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Turkish President Defends Qatar; Rescue Workers Search for Missing After Landslide in Sichuan; Tanker In Pakistan Bursts Into Flames, Burning More than 100. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired June 25, 2017 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:13] ROBYN KRIEL, HOST: This hour, a raging inferno in Pakistan as a fuel tanker
skids over a road and bursts into flames burning more than 100 people to death and injuring many more. We're on the ground in Karachi next.
Plus, buried alive: rescue workers in China search for the missing after a huge landslide.
And we take you on a secret mission peering across the border to the civil war right next door in
Hello and welcome to Connect the World. I'm Robyn Kriel in Atlanta sitting in for Becky Anderson.
Well, a city in eastern Pakistan is under a state of emergency after a devastating fuel tanker
explosion. At least 140 people were killed and dozens more were injured. It happened on Sunday when the tanker truck veered off the road after the
driver lost control. It exploded as villagers gathered to collect the fuel, and officials said the death toll is expected to rise.
CNN producer Sophia Saifi joins me now live from Karachi, Pakistan. Sophia, what's the latest?
SOPHIA SAIFI, CNN PRODUCER: Well, Robyn, we know that there's an emergency unfolding, a medical emergency unfolding in the area where this incident
has taken place. Hospitals are still on high alert, because (inaudible) a very rural part of the country, a lot of the hospitals in the adjoining
areas unfortunately did not have the capcity to hold the main victims that have been affected by this incident.
Well, we have seen helicopters come in from the chief minister's office, from the ministry to
take them away to other parts of the area, to other provinces where they can be treated, because unfortunately, they aren't the proper facilities to
deal with a (inaudible) situation - Robyn.
KRIEL: Well, the video from this accident is simply devastating. Sophia, what more do we know about just how this unfolded?
SAIFI: Well, we know that this took place, the accident - well, the incident itself took place at
6:30 in the morning. There had been a lot of traffic on the road because it was the last day of Ramadan. Tomorrow is the day of Eid. There's
supposed to be a lot of celebration. So, you know, a lot of people had - it was Sunday as well, so not only was it a day off, but it was also a day
There was this tanker that fell off the highway and into the fields. And a school of (inaudible) started to gather around, and most of the villagers,
they grabbed the utensils, their pots, their pans, their jerry cans, and they went forward to try to contain, to try to take back as much fuel as
they could in those containers.
And it was when they were right then milling around that tanker - it was like a ticking bomb, because that explosion went off and all of these
people whose hands were covered with oil, their (inaudible), they are the ones who unfortunately perished in this incident - Robyn.
KRIEL: Well, presumably, most of those killed will be from Pakistan's poorest sector of society.
Just take us through what life was like for many of those victims, Sophia, as well as as for those who died? What's going to happen to their
SAIFI: Well, this is in the southern part of the Pakistani province of Punjab. Punjab generally is the more - it's the more prosperous province
compared to other provinces in Pakistan, but in south Punjab specifically where this incident took place, there is a lot of poverty. A lot of these
people were probably farmers, just working as farm hands, working day to day from hand
to mouth every single day. You know, these are small (inaudible) activities like Eid, the massive celebrations that take place all over the
country, and it's a day that universally celebrated and looked forward to.
However, you know, there has been a lot of these people have (inaudible). I mean, if you think about it, the cost of one can of fuel is around 70
cents. It's not that expensive here in Pakistan, either. But imagine how poor they must be for them to actually go forward, maybe sell it off for a
couple of dollars, a couple of, like $100, like (inaudible) that's enough to last them a month, even more.
But this is a very impoverished part of the country. And the fact is, you know, you've got the prime minister coming back from this (inaudible) place
in London. He's cut his trip short. He's coming back, financial packages have been announced to assist these families.
But as I said, it's an ongoing crisis. And one has to see how the government is going to help these people in the days to come - Robyn.
[11:05:07] KRIEL: All right, devastating incident there. Thank you so much, Sophia Saifi joining us live from Karachi. Thank you.
Well, searchers in southwestern China are running out of time to find survivors. Nearly two days after mud and rocks came crashing down on a
village. At least 10 people are dead and more than 90 are missing. Our Matt Rivers has the latest.
MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, as rescue workers continue their efforts to try and locate the people that remain unaccounted
for, presumed buried in this massive amount of rubble, triggered by this landslide, government officials are being frank in their assessment when
they say that they find the chances of finding people alive inside this rubble to be growing slimmer by the hour, as is the case with landslides
like this the longer time goes on, the less likely it is for positive outcomes for the people that were unfortunately trapped inside the rubble.
But still, the search effort is continuing. We know that thousands of rescue workers are at the scene working as hard as they can, digging
through the rubble. We know that dozens of machines have been deployed there, life detecting machines, to try and find anyone within the rubble.
We also know that search and rescue dogs have been seen on site to do their part as well.
But the fact remains, there are immense obstacles facing these rescue efforts. And we heard from a government official, the vice-governor of
Sichuan Province, he addressed reporters and he talked about some of the struggles that are facing rescue workers.
WANG MINGHUI, VICE GOVERNOR, SICHUAN PROVINCE (through translator): According to geologists who have participated in the rescue operations, the
chances of the missing person surviving a landslide from such a height are small, particularly because the landslide site is so narrow that largescale
search operations are hard to conduct in the area.
In addition, the rescuers can't dig too deep so as to avoid triggering a new collapse of the rocks. However, despite all these adverse factors, we
will spare no effort and regard saving people's lives as our top priority.
RIVERS: Now, in terms of what potentially caused this landslide, what we are hearing from
government researchers is that it can likely be tied back to a massive earthquake that happened in Sichuan Province in May of 2008. That
earthquake was extremely powerful, it killed tens of thousands of people in that region, but in doing so, what researchers are saying is that it likely
loosened some of the mountain structures in and around this area. And when you couple that with the rainfall that this area has seen over the past
several days, that is what researchers are presuming likely caused this landslide.
No matter the cause, rescue workers are there, they are on site. They are doing their best while this is still a rescue operation. But it seems
increasingly likely as the hours continue to go by that this will very quickly become a recovery operation after this deadly landslide in a remote
part of Sichuan Province in Southwestern, China.
Matt Rivers, CNN, Shanghai.
KRIEL: Well, for more on the conditions there in Sichuan Province, here is meteorologist Alison Chinchar. Alison, what do rescue workers face these
next few days?
ALISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Unfortunately, a little more rain. Now, it may not be torrential downpours, but at this point even just a
little bit of rain could end up hindering some of those search and rescue efforts.
So, we take a look at the conditions that we are going to expect. And to kind of give you the overall scale, just to show you how big this landslide
was, here is a look up the slope of that. And as we widen the shot, I want you to take a look, see all the orange dots that you see down there? Those
are excavators, those are dump trucks, those are bulldozers, just to kind of show you the scope of this massive landslide.
So, again, it is no wonder why it is very difficult for them to get out there and try to retrieve and rescue some of the folks that they believe
may still be missing in this region.
Again, you can see, they do have a huge rescue effort under way in this region, but as we talked, the weather may pose a problem.
Now, if you look around some of the other areas that surround where the landslide was, we have had pretty some impressive rainfall amounts. Take
for example 63 millimeters in the past 60 hours, but I want to emphasize, half of that has come in just the last six hours.
So, again, you are talking 30 millimeters of rain in just the past few hours. Now, that's not necessarily right on target for where the landslide
area is, but it's surrounding. And unfortunate problem for this region is, you get the oragraphic (ph) lift, you have that moist air going up the
mountainous region. And that can help to trigger some showers of its own, so you don't necessarily have to have a huge low pressure system very near
this site. Sometimes, the mountainous region itself can help to trigger some of those showers in this region. And unfortunately, we believe that's
really what kind of triggered some of the heavy downpours that that region around the landslide ended up having.
As we push this forward, looking at the forecast satellite and radar unfortunately, yes, over the coming days we do expect to have some more
showers into this region. Right there, in that red circle, that is where the location of the landslide was. And you'll notice, some
blues, some greens indicating that, yes, we have the potential to have up to about 50 millimeters of additional rain in just the next 48 hours.
And again, even if it's not enough to trigger more landslides, potentially. Robyn, one of the big concerns could be that it's going to hinder some of
the rescue and recovery efforts that will be there, so one can hope that perhaps that rain will push a little bit farther south and give them the
break that they desperately need in the next couple of days.
[11:10:29] KRIEL: Well, indeed, they are going to have to have that or as Matt Rivers said it will turn into simply recovery effort. Thank you so
much. Alison Chinchar there for us.
Well, members of Istanbul's gay community are taking to the streets this hour for the city's
pride march. This is the second year Turkish authorities have banned the event. Despite that, marchers are beginning to gather and vow that the
event will go on.
The government cites that security conditions are the reason for the ban, however critics are calling it discrimination. CNN producer Gul Tusuz (ph)
joins me now live from Istanbul. GUL, tell us, what is the sense that you're are getting on the ground? Will this march go ahead?
GUL TUSUZ (ph), CNN PRODUCER: Well, this was supposed to be the 15th LGBT pride parade, but so far all we've seen is police, police shutting down
every single entrance to the main thoroughfare, (inaudible) street where the pride parade was supposed to happen.
Literally, every single street that comes onto this street has been shut off.
Sporadically, we see paradegoers gather up and do a call and answer, a chant that has become basically a hallmark of the LGBTI community here in
Turkey. One group calls out, where are you, my love? The other group calls out, I am here.
But of course, as soon as they do that, police from many of the points that they are standing
come through and try to disperse the crowd and basically will not allow this march to happen.
This has been an extremely colorful part of Istanbul for the last 15 years, except for last two years where it has been banned. And it has been banned
again this year. And as you can see right here behind me, this is a street that has got a lot of LGBT friendly restaurants and bars, and it has been
cut off. We don't now what is necessarily going on through there because we haven't been let through previously. But now and again, we're not being
allowed to go through. So, really, it's a lot of -- sure.
The police are now asking me if I can talk to them, Robyn, so I might have to end.
KRIEL: All right, we will stay with you until we find out more. Gul Tusuz (ph) who is engaging with Turkish police right now. We will try to get Gul
back just as soon as she finishes her conversation. She was talking to a member of the Turkish police, we
believe, before we had to let her go.
Well, let's turn now to a warning from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the
nation will, quote, not tolerate Syria's civil war spilling over into Israeli territory. His remarks come a day after Israeli aircraft targeted
Syrian military targets near the country's disputed border in the Golan Heights. The Israeli military says that it was in response to errant
projectiles fired into Israel from Syria. It's not the first time Israel has stepped into the Syrian conflict. CNN's Ian Lee recently spent a night
with Israeli intelligence unit as they deployed to the disputed area.
IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Tonight's mission uses the cover of darkness, soldiers concealed their faces. We're joining an Israeli unit gathering
intelligence on the neighboring civil war. The final orders from the commander, work quickly and quietly. We'll be tens of meters from Syria.
Israel occupied the Golan Heights from Syria in 1967. The two states clashed again six years later, in a massive tank battle. That was
Today, advanced Israeli units patrol the frontier, watching the regime rebels and ISIS on this vast, unconventional battlefield.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The threat is very serious because they are always fighting between them, and they can always aim their weapon right here.
LEE: Earlier in the day, we witnessed such clashes, automatic gunfire in the nearby Syrian village, fighting occasionally spills over. Last
November, ISIS attacked an Israeli patrol. A tank silenced the terror group's guns.
The blazing moon illuminates the countryside and us, soldiers secure the perimeter before beginning their mission.
We're a few hundred meters from the secured defense right now, just behind me. If you listen closely, you can hear dogs barking, vehicles moving
around and I'm told you can also hear a tank. A rebel tank idles roughly a kilometer away. The night scope reveals the crew, unaware they're being watched, smoking a last cigarette before bed.
We're tracking all of the factions, the battalion commander tells me. We know how to differentiate and separate them. There's a contingency for each
Over the past years, intelligence units witnessed attacks, regime movements and rebels training. One group in particular gets special attention.
Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria threaten the state of Israeli, the commander says. We're prepared to deal with this enemy. We know their tactics.
The unit finishes camouflaging the position. We live. Their watch has just begun. One hour down, 59 to go.
Ian Lee, CNN, in the Golan Heights.
[11:16:26] KRIEL: Still to come, as the White House responds to Russia's election meddling, we're learning more about Russia's hacking capabilities.
Stay with us.
KRIEL: You are watching Conn the World live on CNN. I'm coming to you from around the world from our worldwide headquarters here in Atlanta. I'm
U.S. President Donald Trump is criticizing his predecessor for not doing enough to stop Tussian
election hacking the 2016 election. This comes after a Washington Post report alleging that President Barack Obama knew about the hacking and
agonized over how to handle it.
The report also says that President Obama knew the orders to interfere came directly from Russian President Vladimir Putin.
President Trump responded to Fox News.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: To me, you know, in other words the question is if he had information, why didn't he do something about it? He should have done
something about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KRIEL: We're following developments in the U.S. and Russia. Ryan Nobles joins us from Washington and Jill Dougherty is in Moscow.
Ryan, we'll start with you. Why, if former President Obama knew about Russia's attempts to
meddle in the campaign, this is President Trump tweeting why, he is asking, didn't he take a longer - didn't he handle it during -- when he first found
out? Why did he wait so long? That is what President Trump is tweeting. And why are you hearing - what are you hearing from the Obama camp on this?
RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Robyn, the Obama administration is pushing back on Donald Trump's claims in a pretty big way on essentially
two fronts. First, they say, that President Obama really didn't out the specificity of Russia's attempt to intervene into the election until it was
too late and he didn't find out until August as his outline in that Washington Post report. And by that time, a lot of the damage had already
And then the second thing that they're pointing to is that there was a danger and a fear by the Obama administration that if he did too much that
that would appear, that there would be too big of political ramifications that he was tipping the scales in favor of Hillary Clinton.
And furthermore, they argue that he did do something. He actually confronted Vladimir Putin
face to face and warned him to stop. But there's to question that he didn't take advantage of all of the options that were on the table at that
time, and that there are some in his administration regret that he didn't do more.
[11:21:02] KRIEL: Jill, in Moscow, what does this news, in addition to other developments, mean overall for washington and moscow relations?
DOUGHERTY: Well, I think right now, you know you had that debate on kind of the past
tense there in Washington, you know, what wasn't done, what was done, et cetera. But right now, we're facing a lot of present tense challenges.
For instance, on the 7th and 8th of July, we have both President Trump and President Putin probably meeting at the G20 meeting in Germany.
We don't know whether that meeting is going to take place. We have no details. We have no confirmation.
And we also really don't know what they're going to talk about if they do meet. We think it would be terrorism.
But this is quite extraordinary. I mean, usually, you have teams from both countries getting together, defining what they will be discussing and
working out things that they can - you know, they call them deliverables, things that they can sign or do together. That isn't happening.
Then you have other more worrying things, I think, which would be on the nuclear front.
Right now, there's a big debate, there's a push in the American congress by some to end, or for the United States to pull out of what's called the INF
treaty, that's an intermediate range nuclear forces agreement, which was signed by Gorbachev and Reagan back in 1987. Some people are saying let's
pull out of that, because the Russians are violating it.
The Russians say, no, we're not violating it. The Americans are.
And then you have - so, that's one thing.
Then you also have the new START agreement, another nuclear deal, that President Trump has described as a bad deal.
So, there are all these very serious issues that are not being defined. There's no real policy. And that I think is where the real danger is. The
debate is fine as a political debate back in Washington, but meanwhile, the clock is ticking.
KRIEL: Ticking indeed, Jill.
Let's focus on the now, as you said. Ryan, what can we expect today from the White House?
NOBLE: Well, for the most part, the White House has been pretty quiet other than the president's tweets and the friendly interviews that he is
getting from the Fox News Channel on this particular topic. But I think it's important to point out, Robyn, in this
case that for a long time, President Trump as a candidate and even after he was elected really cast doubt on whether or not Russia played any role in
the intervention in the U.S. election. He blamed it on China. He blamed it a simple explanation as a man, a 400 pound man in his bedroom.
So, this is really the first time that we have seen the president kind of admit fully that Russia was the principal responsible party in this
situation. He is, of course, using it as a way to attack President Obama, but we can't ignore the fact that he is finally admitting that Russia
played a role.
KRIEL: All right, indeed. Thank you so much, Ryan Noble is in Washington, D.C., Jill Dougherty, who is live for us in Moscow.
Well, the reach of Russia's cyber abilities has been a matter of debate since the U.S. -- since
last year's presidential election, and as Clare Sebastian reports, Russia's efforts with cyber warfare are only getting bolder and more sophisticated.
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Guns and laptops, a slick appeal to Russia's top scientific brains to join the army.
If you have technical skills that says, we want you.
It's about modernizing the Russian military, says one programming expert.
UNIDENTFIED MALE (through translator): It's not about the Defense Ministry hiring hackers. This is about attracting young graduates who can use their
intellect to create new military technology.
SEBASTIAN (voice-over): But there's another message here, that much of Modern Warfare is not tanks and missiles, but the battle in cyberspace.
SERGEY SHOIGU, RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTER(through translator): We created information warfare forces. It is way more effective than powerful, than
what we created before in this area.
[11:25:03] SEBASTIAN (voice-over): The view here, it's an arms race.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): When the U.S. created its Cyber Command, which had a global function, including influencing the enemy, of
course, we understand that by the enemy, they usually mean Russia.
SEBASTIAN (voice-over): And it's not just the military Russia's intelligence services are also part of its hybrid warfare.
JAMES COMEY, FORMER DIRECTOR, FBI: They did it with purpose, they did it with sophistication, they did it with overwhelming technical efforts.
SEBASTIAN (voice-over): Former FBI director James Comey saying there's no doubt the Russian state tried to influence the U.S. election, this,
following sophisticated efforts to disrupt and sow doubt in Georgia, Crimea and Ukraine.
KEIR GLES, ASSOCIATE FELLOW, CHATHAM HOUSE: Russia tries to recruit hackers and talented information professionals in exactly the same way as other
agencies do elsewhere, and they face the same challenges. They are competing with organizations that can pay much better than organized
But Russia does have the additional leverage of being able to offer people a choice between prosecution and cooperating with the authorities.
SEBASTIAN (voice-over): Russia has aggressively sought Western technology for its cyber programs. Two years ago, WikiLeaks released a trove of emails
stolen from an Italian company called Hacking Team.
Those emails reveal that Hacking Team's sophisticated software, which allows governments to spy on internet users were obtained by this Moscow-
based research institute called Clamp (ph). Clamp (ph), as it turns out, is controlled by Russia's state security service, the efforts being.
One of the Italian executives wrote of their business relationship, they're already testing our products and we're going to arrange with their support,
a visit to Moscow in May, where we'll be able to meet FSB people.
Clamp (ph) used another company here, Advanced Communications, to seal the deal. Neither Clamp (ph) nor Advanced Communications would comment. Hacking
Team said their software was designed to keep people safe.
While that case is one example of Russia's first for cyber superiority, this is an extremely sensitive topic here, partly because Russia is
constantly being accused of foreign influence campaigns, and also perhaps because of the sometimes hazy line between the state and what Vladimir
Putin calls patriotic hackers.
However, hazing the methods, Russia's focus on this hybrid war is plain to see.
Clare Sebastian, CNN, Moscow.
KRIEL: We'll get you up to speed on the latest world news headlines in just a moment.
Plus, Qatar's neighbors have given it an ultimatum: do what we say or we will turn our backs on you. What both sides want next.
[11:31:07] KRIEL: Well, almost four weeks after the boycott of Qatar by some of its neighbors, Turkey is doubling down on its support for the
country. Its president says demands by Gulf neighbors are an attack on Qatar's sovereignty.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, PRESIDENT OF TURKEY (through translator): This approach of 13 demands is against international law because you cannot
attack or intervene in the sovereignty of a country according to international law.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KRIEL: Well, he is talking about the list of demands four of Qatar's Gulf neighbors gave it or Friday, including calling for the country to close its
prized al-Jazeera News network and limit its ties with Iran. Now, Qatar has just eight days to comply. If not, a senior
Emirati official says the countries will part ways.
Well, CNN's Jomana Karadsheh joins us now live from Amman, Jordan. She's just back from Qatar.
Jomana, what sense do you get from Qataris on this crisis? Defiance or worry?
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Robyn, when you speak to people in Qatar, everyone will tell you that they are
really surprised. They did not see this coming.
Yes, tensions have been brewing for quite some time now but , no one expected a crisis of this
severity to take place. There's so much uncertainty. They don know where this is going. They don't know what's going to happen next, if this is
going to be resolved and how it's going to be resolved.
But while we were in Doha, there really is a mood of patriotism and defiance.
KARADSHEH: At a time of crisis, Qataris are rallying around their ruler. Every afternoon, a show of support in the capital. This portrait of the
emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has become a symbol of Qatari patriotism.
Ahmed bin Majed Almaadbeed (ph) is the artist behind the painting. His stencil-style image has gone viral.
AHMED BIN MAJED ALMAADBEED (PH), ARTIST: Everybody in Qatar from the deserts (ph) and people live in Qatar from all the nations, they stand as
well with the emir because we are living a good life here.
KARADSHEH (voice-over): Sheikh Tamim inherited this Arab powerhouse from his father, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, who, in 2013, handed over
power to his heir apparent in a rare move in a region where rulers hold on to power until their death. Sheikh Hamad was credited with transforming
Qatar from one of the poorest countries in the Arabian Gulf to one of the world's richest with investments across the globe.
Its rapid transformation not just economic, also diplomatic as a mediator in various conflicts, making it a major regional actor, an actor who,
earlier this month, was ostracized by neighboring activities. Qatar expert Professor Mehrah Kamrava believes there was no one trigger for this
diplomatic crisis but that it is driven by Saudi Arabia and the UAE wanting to contain their neighbor.
MEHRAH KAMRAVA, QATAR EXPERT: Within the GCC, Saudi Arabia has been the dominant actor. It is not only the biggest and the oldest and the
economically and militarily most powerful but it views itself as the rightful diplomatic spokesman of the Arabian Peninsula and in the region.
And you have smaller countries that do not necessarily buy into this Big Brother formula.
KARADSHEH (voice-over): In 2011, a new Qatar emerged during the Arab Spring, one that placed itself at the forefront of regional change, backing
rebel groups in places like Syria and Libya, Arab nations also involved in these proxy wars now accusing Qatar of funding and supporting Islamic
movement and destabilizing the region, allegations Qatar says are baseless.
With a survivalist foreign policy, Kamrava says Qatar has tried to keep more friends than enemies, maintaining good ties with countries like Saudi
Arabia's main rival, Iran.
KAMRAVA: So long as that sense of patriotism lasts, then no doubt the Qatari government can withstand the pressure that is being put on it by the
UAE ad Saudi Arabia.
But if there are indications of discomfort and unease among the Qatari population, then I think we will begin to see some movement on the part of
the Qatari government, making some concessions.
[11:35:24] KARADSHEH (voice-over): Faced with uncertainty, Qataris stand united and defiant.
KARADSHEH: And, Robyn, despite this deepening crisis, this uncertainty, our team in Doha was out today speaking to people on the first day of Eid
al-Fitr there and people are sounding optimistic. They say they hope that this crisis will be resolved soon. But for those looking on from the
outside, it really is hard right now to see what that resolution is going to look like.
KRIEL: All right, thank you so much. Our Jomana Karadsheh live for us from Amman, Jordan.
We want to take a look at how this may impact Qatar's big long-term ambitions. For that, let's cross over to London where lecturer David
Roberts is standing by for us. He also wrote Qatar, Securing the Global Ambitions of a City-State.
David, the list of demands is extensive. The time limit for Qatar to comply is extremely short. In your opinion, are these negotiations
destined for success?
DAVID ROBERTS, LECTURER: I wouldn't have thought that this initial iteration of negotiations would be successful at all. I think that the
Emiratis and the Saudis have set up the negotiations at the moment, such as they are, for this initial stage to fail. I say this in terms of the
demands that they have put across, the 10, 12, 13 demands. Some are of them are extremely onerous. I don't really think they expected Qatar to
accede at the moment. I suppose this is a much larger piece and a larger piece of negotiation. And we'll have to wait and see what the next stage
KRIEL: David, what do you believe are the Gulf states and Saudi Arabia's real objectives here
with this list of demands?
ROBERTS: There's been lots of issues with Qatar, of course, as we know relatively close relations with Iran for a long period of time. We
shouldn't overdo this. I mean, Qatar working relations with Iran, not much more. Al Jazeera, as we know, has been a thorn of contention for 25 years
or more. And also I think it's a bit more about a fundamental approach to foreign policy. Qatar and Turkey, for example, when they engage in the
Arab Spring and elsewhere, they are eager. They think it's a good idea to support groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, political Islam more generally.
They think that is a sensible modis operandi.
In contrast, the UAE, for example, and also Saudi Arabia, they fundamentally disagree. They don't want to see those kinds of actors
empowered in any way shape or form. So, there is really quite a basic fundamental approach, which is really quite different. They're completely
antithetical, in fact.
KRIEL: Just how significant, speaking of Turkey, is the demand that Turkey halt the development of its military base in Qatar?
ROBERTS: Well, indeed this is one of the many demands that has been made of Qatar and of Turkey. Turkey has refused this. Qatar is in the process
effectively of refusing this. Turkey certainly feels that it is second to no nation in the Middle East. It won't have its foreign policy dictated to
by Saudi Arabia or indeed by anybody else.
And equally, as I say, Turkey and Qatar are very much aligned when it comes to their foreign policy. They both want to support the same types of
actor. And so Turkey wants to help Qatar at this early stage to make sure this kind of isolation doesn't continue. I think Turkey would understand
that if Qatar was rolled over in some way, shape or form, if they capitulated, maybe Ankara's foreign policy would be next in the sights of
these regional nations.
KRIEL: All right, the Connect the World team has been out and about in Doha listening to what people there have to say. Let's take a listen to
what one resident had to say on this crisis.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I expect the matters to get better, god willing. And god willing, this will end up being a minor
disagreement and will not affect the life of our society.
We are rooted, homogeneous society in Arabian Gulf here in Qatar. We have family connections, economic connections and other relationships with the
other countries. Thanks to god, we were not affected that much by the crisishere in Qatar. We managed the situation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KRIEL: David, in your opinion, what could -- the United States, for example, Rex Tillerson, saying just a short while ago that they should
meet, that the countries in disagreement at the moment should meet. What could the United States and other states be doing to
help resolve this a little bit more speedily?
ROBERTS: Well, when it comes to the position of the United States, it's pretty complicated, because there are effectively two U.S. positions. One
position, which if Rex Tillerson, James Mattis, these men from their previous roles running Exxon and of course we're running CENTCOM in the
Middle East, which is, of course, based in Doha. They know the Gulf. They know the region. They know the people. And they want a resolution as soon
as possible. They want negotiation, sensible negotiations to take place as soon as possible.
But equally we have the president. We have Donald Trump who has come down, it seems, on the side of Saudi Arabia and the UAE. So, there isn't a
united American position on this, which complicates things quite significantly.
KRIEL: All right, thank you so much, David Roberts live for us there from London.
We're keeping an eye on that story.
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And in our Parting Shots tonight, we mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan and the
start of Eid. You can check out these colorful images capturing just some of the world's 1.6 billion Muslims getting ready for Eid.
For them, Ramadan has always been a spiritual time of self-reflection and of course fasting from dawn until Sunset. It all culminates with
celebrations as they finally break their month long fast during daylight hours. It's all about food, family, and most importantly a time for giving
So from everyone here at Connect the World, Eid Mubarak everyone.