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Pompeo Meets Crown Prince Over Khashoggi's Disappearance; Marco Rubio Says U.S. Must Stand Up for Human Rights; Syrian Forces Ready to Fight Rebels and Buffer Zone; Sources Say Saudis to Admit Khashoggi Died During Interrogation; Three More CEOs Drop Out of Saudi Summit; Brexit Talk Stuck on Irish Border Issue. Aired 11-12p ET

Aired October 16, 2018 - 11:00   ET


[11:00:00] BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: For hundreds of years the Ottomans ruled over Arabia from Istanbul and right now this hour, it could be said

that what's happening in this city, again splitting, shaping and exposing, the strategic gamesmanship roiling through this region. That is why we are

connecting your world through here right now. I'm Becky Anderson in Istanbul.

Well this hour, we might never really know what happened to Jamal Khashoggi, but we may slowly be seeing a cover story being pieced together.

The American Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flying to Saudi Arabia on a moment's notice. On the left here, Pompeo meeting King Salman. That

lasting for just about 15 minutes. A flying visit. Everyone who is anyone, though, is there, except the powerful Crown Prince. Instead,

Pompeo driving off somewhere else to meet him for nearly an hour. The Crown Prince quite literally keeping his distance from the investigation

and the two all smiles, the body language important here.

Well this as CNN sources saying that Saudi authorities are preparing to put out a report with a stunning admission, one that would contradict their

denials of any knowledge of Khashoggi's fate over the past two weeks. Now it's expected to say that he was killed in an interrogation gone wrong, an

operation led by rogue elements with no clearance from the Crown Prince or the King himself. All that begs one question asked earlier by a Republican



SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: Where is the body? Why wasn't the family notified? Why have they spent the better part of eight or nine days saying

they didn't know anything about it?


ANDERSON: So, while we wait to see whether that Saudi report ever does come out and what the response will be, our reporters across the world, Nic

Robertson is at the Saudi consulate here in Istanbul, Clarissa Ward is in Ankara, Sam Kiley in the Saudi capital of Riyadh and John Defterios in the

Gulf in Abu Dhabi. We've got our diplomatic analyst John Kirby joining us, standing by for you in Washington. Let's start with both John in

Washington and Nic just outside the Saudi consulate. And Nic, what's the very latest from there?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Very latest, Becky, the consul general we understand has just left the country, the Turkish

foreign minister said his residence and vehicles would be searched and inspected today. Clearly a central figure in any investigation the Turkish

authorities are having into what they say is the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. They spent nine hours inside the consulate searching it last night,

forensic teams in there throughout the night. It's not clear what precise evidence they have, except that Turkey's President today has hinted at some

kind of cat-and-mouse game with Saudi authorities. Saying that there are toxic chemicals inside the consulate and that materials have been painted

over and its sort of hinting here that the Saudi authorities inside the consulate at least have not been giving the Turkish investigators full and

transparent access that they've requested. There's a hint there's been some sort of cover-up going on inside the consulate.

And to that point the Turkish foreign minister speaking later today, said that it was vital that Saudi cooperates in a transparent way, that that was

critical part of the investigation and that doesn't seem to be happening. And now to learn that consul general, whose vehicles were seen involved in

what the Turkish authorities say was around the time of Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance, that the consul general himself has gone, that his residence

-- he has left his residence, doesn't seem to add up to that cooperation, that vital transparent cooperation, that the Turkish authorities are

talking about -- Becky.

ANDERSON: John, if a picture speaks a thousand words, then let's take a look at these images now out of Riyadh just hours ago. U.S. Secretary of

State Mike Pompeo being received by Saudi Arabia's King Salman. The readout from the meeting saying they discussed the U.S./Saudi relationship,

including the current troubles. A little later, Mike Pompeo also met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

[11:05:01] The question is, John, what was going on behind closed doors in each of these meetings?

JOHN KIRBY, CNN MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: Well, difficult to know for sure, Becky, but I would hope that what went on was some pretty stark,

frank, very direct points made by Secretary Pompeo about what our expectations are with respect to Saudi cooperation in this investigation.

Although from Nic's reporting it certainly doesn't appear that they're taking those warnings very seriously. This has gone badly for them since

the beginning.

But I was struck by the readouts, and if you look at the readouts that they first issued when he met with their foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, and

then the King, very different tone than the readout they issued just a little bit later when he met with the Crown Prince which was a much more

direct, sort of a stark readout, that sort of really focused more on this investigation than the first two. So, I think they sort of hardened the

tone as they went through.

But the optics are not good. If it was me and I was still the spokesman at the State Department I would not want cameras in there for these meetings

because the cameras do induce you to sort of behave in a more collegial way than this meeting should be about.

ANDERSON: And to that point, look, I mean, you know, as you said, a picture tells a thousand words, but we simply don't know what goes on

behind closed doors. And just for the benefit of our viewers, those cameras are in there to begin with for, what, about 24, 25, 30 seconds as

far as I understand it, and then the cameras are told to leave. And that's when the real discussion happens, correct?

KIRBY: That's exactly right. Look, I've done a million of these things and when the cameras leave, you do get down to business. And that's what I

hope happened here, that Pompeo was very tough on them. Look, we have leverage over Saudi Arabia in ways we didn't always have before. We should

be able to use that leverage to try to impale them to do the right thing and to be more forthcoming. And I hope that that's the message that Pompeo

left them with.

The fact that the meeting with the King was so short doesn't bother me. Those meetings are not usually very substantive with him. But with the

Crown Prince that went for an hour that's actually not a bad sign because the Crown Prince speaks excellent English, they could get down to business

and hopefully that they did, that Pompeo made it very, very clear. A, that they need to cooperate. B, that if they don't and depending on the results

of the investigation the United States is going to take swift and severe action to punish the Saudis for this behaver.

ANDERSON: Stand by, John and Nic. I want to get to Riyadh now, site of the meetings just hours ago between the U.S. Secretary of State and Saudi

royalty. CNN senior international correspondent Sam Kylie live in Riyadh. And from that perspective, what is the message there?

SAM KILEY, CNN'S SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, so far, the message in terms of the state-backed media or state-supporting media

and, indeed, obviously inevitably the state-run news agency, the line is unchanged from the last week, which is that all and every allegation

suggesting that Mr. Khashoggi met with an untoward end is nothing more than Qatari and Turkish/Muslim brotherhood propaganda. That isn't what is

coming out from Saudi officials. They've gone pretty much entirely silent, Becky, in terms of responding to the Turks while the investigation is

conducted. And of course, as we've been hearing we are expecting or hoping for some kind of statement on it fairly soon.

I think there's one also important little nuance is that meeting opened, Becky, that was picked up by a sharp eared pool reporter. I just want to

read you a little exchange, the sort of end of the greeting between MBS and Mike Pompeo.

The Crown Prince says to him, we are really strong and old allies so we face our challenges together. The past, the day of, tomorrow.

And Pompeo replies, absolutely.

Now, naturally he's a diplomat and he's not going to say anything negative at a moment like that, but I think the signaling coming perhaps from

Mohammed bin Salman is suggesting, you know, we're all on the same side here, we will get through this and we have to look to the future. And I

think that certainly from the diplomatic perspective and the political perspective, it's what both sides are trying to achieve here.

The problem is, for the Trump administration, no matter how cynical they might want to be about the real politic, is now under heavy domestic

pressure in the Senate and Congress to make the Saudis pay, if you like, and the Saudis have already signaled any kind of effort to do that would

result in blowback. And it is an important alliance for both nations and indeed to other Western nations. So, there's real Hobson's choice here, I

think, Becky, for the Americans in particular.

[11:10:00] Whilst the Saudis, of course, still struggling with how to explain what went on in that consul -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Nic, Senator Marco Rubio speaking to one of my colleagues earlier on the "NEW DAY" program in the states, asking one very simple

question in all of this -- where is the body of Jamal Khashoggi?

The family of Jamal are calling for international action at this time, saying in a statement released on Monday, the strong moral and legal

responsibility with which our father instilled in us obliges us to call for the establishment of an independent and impartial international commission,

to inquire into the circumstances of his death.

Nic, given what we know of the investigation -- and you are there at the heart of what is going on -- will their calls be heard?

ROBERTSON: It is heartbreaking, Becky. You have to feel it for his family and everyone that loves him. Because, you know, the Turkish authorities

feel they've been clear for two weeks that he was murdered and there's been no evidence of a body. So, what we know that the investigators were able

to do last night was to get into that building, although it clearly didn't go every way they hoped it would, that they were able to remove truckloads

of soil, bricks from inside the consulate. So that's something we know they've taken away and they will be able to analyze that.

The supposition has been on the Turkish part that somehow Jamal Khashoggi's body was potentially moved from the consulate here to the consul general's

house which is where investigators we understand are going to go in the next hour in those vehicles and that we understand some of those vehicles

are going to be searched in the next hour or so as well. That's the intent at least.

In terms of searching for Jamal Khashoggi's body, it seems to have taken the investigators to dig up or break up some material inside and around the

consulate and potentially to do a similar sort of exercise in the consul general's house. And then potentially try to figure out was he disposed of

there or is there somewhere else they should be looking? And of course, the consul general might have been a very good help in trying to sort of

point them in the right direction if he was so predisposed. But the search for Jamal Khashoggi's body as far as we know at this time has not turned up

any leads that we're aware of. And that must be terribly distressing for his family and everyone that loves him.

ANDERSON: John in Washington, here is what U.S. Senate Republican Leader, Mitch McConnell, a very close colleague, let's call him, of the U.S.

President, told Bloomberg earlier today.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where the U.S./Saudi relationship is right now?

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: Well, not great. I think it's good the President sent the Secretary of State out to talk to

the King. We need to find out first what happened before deciding what kind of response is appropriate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But you do think there will be some type of response if these allegations are true?

MCCONNELL: I can't imagine there won't be, but I think we need to find out what happened.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And just the final question on this issue, specifically with some of the Republicans in your party, including senator Bob Corker of

the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, have called on the usage of the Magnitsky Act. Do you think this is an appropriate mechanism to use?

MCCONNELL: It may well be. Let's find out what happened.


ANDERSON: The pressure point, John, on U.S./Saudi relations it seems at this point could be Congress. Until now President Trump had been fairly

free from criticism from his own side. Will that now change?

KIRBY: I don't know, Becky. I hope that the President and the administration is willing to be strong and sure the way they react to this,

that they are not afraid to deliver consequences to Saudi Arabia if these allegations prove true. But I think, I worry, that what's going to happen

is that he's going to be pushed to do this by Congress. Because Congress clearly in a bipartisan way -- and you just heard McConnell talk about this

-- they're willing to take action. They are obviously going to wait to see what happened, but they're not afraid to push the President to do the right

thing. I hope they don't have to do that.

What I worry about and when I listened to the President yesterday sort of stitch together this kind of narrative, almost taking it face value, King

Salman's claim of rogue killers, is that the President is trying to find a way through this such that he doesn't have to take really strong action

against Saudi Arabia and that he can just do the minimum, and that worries me.

ANDERSON: All of you, thank you. John is in Washington, Sam in Riyadh and, of course, Nic here. Some 20 minutes away from where we are

broadcasting to you in the city of Istanbul.

[11:15:04] And we are connecting your world through Istanbul this hour. And in the country next door to this one, CNN gets you an exclusive look at

Syria's demilitarized zone. We connect everything going on for you just ahead.


ANDERSON: Welcome back. The fallout from Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance putting further strains on already messy relations in this region. The

United States, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, all key to stability in the Middle East now involved in a delicate diplomatic dance. And that could come into

play here in Syria as the country enters what seems to be the final stages of its bloody civil war.

Syrian government forces say they are prepared to fight rebels if they don't withdraw from a newly established demilitarized zone in Idlib

province. That's the last rebel stronghold in the country. The set deadline for rebels to leave the area expired on Monday. CNN's Arwa Damon

recently gave exclusive access to the demilitarized zone and she joins me now. The deadline for rebels to leave the buffer zone is gone, Arwa, with

one of the main groups as I understand it still there. What happens now?

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're going to have to wait and see if the status quo as it has been established is

acceptable to the Russians and to the Syrian government. Our understanding of the agreement is that extremist rebel groups needed to withdraw their

fighters. When we were on the ground we were told that they already had. But of course, it is Syria and the situation changes constantly. And he in

all of this is, of course, trying to save the lives of 3 million civilians who are still there.


DAMON (voice-over): Despite their smiles and giggles at our camera, these kids have never really known the innocence of childhood. Sham says she

still has nightmares of the day she was wounded by shrapnel.

[11:20:00] Her two cousins are orphans, their parents killed in an air strike years ago. Sham's father, a rebel fighter himself, says they

weren't living, they were just waiting to die. Now he says he has hope.

(on camera): As you can see, this is basically the demilitarized zone, the belt of pink, and within it, there are only meant to be Turkish observation

posts, the Russians, the Iranians and the Syrian regime are meant to be taking up their positions well on the outside.

(voice-over): After years of cease fires and de-escalation zones that failed to hold the Russia/Turkey negotiated demilitarized zone is perhaps

an agreement that at least in the short term stands a chance.

The main difference between this and other agreements are Turkey's assurances, say Saef, a spokesman for one of the main rebel groups the

National Liberation Front, explains. The Turks said that they would protect this area, protect us against any threat.

Rebel fighters can keep their light weapons within the zone and we're shown what are some of the last heavy weapons, multiple Grad rocket launchers,

howitzers, that are being pulled out of Syria's DMZ.

(on camera): The commander that we have been talking to here have been very quick to emphasize that this is merely a withdraw of heavy weaponry,

and while everybody hopes that this agreement will hold, there is Syria's reality and the fact that they have to ready themselves for the eventuality

that it does not.

(voice-over): That, al-Raaed says, would result in an ocean of blood if this agreement doesn't hold. It's far from a long-term solution to Syria's

tragic, bloody recent history, but it's meant at the very least to allow for a respite from the bombings and violence that have torn so many

families apart. Create a sense of stability, and perhaps just perhaps, allow for a viable political solution.


DAMON: And Becky, as you know, only too well, Syria's recent history gives little cause for optimism, but as you heard there it is Turkey's

involvement that perhaps makes this current deal different. Turkey has taken on a burden of responsibility. It is also putting its military

forces, its military men, inside and not to mention it is also taking on a significant economic responsibility as well. It is in Turkey's interest to

see this succeed. As to whether or not it will, well, given Syria's recent past, one can only hope it does for the sake of the civilians stuck inside.

ANDERSON: Arwa Damon reporting for you from Istanbul today. Arwa, thank you.

This unfolding situation which could be the end of Syria's seven-year long war involving many important actors, of course, in the region, the U.S.,

Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Russia. Earlier this week Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince hosted Russia's special envoy to Syria. The United States' Syria

representative is also set to visit Riyadh in the coming days. These meetings come as the Kingdom, of course, deals with the serious backlash

over the disappearance of Khashoggi. Now Fawaz Gerges, is a professor of international relations at the London School of Economics. The author of

several books on the Middle East and U.S. foreign policy, the latest "Making the Arab World" looks at the decades long clash between Arab

nationalism and political Islamists. He's a regular guest on our show. Fawaz, this is one more piece on what is a complicated regional chessboard,


FAWAZ GERGES, AUTHOR, "MAKING THE ARAB WORLD": Yes. Yes. Absolutely. The good news, Becky, is that I don't expect -- we don't expect any major

city offensive in Idlib. When the Walid Muallem, the Syrian Foreign Minister, was asked about the fact that the thousands of hardliners have

not evacuated the demilitarized zone, the foreign minister -- the Syrian Foreign Minister said, well look, we have to wait and see. Russia is in

charge. And Russia is strategically coordinating with Turkey. And Russia does not really want any major battles in Syria. Russia's major interest

now is to find a political solution, and that's why Turkey is important, Saudi Arabia is important, Iran is important, and, of course, the United

States is important.

We might be seeing, given what we have been focusing on in the past two weeks, the tragic disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, I think what you're

going to see a great deal of diplomacy on Syria in the next few days and next few weeks, and hopefully we'll find a way out of this particular

deadly embrace in Syria.

[11:25:00] ANDERSON: To Khashoggi's murder -- and that certainly it seems to be apparent is what it was at this point -- one commentator says, if it

is proved to be that, it should not be swept under the rug. But nor, he says, should Saudi Arabia be ditched in what he called a fit of

righteousness. Walter Russell Meade writes, the Muslim Brotherhood, Turkey's President and the ayatollahs of Iran are huddled over the corpse

hoping to turn a political profit from the death of an innocent man. Meade says, there's only one man to blame for this situation. Calling the Saudi

Crown Prince, a modernizing autocrat using dictatorial power to drag his country into the future.

That in an op-ed in "The Wall Street Journal" today, Fawaz, will there be casualties, high-profile casualties in all of this? And of course, I

preface all of this by saying we are waiting for a statement or the result of this investigation because at this point we still don't officially know

what happened to Jamal.

GERGES: First of all, Becky, we should not lose sight of the human dimension of this particular tragedy. It was an innocent human being,

Jamal Khashoggi. He had never committed any crime against any -- never did anything illegal. He and his family really, they should be in our


The second question, Becky, justice is very important. We need to find out what has happened to Jamal Khashoggi. How he disappeared, where is Jamal

Khashoggi, and if we, as I expect myself, you're going to see a kind of a major announcement by Turkey, a joint announcement by Turkey and Saudi

Arabia, in the next 48 hours, I expect. It's my own reading. It's going to put closure to the mystery of the disappearance of Khashoggi. We're

going to know that he basically died or was killed in the consulate in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

The second question, if this particular line of thinking that is how was he -- how was Jamal Khashoggi killed? Who is responsible for his death?

That's also another question. But the big question -- your question, Becky, is that Saudi Arabia has basically -- has not appreciated the

leadership of Saudi Arabia, the gravity of the crisis. It has taken Saudi Arabia almost ten days to really try to deal with this particular crisis.

A great deal of incoherence, statements that don't really add up, and the reality is, worldwide, there's a global campaign and I am really struck as

you said by the anti-Saudi sentiments throughout Western societies in particular on the level of the elite. I'm not talking about the White

House itself.

So, regardless of whether there is a high casualty, I think the damage to Saudi Arabia has been substantive and has been considerable and Saudi

Arabia really must come out and try to really tell us and tell the family of Jamal Khashoggi what has happened to him and whether justice can be

achieved at this particular moment.

ANDERSON: Fawaz Gerges of the London School of Economics amongst other things, thank you.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD live from Istanbul. I'm Becky Anderson. Coming up the latest on the disappearance of the journalist Jamal

Khashoggi. We'll tell you what Turkish investigators found when they searched the Saudi consulate. Stay with us.


ANDERSON: The sun is setting with the call to prayer here over Istanbul. Moving into the third week of the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, who has

grimly become a household name. This story, though, far from its twilight, as we are digging to get to the bottom of exactly what happened. That's

why we're here, to connect you to the investigation, the diplomacy, the politics of all of this. I'm Becky Anderson live from the city of Istanbul

in Turkey.

Because what started as a missing persons case now looking more and more like it might be a murder. Two sources tell CNN that Saudi Arabia is

preparing to admit that Khashoggi died during an interrogation gone wrong. The Saudis expected to say the operation was not authorized and those

involved will be held responsible.

The U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hurriedly flew to Riyadh on Tuesday. He briefly met with the Saudi King Salman and held a longer

meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. All of this comes as Turkey's investigation heats up. Turkish police spent nine hours inside

the Saudi consulate on Monday. CNN chief international correspondent Clarissa Ward joining me now from Ankara with more -- Clarissa.

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Becky. We've learned some color about what that investigation, those nine hours

spent inside that consulate compound, looked like. We've heard reports there were sniffer dogs, that they were taking soil samples and critically

we heard from the Turkish President himself, President Erdogan, that they were looking potentially at toxic materials. Unclear what those toxic

materials might be, what purpose they may have served in this botched operation. The President also hinted at the fact that the Saudis

essentially had attempted a rather hasty cover-up. He referred to the fact that some areas had been repainted.

Now we know, of course, that the consul general himself has left the country, presumably returning to Saudi Arabia. That's not entirely a

surprise, as a spokesperson for the Turkish Foreign Ministry had said earlier today that he was free to come and go as he pleases.

But I do think, Becky, and perhaps you're hearing and feeling the same thing as well in Istanbul, that there's a sense of growing impatience.

That Turkish authorities want to see this investigation starting to take place in a thoughtful, timely, and appropriate manner.

[11:35:01] And in order for that to happen, there's two main things that are really lacking so far -- we need to have a credible, open statement

from Saudi Arabia as to their version or account of events and that will be critical. We've heard a lot of things so far about what that statement

will look like, that they will acknowledge that it was a botched operation.

The second thing, of course, that they will be looking for, a body -- where is Jamal Khashoggi's body? Was it taken back to Saudi Arabia? Was it

dumped somewhere in Turkey? A lot of questions still to ask. This investigation really is only just beginning -- Becky.

ANDERSON: The spokesman for the U.N. Human -- the High Commission for Human Rights spoke out earlier today, Clarissa, saying that Saudi consulate

in Istanbul must not use immunity to slow down a much-needed investigation. I just want our viewers to hear exactly what he said.


RUPERT COLVILLE, SPOKESMAN, U.N. HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS: Under international law, both the forced disappearance and an actual judicial

killing are very serious crimes and immunity should not be used to impede investigations into what has happened and who is responsible. Two weeks is

a very long time for the probable scene of a crime not to have been subjected to a full forensic investigation.


ANDERSON: Clarissa, does this kind of strong statement have any teeth in this case?

WARD: Is well, one would like to think that it does, but there's no evidence that it has. I mean, you know, you're hearing him saying there

shouldn't be any sense of delay, and yet two weeks later we still don't know where Jamal Khashoggi's body is. Saudi Arabia still hasn't officially

even acknowledged that they played a role in his killing. And Turkish investigators have only just in the last 24 hours been able to gain access

to the premises. So, there have already been an enormous delay. The question is, how much longer can this sluggish pace continue? At what

point do Turkish authorities or international pressure or, you know, words from the U.N. really start to kick in?

What I would say most likely it is America that has the levers of power in this situation to really push Saudi Arabia, to really apply pressure. This

is a very close relationship going back decades. From what we've seen so far of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit, it seemed very pleasant,

very jolly even. I'm sure privately tough messages were delivered. But the proof will be in the pudding, Becky. Do we hear something concrete and

definitive and believable from Saudi Arabia and does that happen in a timely manner -- Becky?

ANDERSON: To that point, Republican Senator Marco Rubio spoke with CNN just this morning where he said the U.S. must stand up for human rights,

even if it means risking losing Saudi money. Have a listen to this.


SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: There isn't enough money in the world to purchase back our credibility on human rights and the way nations should

conduct themselves. And we lose our credibility and our moral standing to criticize Putin for murdering people, Assad for murdering people, Maduro in

Venezuela for murdering people, we can't say anything about that if we allow Saudi Arabia to do it and all we do is a diplomatic slap on the



ANDERSON: Congress, one assumes, will be the pressure point on this. And we've been discussing whether the relatively sort of sanguine comments from

Donald Trump are likely to change as pressure increases on The Hill, correct?

WARD: Absolutely. And I think pressure is increasing, not decreasing. There had been a sense that maybe if Saudi Arabia got out front and really

started to answer tough questions in a way that was compelling and credible, that maybe people would be willing to at least listen or

entertain some of these idea. But that window is rapidly shrinking.

We also heard from Senator Lindsey Graham today. He said if you're listening Saudi Arabia's the Prince, the Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman

has got to go. That's an incredibly bold statement. But what you're seeing is broad, bipartisan support in Congress for some kind of

accountability to be held for some kind of punitive measures to be taken against Saudi Arabia. And there is no question, Becky, President Trump has

had many foreign policy quagmires that he has had to try to navigate his way through. This one could well be the most pivotal -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Clarissa Ward is in the capital of Ankara. I'm in Istanbul. This case has affected investor confidence. Thank you, Clarissa in the


[11:40:00] And three more CEOs have joined what is an already a long list of business leaders who've pulled out of next week's Saudi's business forum

dubbed, Davos in the Desert. CNN's emerging markets editor, John Defterios, is in Abu Dhabi on the money trail of this. A new wave of

pullouts. What do we know?

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNNMONEY EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Well, Becky, what happened in Europe today is the equivalent of what we saw on Wall Street on

Monday. Big hitters stepping down from the future investment initiative, the so-called Davos in the Desert as you suggested, and this art of trying

to stay engaged with Saudi Arabia because the prize is so good particularly on the investment side for the banks. And at the same time trying to

maintain an ethical benchmark. You see the faces here, HSBC, Standard Chartered and CEO of Credit Suisse.

Credit Suisse is quite interesting because serving on the advisory board for the Davos of the Desert. So, it wasn't easy to escape. With these

names now out of the picture it makes those staying engaged stand out if you will. I would suggest the U.S. Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, who

President Trump gave a deadline until Friday, probably a message to the Saudis saying we need to get this wrapped up if you want him to be staying

in Riyadh for your event.

Christine Lagarde's people e-mailed and told me she's still going to attend the Davos in the Desert and hold a press conference on the 23rd. She was

waiting for evidence over the last 48 hours. Shocking evidence but she's remaining engaged as an international governmental organization.

Some others are keeping a low profile that want to stay in the Saudi market. Siemens, EDF of France, Thales of France, they're all playing part

in this major infrastructure play we talked about yesterday. Better than $400 billion of contracts on the table. Low profile but I don't see them

signing off and removing themselves from this event on Tuesday.

ANDERSON: Any evidence that King Salman is likely to play a more prominent role going forward?

DEFTERIOS: You know, Becky, there's a lot of reading between the lines here of the 15-minute meeting with Mike Pompeo today and then the 30 to 35-

minute meeting with Mohammed bin Salman. And I think we're starting to see a shift here and what I'm talking about also within the younger members of

the family, Prince Khaled, who is the ambassador to Washington. There are reports from "The New York Times" that he's not going to go back to the

post right now.

That was a post that was held by very senior members of Saudi society before and, of course, the Royal family, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Prince

Turki Al Faizal in the past. And I thought after the last 24 hours of watching Khalid Al-Falih, who's the minister of energy, go to India and

make quite an important speech for the U.S. administration suggesting that Saudi Arabia will serve as the shock absorber for any oil that's needed in

the market.

Remember 48 hours ago, the two of us were talking about the fact that there would be a professional Saudi oil embargo. Well, he wiped that out with

his speech in India. And it seems that the King is much more engaged, but also very senior members of the cabinet are doing the same as well. So,

the initial signs that they're broadening out the power beyond Mohammed bin Salman, which also probably dampens the influence of Jared Kushner behind

the scenes and allows Mike Pompeo to play an even larger role.

ANDERSON: I'm reminded of the trip that the Crown Prince made to the states back in March/April this year engaging with Hollywood and with

Silicon Valley. That sort of in the past to a certain extent, but I wonder whether we are seeing the first signs of strain. Endeavor, for example, a

big Hollywood organization, it seems, now, potentially looking at the possibility of pulling their sort of support from Saudi Arabia. Is this a

case of money can't buy you everything, if you are Saudi Arabia going forward?

DEFTERIOS: I think that's a good way to put it. That was a charm offensive by Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince, going from the East

Coast to the West Coast, and he went from Silicon Valley down to Hollywood. He saw all of them. Tim Cook, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates in Silicon Valley in

the north there and then going down to Hollywood and Ari Emanuel, who is a very well-known name, his brother was the mayor of Chicago and worked in

the Clinton White House.

Signing a deal for $400 million that would seed the public investment fund of Saudi Arabia taking a 5 to 10 percent stake in the UFC. It looks now

that Ari Emanuel is having second thoughts about this, particularly shocked he suggested, because of what has transpired over the last week. And we're

starting to see deals being undone instead of staying engaged with Saudi Arabia and particularly in Hollywood.

ANDERSON: John Defterios is in Abu Dhabi on the story. Live from Istanbul we are here with CONNECT THE WORLD.

Coming up, the clock has been ticking. Moving away from here.

[11:45:00] I want to get you to Britain, the Prime Minister there ahead of a make or break Brexit summit in Brussels, the clock seems to be ticking.

We've got the latest from London after this.


ANDERSON: Live from Istanbul in Turkey, a country that for years tried to get into the EU as now we turn to the story to a place that is struggling

to get out of it. As pressure mounts on Britain's Prime Minister as time runs out for her to save her Brexit plan.

Theresa May will meet with the EU leaders in Brussels on Wednesday for a make or break summit. European Council President, Donald Tusk, says no

deal is looking more than likely than ever. Earlier the Prime Minister held a meeting with her cabinet trying to rally rebellious ministers to her

side. A Downing Street spokesperson tells CNN there was no suggestion that any ministers were ready to quit, and that's despite reports that several

were considering resigning over the terms of Brexit. CNN's Nina dos Santos live for you now in London -- Nina.

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, it's been a very busy 48 hours. Obviously, this is the crucial crunch time just before that summit.

And Theresa May -- as you said -- as she rallied together her cabinet for much longer than expected. It was expected earlier today to be a longer

than usual two-hour cabinet meeting. Well they ended up sitting around the table for nearly three hours to hammer out some of those thorny issues.

It was not supposed to be a cabinet meeting to get everybody to agree on certain things, but rather an opportunity for her to reassure her ministers

she had the country's best interest at heart. It seems as though she was able to do that. Because a spokesperson says that she managed to rally

them together upon her promise to deliver the type of Brexit results that honors the result of the referendum. To also safeguard jobs in the U.K.

and to keep the union together.

And that's the really thorny red line that everybody on both sides of the channel and both sides of the Irish Sea is having to contend with this

issue of whether or not there should be an Irish backstop. A solution of last resort to prevent there from being a hard border between North

Ireland, which is part of the U.K., and the Republic of Ireland which is part of the European Union.

Now the EU solution has always been, keep North Ireland inside the same customs union as the rest of the EU. That is not particularly palatable to

Theresa May and certainly not to the DUP which also makes up the numbers for her government. Then the question becomes, does the rest of the U.K.

stay inside some kind of customs union temporarily as well so it's not split into two?

[11:50:00] That is not palatable to the hardline Brexiteers inside her government who say well that will just leave the U.K. inside the EU even if

it's supposedly out in all but name. There needs to be a timeframe and an end date for this type of solution. That's the type of conversation she's

going to have to have with EU leaders over there in Brussels.

Now when it comes to the subject of this Irish border, again, it is the hot topic on both sides of the continent. We have had Donald Tusk, the

President of the European Council, who convenes these meetings, making it very clear that he views the Irish border issue as a Gordian knot, that's

going to be extremely complicated to resolve. The message probably from some hardline Brexiteers here in the U.K. will be to him, stop tying it

tighter because it'll get impossible to resolve and then we get closer to a no deal scenario -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Nina dos Santos is in London for you. We are live from Istanbul as we continue to CONNECT THE WORLD.

Coming up, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are on the road down under. How their baby news has upped the interest in what is their first overseas

trip. That's next.


ANDERSON: All right, your parting shots tonight as we close out this CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. If you've been with us during

the show, welcome back. If you're just joining us, you are more than welcome.

Because there is no rest for the royals at the moment. Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, kicking off their first official overseas

tour in Australia. The visit transforming into a kind of extended baby shower for Meghan who revealed her pregnancy on Monday. CNN's Max Foster

has the latest for you.


MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A first glimpse of a royal baby bump. The secret is finally out for Prince Harry and his new

wife Meghan as they begin their first major overseas tour as a couple in Australia.

PRINCE HARRY: We also generally couldn't think of a better place to announce the upcoming baby, be it a boy or girl, so thank you, very, very


FOSTER: Well-wishers congratulated the couple who announced their pregnancy on Monday, confirming weeks of rumors. The first baby is due in

the spring. Congratulations also came are one of Harry's oldest fans, 98- year-old Australian Daphne Dunn, whom the Prince has met twice before. This time, he was able to introduce Daphne to Meghan. Daphne told Meghan

it's wonderful the two of you, and that she was just what Harry needs

[11:55:00] Meghan said she hopes the next time they see Daphne, they would have a little one in tow. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex also met

Australia's unofficial ambassador the koala at Taronga Zoo in Sydney where they opened a new learning center.

And the official welcoming committee, Australia's Governor General, Peter Cosgrove and his wife, Lynn, served them tea and beer. Presented them with

a toy kangaroo with a baby roo in its pouch, plus some tiny Ugg boots. The royal couple also posed in front of Sydney's Royal Opera House and met

representatives of the fourth Invictus games. A sports competition that Prince Harry founded for wounded veterans which kicks off on Saturday.

Back home in the U.K., speculation is already rife for the name of the new royal baby who will be seventh in line to the throne. Albert, Victoria,

and Dianna are amongst the favorites for the British bookies at least. The child won't automatically become a prince or princess, though the Queen may

decide to give them that title as they did with Prince William's children. Harry and Meghan continue their 16-day tour with visits to Melbourne and

Queensland before flying to Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand. Max Foster, CNN, London.

Back here in Istanbul, amid all the mystery and doubt and talks of a cover- up, we leave you with shots of an energetic and quite frankly, quite amazing city. I'm Becky Anderson. That was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thank you

for watching.