.

So I see this time, and I don't know why? People are trying to rush into conclusions. People are trying to just decide what happened during the

first day of the crisis.

ANDERSON: And that may be because, of course, there is a vacuum of information. And perhaps that's only natural that people begin to try and

fit the pieces together, however few pieces we have. But President, certainly President Sisi announced today that Egypt is using a submarine.

Is that in the true sense of the word or is that more like a remotely operated vehicle? How does that work? The Foreign Minister conceded to me

that Egypt doesn't necessarily have the equipment to go as deep as the search may need to go.

FATHI: What I understood today, that we have found an equipment was not identified well and it's going to make the search under the water. I

cannot, I'm not an expert, and I cannot describe whether it's a submarine or it's a remotely directed vehicle or whatever. I think the army can like

explain that better then.

ANDERSON: President Sisi and the French have said all scenarios are still open. At this stage, is it any clearer that any one scenario about why

this plane fell from the sky is clearer?

FATHI: I think the statement still stands. We cannot at this stage come up with any conclusions on the contrary. We see findings from different

systems. We see findings from different sources, that would encourage us to be a bit more patient and follow the process. There is a well known,

well defined process for handling these cases in order to reach a conclusion.

And I would invite everybody to be a little merciful or so with the families of the victims and stop making, how do you call it, speculations

without having facts and real science behind them.

ANDERSON: Let's talk about the facts as we know them. I mean, clearly there are items that have now been recovered. How are they being analyzed

at present? Are they analyzed out in the Mediterranean on a ship or are they being brought to land? And if so, where to?

FATHI: According to my information they have been brought to land in a place that is guarded by the military. And the investigators are, I don't

know whether they have reached there or not, they will be examined first by the specialized people before they are brought to a permanent storage area,

where we will keep all the evidence.

ANDERSON: This debris, those items that have been recovered will be time sensitive, so far as the forensics are, correct?

FATHI: Definitely, we have given guidance from our side to all parties involved on how sensitive and how quick we want these, the wreckage, or

bodies or whatever to be examined.

ANDERSON: Thank you for correcting me to the extent that you're not actually in charge of the search, but the investigation. Let's move on to

that. The manifest, the passenger manifest, when will you release that and why haven't you released the names to date?

FATHI: I will not. And I think somebody, somewhere, had to release the passenger manifest and I heard the passengers complaining about these, how

do they call it, complaining about this process of releasing the passenger manifest, because of the harassment they had from different parties.

We don't release passenger manifests when people are alive, and we're not going to release it when they are in a situation like this.

ANDERSON: Who is - - tell me have you learned anything from that passenger manifest?

FATHI: No. No. We're doing it as part of the process not because we want to hide something or the names, because many other parties have released

the passenger manifests, they are not a secret. But from our side, we are going to follow the right procedure and we're not going to release the

passenger manifest until we are ordered or we are allowed by the right party at the Ministry of Justice or the right party in charge of the legal


ANDERSON: Would it surprise you if your critics, if there are some and one hopes that they're not, but you could be criticized, open to being

criticized, that you are hiding something to a certain extent?

FATHI: I think the person who would criticize us for hiding something has the responsibility to prove that we're hiding something. Because I keep

hearing allegations, left, right, and center, without any basis and we are supposed to be defending ourselves.

On the contrary, I want them, any person, who would have any allegation to come with facts and then it is my responsibility to respond to it.

ANDERSON: Is there anything in the planes mechanical history which should have been cause for concern?

FATHI: Oh, this is the very good part. I saw on your website and I saw on another website a report about an engine problem that the plane had three

years ago. And some people tried to link to this to what happened today and I tell you this is complete nonsense. It's unprofessional because we

have every day engine issues. We take engines from one plane and put it on the other one. We take engines to repair, we put it back again.

And he aviation process involves many stages of safety and security checks on airplanes. So nobody can imagine, nobody would believe that an incident

that has been there or failure or whatever the problem that has been there in 2013 would remain on a plane and cause a crash today.

ANDERSON: The New York Times has reported that and I quote them "In an eerie coincidence, the same Egypt Air jetliner was once the target of

political vandals. Who wrote in Arabic on it's underside, and I quote we will bring this plane down". This is the New York Times report.

FATHI: That's right. That's right.

ANDERSON: Can you explain whether you consider this pertaining to the case?

FATHI: No, because the plane is always in a sterilized area. And sterilized in the sense of security and if we would like sell the planes

that anybody would write anything on, then we would like would sell not only planes but we would sell the walls and sell other vehicles too.

Airplane is secured as per the security procedures of airports. Whether people would write anything on it , and I'm not aware of that by the way.

I read it also as you read it too. There is a security procedure in that and we cannot just base ourselves on a statement that has been written on

the plane one day. ANDERSON: Right. I wonder whether having read that report, whether - -

FATHI: I read that report.

ANDERSON: - - Right, whether that vandalism actually form part of the jigsaw puzzle?

FATHI: No. No. Investigations in these cases are based on facts. They're based on procedures and these procedures doesn't include statement

that has been written on a plane. Because if it has been written on the plane then we would have to examine the security procedure. So our concern

would be the security procedure, not what has been written on the plane.

ANDERSON: Last question to you. You were appointed as Civil Aviation Minister just a week before the Metro Jet incident at Shabel Shai (ph) in

October of - -

FATHI: No. Actually I was appointed much later than that.

ANDERSON: Oh, apologies.

FATHI: - - exactly like 50 or 48 days on the job.

ANDERSON: Thank you for clarifying that sir.

FATHI: No problem.

ANDERSON: Be that as it may, what has been learned from that investigation that might help unfold this one? There were clearly, I'm sure at times,

mistakes made, challenges and things learned.

FATHI: Actually what we have learned is that we should follow the procedure. I'm not saying that we haven't followed the procedure before

but this time I'm going to religiously stick to the standard operation procedures in investigation. And the way we deal with any crisis and we're

not under any pressure to deviate from the operation procedures. And mind you, I say that out loud, if the investigation, a proper neutral

investigation would prove that the mistake is due to our airline, then I will stand up and talk out loud and say this is our mistake. Because

everybody makes mistakes.

But what I'm rejecting now is the people are jumping to conclusions and I heard things, for example, about the pilot. Can you imagine that we accuse

or we told, or we make allegations about the pilot that's not with us today to defend himself. One, two very qualified pilots. Without even trying to

think about the impact of that on his family or his friends or his teammates on (INAUDIBLE).

I would encourage everybody, think about the human beings, at number one. And number two, wait for the process to finish and don't talk about Mr. So

and So said to Mr. So and So in a closed room that there is something wrong in there. This is really unprofessional and not going to lead to anything

that is good for anybody.

ANDERSON: With that, we will leave it there. We very much appreciate your time and what I know is a very busy time.

FATHI: Thank you.

ANDERSON: Going to stay with the crash of Egypt Air Flight throughout this hour. I'm going to bring you some analysis from right here in Cairo,

outside the airport up next. And later in the show, you'll hear my interview with another big player in this investigation, the Egyptian

Foreign Minister. Stay with us for all that and more. Taking a very short break, back after this.

We're back from just outside the airport here. A new tool being used to look for Egypt Air Flight 804's black boxes. A submarine on loan from

Egypt's petroleum ministry's being added to search efforts. It can reach depths of 3,000 meters, which could be crucial in reaching the voice and

data recorders before there signals fade.

Our Nic Robertson joins me now with more. We've just been speaking to the Civil Aviation Minister once again pointed out that this search continues

and that the remains and debris that has been found is revealing very little at this point.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Interestingly he said, and I think this cuts the issue of what was the cause, was it a failure,

was it terrorism. And obviously, the sensitivities of being from Egyptian officials about over juiced scrutiny that could be terrorism without the

evidence to back it up. When you asked him about this, he said the more sources, and more systems are encouraging us to wait, to be patient. He

appeared to say, you know, we are getting some things that are making us want to be a little bit more patient.

Very, light on specific details, particularly the submarine, didn't want to discuss what type of vehicle that was. Precisely what has been recovered

and what's learned from it, even where it's coming a shore. So, there's a lot about this that we're not getting to.

ANDERSON: You've got here, just say for the past 24 hours, having been deployed to Crete where you were at the other end as it were of this

search. You were North, these guys were South and this crash site that would be in the middle. What do we know at this point about the site?

About where this plane might be?

ROBERTSON: It's believed that the radius of the search is about 40 miles, that's about 5,000 square miles of search area. It's believed so far that

large pieces of debris have not been found. We know that the weather is not as good as the night the plane went down, the first two days of

searching. We know that's going to make it more difficult and slow down the recovery effort.

The European Space Agency talks about yesterday, about having an image of an oil slick in the area. We don't have information back yet. Sometime

after, about what the nature that oil slick was? Was it related to the aircraft? So we don't have many details other than and really it seems to

be, again, listening to the man in charge of the technical assessment investigation is going to be.

He said we have, you know, the army has put in place to make sure we have everything that we're going to need to do this, within the coming days.

That appeared to indicate that support assistance from other countries, the Prime Minister has told you that's going to be required. What we saw in

Greece, is that for whatever reason, the Greek authorities have pulled back their naval frigart and have put their aircraft, their helicopters and

search aircraft on stand by.

It seems to be to a degree, we're seeing immerging here that very much this is an entirely, at sea level and low level above the sea. This is an

Egyptian operation, we don't have specifics on what's being added into that from outside. Just the hint that there is friends contributing what else

we require.

ANDERSON: Nic, with that, we're going to leave you for the time being. Thank you very much indeed. Nic Robertson joining us here in Cairo.

Moving on an Afghanistan intelligence agency said its top Taliban leader was killed in an U.S. drone strike. Now U.S. officials can't confirm, they

can't confirm the death of Mullah Akhtar Mansour just yet, but they do say he was the target in an air strike, in a remote area of Pakistan on


Our field international Nick Paton Walsh following developments now from Beirut. They can't confirm for sure, what do we know about what happened,

who was in those vehicles and what happens next?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIOANL CORRESPONDENT: Well at this stage it's Afghan officials who are leaping much more quickly forward. The

defense ministries and the country's CEO Abdula Abdula (ph) joining the intelligence ministry saying that they believe an air strike that happened

in Pakistan, Pakistani territory. A vehicle carrying two men, one of which was Mullah Monsour, the leader of the Taliban and that in fact was a drone

strike that killed both of those men.

Now U.S. officials more circumspect they need hard evidence from the ground. That's hard to come by, obviously you'd have to try and get

somebody to the sight of that explosion to get DNA evidence or rely on electronic eavesdropping to totally be sure that this has occurred. But

those U.S. officials themselves are increasingly confident that they have in fact got their man.

We may perhaps never know with 100 percent certainty though. And that of course, is part of the secrecy of the Taliban and explains to you how

Mullah Omar (ph), Mullah Mansour's predecessor, the long time supreme leader, as he refers to himself of the Taliban. And end up having his

death kept a secret for a number of years, Mullah Mansour only publicly took that position when it was finally revealed that Mullah Omar (ph) had

died in 2012-2013 or so, potentially in Pakistan as well.

So a lot of information that will remain kind of nebulous, so to speak, but the impact is potentially soon to be seen. There maybe concerns that a

leadership struggle now emerges within the Taliban to replace Mullah Mansour. There was one, before he ever took his job at the top of the

Taliban Insurgency and I think fares to than rather seeing a moderate person come to the fore. Many U.S. officials suggesting that Mullah

Mansour is in fact been the obstacle of peace talks. They'd like to see Afghan officials pursue with Taliban insurgents, that in fact, we may see

even a more radical come to the fore. In fact, Mullah Mansour deputy was a man called Surage Hakani (ph) and he is known to the U.S. as the chief

facilitator of Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.

And was Mullah Mansour, maybe still is, one of Mansour's deputy for operations. So a lot of uncertainty here, but I think very few long term

observers of this move thinking is going to suddenly overnight lead to a drop in the effectiveness, or the momentum we're seeing from the Taliban

Insurgency now Becky.

ANDERSON: Sure. Nick Paton Walsh reporting from Beirut for you this evening. Well it was a war, whose very name once divided the United

States, Vietnam. Now President Barack Obama beginning a visit to that country in hopes of building a vital new partnership. It appears Mr. Obama

leaving Washington, but he's just arrived in Hanoi, where he'll try to boost defense and economic ties with Vietnam's communist government. And

there's growing support for his administration to role back a decades long arms embargo, that would end a last source of tensions between the two


But also anger, Vietnam's powerful neighbor China, our White House Correspondent Michelle Kosinski is in Hanoi with more - - this is Obama's

10th visit to Asia, Michelle, and first, to Vietnam. Exactly what is he hoping to achieve?

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: You know the White House says that this is really a visit unlike any other. We saw President

Clinton come here to normalize relations with Vietnam, that wasn't very long ago. President Bush was here to participate in an international

forum. But President Obama is the first U.S. President to come here and try to deepen and strengthen ties between these two countries.

Basically, to try to build this relationship. He's also staying here for three days, so that's something quite unusual. Two things he wants to talk

about are defense security and trade of course. And when you look at the possibility of lifting this arms embargo, you're right, when you talked

about this a decade ago even, or looking back when the war ended 40 years ago. The thought of the U.S. selling heavy arms to Vietnam would have been

outrageous, unheard of. But remember this embargo was partially lifted two years ago, so there's been this gradual opening. And now it's a

possibility that it will be lifted completely. The big problem though of course, human rights and just today we saw the BBC ordered by the

Vietnamese government to stop reporting from here.

They haven't been kicked out of the country entirely, but told to stop reporting. Human rights here have been called been called by Human Rights

Watch dyer in every category, Becky.

ANDERSON: He's under pressure to lift the U.S. arms embargo on Vietnam. How likely is this? How likely is China to respond to the visit?

KOSINSKI: China is kind of the key word here. I mean the reason that this opening has happened, despite the poor human rights record in Vietnam, is

to counter China in this region. We've seen China increasingly encroaching on disputed islands in the South China Sea and the East China Sea,

increasingly militarizing those islands. And they've been provocative towards the U.S. too, you know, the U.S. has been repeatedly boosting

freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.

The U.S. has sent ships close to islands, not to be provocative necessarily, but to hammer the point home to China, that we believe in the

freedom of navigation. We're not going to really take a side on who these islands belong to, but we believe in resolving these disputes in a peaceful

way. China though, has been quite provocative, it was just in the last week that we saw two Chinese planes go within 50 feet of a U.S. plane that

was doing a routine recognizance mission over the South China Sea. So that's the kind of trouble that the U.S. runs into with China.

In fact, on the President's route to get here to Vietnam. They took kind of a circuitous path and avoided the South China Sea entirely. So the U.S.

wants to counter that influence. It wants to boost it's neighbors around here and by providing more arms now to Vietnam, that could really do that

without the U.S. kind of getting into a direct conflict with China. So I would say it's likely, given the opening but it might not be right now. I

think the U.S. will really want to see a better, at least an engagement with other groups, or some bettering or commitment to improve the human

rights situation, Becky.

ANDERSON: Michelle, always a pleasure. Thank you as the U.S. President prepares for Monday's meeting with his Vietnamese counterpart learn more

about the unlikely friendship that has developed between these two nations over the years.

That is all at, if you are a regular viewer or consumer of CNN news then you will be aware of that. The latest World News headlines are just

ahead. Plus the Egypt Air crash could deliver a major blow to the Egyptian economy. Hear my interview with Egypt's Foreign Minister and what he says

about the impact the crash could have on tourism.


[11:31:33] ANDERSON: It's just after 5:30 in Cairo. This is a special edition of CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson. The top stories for you

this hour on CNN -- Egypt deploying a submarine in search of Eyptair flight 804's flight data recorders. Those devices could provide important

information about what caused the jet to crash. Egypt's president says it's still too early to draw conclusions about what went wrong.

U.S. President Barack Obama has just completed his trip from Washington to Vietnamese capital, Hannoi. Mr. Obama is considering ending the decades

old U.S. arms embargo on Vietnam.

India working to gain a strategic foothold in Iran. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has just left for Iran to seal a new deal. Officials say Mr.

Modi will sign plans to develop a port on the southern coast in the Gulf of Oman.

Iraq's army appears to be getting ready to retake a key city from ISIS. State media telling civilians in Fallujah to prepare to leave. This video

appears to show the military assembling nearby. Our Jomana Karadsheh has this report for you.

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Becky, the Iraqi military is asking the residents of the city of Fallujah to leave the city ahead of this much

anticipated operation to liberate Fallujah that they say is going to happen in the next few days. If you recall, Fallujah was the first city in Iraq

to fall to ISIS, back in January of 2014. The military says that they have established safe passage areas for civilians to leave through, that they

have hotlines that people can call into if they want to leave, and if they are unable to leave, they should raise a white flag on top of their

buildings to indicate that civilians are inside these buildings. But it's not as simple as packing their belongings and leaving. For weeks now, we

have been hearing from activists and organizations like Human Rights Watch that there are tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians, residents of the city

of Fallujah, who are inside that city, described as (inaudible) by Iraqi security forces and allied forces who have encircled Fallujah ahead of this

operation and they've also cut supply routes for ISIS into the city which also, in turn, had an impact on the civilians with reports of people even

starving to death inside Fallujah. After a string of territorial gains in Anbar province, 70 percent of that province that borders Baghdad and Jordan

was under ISIS control, but in recent months, Iraqi forces recaptured a lot of territory in Anbar province. And to retake Fallujah from ISIS would be

considered a major victory by the Iraqi security forces, another major city that has been under ISIS control for such a long time. It is also

symbolically important because of the history of Fallujah for the Iraqis, and also strategically, Fallujah is important, too, for the Iraqi security

forces. But in the midst of all this, the main concern remains for the tens of thousands of civilians who might be trapped inside that city,

unable to leave before this major military offensive. Becky --

[11:34:55] ANDERSON: Let's get you back to our top story now, the crash of Egyptair flight 804. Just a short time ago, I spoke with Egypt's civil

aviation minister. He says no theory has been ruled out about the cause of the crash and he repeatedly warned against jumping to conclusions. Well,

on Saturday, I sat down to speak with the Egyptian foreign minister, Sameh Shoukry, who issued that same warning. He says this investigation will

take time and plenty of outside resources. Have a listen.


SAMEH SHOUKRY, MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, EGYPT: We have to define where the plane has gone down and the depths, where it is, and of course, our

collaboration with various partners, all have offered, all of their offers have been most gratefully accepted. The United States, the French, the

British, and others. The Russians today in my conversation with foreign minister Lavrov, we are eager to cooperate with all of them. Not only to

get to the bottom of it, but also in respect of closure for the families of the deceased.

ANDERSON: There have been claims of smoke inside the cabin before it crashed. What do you know about those claims and how might that inform the


SHOUKRY: I'm sure it's being verified and the technical people are looking into it. I'm not certain that it can be conclusive in any determination

one way or another, but it is certainly an important element in a jigsaw puzzle that has to be fully compiled. So the investigation will definitely

have to take this into account and to evaluate it accordingly.

ANDERSON: There are a lot of scenarios doing the rounds, and perhaps understandably so. Your response to what you are hearing and reading?

SHOUKRY: I think we should all be careful. First of all, out of respect for the families that are mourning. I think there are scenarios that can

be far fetched and do not really have any basis or foundation other than pure speculation. Those are somewhat disconcerting.

ANDERSON: The French foreign minister, in a briefing held after his meeting with relatives of the passengers of Egyptair flight 804, has said

that investigators are considering all scenarios. How closely coordinated is Egypt with France at this point?

SHOUKRY: We will continue to coordinate and cooperate closely in investigations pertaining to all aspects of this incident because of the

loss of French lives and any other of the passengers that have lost their lives.

ANDERSON: What sort of help to you anticipate needing from other countries as the investigation develops?

SHOUKRY: Well, primarily, it is the location of the aircraft and the ability to extract from potentially very deep waters the black box and the

data recorders. We do not, I think, have the technical abilities to operate in such deep waters whereas many of our partners might have this

facility. And then of course, various aspects of the investigation, and this will conform to international regulations where all who are involved,

whether it is the producer of the aircraft, the producer of the engines, which is an American company, (inaudible), or the nationalities of those

who have lost their lives. So it will be conducted within the international rules that govern such investigations. And we rely on the

close cooperation of our partners in this regard.

ANDERSON: And the technical experts who might be willing to offer their help from the U.S. in France, for example, you would be willing to engage

with -- ?

SHOUKRY: Oh, of course, definitely. And there are a lot of capabilities that I think we have to take advantage of, in forensic science, an ability

to extract the parts and to reassemble the aircraft. Quite a burden and an arduous job but one that has to be taken, and I think the more there is

expertise and knowledge and ability in this regard and the more collaboration, I think the better off for everyone, to be able to come to a

final conclusion.

ANDERSON: Is it too early to talk about the further damage to what is an already depressed Egyptian tourism industry?

SHOUKRY: No. Definitely, I think we all recognize the potential impact. (ph) A need that is through solidarity. Of course, through heightening

everyone's security measures and guarding ourselves against the potential of any repeats in the case of a terrorist attack or in the case of any

technical malfunction that also this is a matter where civil aviation has become a very important component in the economy and the shrinking world

that we live in.

[11:40:11] So we can only, again, indicate our dedication and determination to continue to address all of these challenges and to address

them, we must show our international community solidarity and commitment to work together.


ANDERSON: Yes. Well, that was the foreign minister speaking to me on Saturday. With reaction now from Paris where Egyptair flight 804 took off

Wednesday night, before it crashed, of course, our Max Foster joining us live from (ph) Charles De Gaulle airport. What are you learning that end,


MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Very little. That's the huge frustration for the families here who met with government ministers, aviation experts

as well here, and obviously, the whole investigation being led from Egypt. As you were discovering there, they've still got all options on the table,

so France has got this thing due on this. They are under huge pressure, though, to explain security measures here at Charles De Gaulle, they've

been ramping up those measures as well. They're putting intelligence officers, for example, into the airport to try to reassure the public that

everything is being done in relation to terrorism in this country and the threat. But until it's confirmed, they cannot give the families here the

information that they're looking for, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes. Very frustrating. You can feel that from everybody at this point. We've just spoken to the civil aviation minister at the top of

this show who was explaining that even the debris, the remains of the plane that they have been able to recover, giving them, it seems, at this point,

very little information to go on. How is France coordinating with Egypt on that? We keep being told that Egypt is working with its partners. Do we

details on just how that partnership is operating, as it were?

FOSTER: Well the French foreign minister has described how he's been having conversations with the Egyptian foreign minister that you had just

talked to there, regular conversations, although we don't seem to be getting much information out of those. The other side of the liaison is

that they've got French investigators over there working with the Egyptian teams, but the Egyptian investigators are very much leading on it, so that

polling in that expertise from France when it's needed. Also, the airbus expertise as well, there's an airbus technician over there as well. So

that's how the liaison's working, but also crucially on intelligence, which seems to suggest that they are looking in to any sort of terror links here.

We know that the French intelligence agencies are working very closely with the Egyptians and the Americans right now.

ANDERSON: Max Foster at Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris. Max, thank you.

We're live from Cairo. This is a special edition of CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming up -- important new face in Turkish politics. Why this man could be

the key to helping president Erdogan keep his grip on power or even extend it.


[11:45:28] ANDERSON: You're watching CNN. This is a special edition of CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson, out of Cairo for you today.

Welcome back. In the past few hours, and election in Turkey promising a major boost for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. One of his top allies, the

transport minister, Binali Yildirim, has just been elected leader of the ruling AK Party. That paves the way for him to become the next prime

minister. Well, Yildirim replaces Ahmet Davutoglu, the former prime minister, who sat down in the middle of a very public rift with President

Erdogan. One of the biggest challenges for Turkey's leaders is the battle with Kurdish militants, or PKK, and while Mr. Erdogan consolidates power in

Ankara, violence spiraling out of control elsewhere. CNN's Arwa Damon reports.


ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The ancient district of (ph) Sur in the predominantly Kurdish city of (ph) Diyarbakir has been

witness to battles over the millennia, and now present day. For decades, the Turkish State has been fighting Kurdish militants, the PKK, but never

like this. Protracted battles in the heart of urban areas. Tactics not seen before.

HUSEYIN AKSOY, GOVERNOR, DIYARBAKIR (via translator): Previously in Turkey, terror was predominantly in rural areas. However, recently, it has

started to shift to urban centers, and when you look at how terror is being applied in urban centers, we see that strategies are being implemented.

DAMON: The response from the Turkish State harsh and unforgiving -- curfews and crackdowns. Months after the guns fell silent here, Sur's

winding streets are still blocked from view or closed off. What we can film or where we are allowed to go, restricted.

It's quite challenging to try to talk to people and even get an accurate idea of what really transpired here because we have picked up and are being

accompanied by one of the local (ph) plain clothed policeman here. At almost every single point, we're being told not to film something or not to

go down a certain street or alley way.

Residents who do wander through, weary, and those who speak to us, wary. We just want it to end. We want peace, this woman says. A sentiment

echoed by many unable to come to grips with the price they have paid. The (ph) Morgul family was making popcorn when the fighting broke out on their

street. In the chaos, they were separated from (ph) Jiha, their 14-year- old son. (ph) Jahid tried to return, but he says Turkish security forces stopped him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (via translator): I said, my son is inside. I need to get him out. They said there are clashes. You can't go in. You will get


DAMON: Jiha called a week later saying he was stuck. That was the last time the family heard his voice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (via translator): The pain is impossible. A mother and father won't ever forget this pain. As long as we are alive, this pain

won't leave us.

DAMON: It would be two months before Turkish authorities handed over his body.

The pain of losing a loved one echoed on the other side of the conflict. Turkey security forces suffering heavy losses in the clashes and targeted

assaults. The population itself, not spared. A marked bombing in the capital, Akara, left around three dozen people dead, responsibility for the

devastating attack claimed by an offshoot of the PKK. A tenuous cease fire shattered this past summer with both sides blaming each other. The

spiraling violence deepening generations of bitter wounds. Arwa Damon, CNN, Diyarbakir, Turkey.


ANDERSON: That was Arwa Damon reporting. Let's get the view from Ankra on the election of the new AK Party leader. Suat Kiniklioglu as a member of

the Turkish parliament and is now executive director of the Center for Strategic Communication Think Tank. He joins us now from the Turkish

capital. So, exactly what do we know about this new prime minister?


accomplished man when it comes to transportation, aviation, and much of the success of the early years is attributed to his project, especially in

highways, aviation, et cetera.

[11:50:06] So he is a man of projects. He is not the high politics man like (inaudible). He is more low profile, he's more quiet, and he

certainly will be more compliant with president Erdogan.

ANDERSON: Let's face it. His main responsibility will effectively be to transfer executive powers to the president, correct?

KINIKLIOGLU: Yes, and he's actually indicated that today in his speech, in the congress, that the party's leader remains (inaudible) Erdogan, that his

mission will be to solidify the (inaudible) residency that actually de facto is now in place. He basically was -- there was no doubt that his

mission was to accomplish and complete the project of Mr. Erdogan to become executive president. Most likely, what we would see in the coming weeks

would be --

ANDERSON: Well, let me just --


ANDERSON: Apologies. I think we've got a slight delay in our communications. I want to just read you and our viewers something that the

newly elected leader of Turkey's ruling party said earlier. Quote, the most important mission we have today is to legalize the de facto situation,

to bring to an end this confusion by changing the constitution. The new constitution will be on an executive presidential system.

Frankly, there's no other way to see this than an increasingly authoritarian power grab by Turkey's president, correct?

KINIKLIOGLU: That is correct, Becky, and unfortunately, the last three years have increasingly shown that Mr. Erdogan has no appetite for

pluralism or a normal democracy. Unfortunately, the space for Democrats, liberals, for oppositions, for journalists, for independent media, has

become extremely narrow, and I think the congress today would further consolidate this road for him to become the sole ruler of the country.

ANDERSON: What does this all mean? What significance and consequence of all of this? What does it mean for national policy and for foreign policy

when we consider that Syria sits just on the border? The issue with the Kurds, the Iraq. What's the impact of all of this?

KINIKLIOGLU: Well, this, in one sense, is really the end of politics. Turkey is transforming very much into a central Asian type of state with

one man calling all the shots. I don't expect anything to change on the Kurdish issue. The state and the government will continue to crush the --

and fight against the PKK. I don't expect a lot of change in Syria. Perhaps there could be some rule of maneuver given that much of

Turkey/Syria policy was Mr. Davutoglu's ideas. So there could be some cahgne, some small maneuvering perhaps on the Syria front, but I don't

expect a lot of change from what we've seen the last three years other than a strong hand approach, strong governance, a promise of one-man rule, quick

action. But at the expense of free speech, of pluralism, of freedom of assembly and many other normal values we used to enjoy in our democracy.

ANDERSON: Analysis out of Ankara this evening. Thank you.

This just in to CNN. Pakistani officials say the United States did not inform them before a drone strike targeted a Taliban leader. Afghanistan

says that strike killed top Taliban leader, Mullah Akhtar Mansour. The U.S. has said it did carry out a strike on Pakistani soil but hasn't yet

confirmed Mansour's death. Pakistan calls the strike, quote, a violation of sovereignty. It issued a similar complaint about the U.S. mission that

killed Osama Bin Laden.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD, live from Cairo. Coming up for you this evening, more of our special coverage of the Egyptair crash. We hear from

the relatives of a young flight attendant and unbearable tragedy they are now dealing with. Taking a very short break, back after this.


[11:56:41] ANDERSON: -- bringing you the very heart of the story on the crash of Egyptair flight 804. The tragedy took the lives of 66 men, women,

and children on board. Their families now left only with their memories and overwhelming grief as they wish their loved ones goodbye. Among them,

the relatives of this flight attendant, 25-year-old, (ph) Yara Hani Faraj Talfika. Relatives gathered here in Cairo on Saturday to remember her and

they spoke to CNN.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (via translator): She loved going out. She loved her friends. She loved her family. She was very adventurous and she really

loved her work. It is such a shock for everyone. She was young. She's never been married, but I accept this is God's faith.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (via translator): We did everything together. I just can't believe this. I don't even know what to say about her. I feel like

I'm in a dream. She loved her work. We would always travel together. We went everywhere together.


ANDERSON: I'm Becky Anderson. You've been watching a special edition of CONNECT THE WORLD live from Cairo. We'll be here again tomorrow as we

continue to cover what is such an important story. Thank you for watching. From the team with me here, it's a very good evening.