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CONNECT THE WORLD
Jamal Khashoggi Disappearance Examined. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired October 12, 2018 - 11:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, CONNECT THE WORLD HOST: With absolutely nowhere on Earth like it, just look. You can see it for yourself with one foot in the east,
the other in the west. Istanbul straddling two continents - Asia and Europe past even in a city that negotiates a double whammy of massive
global differences every single day. It has been a balancing act this past week quite unlike any we`ve seen before.
Carefully treading along a geostrategic tightrope where a single slip could make things go very, very wrong, and that is why we are connecting the
world, your world from here this hour with me, Becky Anderson. Let`s break this down, the news from right here and the big story this hour the
disappearance and murder, if you believe Turkish sources, of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
We are covering this story in turkey and across the region. Nic Robertson outside the Saudi Consulate with the very latest on the Turkish
investigation, Sam Kiley is in Riyadh with the Saudi Response, John Defterios in Abu Dhabi to look at the business impact of all of this, and
Manu Raju is in Washington for you for the U.S. angle, and there are many. All the details shocking if not down right horrifying.
A source telling CNN Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and a Times outspoken critic of the Saudi government, was assaulted and killed
inside the Saudi Consulate here, and there is video and audio evidence to prove it. Well, he walked into the Consulate 10 days ago to get documents
he needed for marriage license. This video showing him entering but no evidence he ever left.
And now, if this new information proves true we know why. Nic Robertson outside the Consulate here in Istanbul, just some 20 minutes from where we
are, and Sam Kiley standing by in Riyadh. So Nic, the very latest as you understand it on this Turkish investigation if you will.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, Turkish authorities have shared some of the evidence that they say they have in
their investigation from inside the Consulate with some of their western intelligence partners, their allies. And according to our source who was
briefed by one of those western intelligence agents, the evidence that the Turkish have put forward is shocking in its nature, very shocking to the
point that it was - you know, to these intelligence agents who were used to seeing this type of material, used to dealing with these type of issues it
was something towards the bounds of what they`d, you know, not really experienced before.
What it reveals is a brutal struggle within the Consulate that results in Jamal Khashoggi`s death. That is what Turkish authorities are sharing with
their allies and their partners. This is part of their mechanism, part of their way to convince their friends and partners around the world that what
they say and what they believe that Jamal Khasoggi was murdered inside the Consulate is true, and this, it seems, is the root of why they`re putting
this forward while at the same time waiting for Saudi authorities to give them permission to go inside the Consulate to make a thorough investigation
at the premises there. Becky -
ANDERSON: Nic, there have been calls by Turkish officials for Saudi Arabia to cooperate with this investigation. What do we understand as to the
level of cooperation or not at this point?
ROBERTSON: Well, we understand, I think, two principle things. One, yesterday we heard from the spokesman - President Erdogan`s spokesman here
saying that Turkish and Saudi authorities had agreed to begin to talk together about how - you know, formal working group, about how they could
proceed with this investigation.
I think the second point here is that earlier in the week the Saudi authorities had actually said to Turkish officials that they could have
access to the consulate, but then we heard from the Turkish authorities that that access, that arrangement was breaking down.
So we`re at a position now, it appears, where you have a Saudi delegation that arrived into the country today, and we also understand a senior Saudi
royal trusted as an interlocutor in the region, a long region of talking with Saudi Arabia`s friends in the region, including Turkey, so he has a
history here of being known and trusted, coming to try to formulate a way forward here. But it does seem very difficult. There is a lot of daylight
between these two positions quite simply because Saudi Arabia denies the allegation and the Turkish authorities are being very strong through
leaking, not coming out publicly and saying that -- we don`t have President Erdogan standing up anywhere and saying Saudi Arabia`s agents came to
Turkey and murdered him.
That this is what`s being leaked, carefully by Turkish authorities here. So the gap that needs to be bridged by this working group. By this
delegation that arrived today by the senior official that came yesterday. It`s very big at the moment, Becky.
ANDERSON: Sam, you`re in Riyadh and the response from there since Jamal disappeared was that they had categorically denied any involvement in his
disappearance, any further response at this point?
KILEY: Not officially Becky. The government here is taking a very kind of a muted response I think, other than that outright denial. And of course
we heard from the Crown Prince in that interview with Bloomberg, it`s a Nic reference perhaps that he was happy to see people from the Turkey going in
and inspect the embassy. That has not been followed up with any official declaration out of Riyadh.
They have agreed it would appear that this working group that that has a ceiling in terms of timing towards the end of the weekend. And then I
think it really becomes a much more forensic issue on the ground as to how they deal with it much more geopolitically in terms of the relationship
between these two countries. So it`s an extremely fraught moment as Saudi Arabia is embarking on what it touts as a very dramatic economic reform
ANDERSON: Sam, some girl (ph) states painting Saudi Arabia as a target not a perpetrator in all of this. United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister
calling it a fierce campaign saying and I quote, "the repercussions of political targeting of Saudi Arabia will be dire on those who inflame it.
The success of Saudi Arabia is the first option for the region and its people."
In terms of the polarize geopolitics in this region, you could say that that reaction would be expected, correct?
KILEY: Yes, absolutely. That is coming from the UAE and several other officials echoed a very similarly robust statement. Much more robust if
you like than is coming out of the Saudi government. So the UA I think doing the talking to an extent for the Saudi`s on this. Allowing the
Saudi`s a bit of breathing space perhaps.
But really what their hinting at there, and some of the local media here has certainly referenced is a suggestion that any mention of this alleged
and unproven assault against Jamal Khashoggi is entirely a plot from quote "the Muslim Brotherhood and Qatar ". This is an allegation that one could
expect to see. There are - or is rather a close relationship between Turkey and Qatar.
And of course this country Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are blockading Khata and very angry with Turkey for its continued support
there. So there`s always a wresting that goes on between the power house that is Saudi Arabia and the ancient powerhouse that is Turkey over support
for political Islam.
How the whole Middle East should be reshaped in the future. And at the moment, because of the tensions over Qatar that is really where, what he UA
and other are really going for when they attack this unknown specified but none the less they suggest it`s propaganda and nothing less than
propaganda, this reporting of the murder.
ANDERSON: The perspective in Riyadh, Sam thank you. And the story on the ground here as we understand it`s from Nic. Thank you both. Lots of
angles of course to explore this hour, in particular a big one for of later the impact of this story on investors in the Kingdoms image.
We`re already seeing business and media figures pulling out of a major Saudi investment conference, we`ll get the latest on that from CNN`s
emerging markets, John Defterios in Abu Dhabi, more, despite concerns Khashoggis disappearance and possible death. U.S. Treasury Secretary
receive (ph) Mnuchin says he still plans to attend that conference in Riyadh next week.
And reaction from the U.S. President himself, muted to a certain extent. On Thursday Mr. Trump said the White House is looking quote "very strongly
at the situation". But he also said it won`t stop arms sales between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia and even alluded to the fact that Khashoggi is not a
So what does Jamal`s disappearance mean for U.S.-Saudi relations? And for the Trump White House, could this get personal?
CNN`s Manu Raju joins me now from Capitol Hill where U.S. senators, as I understand it, Manu, are now talking seriously about tough measures.
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, no question about it. Republicans and Democrats joined to push for an investigation into
exactly what happened, and under U.S. law the Trump administration has to make a determination within four months about whether or not to sanction
Saudi Arabia in the aftermath of the disappearance, apparent murder of this journalist.
Now, at the same time Republicans and Democrats are warning very clearly that they may block and future arms sales between the United States and
Saudi Arabia. Under United States procedures, the Congress has a role in essentially green lighting these arms sales from moving forward. And
several Democrats and Republicans in key positions tell me that they will not allow this to go forward until they get more of their questions
And they`re all spotlight, Becky, how members of Congress are taking a much tougher line in the aftermath of this development, much tougher than the
president himself who says he wants this arm sale to go forward. And while he wants to get to the bottom of it, he`s not calling out Saudi Arabia the
way a lot of his allies on Capitol Hill already are doing, Becky.
ANDERSON: Manu, our colleague Stephen Collinson writes the following. "This saga is resonating so broadly in Washington because of what it
reveals about the idiosyncratic and gut level calls that drive the Trump administration`s approach to wielding U.S. power." He writes how this is
personal in a way for Trump and his family. Does that make sense?
RAJU: Yes, because a lot of the Trump foreign policy is transactional. A lot of it`s - domestic policy`s transaction as well. He expects something
from one country or one constituent in exchange for something else. And a lot of this arms deal is a result of a relationship that`s been built
between the president, Saudi Arabia over the years, as well as the president`s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and the crown prince of Saudi
And the president in a lot of ways wants to keep his allies that he`s built close, and that does not go over well for others who view this as a very
serious matter, who want the president and the White House to take a hard line. But because of the way the president views the world and his
partners domestically and internationally in this way of a business relationship of sorts rather than a geopolitical one, that has lead to this
situation where a lot of his allies on Capitol Hill want him and his administration to do something much tougher than what they`re doing right
And ultimately, Becky, he may have the force to do that because of the pressure that he`s getting here in Washington. Becky -
ANDERSON: You know, you allude to a group of U.S. senators threatening to block President Trump`s major arms deal with the Saudis, with Riyadh, but
as we mention so far, Mr. Trump vowing to press ahead. I want our viewers just to have a listen to this.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I will tell you upfront right now, and I`ll say it in front of senators, they`re spending $110
billion purchasing military equipment and other things. If we don`t sell it to them, they`ll say, "well, thank you very much. We`ll buy it from
Russia," or, "thank you very much. We`ll buy it from China." That doesn`t help us, not when it comes to jobs and not when it comes to our companies
losing out on their work, but there are other things we can do. Let`s find out what the problem is first, OK?
ANDERSON: Well, what those other things are remain unclear at present, but is, Manu, what the U.S. President is saying here is that he`ll still with
Saudi Arabia as long as jobs are being created?
RAJU: Yes, it`s unclear exactly how he envisions that to happen because this $110 billion agreement has not moved forward. It`s going to take a
lot of time - 10 years or so - for it to move forward. And as I mentioned, the members of Congress have enormous authority to thwart that from going
forward. And there`s very little the president can do if members do take that step, and they`re making it very clear that they are.
So the president is in the minority here in Washington on this issue. He may ultimately have to relent because of the overwhelming pressure and
evidence pointing towards Saudi Arabia and concerns about what happened here. But the president wants this deal to move forward, but no signs that
it actually will. Becky -
ANDERSON: We`re learning finally just how one - at least one U.S. ally views the Saudi Crown Prince. A senior diplomatic source telling CNN the
Khashoggi case is a, quote, "game-changer," and that even years ago, Mohammad bin Salman was thought of as, quote, "crazy."
The source went onto say, "we considered him dangerous. Dangerous." That was our intel assessment.
Is this a watershed moment? I just want to get a sense of the big picture here. Is this a game changer in D.C.?
RAJU: Yes, I think there`s no question about it. I spent this last couple of days talking to key members of Congress who are deeply involved with the
relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia, and they have a vested interest in seeing a prosperous relationship. They say this is on a
dramatic decline. They say it has been deteriorating over the last several months.
They`ve been concerned about the way the crown prince in particular and people of the royal family have dealt with senior members of the U.S.
government here, and they believe that this latest development will change the relations between these two countries for years to come and really
reset the balance of power in relations between United States and this power in the Middle East. So expect this fallout to just continue and to
linger for the years and months ahead, especially if Saudi Arabia does not come forward with any clear answers about exactly what happened here.
ANDERSON: Manu Raju is in Washington for you. We`re not leaving this story this hour.
Next: from Wall Street to K Street, Jamal Khashoggi`s disappearance is making foreign investors rethink their relationship with Saudi Arabia, and
the saga of Andrew Brunson is nearing its end after two years detained in Turkey. The American pastor is free to go. Ben Wederman live outside the
courthouse. This is that up next.
AMANPOUR: Well, Turkey has released an American pastor who has been detained for two years. Andrew Brunson left the courthouse in this convoy
a short time ago after the court ruled he is free to go. His case has been at the center of deteriorating relations between the U.S. and Turkey.
Ben Wedeman outside the courthouse. As far as I understand it, he`s free and may even have left the country at this point. What do you understand?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN LEAD CORRESPONDENT IN JERUSALEM: Well, we understand that he is definitely free after two years of detention in here in Turkey, but
we understand he has not yet left the country, that plans are being made for him to leave as soon as possible. But certainly for him and his
supporters, it was a very welcome end to a long ordeal.
Now, the trial ended, so to speak, with him being sentenced to 3.1 years in prison for willfully and willingly abating and abetting terrorism which, of
course, is liked to the claims by the Turkish state that he was in touch with Fethullah Gulenist organization, which is believed to be behind the
July 15, 2016 attempted coup here in Turkey as well as the Kyrgyzstan Workers Party, the PKK.
Nonetheless, his 3.1 year sentence was reduced for time spent behind bars or under house arrest. That was two years, and the rest was eliminated for
good behavior. And this certainly has been a thorn in the side of relations between Turkey and the United States. His release from jail and
return to home will certainly turn a new page, hopefully a better one, in relations between the two countries. Becky -
ANDERSON: Ben Wedeman there where Brunson was released today.
Let`s get a view from Turkey then. Ragip Soylu is Washington Correspondent for the Turkish newspaper, Daily Sabah. Couldn`t be busier here in
Istanbul and across Turkey present -- a normally Washington-based Turkish correspondent to the release of Brunson.
First, Donald Trump tweeting about an hour ago, "my thoughts and prayers are with Pastor Brunson and we hope to have him safely back home soon."
Ben Wederman speaking to the fact that these relations between Washington and Ankara, which have been so bad of late, ought to be somewhat improved
by this release, correct?
RAGIP SOYLU, DAILY SABAH WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Of course, it`s greatly improved. Remember in August, Trump administration sanctioned Turkish
officials to release Pastor Brunson and he asked his immediate release. And Turkish representatives said, "no. There`s a regular court process and
we should wait for that." And that court process completed after two months.
And this, of course, a good jump for Trump, especially before the midterm elections that he will credit himself, and also Turkish officials will be
happier to include their ties with Trump because as you know the sanctions and other U.S. moves (ph) very important for Turkey to recover form.
ANDERSON: Yes, and you pointed out where the bargaining chips may be. I wonder if we can sort of just bed those down just slightly. When I spoke
to President Erdogan just back in May, I put it to him that his critics will say that the Brunson detention was tit for tat. You know, you give us
back Gulen, we`ll give you back Brunson to which President Erdogan told me there was a process and this was something he had nothing to do with it.
His critics would argue with him on that. What specifically do you think now we might see out of the U.S., which would help improve President
Erodgan`s lot? We can start with the economy. Should that be a good place to start?
SOYLU: Yes, it might be. But first not necessarily it was about Fethullah Gulen. I mean, this guy was arrested in 2016 and it was the American
administration pressuring Turkish to release him. So it was politicized by the American officials, and Turks thought, of course, if you want to talk
about it, we can talk about it.
And the bargaining chips, there was Halkbank sanctions -- as you know, American Treasury is considering sanctions against Halkbank, fines, and
that`s on the table. In the same time, there`s criminal proceedings against Halkbank. That`s on the table. And there`s former Deputy Chairman
of -- General Manager of Halkbank, who was imprisoned in New York and it`s possible that they will transfer him to Turkey.
But of course, these sanctions were economic sanctions against two Turkish ministers. So these will be removed and it will aide the psychology in the
markets and it will improve Turkish image in terms of -
ANDERSON: We are just being told that Brunson is expected to leave here, Turkey, at around 9 p.m. local time, which is about three hours from now on
a military aircraft expected to go via Germany back into Washington, which would be the normal situation should the U.S. be taking somebody they would
have perceived to be hostage out and ensure his health is good.
Let`s move from that story to the other story, clearly incredibly important story - the mystery disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi. At this point, we
now understand there is audio and video surveillance tape in the hands of Turkish investigators.
This is certainly what we`re being told by officials, and you all know these things (ph), which sadly may end of proving Jamal is no longer with
us. What have you heard today at this point? What happens next with this investigation?
SOYLU: I mean, Saudi officials in Ankara and they will have meetings. Turkey is expecting full and transparent cooperation of Saudi Arabia to go
further in this case. And if Saudis are not cooperating, in this regard, there will be some repercussions such as, Turkey is using its right,
according to Vienna Convention on diplomacy resolutions and they will get testimonies of the Saudi consulate staff members.
And look, this is a criminal matter for Turkey and Turkish officials thinks this is very similar the Russian poisoning of Sergei Skripal in London,
it`s a very similar operation according to do them. And they don`t think it`s a bilateral issue for Turkey and to Saudi Arabia, it`s an
international matter, so international community should move in and there must be an international investigation if it`s possible. And the people
who are responsible for this crime should be brought to justice.
That`s the view Turkey; rather than this bilateral issue. That`s an issue that involves a U.S. resident and a person who`s writing for Washington
Post, so that`s very important to reveal and take the tacks (ph) off the backs and just present the public and find responsible people.
ANDERSON: These remain allegations of course until a body of evidence is revealed.
(Inaudible) thank you, thank you very much for being here.
SOYLU: Thank you very much.
ANDERSON: Live from what is an increasingly wet Istanbul coming up. Saudi Arabia could be facing a backlash that hits its bottom line. Investors now
distancing themselves from the kingdom. We look at what is at stake economically, for Riyadh.
ANDERSON: You`re watching CNN. This is "Connect the World" with me, Becky Anderson, live from Istanbul in Turkey for you this hour following the
investigation into the disappearance of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the fallout of that. Welcome back.
One of the immediate repercussions that we are seeing from this case, a domino effect of investors, of business leaders, media outlets distancing
themselves from the kingdom. Several media partners, including our network, have dropped out of a major Saudi investment conference happening
10 days from now.
Business leaders have also excused themselves from the event known as the "Davos in the Desert." Well, it`s all coming at the crucial time, and the
Saudi crown price is trying to lure foreign investments. CNN`s John Defterios has more on what is this unprecedented backlash against the
kingdom and the quick turn on its rising superstar prince.
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Mohammad bin Salman emerged as a young and ambitious reformer who promised the world. Under the brand of Saudi
Vision 2030, he aimed to rebuild the status of the kingdom by harnessing the support of those in his generation, Saudi youth.
His plan was bold, cutting what he called "an addiction to oil," reducing the role of conservative Islam by opening up entertainment and tourism and
by developing the world`s largest state investment fund to become a major player on Wall Street.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is why many of the Western powers sort of embraced him or thought, you know, "he`s the answer to this", because he does really
want to the country, you know, Saudi Arabia, from A to B. And he wants to do it at breakneck speed.
DEFTERIOS: To catapult his ambitions, he forged a tight bond with U.S. President Donald Trump`s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The relationship is probably the strongest it`s ever been. We understand each other.
DEFTERIOS: It resulted in the president`s first overseas trip to Riyadh, producing $110 billion of U.S. Military contracts.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you`re tying together two very important and influential people, and that`s absolutely key.
DEFTERIOS: The relationship emboldened the crown prince; he flex his muscle in the Middle East, leading a nasty ongoing war in Yemen, putting an
economic embargo on neighboring Qatar, and prodding the U.S. to pull out of the nuclear agreement with Iran.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And they`ve gone directly to the top, and they feel that that`s - you know, that`s where the green light is coming from. "We
can be as adventurous as we like, and we`re not going to pay for it."
DEFTERIOS: Back at home, an alarming show of force and what western business leaders suggest was a key turning point. After hosting a large
international investment conference, he used the same venue, The Ritz- Carlton, to arrest more than 300 Saudi business, and seize assets of $100 billion.
And some say the suspected killing of Journalist Jamal Khashoggi will only make matters worse.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So there will be less and less trust in the prospect of Saudi to be moving ahead.
DEFTERIOS: The numbers support that view - foreign investment at a 14 year low last year, and an estimated $80 billion of money fled the country, with
another $65 billion expected this year. MBS appeared as an agent of change, but is now being viewed as "too impulsive for his own good."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This image of a reformer, young, vibrant, prince has been somehow reordered (ph).
DEFTERIOS: In a region that, as a result of his actions, is riskier than ever.
ANDERSON: Well, John, joining me now live from Abu Dhabi. There is no getting away from it; these are some serious repercussions for Saudi that
we are seeing at present, John.
DEFTERIOS: Indeed, Becky. And we were both and the investment conference last year. We had a stampede of companies willing to go in to this boom
town after the recovery of oil prices, and we see a similar exit to - out the door today.
We`re in an usual situation where you have major CEOs, the media groups, including CNN, of course, willing to take a step back, seeing how this
evolves, and then President Trump, Becky, holding the line here, particularly wanted to protect the defense contracts I talked about.
The potential upside there, it`s $350 billion over 10 years, and the last salary (ph) we heard from the defense companies themselves, expressing
concern that would create a void for Russia and China.
The other key point I wanted to make on this is that, if the U.S. decides to pullout, it does create opportunities for others. And I think this is
what really riles President Trump, at this stage. And then in 2030 Vision plan, Saudi Arabia doesn`t help with oil. It`s going to produce 10, 11
million barrels a day; it will continue to buy military weaponry from other countries, if need be.
But the crown prince needed the support of European and U.S. companies for the Vision 2030, whether it came to technology, transfer coming back into
Saudi Arabia, the entertainment Senator being built is Riyadh. He needed that expertise and this is a major setback, I think. Becky, what we can
see in the early stages of this dispute and the linking to the journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.
ANDERSON: Yes, a flagship project of the crown prince, his 2030 Vision, which was announced at the meeting that was in the desert last year. Of
course, affected, a $500 billion megacity project which is called NEOM. Now just two days after it announced its advisory board, former U.S. Energy
Secretary Ernest Moniz suspended his role, among others, and he explicitly linked his decision to the disappearance of Jamal and the need to learn all
the facts about it. Do you see this as the beginning of an exodus?
DEFTERIOS: Well, surprise, in fact, we haven`t seen more from the NEOM project. There`s 19 members of that international advisory board. They`re
not executive board members, but we`ve only seen three depart,
President Obama at the same time.
Sir Richard Branson, I think put out the strongest statement of all; he was involved, as you know in two Red Sea Island developments. These are major
tourism projects to open up the tourism and entertainment sector in the west of Saudi Arabia. He said he had great hope for the crown prince
Mohammad bin Salman, but like many western companies, they wanted to see the completion of the investigation, and if it goes the wrong way, they`re
going to duck out.
And I think -- Becky, I think we have to underscore the opportunity that was there, not just the NEOM project, the Red Sea Island resorts, major
projects in Mecca and Medina. The Northwest was being developed, 22 regional airports in the country, high speed train networks, new train
stations, many Western companies were banking on Saudi Arabia for the next 10 or 15 years, and that opportunity is going to be difficult to stay in
under shareholder pressure, I would imaging.
ANDERSON: Just on a sort of -- it`s not really a sidebar, but we have been seeing some reaction from Saudi Arabia. A recent headline, the article,
this one warning people about Turkey`s increasing crime rate, which some may read as Turks not playing ball with us and what`s going on here. So
read into this as you will.
But certainly, Saudis are some of the biggest tourism spenders in the world. There are many Saudi citizens who spend time here in Istanbul
shopping and eating out at restaurants here. Should Saudi citizens be warned off traveling to countries that aren`t perceived to be supportive of
the kingdom during this difficult period, let`s call it, for them, what kind of impact would that have, do you think?
DEFTERIOS: Well there`s not a huge amount of Saudi visitors right now, just a half a million in a country that gets over 40 million visitors. But
during my coverage in Turkey, and I`m sure you`ve seen the same Becky, that number has been rising, not only from Saudi Arabia, but from the other Gulf
states. The Saudis have had some difficulties of their own, picking off countries that they don`t want their citizens to go to; I would say
Lebanon, also, the Qatar embargo and now Turkey.
This is a nasty division in the broader Middle East. As you well know, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE, Egypt on one side with this embargo against
Qatar. We have Turkey, Iran and Qatar on the other. And they`re going to go at loggerheads. And I think the boarder implication, Becky, of this
dispute that we saw this week over the journalist, it is that it`s going to be even more divisive Middle East and North Africa going forward. This
will pit one against the other and create opportunities for non-Western countries to come in and fill the void. I don`t think matters will calm
down in the region whatsoever.
We even heard, by the way, Becky -- and it took a couple of days from the allies of Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain in particular, but I think we
should bring up the quote, from the minister of state for foreign affairs here in Abu Dhabi, Anwar Gargash, quite a blind statement from him. He
said the political targeting of Saudi Arabia will be dire for those who fuel it. He went on to say the success of Saudi Arabia is the first choice
for the region and its people. They`ve staked a great deal on the relationship with Saudi Arabia in the proxy war in Yemen, and of course to
influence of Iran beyond its borders.
ANDERSON: John Defterios in Abu Dhabi for you. And viewers, before we move on, do remember as continue to dig on the details of Jamal Khashoggi`s
And lest we forget, let`s remember a man`s life is at stake here, if indeed, he is still alive.
We`ve got to look at the context for this, in what is extremely complicated and at times, fractured political plays at hand here - John alluding just
there, to where the sort of polarized partisan politics are at.
And Turkey cozying up to Qatar, in its long standoff with its Arab neighbors. And you`re looking at what many could see as a great big thank
you gift from the tiny kingdom for that, giving your boss and Turkey the keys - giving the boss in Turkey, sorry, the keys to this extremely lavish
$500 million jumbo jet.
That`s a drop in the bucket, though, when compared to the $15 billion that Qatar now is pumping directly into the Turkish economy. Context and
analysis for you here on "Connect the World," as we join the dots live from Istanbul.
You`re watching "Connect the World." Coming up, more on the missing Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi. I speak to one British conservative lawmaker
who has vast experience with the Saudi portfolio over the years. Crispin Blunt is up next.
ANDERSON: Moments ago, CNN`s Richard Roth posed a question on Jamal Khashoggi`s situation to the Saudi ambassador to the United Nations. Have
a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD ROTH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ambassador, could you give us two seconds to explain Saudi Arabia`s view on the Khashoggi matter, what happened to
him, just for two seconds?
ABDALLAH AL-MOUALLIMI, SAUDI ARABIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: (Inaudible).
ROTH: What is the view?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: The Turkish authorities believe a horrifying act did occur inside the Saudi Consulate, just moments away from where we are here: the
murder of Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi. That is a claim coming from a source familiar with the investigation, who says the Turks have proof.
And a global outcry has been ringing out, including in Europe. France now saying it wants Saudi Arabia to provide a complete and detailed response
into what it knows. The U.K. has also demanded answers. Crispin Blunt is a conservative member of the British Parliament. Importantly, he is the
former chair of the U.K. Foreign Affairs Select committee, which had oversight of U.K. arms sales to Saudi arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
Joining me, via Skype, from Surrey, in England - the details shocking, if not downright horrifying, a source started telling us that Jamal, a
Washington Post columnist and at times outspoken critic of the Saudi Government was assaulted and killed inside the Saudi Consulate and that
there is evidence, in video and audio, to prove it.
The Saudis, it has to be said, categorically deny their involvement. Why was it that Europeans, the French, but specifically the U.K, took so long
to get out front on this with a statement?
CRISPIN BLUNT, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: Well - and also, they did. I think the foreign secretary of the United Kingdom put
out a statement, as clearly as he could, wholly consistent with the country`s values, by the kind of time scale I would`ve expected, this was a
Saudi citizen murdered, it would appear, by all the circumstantial evidence in Turkey, and obviously Saudi sovereign property, he was a correspondent
for The Washington Post.
Now once, he had served in London as a press attache in the Saudi embassy, so he`s known to many people here in London. Obviously, the lead countries
will be the United States and Turkey and Saudi Arabia. I just - when it became clear that this circumstantial evidence is pointing in this
direction, I think then very properly Jeremy Hunt reacted in the way he did. And I`m delighted that was as unequivocal as he was about the values
at stake here, as indeed it now appears our European partners are, as well.
ANDERSON: Right. OK, so what happens next, because that`s the question being asked in Washington, of the U.S.-Saudi relationship? Britain, of
course, already a supplier of arms to Saudi Arabia, it`s something that the U.K. Government has come under intense pressure over.
And according to data from the U.K. Department of International Trade, the U.K. licensed over $1.4 billion worth of military exports to Saudi Arabia
in 2017 alone. That`s almost double what it was in 2016. Last year, of course, the U.K. High Court held up the legality of those sales. Should
they now go ahead?
BLUNT: All measures, again, they have to be considered in a calm way by the foreign secretary and then probably collectively by the government as
well, certainly by the National Security Council as well.
This is a very important British relationship, and over the course of the conflicts in the Yemen, for example, the - which of - to which most of
those arms exports are related. It`s been clear that the Saudis have taken British and American advice about the conduct of operations there.
If one looks at the quality in the targeting, where things, indeed, have continued to go wrong, but they certainly got better, as time has gone on.
One looks, for example, at when the Saudis accidentally hit a bus, and it only took them 21 days to conclude their investigation, accept
responsibility, make an apology and try and find a means to get compensation to the families of the people involved. Their procedures have
evolved and their targeting has evolved, with private British and American advice. And that`s been the nature of the relationship.
This, however, is a challenge, altogether a different kind.
ANDERSON: Right. Let me - let - yes - let - can I jump - can I just jump in here, because I think - I hear what you`re saying. We are speaking
specifically to these, now, allegations, and it seems incontrovertible truth, should be Turkish officials be believed, that Jamal Khashoggi was
Now again, these are just allegations at present, but when asked in Washington about what should happen next with his relationship with the
Saudis, President Trump wasn`t prepared to say that this should, in any way, affect the transactional nature of this U.S.-Saudi relationship.
He said - he went to say, "If we don`t - if we don`t sell them arms, then the Russians and the Chinese do." Is that - is that - is that your
position, with regard the U.K and Saudi - how do you see that relationship developing? Again, just allegations at present about what happened here,
but should they be seen to be true?
BLUNT: Well, I suppose the - anything that could be said about that, right, at least it was astonishingly clear about a rather moral-free
defense of the American interest. However, I think there are very important statements to be made here about a nation`s values, and murdering
your opponents in the appalling fashion that appears to have happened here, is - goes beyond I think trying to say that could somehow keep on going as
business as usual and just leave this - the sanctions around this in another particular box.
The - but there - you`ve got to want your sanctions to be effective.
And I think if I was the foreign secretary, I would be wanting, one, a long list of options, and because of the depth of the relationship, there would
be a long list options.
And two, I would want the best intelligence picture about what is actually happening now in the debate inside the Saudi leadership. My private advice
to the Saudis that I know is that they ought to make Mohammad bin Salman familiar with British history, particularly the English history of King
Henry II when he had the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas of Beckett, murdered. Now there, it appeared that some barons had acted either - or
possibly not positively on his --.
ANDERSON: All right.
BLUNT: -- instruction, but over (audio gap) what he said. And he then made penance for what had happened. I think Mohammad bin Salman, if he is
responsible this way, he needs to make penance for the most appalling mistake, and a dreadful crime.
ANDERSON: Crispin Blunt is the conservative member of the British parliament on air with us tonight, the former chair of the U.K. Foreign
Affairs Select Committee, thank you for joining us.
You`re watching Connect World. Viewers, coming up, we are live form Istanbul on the disappearance of the Saudi journalist. How it`s all
playing out in the media, up next.
ANDERSON: Good evening again. We are live from Istanbul this hour, you`re watching CNN. And if you`re just joining us, this is Connect World with
me, Becky Anderson. Welcome back. And for those who are just joining us, you are more than welcome. You`ve just got the back end of this show.
I`m in Turkey, as we ask more questions about the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, and look at what the fallout could be. I`ve got Ragip Soylu,
Washington correspondent for the Turkish Daily Newspaper, the Daily Sabah, with me.
And I just want to -- I just want to take a look at the media here, because we`ve talked and we must continue to talk -- one, about the very polarize
nature of the media in this region, and the very polarized and political positioning from media in different countries on this issue. Saudi-allied
al Arabiya English published an article linking, what it calls three figures in the disappearance of Jamal.
It calls Jamal`s disappearance a mystery riddled with, quote, "misreported news, dubious sources and orchestrated media campaigns." It paints Jamal`s
fiancee, his friend and a reporter in pretty bad light. I mean, it doesn`t surprise of us who live in this region that we are seeing the polarized
nature of this narrative. What does it do for the region? Where do we go from here?
SOYLU: I mean, the Saudi Arabians, the Saudis are actually making some sort of a textbook fixture of Russian propaganda, if you may say --
ANDERSON: As are, let me say, other organizations from other countries around the region, the Saudis will accuse Qatar, and indeed, some of the
Turkish press, of doing a similar thing on the opposite side.
SOYLU: I mean look at the Turks press reports. All of them are referencing towards officials as source, as any other American news
organizations do in the United States. And look at Europe.
ANDERSON: Well, I - I - I think - I think we can say that we genuinely understand that there`s been a lot of leaking to local media here, and
indeed, to U.S. press, but to local media, because that - that satisfies the government`s agenda - not agenda, but it ensures that they can step
away from this. There`s a strategy, in that press.
SOYLU: Of course, but let`s look at the news story coming out of various media organizations. Yesterday, Wall Street Journal, New York Times and
NBC News all simultaneous, covered by nations secondary (ph) reporters, reported that Brunson deal was done and that Brunson was about to be
released today, and all referenced US officials.
So this kind of media information and you know, leaks are actually part of daily job of a journalist. So it`s the same in Turkey. So you have more
resources and more connections to Turkish media, so you leak more stuff to Turkish media, rather than the international media.
ANDERSON: Fascinating. Well, we`re going to have you back in, because we`re staying on this story. Thank you for that.
SOYLU: Thank you very much. Sure.
ANDERSON: Well, then, dark clouds overhanging Istanbul, really, in everyway possible, as we break the news and break down on two massive
stories passing through this country. It`s all going on here, and that is why we are "connecting your world" right through it.
I`m Becky Anderson. Thank you for watching.