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CONNECT THE WORLD
European Leaders Lay Out Vision Before Trump's Arrival; Saudi Foreign Minister, We Are Working To Isolate Iran; Tunisian Foreign Minister Speaks To CNN; Aired 10-11a ET
Aired January 24, 2018 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[10:00:25] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: From the startup in his garage to whole world, Jeff Bezos has come a long way from selling books online back in the
1990s and now he sells practically anything. Even wear Amazon clothes, buy amazon groceries and upload from the cloud technology and talk to it.
Alexa, what are trash liners.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I found glad tall trash bags.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is not enough for Jeff Bezos, because amazon is investing in TV movie, and also brick and mortar whole foods. Bezos also
owns the newspaper the Washington Post and invested in google and air BNB and Uber. He hopes to send to you space one day with his company blue
origin. That is Jeff Bezos in 60 seconds.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Orders of protectionism are raising their heads against globalization.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm going to Davos.
Americanism and not globalism.
JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADA, PRIME MINISTER: If you are anxious, imagine how the folks that are not in the room feel.
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: There is a crack in everything, and this is how the light gets in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR: Oh, the light is pouring in. Welcome to a glorious day of golden sunshine over what is really hallowed ground, sacred
earth to the people who run and define our world. Make no mistake, this world economic forum in Davos is a festival in the billionaire's echo
chamber to liberal free market globalist thinking, and so this is perhaps the calm before the storm for another tycoon is going to land tomorrow
morning, and he just happens to be running America. Donald Trump, supercharging the business back home and crushing the taxes, and his people
are coming ahead of him making that point here. You'd expect this to be his natural crowd, right? But so much of what Mr. Trump boasts, his
American anthem if you will is anathema here.
Before we hear from him, right now, the European front, and the leaders of Germany, France, and Italy sketching out their vision of the world. We
will get to all of that this hour. It is Davos, and so it is incredibly busy. I'm Becky Anderson, and this is your world, so let's connect it.
The American/European division is not the only major story underpinning these gathering of the narrative from the Middle East, the regional cold
war, pitting Saudi Arabia and Iran against the peace here and it is fuming as well. Just now, a panel that saw Saudi Arabia's foreign minister come
out hard on the Iran calling them a force of darkness. I'm not the only person fresh from Abu Dhabi this week, Anwar Gargash and welcome in the
UAE's minister of state for foreign affairs, a country closely aligned with the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. If there was anything, sir, and welcome the
ANWAR GARGASH, UAE MINISTER OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Thank you, Becky.
ANDERSON: If there is anything worrying the global leaders gathering here, it is the geopolitical risk and none more so that in the region that you
and I live and work in where you are at the forefront of warnings about Iran. Do you see an escalation between Tehran and your allies in the
GARGASH: Well I hope not. I hope that recent events in Iran send a clear picture of rejection and internally to Iran to a lot of aggressive policies
that had been pursued over the last decades by the Iranians in that world. I think there has been a cost, and that cost has spilled over internally
and I think that the message is that we were sent by many Iranian demonstrators to the government is that we want you to concentrate on your
internal economy and the deliverables in Iran and spend less on your aggressive policies and on these pipe dreams. I think this is a message
that we hope Iran listens to and starts actually, you know, examining these policies that led to it.
[10:05:09] ANDERSON: Do you see any evidence of that? And let me ask you this, is this an opportunity for you and others to reach out with what is a
less, some people would call, aggressive foreign file towards Tehran?
GARGASH: Well I think with regards to evidence we have to wait a couple of months to see how the Iranian regime, the government will actually, you
know, look internally into the own event, but I think we have had recent statements that have admitted that this is an internal issue and the whole
idea of it being the American Zionist Saudi plot is reject and this is an internal issue they have to deal with. I think with regards to the
dialogue in the region, and I have seen the Iranian foreign minister's piece in the financial time and I think that is the state of affair that
one would want to arrive at some state, but that state of affairs is not possible unless the Iranian are regime acts like a normal country.
ANDERSON: All right. Iran then informing a serious crisis in the gulf, and that of the crisis of Qatar against you and Saudi Arabia and Bahrain
and your ally Egypt. Could this crisis lead to a military confrontation?
GARGASH: No, definitely not.
ANDERSON: You are sure about that?
GARGASH: Sure about it. I think there are several things that I think Ali Akbar has come out and said that we saved the Qatar are regime, and we can
see it with the closer Iranian relations taking place. We are intent, and we have clearly said that after the attempt to harass some civilian
airlines over the international air space north of Qatar, we have come out and said, this is not what we are seeking. We are going to go legal
against interference with civil aviation and we are going to try and get our training areas away from Qatar air space into more Saudi air space to
the avoid that.
ANDERSON: Your government has actually warned the UAE military not to escalate this crisis which some might suggest is an admission of
GARGASH: No, the military is part of the government. I think that the government does not want the military. But clearly, everything will come
out, and it is going to be very clear. As far as the issue with Qatar is concerned, we are expecting a change of behavior, and I think that once
that change of behavior with Doha takes place, we can are reconnect again, but right now Qatar is in a difficult position.
ANDERSON: And they say this is difficult position, because if you go low, they go high. Your response?
GARGASH: Well, this is all of it is media hype, but in reality, it is biting them and in reality, it is costing them a lot. This is for us,
marginal compared for what we see in other sectors in the region.
ANDERSON: And also, one last question to you, and this is important, because if there is one crisis that we know that is hurting people on the
ground more than any, it seems, it is the Yemen crisis. You are heavily invested as a country.
ANDERSON: And what is going on, on the ground as you understand it, and where is the solution? Is 2018 the year for a solution on Yemen?
GARGASH: I think that first of all, you know, our combined action in Yemen led by Saudi Arabia, the coalition is justified politically, because there
is a vacuum and that vacuum that Iran a has used in any areas, we have actually stood and taken charge of our own feet, and that is fundamentally
the issue. As we go into 2018, we have to balance three thing, and number is our military operations. If the Houthis are not -- Houthis are not
honest interlock others and number two a political process, but we cannot allow or take political processes to take place where there is sort of
pause and then the Houthis regroup, and the third important element is better manage the humanitarian situation.
[10:10:03] ANDERSON: Which you admit is a disaster?
GARGASH: Well, it is part of any war. It is part of any war, but I think that recent also developments that we have seen such as the announcement by
Saudi Arabia to shore up the Yemeni economy, and the announcement by us and Saudi Arabia and alliance to put another $.5 billion into the economy
opening up of data, I think what happens is we have to sort of mange this three files, manage, you know, the military file, the political one and the
ANDERSON: It is going to be a busy 2018 for the files that you to --b.
ANDERSON: A lot to do with. It is a pleasure to have you on, and I will see you back in the UAE. Thank you for your time. Thank you.
GARGASH: Thank you.
ANDERSON: And all right. To the American President who will arrive here tomorrow morning. Ahead of that, have a listen to Donald Trump on China,
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: To rape our country, and this is what they are doing, it is the greatest theft in the history of the world.
It was a very are very warm conversation. I think that we are on the process of getting along very well and I think that is also going to be
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, he seemed to soften the stance from being super hard on China to being friends after coming face-to-face with him. America more
unsure of itself alongside a more powerful China has been touched on by my next guest writing in foreign affairs, penned this. Over the past decade
buffeted by financial crises, populist insurgencies and the research of authoritarian policy, liberal international order has stumbled. A man who
wrote that is in charge of running Chatham house, Robin Nibblet the world famous global think-task and we are pleased to have him here now. And is
Donald Trump going to puncture liberal thinking here as he has done over the year
ROBIN NIBBLET, DIRECTOR OF THE LEADING GLOBAL THINK-TASK: Well, Donald Trump is representing the country that is meant to protect liberal
thinking, so the fact of him coming here saying it is a doggy-dog world, I am paraphrasing.
ANDERSON: Well, the former chief of strategists told it should be.
NIBBLET: Well, Davos has grappled with the difference between the animal spirit business and the idea of trying to build a shed future for the
fractured world. And some of it is driven by the animal instincts that Trump respects but he is not a believer in the multilateralism this is
meant to be packaged around it.
ANDERSON: is it smart though that we dig slightly deeper below the surface, a completely natural habitat for him?
NIBBLET: Yes. In the habitat that he is a businessman, but he is not a normal American type of businessman. He runs a huge company, operation.
ANDERSON: He does not buy multilateralism, and is that a problem?
NIBBLET: Yes, most of the leaders here are from multi-national company that understand the need to be diplomatic and work with multiple diverse
constituency and he is not someone who has gone through that experience.
ANDERSON: Robin, many of whom tipped the hat to what the U.S. President has done to the tax reform, and unraveling what is an incredibly
complicated regulatory system, and say this is not just fantastic news for the U.S. investment, but for the global growth going forward.
NIBBLET: I think it is good for the global growth, if you assume that the American economy is good for it. America first is good for world, because
a good American economy is good for the rest of you, but it also relies on the unpredictable economy. You can be unpredictability maybe on foreign
policy and get some game, you had been unpredictable to the economy and you create a lack of incentive investment, you start to pull people back, you
raise the hackles of competitors.
ANDERSON: Very briefly, we have heard from the European leaders here, and to your mind, what have we learned?
NIBBLET: I think they had tried to get the punch in before Donald Trump arrives. We heard Angela Merkel say that unilateral is no way to go. And
Justin Trudeau timing the trans-pacific partnership as of 11 countries signing in Tokyo while he was here. Evan (inaudible) doing a little bit of
Xi Jinping saying we need an open global system for country like (inaudible). This is all about openness and cooperation, Donald Trump is
going to say, America strong first and you guys will love later on, just trust me.
ANDERSON: Always a pleasure. Thank you.
NIBBLET: Thanks Becky.
ANDERSON: Robin Nibblet the Director of Chatham House he has been a regular on this show throughout the years. Thank you for briefing. And
so, it is slight warmer as the sun goes down, it starts to get you on the back.
[10:15:05] We are carrying on as President Trump gets ready for a whirlwind of couple of days in Davos. He is also facing the prospects of high stakes
interview back home. The Russian investigation that he has long called a hoax and witch hunt has now reached the oval office and the sources say
that special counsel Robert Mueller wants to speak to the President himself. And for the significance let us bring in White House reporter
Stephen Collinson and the first question is simply that. Just how significant is this, Stephen?
STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, I think we have reached an important moment in the Russian investigation, and we are
on the cusp of the moment when the President of the United States will presumably sit opposite of the special counsel Robert Mueller in an
investigation and interview into an active obstruction of justice investigation, and that is something that doesn't happen very often. In
fact, it is sort of draws us back to comparison with Bill Clinton testimony in the Monica Lewinski affair 20 years ago. There are things like Attorney
General Jeff Sessions, fired FBI chief James Comey is that this strand of the Russia investigation, the obstruction piece, the question of the
President obstructed of justice in the firing of James Comey and the whole issue around national security adviser Mike Flynn and that part of the
investigation seems to be drawing to an end towards to the critical moment of decision.
ANDERSON: Well, Stephen, if Donald Trump need a diversion, he has one, and that is his trip here to Davos where his speech Friday is much anticipated.
There is somewhat of a sense of anxiety, and also, as I was just discussing with my last guest, an enormous amount of enthusiasm from the global CEOs
here as to what Donald Trump has achieved to date. What is the sense that back home in Washington as he is get set to make this great America-first
COLLINSON: That is of course the great irony of this, and Davos is a place where Donald Trump probably wouldn't have been welcomed a year ago, because
of the protectionist campaign and the America first instincts and the fact that he was instrumental in passing this huge tax reform bill, especially
the corporate tax in the United States, and the Presidents have been trying to cut the corporate tax for years and Donald Trump cut it by 14 percentage
point, and that is going to lead into the huge infusion of cash and the economy and the fact that the stock has gone up so high and another record
high could come today has made a lot of this people who perhaps were minded to be hostile towards Donald Trump, and have gathered at Davos, the global
elite who have spurned him much more open to his message so I think that may dampen down the America-first impact of his America first rhetoric.
ANDERSON: Well, he is certainly set to roll out the red carpet when it comes to investing in the U.S. That speech of course Friday afternoon
about 2:00 in the afternoon or so Davos time. Thank you, Stephen. Still to come tonight, the poster child of the Arab spring and the rocky post
revolution path. I am talking about Tunisia, the minister will join us next. It is 18 minutes past 4:00 in the afternoon here in Davos,
[10:21:42] ANDERSON: All right. Welcome back to what is a rather warmish Davos. You are watching CNN, and this is "Connect the World" with me Becky
Anderson live in Davos, Switzerland. If you are a keen observer of events in the Middle East and North Africa and if you are watching the program,
you are probably as you know that we are often from those areas. And now, looking at the dire state of the economy and a swell of protests that led
to his ousting. Fast forward to 2018 and Tunisians are again protesting at to a handling of the economy. The numbers, and well, and they are much
smaller, but the frustration, we can hear it as palpable.
The difference today is ta that Tunisia is now a democracy where people can vent at the ballot box and the street corner. Tunisian foreign minister is
joining me now, and your country, sir, it is often called the cradle of the Arab spring, of course. In one breath we talk about the success, and in
another, it seems that once again, we are talking about its failures. Why?
KHEMAIES JHINAOUI, TUNISIA MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS: I cannot say it is a failure. There are some shortcomings, and we have some difficulties, but
we have already achieved major milestones towards establishing the full- fledged democracy.
ANDERSON: Can you explain why we saw the protests recently on the streets?
JHINAOUI: Let me first underline that the democracy as you have said it, it is very normal that the people get out on the street when they are not
happy, and that is what happened in the last few weeks. People, you know, in 2011, they rose against the dictatorship for two things, and first for
freedom and dignity. They have the freedom and now they can protest very easily, and the state is there to protect them, but of course they are
looking for a better life.
ANDERSON: Demands for the dignity. And they say the economy is being mismanaged? Is it?
JHINAOUI: No. It is not a matter of over mismanagement, but Tunisia is almost left alone and it does not get the real support to help it get out
of the situation.
ANDERSON: And I have heard that appeal before from other Tunisian ministers, and let's talk about the international monetary fund, of course,
we are in Davos, but Tunisian secured a $2.9 with billion loan and the economic reforms including new taxes and price hikes that sparked protests
this month. In part, to satisfy the conditions of the four-year loan, and the IMF says, and I quote, sir, these measures may hurt in the short term,
but they are essential to achieve economic stability and growth. Is too much being asked of the Tunisians by the IMF?
JHINAOUI: Let me first say that we also went to the IMF and the IMF did not come to us, so we asked the IMF to support us, and of course they have
asked for reforms and we are undertaking them for the benefit of the Tunisian people and not for the benefit of IMF. We are continuing on the
path of reforms. We have already achieved a number of making Tunisia more business-friendly, and attracting foreign business, but still, of course,
in seven years of the transition period, it is not big period to finalize the whole economic process.
[10:25:28] ANDERSON: Extremism, and Tunisia is notorious sadly for being the country that sent per capita the most foreign fighters to join the
ranks of ISIS, and some 6,000 according to one recent study, and it has hit home of course, and sadly I have been in Tunisia at times to cover stories
that have quite frankly hit the tourism industry, and has not recovered yet. What do you do about it?
JHINAOUI: I cannot say 6,000 more or less. Nobody is able to say exactly how many of the Tunisians.
But you admit there is?
JHINAOUI: Yes, we have, but most of the people have been attracted in the hot beds, hot spots by the economic necessities more than by (inaudible)
and some of them are extremist group, and it happens all over the world. This is not specific to Tunisia, and we are trying to handle this problem
according to the new political Democratic system and we are trying to establish in Tunisia.
ANDERSON: If you had one message to the world briefly, what would it be?
JHINAOUI: I just want to say that it is very important to stand with Tunisia in this difficult time, because we are for the first time of the
south of the Mediterranean Sea trying to establish a full-fledged democracy and associating Islam with the universal values, and so it is beyond
Tunisia, but impact not only on the region, but on the whole world.
ANDERSON: I hope that people here are listening.
JHINAOUI: I hope so. Thank you very much.
ANDERSON: Thank you. The foreign minister of Tunisia and we are grateful for giving us his time today. The latest world headlines ahead, and plus
the United Nations aid chief says that the U.N. needs major reform. He is going to tell us about the new role and the amount of humanitarian aid
needed worldwide. That is up next. Stay with us.
[10:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR: Live from Davos in Switzerland, this is Connect the World. I'm Beck Anderson for you with the top stories for you
Save the Children has suspended its operations in Afghanistan, after a deadly attack on its office in Jalalabad. Authorities say gunmen stormed
the building after a suicide bomber drove a car at the entrance. At least three people were killed. ISIS claiming responsibility.
In the United States, Kentucky state police say that two people were killed and 20 injured in a school shooting on Tuesday. The 15-year-old student is
accused of opening fire at Marshall County High School. The police said that the victims ranged in age from 14 to 18-years-old. The alleged
shooter is in custody.
The U.S. and Turkish presidents are to talk about Turkey's military offensive in Northern Syria Wednesday. The Turkish military said it has
killed 260 U.S.-backed Kurdish militia or ISIS fighters.
The Turkish president has blasted the U.S. for supporting what he calls terrorists. These ongoing conflicts around the world are driving more
civilians into the crisis.
The office for the Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs estimates that the drought or other disasters will have put 135 million people at risk
worldwide. A 135 million people at risk worldwide next year.
According to the new U.N. Aid Chief Mark Lowcock, more than 22 million people need humanitarian assistance in Yemen alone. And joining me now is
the man, himself.
And we are sadly all too familiar with the images out of Yemen and we were just discussing the prospect for a solution in 2018 perhaps closer than we
have been to date in the last three years. Mark, is that what you have identified as your biggest concern at the present as we are moving into
MARK LOWCOCK, AID CHIEF, UNITED NATIONS: The single biggest crisis in terms of people whose lives are right on the line is in Yemen, and 7
million or 8 million people just a step from starvation.
Now the U.N. is reaching 7 million of them with food, but we need $3 billion this year to finance out appeals and quite a lot more than we
needed last year, because the situation has deteriorated.
I was very encouraged when we launched that appeal a few days ago but there was an immediate response from the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United
Kingdom of Emirates who have announced over $1 billion of help for us.
And we need others to step up as well. If we get well financed, we can avoid this being the world's worst humanitarian catastrophe for decades,
but we need the money.
ANDERSON: Mark, year in and year out, this is often times the meeting, and the certainly the time of the year when agencies like yours appeal for more
cash. It is cap in hand time once again and you never get fully funded for what you want.
And the agency itself has been in the past and I quote, accused of inefficiency of being bloated and organizationally dysfunctional. What are
you going to do about that?
LOWCOCK: Well, I came into this job four months ago. We have gone through a downsizing exercise to have fewer people on the quarter and more people
in our field offices, restructure around by core functions.
We provide a service toward the agencies like the Red Cross, and the World Food Program, and I can assure for refugees and so on, and collectively, we
all reach tens and tens of millions of people with life-saving assistance and we certainly save millions of lives a year. But we know we need to do
a better job, and that's where we are focused on.
ANDERSON: OK, how are you going to do that? How are you going to do that? You said you are downsizing but is that the answer?
LOWCOCK: Well, what we are doing is streamlining our processes, and focusing on the things we're really good at, providing excellent
information on the situation on the ground, helping negotiate access, coordinating the work of all of the agencies so that the money is working
as how this was possible.
[10:35:00] ANDERSON: At the same time, attempting to repair a reputation that some U.N. workers have in some parts of the world, which is quite
frankly unacceptable, and that of sexual abuse and harassment. You, I know, are certainly very exercised about that issue, and again, what are
you going to do about it?
LOWCOCK: Well, we have made absolutely clear, we have a zero tolerance for any kind of sexual abuse, of any kind, whether it is of the people we are
trying to help or inside of the organization.
We have put in place new whistle-blower procedures. We tightened up all our internal justice systems. We made absolutely clear, there is no
immunity for any U.N. staff or member. There is no diplomatic immunity. If you do something of the sort, you will face the full weight of the law.
An another important thing that Antonio Guterres has done just in his first year has achieve gender balance over the top of the U.N., top 44 jobs, and
half of them are now held by women and if we have a culture which is more enabling and more supportive, that will help to change the values that
ensures we have fewer of those problems in the future.
ANDERSON: Good to hear that across the organization as we are seeing similar narratives across other organizations and industries around the
world, and the #MeToo campaign of course last year a defining moment of 2017, and let's carry it on. Thank you, sir.
LOWCOCK: Thank you.
ANDERSON: Good luck to you. Mark Lowcock, he is the undersecretary general humanitarian affairs joining us here in Davos. We are live all
week. This is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson, coming from are the snowy slopes of the small Swiss town to the shifting sands in Saudi Arabia.
We look at how the kingdom is Preparing what looks to be the biggest stock offering in history. Our interview with the CEO of Saudi Aramco is up
ANDERSON: All right. You are back with us and a very warm welcome to those of you who are just joining us. I'm Becky Anderson at the World
Economic Forum in Davos in Switzerlana. We are in Davos where the international politics and economics and industry of course converge.
And when it comes to the Middle East and possibly the biggest business story this year will be Saudi Arabia's Aramco. Now, for those who didn't
know, Riyadh is preparing to publicly list its state energy giant.
And this could be the largest IPO in history, and as part of Saudi Arabia's major economic overhaul, well, CNN's emerging markets as my colleague in
Abu Dhabi where we normally base is John Defterios of course. He has just spoken with the chief executive of Aramco. He joins us now.
[10:40:00] And also joining us is a good friend of our, Faisal Abbas who is the editor-in-chief of Arab News. So, John, what are we told?
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is literally the $2 trillion question, right? The best evaluation that Saudi Aramco was looking for, we
know it's going to be happening in the second half of 2018, but, you also know, there is an intense competition to see if you can get a piece of the
Today, which surprise me, they kept the bouquet pretty robust. Tokyo, Hong Kong, New York and London, some controversy that came up yesterday, the New
York stock exchange was suggesting, we shouldn't make a particular exception for any company whether it is Saudi Aramco or not, the words they
used, not to bend over backwards.
So, they I pose -- I mean, answer, are they looking for a special exception to go in the New York stock exchange because of royalties that come out of
the company or not, and also does the IPO improve because we are near $70 a barrel. Well, that be seen positively by those who want to invest by
ANDERSON: Let's have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMIN NASSER, CEO, SAUDI ARAMCO: We are not expecting anybody to bend over backward for us when we list. We will -- we have certain requirements, if
that decision is to list in this country or that country.
And based on that, we will make our -- if there is any requirements, which we are not asking anybody certainly at the end of the day, they can say yes
or they can say no.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Yes, fascinating. A question that I get asked on a regular basis when I'm traveling around the world, and people know that I come from
the gulf region is, why would anybody invest in an oil company when the discussion -- whatever the oil price, the discussion is, how close are we
to peak oil demand? What's the answer to that, John?
DEFTERIOS: In fact, that is one of the questions that I posed him at the very end. And are you trying to sneak your IPO in before the peak demand
arrives, something sat that is going to arrive as early as 2030.
And we are almost 100 million barrels a day. In fact, they are the kind of reason, as you state, $100 million -- 100 million barrels and then come
down, but he said look, I don't agree with you at all. I think demand is going to continue to rise past 2040. There is underinvestment which is
going to give us a better position going forward.
ANDERSON: So, this is all part in class on what is called, vision 2030, which was announced two years ago by the young crowned prince Mohammed bin
You and I have talked about this on numerous occasions, and what sort of lies behind that is the idea that the country does not want to rely on oil
going forward there and admit, that just cannot happen. How does this fit in -- this IPO, fit into the bigger and the wider story of Saudi and will
it be successful?
FAISAL ABBAS, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, ARAB NEWS: Well, look, the one cannot take what is happening out of the context that you mentioned the word overhaul,
and the overhaul is not just the economy, but the whole country is changing, and you have witnessed it yourself when you have come to Saudi
Arabia on a number of occasions.
I think the scene here in Davos can be described as nothing other than a Saudi travel offensive and a demonstration of various aspects of this
So, we are seeing the foundation for example, displaying kind of community service activities in the Saudi arts, that's kind of a bit of sort power,
outside on the promenade, you have the Saudi center for the measurement of the effectiveness of the different bodies, and as well as all of the
ministers being here to explain it.
ANDERSON: And you say that this is what could be described as a Saudi charmed offensive and some people might say, well, about time to the risk
to the foreign investor's appetite in Saudi post the anti-corruption commission's crackdown and the fact that so many leading figures were
effectively incarcerated at the Ritz Hotel leaves a very bad taste in the mouths of so many people who will be at attendance here.
ABBAS: Correct. Well, first of all, Saudi Arabia is not the first country to go after corruption, and second of all, with change there is always
going to be winners and losers.
People only need to remember the era of Margaret Thatcher. There people who became millionaires and there were people who took to the street
ANDERSON: Yes, but you did not lock them up in the five-star prison.
ABBAS: As the public prosecutor said, they were being held based on investigations.
ANDERSON: I understand.
ABBAS: And they are the people who have cooperated and decided to settled have been released and others are going to be facing trials, and that will
all be to a due process.
DEFTERIOS: Well, I think actually 2018 has to be the year of clarity to, Becky's, point though, there was a huge investment summit and 3,500
investors came in. They were super excited about the potential of the opening up of the 2030 planning. And I don't think has changed.
But when you see the sign at the door at Ritz-Carlton, the same venue, Faisal, that raises questions now. So I think it's going to be the
consistency of the message, delivering of course on this IPO for Saudi Aramco, which is very important, is there a demand for it, is there
transparency, how do you treat the royalties, where are you going to list, and delivering on that promise is very, very important for them, and it
think this is the year they need to clarify all those positions.
ANDERSON: I know you want to speak further, but we are running out of time.
[10:45:00] ANDERSON: And we say, this is a year for clarity, and you will be back on the show. Faisal, thank you. Faisal is the chief -- editor-in-
chief of the Arab news, CNN's emerging market editor, John Defterios, you will recognize. Live from Davos, this is Connect the World.
Coming up after a short break but after that, the destruction of Aleppo, Syria captured the world's attention, now a film about acts of bravery
there has been nominated for an academy award. Conversation with the director of that movie, after this.
ANDERSON: Well, at 47 minutes past 4:00 here in Davos, you are watching CNN and this is Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson. Welcome back.
With a saying that war is hell, so what it is like to be living in hell?
Well, filmmaker Firas Fayyad decision to find out when he went to the city of Aleppo in Syria, and while visiting held, five found heroes, his film,
Last Men in Aleppo, has now been nominated for an academy award for best documentary. It follows several of Aleppo's White Helmets civilians who
race around the city trying to save innocent victims of war.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FIRAS FAYYAD, FILMMAKER, LAST MEN IN ALEPPO: (Speaking Foreign Language)
[10:50:00] (TECHNICAL DIFFICULTY)
ANDERSON: ... it is a shot that really resonates. As we continue to watch this, just walk me through what we are seeing seeing, how you shot
it, and what were the challenges that you faced.
FAYYAD: Yes. Well, it was -- this is the last place in Aleppo and I saw all the camera focusing on the people on how they displacement from the
city, I felt like my mission as an artist and a filmmaker to think about the dream of these people who are displacement and leave their city.
And then to up coming to the idea of the (Inaudible) that this is people who were trying like all of their times, like to stay in their place, and
we like to find house like remind us in all of this war that have been in London and in Rome, and Berlin, and then we find house, completely who can
live in the house.
And there is a fish aquarium that we didn't try -- we bring the fish and bought in the aquarium, and we showed that. It was not easy, because it
was so dangerous and a lot of attention on this place, but we did it.
We did it, because we felt that it is the last moment that we can tell that even they destroy of the city, and displacement of people, and their soul
and their memories here will not forget it. And that is what is important like this is nominated.
ANDERSON: And so tell us, you will be in touch with many people in Aleppo who are rebuilding their lives, and they can rebuild their lives. And I
have listened to numerous stories of the people who say, you know, it was so awful, but we will carry on. What are people telling you?
FAYYAD: Yes. The people, when they leave -- they leave with their keys of their houses.
ANDERSON: They want to go home.
FAYYAD: Yes, and they were forced to leave. They did not leave, and they were forced because they don't have any choices in front of them and they
would be killed. Some of them decided, they would like to the stay and they were killed, and their house is not located for any foreigner to come
to take their places.
ANDERSON: You hear optimistic stories there, correct?
ANDERSON: I certainly do, which must make you feel proud of those that you filmed and that those who you have come across and there is a sense of
optimism these days, and certainly in Aleppo.
FAYYAD: Yes. And so one of these, most thing must -- most things that I have been witnesses on the story of Khaled, which is like the main
character of the show is that he tried everything to do it to stay in the city, everything.
And even he is like established like aquarium and the fish, in that the time that the city fall down and he didn't leave the city. And he felt
this is the place that he can continue with his children and family.
ANDERSON: And how was his story now?
FAYYAD: The family now -- I mean, Khaled is the main character of the film, and indeed, the film ends tragic in the end. His family is now
hopefully in a safer place, but most of the characters and the people, there were at refugee camps or there were forced to leave to go to Turkey,
and now, you know...
ANDERSON: And clearly with the operations on the border, much concern about what happens next...
ANDERSON: ... on the ground. It has been a pleasure to having you on, and we really do congratulate you. And your work is fantastic.
FAYYAD: Thank you so much.
ANDERSON: And the work of the White Helmets has been absolutely remarkable, and to get nomination as you said, to put the story on the map,
in front (Inaudible), people may not know the story as well as you and I do, that is fantastic. Wonderful. Thank you.
FAYYAD: Thank you.
ANDERSON: Firas Fayyad, writer and the director of the Oscar nominated, Last Men in Aleppo, joining us today. Well, Davos is a great place to look
forward towards the future and no one knows that more than the artists, philanthropists and then futurist Will.i.am. Earlier, I spoke to him, and
the UAE's minister of artificial intelligence.
[10:55:00] Yes, they have one. And minister artificial intelligence about what is to come from the world of A.I. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILL.I.AM, MUSICIAN AND BUSINESSMAN: When it came to electricity being in the house, we were afraid of electricity, but just look at how it has
brightened up our world, just look at how it has, you know, connected us.
People were afraid about the internet, and look at how we use it today. I am not saying that we use mobile phones the way that we should use them.
We could use them, you know, a lot better. But I am optimistic about, you know, what A.I. is going to bring.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Will.i.am and the UAE's minister of A.I. You can see the rest of that interview which is great on our social media. Make it your next
Well just over behind me, it is hard to see the forest or the trees sometimes, the famous tree of the World of Global Politics that impact our
lives but not on this show.
We have got right in and to show you the world and connect it all for good measure. I'm Becky Anderson, and that was Connect the World. This show is
back tomorrow, from the team working with me here and those working with us around the world. It is a very good afternoon.