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Kim Jong-un Will be First North Korean Leader to Cross to South; Macron Suggests Changes to Strengthen Iran Agreement; Jackson Withdraws as Trumps Veterans Affairs Nominee; Syria is a Death Trap for Civilians; New Brexit Test for U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May. Aired 11a-12n ET

Aired April 26, 2018 - 11:00   ET


[11:00:00] BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: You're watching "CONNECT THE WORLD." I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi. A very warm welcome.

And we begin this hour on the Korean Peninsula. A fractured land, two countries still technically at war and a people divided for more than six

decades. Soon a chance for peace. In less than ten hours' time, history will take place in this place here. Kim Jong-un will become the first

North Korean leader ever to cross the southern part of the demilitarized zone. He will walk across the demarcation line at Panmunjom, known as the

Peace Village. He and the leader of South Korea, the President, will then sit down in this room for what will be the most significant Korean

diplomatic summit in a generation.

And for the United States this Summit will act as a barometer for another significant meeting. That between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un.

Our Abby Phillip is in Washington to talk about that. First though let's get to Paula Hancocks. She is near the DMZ that separates the Koreas. And

the anticipation, Paula, building, no doubt.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Becky. We have been told this is going to be a made-for-TV moment. And it clearly will be. It's

going to be broadcast live to millions around the world. We're going to see Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, walking towards the MDL, the

Military Demarcation Line, where he will be greeted by the South Korean President, Moon Jae-in. He'll then step over this small lip of concrete

which is the actual border and head south. As you say, the first time a North Korean leader has ever done that.

There'll be a traditional guard welcoming for him. There will be an official welcoming ceremony. He'll sign the guest book. They'll be a

photo opportunity. But then the summit starts, and the real hard work starts. Trying to figure out if both men actually agree on what the word

denuclearization means.

Now we know there'll also be a tree planting ceremony in the afternoon. This Summit is dripping with symbolism. There'll be soil taken from a

mountain in North Korea and South Korea. The water will be from rivers in North Korea and South Korea. And then by the end of the day after the

summit has finished, there should be some kind of signed agreement, potentially an announcement before the banquet ends the summit.

But we do know there have been two summits like this before and certainly there can be some lessons learned.


HANCOCKS (voice-over): It was a powerful image, the leader of two countries that tore each other apart 50 years earlier embracing and

smiling. The 2000 summit between North Korea's Kim Jong-il and South Korea's Kim Dae-jung made history. But Kim Dae-jung's son said it was a

massive gamble for South Korea.

KIM HONG-GUL, SON OF FORMER SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT KIM DAE-JUNG (through translator): Unlike other summits, he says, where you work out the agenda

in advance, there were no pre-talks. The North said, just come, everything will be fine. My father said Kim Jong-il did not want to concede anything.

He had to really convince him. Even joking saying, I'm much older than you and I came all the way to Pyongyang. If I return empty handed I will lose


The summit ended with the June 15 declaration signed by both leaders pushing for humanitarian economic cooperation. A visit later that year by

the then secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, intended to lay the groundwork for a visit by U.S. President Bill Clinton which never came.

HONG-GUL (through translator): If Clinton had a little more time, if he had visited North Korea, Kim says, it would have had a huge impact on peace

in this region. My father really regretted it never happened.

HANCOCKS: One lesson learned, President Moon Jae-in is starting early, meeting Kim Jong-un within the first year of his presidency. His goal, his

office said, is to complete the whole denuclearized process within his five-year term.

2007 the second inter-Korean summit. This time Kim Jong-il met Roh Moo- hyun. President Roh walking across the border. Another historic first. A further agreement signed with Kim Jong-il pledging to work towards a

permanent peace. One top diplomat who met Kim Jong-il before the second summit said that his son, Kim Jong-un is in a far stronger position, having

developed his nuclear and missile programs and that feeling of security could help.

CHUNG DONG-YOUNG, FORMER SOUTH KOREAN UNIFICATION MINISTER: The third inter-Korean summit meeting would be a historic turning point that led the

two Koreas from hatred and confrontation to reconciliation and cooperation.

[11:05:02] HANCOCKS: One source of optimism for supporters of the first two summits is U.S. President Donald Trump agreeing to meet Kim Jong-un,

ensuring some kind of momentum. But some more conservative elements question whether the lesson to be learned is if you can trust North Korea.


HANCOCKS: Of course, President Moon's job on Friday is to find out in fact if North Korea is serious about giving up nuclear weapons -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Abby, Christiane Amanpour spoke with South Korea's Foreign Minister earlier. She is singing some high praise for the U.S. President's

role in what is this historic summit. For our viewers' benefit, let's just have a listen.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Are you surprised by how quickly this moment has arrived? Let's face it, just four

months ago, Kim Jong-un was talking about pressing nuclear buttons from his desk, and President Trump was responding in kind.

KANG KYUNG-WHA, SOUTH KOREAN FOREIGN MINISTER: I feel like somebody stepped on the accelerator at the beginning of the year and it's been

nonstop since then.

AMANPOUR: How do you account for it?

KYUNG-WHA: Clearly, you know, credit goes to President Trump. He's been determined to come to grips with this from day one.


ANDERSON: And you can watch that full interview less than three hours from now. Clearly it is in South Korea's interest, Abby, to keep the diplomatic

momentum going on what would be an unprecedented summit between Washington and Pyongyang. Now President Trump keeping his cards very close to his

chest on his options with regard to North Korea. Is it any clearer what the tactics are on either side at this point?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: You know, Becky, I don't think that it is. The President and his administration have been pretty

vague about this meeting with Kim Jong-un and what they're going to require from the North Koreans before the President is willing to sit down with

him. Part of that could be strategic but it could also be that they're trying to feel out the North Koreans and see what's possible, see what

they're willing to do.

And also, you're hearing more from the President about what he might do after he sits down. He said this morning and he said in the last week that

he's willing to walk away from a meeting. He's willing to go into the meeting with Kim Jong-un and then leave. He said he would leave

respectfully in his interview with Fox News this morning.

So, it seems like they are gaming out what the theatrics are going to be around a possible walkout if things aren't going their way. But less talk

about whether they're going to require North Korea to do more and not just say that they are committed denuclearization. The President is more than

happy to take that kind of credit that you heard in that clip with Christiane a few moments ago. That's exactly what he wants to hear. I

think he really has genuinely put the North Korean issue on the front burner, but at the same time he's been willing to do something that I think

a lot of past administrations have been far more hesitant about doing. Which is say I'm willing to meet. I'm willing to sit down in a room with

this person. Past administrations have not been willing to go that far in part because it's viewed as giving North Korea something they desperately

want. Which is legitimacy and it's unclear what the United States is going to get in exchange in terms of concrete steps towards ridding that

peninsula of nuclear weapons.

ANDERSON: And it's fascinating, isn't it, Paula. Because were it not for this new administration in the South this might not have been possible. A

new administration with a new attitude towards any sort of diplomacy with the North, as we've pointed out. You know, clearly, Seoul encouraged to

see this sort of momentum at this point. Step back, we've been talking about this sort of symbolism that all of this next sort of, you know, 24

hours is dripping. How do people in the South feel about what's going on?

HANCOCKS: Well, one way of judging that is the approval rating of President Moon Jae-in. It's up by 69 percent at this point. And

certainly, I think any leader around the world would love to have that kind of approval rating. His approval rating has been high.

Now, there are more conservative groups that do not like what is happening. Those for example that supported the previous President, the impeached Park

Geun-hye. They do not want to see this engagement with North Korea. But we are also seeing protestors and supporters up here close to the DMZ, a

big peace rally with a few hundred people earlier today.

So, for the most part there is relief that we're now talking about a peace summit potentially with the North Koreans as opposed to a few months ago

when we were talking about whether or not there would be a second Korean war. There is relief in this country, yes, but there is a very healthy

dose of skepticism. The fact that South Koreans have been here twice before, in 2000 and 2007.

[11:10:00] They have seen their leaders go to Pyongyang and be greeted with pomp and ceremony in a propaganda coup for the North Koreans. This time

feels different because the North Korean leader is meeting at the DMZ. He's crossing the border for the first time ever. There is not the pomp

and ceremony. The South Koreans have said they don't want many protocols. They want it to be more practical to make sure that this isn't a one-off.

That there are two or three more of these summits within the next 12 months. But it is also the fact that the South Koreans know this is a

made-for-TV moment. They have planned this to the utmost degree. The North Koreans also wanting everything to be choreographed. So, they know

this will be seen around the world -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Paula Hancocks is in Seoul -- in fact you're not. You're in South Korea but at the DMZ. But thank you for that. You're normally in

Seoul, of course. Abby in Washington. Both of you, thank you. Excellent analysis.

That summit now less than ten hours way. The big moment will take place 8:30 p.m. in Washington, 9:30 a.m. South Korean time and 4:30 am in Abu

Dhabi early start for those of you watching in this region but it will be history in the making.

Well the French President Emmanuel Macron's parting word in the United States don't give much hope about the future of the Iran nuclear deal. Mr.

Macron left Washington last night after what was a three-day state visit. His mission was a charm offensive largely focused on convincing Donald

Trump to stick with the international plan of action or agreement to curb Iran's nuclear program. But listen to what Mr. Macron told reporters just

before he boarded his plane to leave.


EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT (through translator): Well, I have no inside information as to what President Trump might be deciding regarding

the Iranian nuclear deal. That being said, just like you do, I listen to what President Trump is saying. And it seems to me that he's not very much

eager to defend it.


ANDERSON: Let's bring in CNN's Melissa Bell. She is in Paris. It was clear that he went with a plan to convince the U.S. President to step back

from the brink on this Iran deal as it's known. Question is what has he achieved?

MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: This is the question that we always like to answer at this point, Becky. Was it a failure or was this trip a

success? And using his own standard, his own measure, which was an ability to convince Donald Trump to move on what have been his steadfast beliefs

that the Iran deal should go, a campaign promise indeed, Becky.

We will know of course on May 12th. But for now, really there is a great deal of confusion. Let me show you a couple of France's main newspaper

today. A lot of attention of course here in the country on Emmanuel Macron, in front of Congress. That friendly but critical they say. It

focuses on what he had to say there. But the editorial is interesting. The romance he says and then what?

And the fact is, Becky, that we really have very little way of knowing what is going to emerge from this. We know now that there is this sort of

second deal in the pipeline, but what's unclear is whether that new deal that will have a wider remittance. We're talking about a wider of issues

that it would contain. We're talking about a wider number of signatories that would be party to it. Would that include the current deal? Is that

what the two men discussed?

Since one of the pillars involved in the new deal would be precisely what the current deal with Tehran includes. Or is it a plan by the Europeans to

say, look, the American President is leaving this deal for sure, we need a wider deal under discussion to keep Donald Trump involved in a multi-

literalist conversation in the region. And for the time being, Becky, we simply don't know which of the two scenarios it is.

ANDERSON: Macron has said, Melissa, that there is no plan B. But there clearly has to be. So, what will European leaders be looking towards now?

BELL: And all the while he was saying there is no plan B, Becky. There was clearly a plan B under discussion. We know that American and European

diplomats have been discussing for some weeks what needs to be done in the region. It seems as though Emmanuel Macron has gone a long way toward

addressing specifically Donald Trump's concerns. Which were always to do with ballistic missile use by Tehran. And of course, the wider role of

Iran in the region. And what Emmanuel Macron is proposing in this new deal addresses precisely those issues.

Why that wouldn't go far enough for Donald Trump is a question. Which is why I think it was so surprising to hear those fairly pessimistic words of

Emmanuel Macron before he left the States yesterday suggesting -- and we would guess that he has an idea of where the American President is going to

go really -- suggesting that in fact, because of his domestic pressures, Donald Trump might indeed choose not to waive those sanctions this time.

[11:15:04] So, we wait very much near the 12th. But perhaps more importantly the publication of this deal, of the idea for this plan that

Emmanuel Macron is suggesting it now needs to be negotiated.

ANDERSON: Melissa Bell is in Paris for you with analysis. Melissa, thank you. And you can get a lot more insight and analysis as you would expect

on this story on our website. Be sure to check out this perspective, how the, quote, insane Iranian nuclear deal might survive. Trump's words, of

course, not mine. That headline from Donald Trump's own description of the deal he pledged to tear up on day one. That and more.

Still to come, turmoil in the Trump White House. The President's pick for Veterans Affairs Secretary is out. And Mr. Trump, well he is not happy

about it. The latest from Washington, up next.


ANDERSON: You're with CNN. This is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson. If you're just joining us, you are more than welcome.

Two new upheaval at the White House. A flood of accusations against one of Donald Trump's cabinet nominees has led him to finally throw in the towel -

- the nominee that is. Dr. Ronny Jackson withdrew his name today as the candidate for the next secretary of Veterans' Affairs. Nearly two dozen of

his former colleagues have accused him of being abusive, drinking on the job and improperly handing out prescription medications.

Trump reacted to Jackson's withdrawal a short time ago in a phone call to Fox News.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (via phone): I want somebody that's going to be great. He would have done a great job. A tremendous

heart. These are all false accusations. These are false. They're trying to destroy a man. By the way, I did say welcome to Washington, welcome to

the swamp. Welcome to the world of politics. But for John Tester to start bringing up stuff like candy man and the kind of things he was saying and

then say, well, you know, these are just statements that are made, there's no proof of this.


[11:20:00] ANDERSON: Jackson strongly denies the accusations but says he's stepping aside because he'd become a distraction. He's expected to remain

on as the White House physician. Meanwhile in the same call to Fox in the morning hours, the President distanced himself from his personal attorney,

Michael Cohen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE HOST, FOX NEWS: How much of your legal work was handled by Michael Cohen?

TRUMP (via phone): Well, as a percentage of my overall legal work, a tiny, tiny little fraction. But Michael would represent me and represent me on

some things. He represents me like with this crazy Stormy Daniels deal. He represented me, and you know, from what I see, he did absolutely nothing

wrong. There were no campaign funds going into this --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE HOST, FOX NEWS: Then why is pleading the fifth?

TRUMP: -- which would have been a problem. Because he's got other things. He's got businesses. And from what I understand they're looking at his

businesses. And I hope he's in great shape. But he's got businesses and his lawyers probably told him to do that. But I'm not involved, and I'm

not involved -- and I've been told I'm not involved.


ANDERSON: That's the U.S. President calling into the Fox morning show. And it was 30 minutes, I believe, on the phone. Stephen Collinson who's

our White House reporter and good friend of this show from Washington. An early morning tirade which appears to have covered an awful lot of ground.

Pick it apart for us. What have we learned?

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, first of all on the Ronny Jackson issue, the President there was blaming obstructionist

Democrats for the crash of this nomination. Which has really become a bit of debacle in the White House. But there were Republicans as well that

were concerned about these allegations against Jackson. But what this really shows in the big picture is this is what happens when you have a

President who governs on a whim. Who picks somebody who wasn't really vetted thoroughly by the White House.

You know, putting your personal doctor who has no administrative experience and saying he should be in charge of the Veterans Affairs administration.

Which is a hugely important government department. This is the department that cares for the health care of U.S. veterans. We've got a whole

generation of ex-soldiers from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars that rely on this department for their care. So, you can see, you know, why this was

such a controversial nomination. And it just adds to the mountain of evidence that shows that the unconventional governing style of Donald Trump

really can scupper the goals of his administration and put his own White House behind when he makes these kinds of nominations.

ANDERSON: Right. Well that's that. Meanwhile, embattled EPA chief Scott Pruitt is in the hot seat on Capitol Hill. House energy and commerce

committee members grilled him on a long list of allegations involving ethics violations, two dozen people. Two dozen have already departed the

Trump administration since the president took office. And there is, Stephen, a whole long list of vacancies. Trump blames Democrats for what

he calls, as you rightly point out, obstructionism. You said he uses this word. At the rate at which these nominations are being processed, he says,

it will take nine years to fill these vacancies. Does he have a point?

COLLINSON: He has a point to some extent. Clearly Democrats don't want to confirm many of Trump's nominees for political reasons. You spoke about

Scott Pruitt who's facing this huge backlash about his ethical behavior. If Scott Pruitt eventually has to resign, there's another job that needs

Senate confirmation. You've got the Secretary of State that's still waiting to be confirmed. Although that looks like it happens.

The problem is when you burn through people at such a rate, you gum up the whole process of government and confirming people. The rules of the Senate

as well require a certain amount of hours, 30 or 40 hours of debate on each of these nominees if Democrats don't agree to, you know, waive them through

by unanimous consent. But the Republican leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell, isn't really willing to use all of his Senate time on confirming

nominees. So, there's real anger on Capitol Hill. The fact that the President by burning through subordinates at such a high rate keeps putting

Republicans in this position of having to confirm new nominees. And so, it all goes back to what I was saying about the governing style of the Trump

White House.

ANDERSON: Well, some good news for the White House. In the coming hours the Senate is expected to vote on the final confirmation of Mike Pompeo for

the Secretary of State position. And he's expected to be approved. That will, Stephen, provide some relief for the President, correct?

COLLINSON: Yes, certainly. It's also clearly very important with the Korean summit taking place right now today.

[11:25:02] And the upcoming summit between the President and Kim Jong-un. Mike Pompeo as the head of the CIA has been basically running the

preparatory process for the U.S./North Korea summit. So, getting confirmed and in place will certainly bolster the President's foreign policy team.

Another thing that he has on his radar immediately, when he moves into the State Department, of course, is the Iran deal. May 12th is the date

whereby the President has said he will decide whether or not the U.S. will stay in that deal. And nobody, notwithstanding the efforts of French

President, Emmanuel Macron, to convince him to stay in that deal this week, really knows what the President going to do. Pompeo is going to face two

pretty big foreign policy issues fundamental to American national security as soon as he walks in the door.

ANDERSON: American voters don't agree on much these days, but apparently one thing they can agree on is U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley.

Stephen, a new poll says that Haley's rating as far as I understand it is 63 percent, with just 17 percent disapproving. And her support is across

party lines and is 24 points higher than President Trump's. Should the President be looking over his shoulder?

COLLINSON: I don't think necessarily in the short term. But if anything were to happen to truncate the Trump presidency, clearly, she would be seen

as somebody with real potential as a Republican presidential candidate in two years or eventually in six years' time. I mean, Haley has been playing

a very smart game. And she's one of the few people in this administration who appear to have been enhanced by coming into the administration by

taking a more prominent role than she was when she was South Carolina governor.

Most people in this administration have found their reputation shredded. Their actions come under huge scrutiny. Like Pruitt, their ethical

behavior called into question. So, right now, she's doing well, but it's a tightrope when you're somebody in Donald Trump's administration, as you

say, who is potentially more popular than he is. That could eventually give you a target on your back. So, she's playing a subtle political game

quite well at the moment, but it's a perilous situation, you know, for anybody in that situation in the Trump administration.

ANDERSON: Stephen Collinson always a pleasure. Thank you for joining us, our White House reporter out of Washington for you.

Live from Abu Dhabi, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson. Coming up, a deathtrap. That is what the UN High Commissioner

for refugees is now calling Syria. I'll speak to Philippa Grandy. Up next.


ANDERSON: It is just after half past 7. I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi. This is our Middle East broadcast hub. You are watching CONNECT THE WORLD.

Welcome back.

this was yesterday in Homs, in Syria, a cloud of boom, a marker of fresh destruction. Syrian government planes targeting the city with four air

strikes. An effort to fully arrest it from opposition control, but the gray plume nothing new. This is footage from 2015, a scene too often on

repeat. The images of war all to eerily similar.

Here in 2012, a sign of conflict hangs over Homs, something we have seen before and something we cannot and should not ignore. A grim deja vu with

all too real effects on the people living there.

This is nothing new to you for those who watch this show on a regular basis. We have been telling this story now for seven years. Joining me

now is the man tasked with bringing relief to those who are on the move in the midst of relentless war, Filippo Grandi is the UN High Commissioner for

refugees and is in our Dubai studio this evening. Sir, I want our viewers to hear how you described Syria just a few days ago. Stand by.


FILIPPO GRANDI, UN HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES: The fact remains that it's very difficult to get out of the country, so people get internally

displaced. So, they are refugees in their own country and even those options are becoming less and less. We've seen it in the most dramatic

face of the Ghouta offensive. So, the country is becoming a trap. It's becoming in some places a death trap for civilians.

ANDERSON: Filippo, hasn't Syria been a death trap for some time now?

GRANDI: Yes indeed, perhaps for the past seven years. But it is more and more so. I think the options for people that are -- for people that are

being bombed, being chased out of their homes, being subjected to the most terrible violence, the options are shrinking. Displacement is a terrible

choice, but it is an option for people that are under pressure. And in some places like Ghouta but elsewhere as well we have seen even that option

eluding them. This is -- you know, it cannot get much worse than this.

ANDERSON: You've said, and I quote, Idlib is an area where a lot of fighters have no transferred to. If fighting moves more decisively to that

area you've said, it could be very dangerous for civilians. And you went on to warn that people will have nowhere to flee because Turkey's southern

border with Syria at Gaziantep is tightly controlled. This seems like a crazy question to be asking you and I've asked you before, just how

concerned are you for people?

GRANDI: Of course, we are very concerned. We're very concerned. We all know that in Idlib a lot fighters that were in other areas have been


[11:35:02] So the potential there for very acrimonious, very ruthless fighting is high. Unless there is any form of political agreement before.

What really needs to turn out -- and yesterday you know there was the big conference on aid to Syria. It was in Brussels. And everybody spoke about

getting away from the military logic and back into the political dynamics. Everybody talks about that. But we really need -- those that make

decisions really need to drive the process in that direction. Because what is prevailing for the ordinary Syrian is still very much the military


ANDERSON: Right, and our viewers will be asking themselves, haven't we heard this narrative again, and again, and again. Of course, a political

solution is the best solution. Meantime, on the ground there are military wins for the regime on a daily basis.

GRANDI: Yes, you're quite right. But you know, what options do humanitarian organizations like mine have other than reiterate over and

over again that the suffering of civilians is unbearable. You know, the only other thing that we can do is actually try to help these people. And

God knows how much were doing to help them. Inside Syria and for the 5 1/2 million refugees that are outside -- that have gone outside Syria.

ANDERSON: Let's talk about that. You need $9 billion. $9 billion to keep lifesaving aid going to over 22 million people. Those are the numbers.

Those are the cold facts. Donors gathered in Brussels recently but only $4.4 billion, as I understand it, was pledge. That is a lot of numbers but

what it amounts to is a massive funding shortfall. And if you don't have that money, Filippo, what happens? What gets cut? Who doesn't get the

help that they so desperately need?

GRANDI: We first of all, you have to always put things in a little bit in perspective. Right? Pledging conferences are very important. And this

one was important. It reiterated our call that we should not forget Syrians. And I think there was a response. We are not forgetting Syrians.

The pledges -- more pledges will follow. There's countries like the United States and other countries that said that they will pledge subsequently

depending on their budgetary cycle. So, I hope that figure will grow.

But if it doesn't grow enough, we will have to do less than what we want to do. And you know what always gets cut. It's the longer-term, the

apparently less urgent aspects of aid. Like education for example or trying to give people livelihoods. And this is bad because when you are in

your eighth year of exile, in your eighth year of displacement, you cannot afford any more to do without longer-term assistance. You cannot afford

any more to lose out on education, on jobs and so forth.

ANDERSON: You allude to the U.S. and others and generally we talk about the West and its moneys that it's providing according to budgets for this

sort of aid. What about other regions? What about, for example, here, the Gulf?

GRANDI: There were pledges by Gulf countries. I don't have the exact figures here, but I think they were between $300 and $400 million. I hope,

once again, that more is to come. And I hope that there will be also assistance, even bilateral assistance, to the countries neighboring Syria.

We should not forget that they are the ones bearing the biggest brunt of the presence of 5.5 million refugees. They, the host communities -- you

know, one quarter of the world refugees are Syrians. And one quarter of the Syrian population are refugees. So, these are staggering proportions.

So, we need to think of that dimension as well.

ANDERSON: Filippo Grandi is the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Sir, it's good having you on. Good to hear the story and your message. Thank

you for joining me.

Just ahead, British lawmakers aren't giving Theresa May the easy road. We'll get to the British Parliament for the latest challenge to her plans

for a split from the European Union.


ANDERSON: You're with CNN. This is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson. A very warm welcome.

The future British trade, the strength of its break from the EU. And the power of its Prime Minister to lead have been up for debate. In Parliament

today, lawmakers may soon hold a nonbinding vote on what many see as the key divide between a so-called soft Brexit and a hard split. That's

whether to stay in the EU customs union. Theresa May says no, but the House of Lords, the upper chamber, disagrees in a recent vote. At this

very moment members of the House of Commons, the lower chamber, are debating the same question. Our Phil Black reports.


PHIL BLACK, CNN, CNN INTERNATIONAL REPORTER (voice-over): The customs union is a club of countries focused on one goal, smooth trading, making it

easy to move goods across borders by removing customs, checks and charges. The members agree they won't hit each other with custom duties. While

setting common tariffs, they impose on products imported from outside the group. Membership also usually restricts each country's freedom to strike

their own individual trade deals with nonmembers. Together the European Union's 28, plus Monaco, makeup the biggest customs union in the world.

The question of Britain's status within that trade block after it leaves the EU has become one of Brexit's most divisive issues.

On one side those arguing for a clean break.

THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: The British people voted to leave the European Union. In voting to leave the European Union, they voted to leave

the single market and the customs union. What we want to ensure is that we as a country are able to negotiate independently negotiate free trade deals

around the rest of the world.

BLACK: Remainders in support of what has been called soft Brexit believe staying in the customs union will ensure frictionless trade with their

closest neighbors and believe that's more important than new deals with far-away countries like Japan or China.

IAN BLACKFORD, SCOTTISH NATIONAL PARTY MP: The Prime minister's own government analysis shows almost every sector of the economy in every

region of the United Kingdom would be negatively impacted if the U.K. leaves the customs union.

BLACK: The Irish border is a further complication. In a no deal scenario a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland is guaranteed. Meaning

customs checks on both sides, cues and tariffs and a risk to peace in the region. Some British MPs believe staying in the customs union is the only

way to ensure that doesn't happen after Brexit. The debate over customs union membership has divided Britain's parliament and the ruling

Conservative Party. The challenge for Prime Minister Theresa May is finding a way forward while holding her fragile minority government



ANDERSON: That was Phil Black reporting. He joins us now from outside the Houses of Parliament and he's joined by Carole Walker, a journalist who has

covered British politics for more than two decades. She's probably forgotten more than we will ever know -- Phil.

[11:45:06] BLACK: Yes, Becky. So, what the debate taking place behind us shows is there is a significant number of people in the Parliament, members

of Parliament, who believe the Prime Minister is getting it wrong. They do not believe she should be trying to withdraw this country from the customs

union after Brexit. To talk about this as you said, I'm joined by political analyst Carole Walker. Carole, what this shows really is the

Prime Minister is in an incredibly difficult position. Isn't she? She's trapped between Brussels, the demands of a big number in Parliament,

perhaps a majority, and of course the hard core Brexiteers in her own party.

CAROLE WALKER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: ABSOLUTELY. Theresa May has herself raised the stakes in all this. Because she's been insisting that Britain

will leave the customs union when it leaves the European Union. At the weekend there were suggestions that some in Downing Street were saying,

well, she wouldn't be crying into her beer if indeed Britain didn't stay inside the customs union. That prompted an absolutely outcry from the

Brexiteers including some in her own cabinet. And Theresa May has been summoning some of them into Downing Street saying, don't worry, we are

going to be leaving the customs union.

Why this matters is because those who want to leave the European Union and want a clean break, say it would be a betrayal of a vote for Brexit. If we

stay in the customs union, we'd still be bound into the sorts of trade deals that the rest of the European Union wants. We'd still be bound by

many of the rules and regulations of the European Union. And if Britain is going to be this free trading nation making lots of new deals with

countries outside the European Union, then it's got to leave the customs union.

But as you've been hearing in Parliament this afternoon, even some in her own party say, yes, but it would be much easier for many businesses and

make it much easier to solve the problems of the Irish border if Britain were to stay in a customs union. Today's vote isn't binding, but it is an

indication of just how difficult the issue is for the Prime Minister. And there will have to be a binding vote on this probably next month when

legislation comes back from the Lords where she's already been defeated.

BLACK: And crucially if she's unable to satisfy all of these different groups with very different wants, there's a real question mark over her

continued leadership, isn't there?

WALKER: Well absolutely. When the bill comes back from the House of Lords, the Lords voted to say that the government should be pursuing a

customs union, she's got to try and overturn that in the Commons. If she's defeated, there's a big question there. Does she somehow try to defy the

will of Parliament? Does she simply accept it? What would happen then to those on Brexiteers around her cabinet table? People like Liam Fox, he's

got in entire international trade department. What is going to be the point of that department if Britain if Britain is not free to form its own

trade deals around the rest of the world because it's tied into a customs union. It is a very, very difficult issue.

We would be into unchartered territory, and yes, it would call into question once again Theresa May's own leadership. I should say that this

issue, just as Theresa May have been trying to insist that government policy is to leave the customs union, her own Home Secretary, Amber Rod, at

a lunch with journalists today was suggesting there were still discussions to be had on this. So, confusion as is into this very difficult problem.

BLACK: Confusion and division. You mentioned Northern Ireland there. This is one of the complications in all of this. The view of the

Brexiteers seems to be that Northern Ireland or the Irish border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic is being used to try as a weapon,

if you like, or leverage to try and keep -- by Europe, by remainders to try and keep Britain in the customs union. They believe there are other

alternatives to simply keeping Britain in the customs union, but Europe is rejecting those options.

WALKER: Yes. Northern Ireland and the border between Northern Ireland which of course will leave the EU after Brexit, the Irish Republic will

remain part of the EU. That's why this is so important. Everyone involved has said there will be no return to a hard border because that was got rid

as part of the peace solution there. What we're looking at now is that many of those in Parliament, this afternoon, have been saying, well it

would be much easier to find a solution if we were in a customs union. Because a lot of those customs deals would be sorted out.

But the problem is nobody has worked out how that is going to work without a hard border. Theresa May has been saying, well, it could be done with

technical arrangements, cameras tracking goods, trusted trader arrangements, goods that were tracked away from the border. The European

Union has come back and said, look, there's no way that that works at the moment. They've rejected that. Britain has rejected the solution which

the EU commission and the Irish Republic have come up with. Nobody has found a solution to this yet and that could still be the issue that could

suffer the entire Brexit deal and make it difficult indeed to work out the future trading relationship between Britain and the rest of the EU.

[11:50:06] BLACK: And concerns about a possible impact on the Northern Ireland peace in the Good Friday Agreement as well. Carole Walker, thank

you very much.

Becky, the debate is taking place behind us today could result in a vote. On a motion to instruct the government to seek an arrangement that would

keep Britain in a customs union with the European union, but that's only advisory. As Carole was saying, there could be votes on legislation down

the track which would be more binding and that's when this will really come to a crunch -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Beautiful day in London. Tough times in the chamber though. Thank you both, Carole and Phil, for that.

Some news just in. We are just hearing from the White House that President Trump will visit the United Kingdom on July 13th. That according to his

press secretary, Sarah Sanders, just earlier on. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson. We are live for you from Abu Dhabi.

Coming up --

MOHAMED SALAH, FOOTBALLER FOR LIVERPOOL: Pasta with rice, with sauce, with spices. It's mixed but it's complicated --

He's as Egyptian has the pyramids and the Sphinx. And his palette, well, it's no different. Most Salah's favorite Egyptian dish, up next.


ANDERSON: Well, footballs newest force of nature still giving fans everywhere the chills. This week Mohamed Salah followed up his triumph of

the Professional Footballer Association, awards with a stunning performance. Propelling Liverpool to a first leg victory in the clubs

first leg of the Champions League semifinal against Roma. Roads now lead to Rome. And while he's got fans everywhere, the most fervent are may be

in his homeland of Egypt.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Despite not being a football fan, I'm very proud of Mohamed Salah who is able to present a very good

picture to the international world about Egyptians, Arabs and Islam. He was able to present an image of her elegantly and easily.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Honestly, as soon as Salah scores, we all feel goose bumps all over our body. I saw yesterday's goals. If

Messi had scored, they would have called him phenomenal, but this is the first time we've seen an Egyptian impressing the entire world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Mohamed Salah is the best player in Egypt and is really representing us. He will be the best player in the

world. He is royalty, and everyone loves him. Everyone is proud of him. He is making Egypt proud abroad.


[11:55:00] ANDERSON: They call him the Egyptian king in Liverpool. What really fuels the man who may be the best player on the planet right now.

Beside his passion, it's a certain Egyptian street food. Have a look at this.


ANDERSON: What's your favorite Egyptian food?

SAHAH: Kushari.

ANDERSON: Really. So, tell our viewers what that is.

SAHAH: I love it. I love it. It's pasta with rice, with sauce, with spices. It's mixed but it's complicated. But for me the best.

SAHAH: Embarrassing, I eat in the car. I put on my hoodie.

ANDERSON: From the airport.

SAHAH: From the airport.

ANDERSON: Stop it.

SAHAH: Yes. I told my friends to bring me one and I eat it the car straightaway.

ANDERSON: So, he brings you back to the airport.


ANDERSON: You put your hoodie up because obviously otherwise you're going to get mobbed. Right?

SAHAH: No, but I jump in the car. As I'm in the car then I start eating. In the car with the hoodie.


ANDERSON: So today in honor of Mo Salah's standout performance Tuesday, my team here decided we should get some of the Egyptian star's favorite food.

And here it is, the delicious carb fest, that is kushari, rice, pasta, lentils and sauce all vying for your attention. I must say it is pretty

good food. Fit for an Egyptian king indeed. And you can catch my full interview with Mohamed Salah in what is a special edition of "INSIDE THE

MIDDLE EAST" which is on May 5th.

From an Egyptian superstar's menu to the meals on tap for what is an historic summit. We started the hour talking about the fact that the South

Korean and North Korean leaders will soon meet. But beyond the headlines a burning question. What will they eat? The banquet menu has been revealed

and we have some highlights for you. We know you like your food out there. The delegations will feast on a North Korean specialty, Pyongyang cold

noodles made fresh to order. They will also enjoy South Korean favorites like sea cucumber, dumplings and octopus salad, and this this mango moose.

The breaking of the shell intended to be symbolic.

That's it for me. From the team here have a very good evening.