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Saudi Arabia Rejects Threats Of Sanctions Over Khashoggi; Turkish FM: Saudi Arabia Not Cooperating With Probe; Saudi Stocks Drop 3.5 Percent Amid Khashoggi Fallout. Aired 11-11:40a ET
Aired October 14, 2018 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: If the reports of his murder are true it is a tragedy for Saudi Arabia and the world that he was, in fact,
finally muzzle. Thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week, I will see you next week.
[11:00:14] BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: The sky burning a red-hot fiery orange as if lit up by these diplomatic bonfire raging right
here in Istanbul with big regional players looking to scorch the earth and settle their own score speeding and doing the endless mystery and
misdirection that is there are no real fact, expect one.
Almost two weeks ago, one man walking into a building not to be seen again. And that is why we are bringing you what is a very special edition of
CONNECT THE WORLD live view from Turkey at this hour.
Saudi Arabia hitting back at critics amid allegations that it had missing journalists Jamal Khashoggi, murdered. The Kingdom released the statement
slamming what it calls false accusations and vowing to respond with greater action to any possible retaliation.
Now, this comes on the heels of U.S. President Donald Trump warning of severe punishment should Saudi Arabia be found responsible. Khashoggi
entered the Saudi consulate here in Istanbul just 20 minutes away from where I am now, 12 days ago and hasn't been seen or heard from since.
Turkey, says Saudi Arabia isn't cooperating and won't even let them into the compound to investigate. As you would imagine, we are covering this
story and continue to from every angle. John Defterios is following the money in Abu Dhabi.
As a business backlash to discuss, Jomana Karadsheh, outside the Saudi consulate here in Istanbul. And our International Diplomatic Editor Nic
Robertson, joining me right here where we are broadcasting to you.
And Nic, let me -- let me start with you if you will. If the Saudi see Donald Trump as a customer on this transactional U.S. Saudi partnership, we
absolute -- absolutely know to be the case.
Then the Kingdom, in this statement that we have received in the past couple of hours is pretty much saying, the customer is always right. This
certainly feels like what we are seeing at present, your thoughts.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: There are several. Look, let's break down what the statement says. The statement says, any
action taken against us, we will take stronger action back. This implication being sanctions doesn't name President Trump, but it's very
clear who this is aimed at restates and repoints out the importance of Saudi Arabia to the global economy. The importance of Saudi Arabia to
Muslims around the world, the home of the two holiest sites in Islam. And its importance with Western allies like the United States countering
So, President Trump, when he spoke earlier in the week -- with President Trump when he spoke earlier in the week was very, very clear that he said,
"I don't want to take this the big deal. This are $110 billion away from Saudi Arabia because it'll go to China and maybe Russia.
But we know by that point already, both his son-in-law Jared Kushner, his a Middle East -- top Middle East adviser. His national security adviser John
Bolton, his Secretary of State might compare Mike Pompeo had already taught to Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince in Saudi Arabia.
So, they already had a strong idea of which direction potentially here that the Saudi's were having in. And so, yes, it strands actual and that's the
message and it's been made -- it was made privately, President Trump's hinted at that. And now it's how they're publicly.
ANDERSON: Sam Kiley is with us in Riyadh, and I know you are just back, Sam, from speaking to your sources. Stand by, Nic. And for some time now,
you've been pushing to get some sort of statements from the -- from the Saudis in response to this.
It's pretty harsh rhetoric now coming out of the U.S. It has to be said, many people suggesting that Trump was late to the party on this. But
severe pressure talking about the possibility of sanctions. How is that all going down, we've got the statement. But what's your perception of the
way that this is going down behind the scenes in Riyadh?
[11:04:20] SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, I think that there are sort of two scores of thought really in Riyadh.
Certainly, in the people that I've been talking to. There is the kind of public face which is in lockstep with the sort of sentiment that we're
getting out of the public statements coming from the Saudi news agency sourced to government officials.
And then, you've got the sort of private unease, really. People are very honest behind closed doors at any rate here. They really don't know quite
what to think. They point out the very obvious holes in the story that is emanating as to what happened to Khashoggi in Turkey. They are unconvinced
for example, as indeed, as CNN reporting being by the suggestion that this was all recorded on a -- on an Apple watch.
There is disquiet though as to why there was no or appears to have been no CCTV footage available to the Saudis of showing that The Washington Post
columnist left. So there's quite an honest appraisal of the issues, but also a very strong sense indeed that there's been a precipitous rush to
blame Saudi Arabia to kind of condemn and almost execute the nation before the real hard facts have come out.
And, of course, both privately, and publicly, the Saudis are demanding that the Turks present what evidence it would appear that they have as a
consequence of leaks.
I don't know if it would be useful Becky, but I can read you an extract from that statement. As you said, I was on the road at the top of the
program. So, I don't know if you've had it in full. But the sentiment coming out of the Saudis is officially pretty hardcore.
Now, it says, "The Kingdom affirms its total rejection of any threats and attempts to undermine it, whether by threatening to impose economic
sanctions, using political pressures, or repeating false accusations. The Kingdom also affirms that if it receives any action, it will respond with
Now, as Nic has pointed out, and John Defterios will no doubt go into greater detail, actions will get reactions from the Saudis, and that's what
they're saying. This is not a country that is a rival stroke enemy in the way that Vladimir Putin's Russia is. It is not withdrawing from the world,
it is deeply embedded in the world. It is the source, the primary source of the world's oil. It is very much part of the Intelligence structures of
the Western fight against Islamic extremist terrorist groups.
And in that context, I think there's one very important observation to make, if I may, Becky, which is that MI6 and the CIA our handing glove with
Saudi intelligence. They are in many ways so interlinked. This difficult to know where one begins and the other ends.
If either of those Western intelligence agencies had any evidence that there was a killing, for example. Allegedly in the consulate in Istanbul,
I would bet my bottom dollar that they would have tipped off the Saudis and we wouldn't be seeing the sort of rhetoric that we are seeing coming out in
those Saudi statements.
Now, that doesn't mean necessarily that, that evidence doesn't exist. But it would suggest strongly to me that Western Intelligence officials
certainly have not seen it in any credible form, Becky.
ANDERSON: Sam's in Riyadh. Let me get down to the consulate. To you, Jomana. Importantly, no mention of Jamal in this recent statement at all.
This was a statement in response it seems to the relatively strong now language coming out of Washington about business.
So, how if at all has this latest salvo from the Saudis changed things on the ground where you are?
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Becky, from the start, as we've been reporting on this for more than a week now, it seemed
that Turkey was very slow in coming out with any kind of strong rhetoric against Saudi Arabia. And thus, even President Erdogan being very
measured, very diplomatic in his statement.
And the feeling was that they were waiting to get more international support, more international backing which over the past few days, it would
seem that Turkey is getting from the United States, from President Trump, as people here have been saying. That is what matters, that is the country
with the most power, and the country that has the ability to really change things.
So, I think we're seeing now that this is not just about Turkey and Saudi Arabia, we know this has moved on to a global stage right now with much
ANDERSON: As we continue to dig to try to establish what has happened to Jamal Khashoggi, Nic in the last couple of hours the foreign ministers of
the United Kingdom, France, and Germany have issued a joint statement, and I want our viewers to see this. Calling for and I quote, "A credible
investigation into Khashoggi's disappearance."
Earlier, a senior member of the British Parliament said, and I quote, "The idea that we can treat Saudi as a normal state if it practices state-
sponsored murder," if, he says, "outside its borders is simply not true. We may be talking about downgrading diplomatic relations, we may be talking
about restricting support for certain areas."
That was the chair of the common for -- the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee. And by no means, an anti-Saudi voice, it has to be said. Can
Britain afford a tough response even if inclined to do so?
[11:10:20] ROBERTSON: The government has been under pressure for this. It was under pressure when it became clear that Britain is supplying weapons
for Saudi Arabia that have been used in the war in Yemen, and that civilians are being killed. And that pressure has ramped up and its come
down and most recently the Saudis had an investigation, and they said, look, we accept that there are -- that we need to pay more attention and
what sort of do better next time, and that was good enough.
But this political pressure in Britain that Saudi Arabia is a bad partner that should not be supplied with weapon lies out there. So, this is
another layer on top of that. And I think what we're seeing is a susceptibility to politicians in the West.
Saudi Arabia's strong allies to be under pressure from their publics at a time when they're under pressure on many, many other issues. So, yes, I'm
not surprised to hear this joint statement. Now, are they pushing here towards some kind of joint -- kind of U.N. investigation? The bigger
picture, of course, step back on all of Saudi Arabia's allies. The United States included
Looking at the situation in the Middle East, and seeing Turkey and Saudi Arabia getting into a deep spot here. There's already one win with Qatar,
there's already a war in Syria, there's already -- you know, confrontations and conflict in Iraq. There's already a building tension where that you --
between the United States and Israel and Iran.
And the last thing the world needs right now is a greater conflagration between Turkey and Saudi Arabia to chew quest, so that anything that the
friends of both of these countries can do to bring it down, the joint investigation would seem to be the smart way to go. So, we can see them
trying to just bring the temperature down a little.
ANDERSON: Even allies of the -- of Saudi and voices that are elide with these sort of Saudi vision I hear talking on social media today. About the
necessity to stop the media leaks to actually get some evidence in this case and to actually bring in, at least, assets from the U.K. And the
U.S., who try to get to the bottom of what is going on.
Let's talk about what it takes for a state, in this case, Turkey, to violate diplomatic immunity and search a consulate or embassy. And whether
there is a precedent for that. In 1984, viewers, a British policewoman was shot and killed, you may remember, by protesters at the Libyan embassy in
London -- this was a British policewoman.
After an 11 day siege where no British officials actually entered the embassy, Libyan diplomats were allowed to leave the embassy and fly home.
What legal grounds might the Turks have to actually enter the consulate or the consul general's residency? Because towards the end of last week, it
was kind of loose deadline that people were talking about.
If we don't get access and the cooperation in this investigation by the end of the weekend, something was going to happen. It felt like it might be
that. What are the legal parameters herein precedent?
ROBERTSON: Well, just to give you an idea of how big this situation was in London. That was P.C. Yvonne Fletcher.
ROBERTSON: And just two weeks hence ago, I walked past the spot where she was shot and killed. There's a memorial to her. There are fresh flowers,
dozens of fresh flowers around it. So, this was 34 years ago.
This is -- this is a deep, deep issue for the nations. But, so, in the case -- so what this tells us is going this -- that this a big issue.
ANDERSON: It's the nuclear option, right?
ROBERTSON: It's the nuclear option. A sovereign territory. Look, the consul general hasn't been seen for the number of days. Right now, he
appears to be there in his residence or in the consulate sovereign territory. He has to be a key witness to whatever took place to Jamal
He would, is seemingly being there. Those were his office says, he was there at the time, it appears would be a key witness. So, if you're the
Turkish authorities, why wouldn't you want to talk to him, even if -- even if as you say in plain you have evidence? He's a witness to it all.
So, you'd want to get to him, so you can see that there would be this pressure to say, look, it's just behind that wall, why don't we go in? But
it would be like -- and essentially, it would be an act of war. It would be an invasion of Saudi's place.
ANDERSON: And all better (INAUDIBLE). The more, better up.
ROBERTSON: It's the total nuclear option.
ANDERSON: I mean, any burning embers of a -- of a Saudi Turkish relationship are gone.
ROBERTSON: Officials here talk about a nuclear option being releasing the tapes that they claim to have. We haven't seen them yet, we been waiting
to see them. We only know that the people that have been briefed about them have been briefed about them that they haven't necessarily seen them.
They've been made aware of the contents but they may not have seen them. So, huge pressure at nuclear option to release those tapes if they have
them. But double nuclear to go over a wall or break through a door and pull out a consul general from his sovereign territory, or violate the
country's sovereign territory by forcing the chief prosecutor and a team of forensic experts into the consulate, which is the threshold at the moment
that the Turks only want for access.
[11:15:12] ANDERSON: Very murky. Thank you, Nic. Thank you to all of our correspondents who've been involved in this part of the show. CNN's John
Defterios, standing by for us. Jomana and Sam, and Nic, thank you. And we will get to our full of the money on this shortly.
Still to come, the fallout from Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance. Ahead, Saudi Arabia's relationship with its partners, that is next.
ANDERSON: At the phosphorus for you, you're watching CNN CONNECT THE WORLD, with me, Becky Anderson, live from Istanbul. A very warm welcome
back. And for those of you who may just be joining us, you are more than welcome.
Saudi Arabia facing serious backlash over Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance. Many business leaders and news organizations, including our own, have
pulled out of a major Saudi investment conference happening later this month.
Well, now, the U.S. and the U.K. mulling over whether they will be sending their invoice. Have a listen to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE POMPEO, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: I think, we need to continue to evaluate the facts and we'll make that decision. As I talked
to Secretary Mnuchin about last night, we'll be taking a look at to the rest -- to the rest for the week.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: My colleague, John Defterios and I, were meant to attend that conference. Together, John, joining me now from Abu Dhabi. All of this
not playing well with investors, of course, who absolutely despise risk, uncertainty, the nemesis of any investment portfolio, John.
[11:19:33] JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Yes, you could have said it better, Becky. Actually, investors hate risk and Saudi Arabia
right now is delivering it in boatloads. And to be clear here its geopolitical risk. And the hardening position that we saw from the
statement coming out of Riyadh is going to make matters even worse.
I think it's worth reminding our viewers that stock markets are good, a lead indicator of what expectations are six to nine months down the road.
And the real questions about the power structure in Saudi Arabia being concentrated with the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. I think, that's
what the sharp reaction was today.
We saw that the Dow Index down seven percent at the start. It stayed lower most of the day and then cut those losses in half to be in down 3-1/2
But we have a chart here looking at this index since the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, and we're nearly in correction territory. We were down
better than 10 percent, and we're now down just below 10 percent. It tells you a great deal about this risk filtering into the market.
Now, the stock markets are lead indicator most -- take a look back in the rearview mirror. And the performance of this crown prince, and his vision
2030. All the right intentions. But so far, Becky, investors are not buying the story completely.
Foreign direct investment last year was just $1.4 billion. That's the lowest in 14 years. And they have a serious threat of capital flight that
we've been talking about. It was $80 billion last year. Particularly, after the crackdown against the 380 Saudi businessmen. And it's projected
by JPMorgan Chase to be another $65 billion this year.
That we're talking about a quarter of the government's reserves are fleeing the country at a personal level not having confidence about where this is
going to be going.
Often, when I talk to investors, they talk about the word impulsive to describe the leadership right now, particularly, in the crown prince's
office. A great opportunity, a big bounty in the country, but is it going to be clearly on the table for foreign investors going forward with what we
see today, and the tensions you've been talking about here at the top of our program this evening.
ANDERSON: Yes, it's -- John, interesting. As we've sort of been speaking, and I want -- I want to discuss the weapon that could be oil or quite
probably is oil in all of this. (INAUDIBLE), which is a Saudi government- link term or media organization talking about the possible retaliation against Donald Trump.
We've heard -- you know, in this relatively bombastic of both very, very clear statement about intent that should something -- you know wrong with
our economy, it will go wrong with yours too, say the Saudis.
And another opinion just saying that the price of oil reaching $80.00 and good President Trump, no one should rule out the price jumping to a $100 or
$200 or even double that figure. It sounds a little bit over the top.
But will we see Saudi Arabia pulling out the biggest weapon that they have which, of course, is oil?
DEFTERIOS: OK, Becky, this is clearly the implication of the official statement, if you read between the lines here. And then, having the op-ed
coming from the general manager of (INAUDIBLE) which is owned by the Saudis here, I was a little alarmed at the numbers they were using in that op-ed
They were saying that the commitment of Saudi Arabia's to produce 7-1/2 million barrels a day. Saudi Arabia is committed to OPEC to produce 10-1/2
million barrels a day.
And because of the pressure from Donald Trump, they actually boosted they actually boosted that up to 10 points, 7 million barrels a day this month.
Now, this is the tricky part that you're talking about. Donald Trump, five times in 2018 has leaned on OPEC to do more. And I spoke to sources here
within Saudi Aramco. They suggest that the crown prince is very sensitive to that criticism to Donald Trump, and the crown prince wanted to respond
and actually suggested, "You would add 1.3 million barrels a day if needed." I think that's off the table right now.
So, we could see a risk on environment coming back into the oil market. And we've talked about potential $100 a barrel by the end of the year.
Maybe the U.S. goes to Iran and provide some exemptions if Saudi Arabia takes a tough line. We could see a shift from the White House when it
comes to Iran.
Sounds radical, but look what's happened in Turkey in the last two days as a result of the release of Pastor Andrew Brunson. Now, Donald Trump, says
he can work with President Erdogan, all of a sudden.
ANDERSON: Yes, and I want to talk about that because Turkey's economy now experiencing a bit of relief with the release of the American Pastor
Brunson. And that is not a sidebar here, because Turkey sitting on a very, very difficult situation, economically, and financially.
And you know it sees clearly the opportunity for better relations with the U.S. helping the economy here. The potential for, at least, not
extinguishing the remnants of a relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, potentially helping out with the economic mess here.
And, of course, as many will describe them the paymaster these days that being Doha in Qatar wanting to stay onside with them. And let's be quite
clear. I mean, the kingdom is in trouble here reputationally, does Qatar no harm whatsoever.
There's such a deep rift between the two that -- you know, don't be interesting to see, they haven't heard anything from a very little from
them during this whole episode. But it'd be interesting to see what their sort of reaction to all of this is. Certainly, media relied with Qatar,
very much pointing the finger at the Saudis here and really pushing for action.
Again, so just briefly walk me through the bones as it were of this Turkish economy, and what happens next?
[11:25:20] DEFTERIOS: Well, as we all do, as journalists, we get on the phone and speak to diplomatic sources. One suggested to me, it couldn't
give a better gift to Iran, Turkey, and Qatar with this horrible debacle that we see playing out in Istanbul with the death of Jamal Khashoggi and
the investigation that is underway here.
So, it's a seismic shift is how it's being seen. Turkey could use a relief, it has $200 billion of debt to pay over the -- over the next year.
So that lower lira was a problem also for inflation which is at a 15-year high.
But I also think it changes the dynamics here in the region, Becky, and the relations between Saudi Arabia. In that statement is that we're a very
powerful economy, it's about $650 billion. Largest in the Gulf, but Turkey has an $850 billion dollar economy. It's a NATO member.
So, you can see the trade-off now and perhaps rebalancing the relationship between Washington, Saudi Arabia and, of course, Turkey. One quick point
on Qatar, Hamad bin Jassim, the former prime minister, he's not in government anymore, but he actually stepped in and made a statement and
suggested, "Perhaps, it's time for Saudi Arabia to change its policies." I'm sure that does not play well in Riyadh, but the statements are being
ANDERSON: John Defterios, in Abu Dhabi on the -- on the money lines on all of this which, of course, are hugely important. My next guest makes this
point in her writing. Thank you, John.
"The fact that the Saudis have chosen Turkey to execute this killing means two things." Of course, this is an alleged killing at this point, but this
is the pros from my next guest. "Either they don't expect Turkey to react meaningfully, or they don't care about any possible Turkish reaction. One
wonders which is more humiliating."
Strong words and strong claims, Barcin Yinanc, she's the opinion editor of the English language Hurriyet Daily News. And in your opinion piece, you
do go on to say, Khashoggi was a name known personally by the President, as well as by his close advisors. A lack of front reaction will be hard to
explain and it will add yet another shame to Turkey's already bad track record of its attitude towards journalists. They are any of Erdogan
champion any journalist, really.
BARCIN YINANC, OPINION EDITOR, HURRIYET DAILY NEWS: Well, yes. But in this case, obviously, this is a multi-faceted crisis. Obviously, it's
about freedom of press but it also involves regional balances. So, I see that Turkey found itself into a -- into a dilemma whereby, on the one hand,
it has to secure that the Saudis or whoever the perpetrators.
Because I understand that they are confident that it's the royal family. That the perpetrators don't go without paying the consequences. It's
But on the other hand, I have the feeling that they are maintaining a restraint in their rhetoric, so that, that doesn't blow out into a full-
ANDERSON: You're talking about they, being a Turks. The Turkish authorities.
YINANC: The Turkish authorities. Yes.
ANDERSON: Because once again, let's make it very clear. The beginning of this whole episode when Jamal disappeared on October the 2nd, it was -- it
was sources here close to the authorities. The government said it wasn't them who were leaking information to the New York Times and Washington
Post. And we've seen a slew of leaked information coming at the local press here.
We are short on facts. The only fact we definitely know is that Jamal didn't come out of that consulate. Or certainly, there is no evidence to
I taught now for a number of days to other analysts and people have got a really good sense of what's going on in Turkey, they said, what is Ankara
strategy here? And where did they go next?
We've just been discussing that they almost sit in this triangulation not wanting to upset the Americans. Certainly, not wanting to upset Doha,
Qatar these days. And also not wanting to upset the Saudis.
You know, the longer this goes on, they could upset everybody.
YINANC: Exactly. So, on the one hand, this is an un-presented action, right? It's disclosed without any consequence. As a colleague of mine was
saying, there will be a hunt for dissidents all over the world. So the perpetrators --
ANDERSON: Not lived here.
YINANC: The perpetrators need to be found and they have to pay the consequence. That's on the one hand, what they need. What the Turkish
authorities need to secure. So, the all eyes are on Turkey. But on the other hand, I think the Turks are trying to say that this is not an issue,
they shouldn't be just an issue between us and the Saudis. This is the scores beyond being a bilateral issue between two countries.
What is at stake is a dissident being -- you know, assassinated. It's true by a state. But on the other hand, I think they are also trying to make
sure that, that doesn't spill out into a huge crisis. And I am -- I'm feeling that they're trying to find an exit strategy for the Saudis.
For instance, the pro-government Arab (INAUDIBLE) are sorts of giving this message that there could be some wrong elements within the Saudi House
which might have done that. So, I think they're suggesting that the Saudis could come out and said, it's the royal family.
You know, it wasn't me, it was the rogue elements -- you know, to accept responsibility but also to find the way where relations will go without
becoming a huge major crisis region-wide.
[11:30:23] ANDERSON: Well, they certainly continue to categorically deny any involvement in Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance. For now, thank you for
joining us. Great to have you on the analysis for us.
You can read on Bachin's full column and more of her write @hurriyetdailynews.com. You got us live from Istanbul this hour. Our
coverage of the missing Saudi journalists continues live from Istanbul. How this high-stakes case could affect the entire region, and of course,
ANDERSON: You're watching CNN. This is CONNECT THE WORLD, with me, Becky Anderson, live from Istanbul. With our special coverage of the fallout
from the disappearance of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
With Saudi Arabia rejecting threats of economic sanctions over its alleged role in the disappearance of The Washington Post columnist. The
declaration comes after the U.S. president warned of severe punishment if the Saudis are found to be responsible for his death.
The Saudis denied any involvement in the disappearance. So, while we wait for answers on the fate of Khashoggi, there is little doubt that this is
turning into a high-stakes diplomatic which could have -- could have serious ripple effects across the Middle East.
And not only when it comes to Turkey's relationship with Saudi Arabia, which has been especially strained since the Qatar crisis. Now, well, into
its second year we're Ankara sided with Doha.
Let me try and dissect all of this for you. Mithat Rende is Turkey's former ambassador to Qatar. And he joins me here live, sir, in Istanbul.
Some Gulf States like the UAE are painting Saudi Arabia as a target, not as the perpetrator in all of this. Its foreign minister, a man I know well,
Anwar Gargash, called a fierce campaign tweeting, 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 for its people."
And there are charge is not just in the UAE, but across the region, on social media and beyond that, that media associated with and aligned with,
Qatar have been really fueling and inciting what is going on here. I realized that the story at the -- at the center of all of this is Jamal's
disappearance. But it is absolutely clear. This story has got wider than that. Correct?
[11:36:37] MITHAT RENDE, FORMER TURKISH AMBASSADOR TO QATAR: Correct. Well, it may lead to a serious diplomatic crisis as you rightly said, and
people are horrified of what they hear. But it remains to be seen whether he has been kidnapped or killed.
And this is why the Turkish authorities are treading carefully and they still they don't have -- we don't have consequential evidence. And
therefore, they refrain from making sweeping strong statements. Although, President Trump said that, that those who will be punished severely.
But they established a working group, a joint working group which was well received by the American side. Nevertheless, I don't believe that you
should expect much from this working group -- the joint working group.
RENDE: Because they are usually done to manage or contained crisis.
ANDERSON: And you're talking about this specific case. The investigation, the Turk saying they are being denied access.
RENDE: Yes, yes. Yes.
ANDERSON: Saying that the Saudis aren't coordinated. I wanted to -- and thank you for that. But I want to talk about this bigger issue and lean on
your former experience in Doha. Because let's be quite frank, Saudi Arabia in the crosshairs, the risk and uncertainty around, its economy as we see,
this sort of tsunami of criticism against the government will suit Doha down to the ground, won't it?
RENDE: That's what -- it will -- it will. In fact, you may recall that on the 17th of May, President Trump. As 2017, President Trump visited Riyadh.
And in his statement, if you read between the lines, he just gave the green light to the Saudis and the United Arab Emirates to hit hard on the
Qataris, and then we faced with this.
ANDERSON: This is a dangerous game, isn't this?
RENDE: This is a very dangerous game.
ANDERSON: I mean, I'm not suggesting for a moment of both sides of this are don't have a role to play at times. But this is a very dangerous game
to be playing in a region which is as complicated messes as this already is.
ANDERSON: How bad the things get? I mean, I'm wondering why you think the impact of this might be.
RENDE: It's, it's already -- it's already very, very -- in this -- the Middle East is not in good shape. It's a tormented region with Yemen and
Iran sanctions and the Syrian War. And every -- in every corner, we have a problem on the Palestinian issue.
But then here, we are having even a more serious situation which would adversely affect also the oil prices, and then the oil -- higher oil prices
would lead to -- would destroy the economic growth which is not in good shape also, globally.
So we should not -- we should expect the International community to act together. And what I would expect from the U.N. Security Council is to get
together to meet and take measures against those who are responsible.
ANDERSON: Would you go so far as to say, "Doha, back off."
RENDE: Well, it's for them to answer the question. Thank you.
ANDERSON: It's a professional diplomat I've got here. But thank you, sir, for joining us. It is important we get the analysis. The wider context of
this story is extremely important. We're going to take a very short break at this point. Back after this.