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Pope Francis Historic Visit in the Middle East; Fire Broke in Paris Apartment; President Trump to Deliver His State of the Union Address; Historic Papal Visit; Pope Francis Wraps Up UAE Visit; European Nations Recognize Guaido As President. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired February 5, 2019 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[03:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR: -- who is this first one?
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to a very special edition of CNN Newsroom. I'm Rosemary Church in Atlanta.
ANDERSON: And I'm Becky Anderson here in Abu Dhabi where Pope Francis has just finished leading a mass for thousands of the faithful at Zayed Stadium.
Yes, almost fragment with the delicate voices of a choir dancing through the air is full of belief and faith as much of beauty as right now. Pope Francis wraps up his historic trip to the Arabian Peninsula.
He has been celebrating mass with more than 100,000 people at Zayed's Sports City no matter to whom you subscribed above or don't, it's been moving, and epic and important to us and to history because nearly everything he has done here is a first in church history.
On Sunday, he became the only Roman Catholic pope to ever visit the birth place of Islam, this peninsula. He was greeted by royals, Muslim leaders keen to have him here. And it's a two-way street. The pope's message on this trip has been about inter faith dialogue and an end to war. He has specifically talked about conflicts that plagued this part of the world, name sadly all too familiar, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen.
Well, tens of thousands of people turned out for the pope's mass in the Zayed's port city stadium. CNN's John Defterios has been out among the crowds and joins us live. You've been talking to people all morning. And as this mass now closes out, John, what's the atmosphere where you like?
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Well, it's extraordinary now, Becky, because we had the right of the Holy Communion. And I was looking around for the last two hours and didn't see -- not one usher inside. This is incredibly well organized. But it was left to the people the parishioners to manage the lines going to the Holy Communion. No pushing, no shoving. Everybody lined up. They took their communion and now we have the final prayers behind me. You've been talking about a crowd of about 100,000 outside. I have our (ph) our cameraman, Serbel (ph), just take just a portion of what we have standing here, Becky, which is extraordinary.
It's a quarter of the scene that we have outside with, the pope will be exiting down the middle of this crowd and they will go towards the center, of course, to wave their goodbyes with the white, yellow flag with the emblem of the Vatican on it.
Let's bring in one more guest who's been here all morning. Laura Zagloul is a schoolteacher in Dubai. It's good to see you and thanks for coming out to talk with us.
First and foremost, you've been here for about four years. What do you think is the symbolism, the real symbolism, of having the pope here in the UAE? How does it resonate for you having lived here for that short period of time?
LAURA ZAGLOUL, DUBAI TEACHER: I mean, I think just the fact that 90 percent of the population of the UAE are people from other countries, just coming here today and having it here just really highlights it. I think just even if you look around you see how many different cultures and religions there are amongst us and it shows the sign of respect with everybody.
DEFTERIOS: You're a school teacher, which I find extraordinary. Does it go into the classroom? Was there a dialogue with the children? They're 7-year-olds.
DEFTERIOS: You have mixed religion in the classroom.
DEFTERIOS: Tell me what you've been talking about leading up to the visit.
ZAGLOUL: Even Pope Francis himself has said that if we don't build future together, there can't be one. So, for me that really stands important for myself as an educator, as we -- I'm teaching the next generation.
So, I wanted to bring it into the classroom and see if the children knew anything about different religions and cultures, and going back to the tolerance, the year of tolerance, they want to teach the youth about cultures and religion.
So, I asked them why they had a day off and they knew that Pope Francis was arriving in UAE and they knew that it was going to be a historical event. So, it was great for me to share that with the class.
DEFTERIOS: I think, personally, this would be resonating with you because your father is Muslim from Egypt. ZAGLOUL: Yes.
DEFTERIOS: Your mother is from Northern Ireland and you're an Irish Catholic in practice.
DEFTERIOS: But you grew up with the spirit of having both religions under one roof.
DEFTERIOS: What it feels like to be standing here in a country that's a majority Muslim welcoming the pope?
ZAGLOUL: Yes. For myself, like I grew up obviously been loved by both of my parents regardless of their religion. So, the fact that I can watch people experience that today for themselves is really making me proud to know that now people are coming together and see and that no matter what religion you're from that we can all come together for peace and love and respect.
[03:05:04] DEFTERIOS: Great. Final point, it's the year of tolerance.
DEFTERIOS: And you said to me, John, I wanted to show you the emblem that I have in my shirt.
DEFTERIOS: Why is that so touching for you? Is that a message a strong message do you think?
ZAGLOUL: Yes. I think it is a strong message. It is great symbolism because it's the flag today symbolizes friendship and peace and the fact that they have the UAE flag within the dove, you know, it just says it all really. We're all here together as whether we're real friends of just friendship as a group. It says everything and that's what everybody wants.
DEFTERIOS: Good. Final thought.
DEFTERIOS: I was saying in my opening remarks to Becky that it's been incredibly orderly. I don't see ushers. Everybody really did get along, right?
ZAGLOUL: Yes. Definitely. There's no shoving, there's no pushing. And you can just say like everybody is focusing on one thing, and that's kind of what you want, a hopeful future.
DEFTERIOS: Great. Nice to see you. Thanks for stepping away from prayer.
DEFTERIOS: Laura Zagloul, once again, Becky, she is a school teacher in Dubai and as you heard there from both a Muslim background and Irish Catholic as well. Back to you.
ANDERSON: Wonderful. Thank you, John. John has been speaking to many people in the crowd outside of this stadium this morning, many of whom have asked a very simple question, they have immensely enjoyed what's been going on today. Many have said why can't we live in peaceful co- existence every day, not just for this three-day trip for the pope, but why not the entire time here in this Middle East region.
We've got the movers and shakers with us. His excellency, Jaber al Lamki, is the executive director of the UAE National Media Council helped put all of this together very, very quickly. The author and influential Emirati and diplomat, his excellency, Omar Saif Ghobash, a key player in bringing the UAE to the world and the world to the UAE helping make events like this happen, and historian, Peter Hellyer, you can help to see how all this was hundreds of years in the making.
We are going to talk about some history shortly, but I want to put the very question that I posed at the top of this to you, Jaber. It's a question that so many people have posed this morning in the crowd here. People who are so incredibly happy to have been here to be part of this experience, one and a half -- nearly 1.5 million Catholics here, 145,000 or so of them have enjoyed and celebrate mass with the pope here today.
They say why can't we live in peaceful co-existence as the pope has urged on a daily basis, and they've talked about Yemen as a specific story.
JABER AL LAMKI, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, UAE NATIONAL MEDIA COUNCIL: I think that's a valid question. We are really hoping today that also we send out a clear message, Yemen, Iraq, Libya, all the Middle East, we really can live in peace. The problem is when you have really extreme group and political Islam movement, when they're really pushing for sectarianism and trying to, you know, disturb the peace and harmony that we are trying to live which we lived for so many years.
The problem in Yemen is really concerning to us. I don't want to go into the details, but this Stockholm agreement that had happened and been signed is ineffective and it's because of the Houthis so far. They haven't committed to the part where they need to really hand over the port of Al-Hudaydah and give access to the humanitarian aids for the thousands of millions of Yemenis there.
We are trying really basically here looking for an end of this war and I think we need to put more pressure on the Houthis and the support there getting from Iran.
ANDERSON: I hear what you're saying. The perception will be that the viewers around the world, people around the world will see an asymmetric war and the force in that asymmetric war being provided by the Saudi-led coalition from the air.
AL LAMKI: Those extremist groups, basically, they don't only respond to violence. That's the only language they understand. The killing is unbelievable. It is, that minding the places. This is where I think the pledge that yesterday the Pope Francis and the grand imam were talking about together as Muslims and Christians, we can put an end to that.
But I think we all of us now have been part of it. We really need to push harder on the bad guys to really think about peace and future for them. Lots of Yemeni Christians have been suffering.
And keep in mind, we have been fighting the extremist groups the Al- Qaeda affiliation in Yemen, the Houthis. That is really a serious war. And I think they are at their weakest point right now and hopefully we'll see some peace coming to the Middle East very soon.
ANDERSON: And that was going to be my last question to you before we move on and talk about the sort of wider story here. You know, you've talked about the challenges with regards to sort of UAE perspective on this.
[03:09:54] The Ministry of Foreign Affairs here in the UAE in response to the pope's prayers for people in Yemen and the pope urging for an end to this conflict said we hope, we hope that this will be a year of peace, 2019 will be the year of peace in Yemen. Will it, Jaber?
AL LAMKI: I hope so. And our prayers in all different faiths that that peace will happen hopefully very soon, hopefully very soon.
ANDERSON: Let's talk about the wider story and what we've seen and heard since we have been experiencing this visit by the pope over the last three days. You're an historian. I understand the first time a pope ever went on a plane was 1964. That was Saint Paul the VI, and he went to the Middle Saint, he went to Jordan. Four or five years ago I was on the pope's tour to Jordan and then to Jerusalem.
So, this isn't the first time a pope has been in the Middle East, of course, by any stretch of the imagination, but this is historic in that this is the first papal visit to and the first mass on the Arabian Peninsula. John Paul the Second, the first pope to visit a mosque back in 2001. That was in Damascus.
Why do you think the Middle East matters so much to popes and why Francis now?
PETER HELLYER, UAE HISTORIAN AND WRITER: The Middle East matters to pope as it matters to Christianity because it's the birthplace of Christianity and of Islam and of Judaism. And the very birth of the church was in the Middle East and the very roots of the church today, particularly the eastern churches, is still very much in the Middle East in the Arab world.
So, it's natural that any religious leader of what any of the three major denominations will find the Middle East of crucial importance in understanding their religion but also in working out the message that they wish to transmit to the rest of mankind.
Now, the Middle East is a region of great troubles. Pope Francis comes himself from a region of the country that has had considerable problems itself in the past, poor governance or of poverty, and he is someone that clearly -- it's clear from his message in his speech, he cares are very, very deeply about humanity, about the suffering of children, of women, of prisoners of war, of refugees, of exiles.
Coming to the Middle East, he will be able to be see for himself some of these things. But what he will also see and what I hope he has seen in the last few days coming here is that within the Arab world and within the Muslim world there are governments and people's and communities who really want to live together. They want to work together to build dialogue and they want to bring together the world against the extremist voices on either side and worry about humanity for a change.
ANDERSON: You make a very good point. You've talked about extremism on both sides. I think it was Yousef Al Otaiba who wrote in an op-ed for Politico just in the past couple of days. You know, the idea of this trip, if it achieves anything, it is that this country will continue to fight extremism and he pointed out that this trip in this region won't be embraced by everybody, Omar, briefly.
OMAR SAIF GHOBASH, EMIRATI DIPLOMAT: Absolutely. I mean, it goes without saying that there will be people who are, you know, express very strong opinions against it, probably because of this idea of the sanctity of the territory of the Arabian Peninsula, and probably because they're against any kind of openness to something that that is different from what they know.
And so, that's why, you know, it's very exciting, but we're getting political leadership, we're getting, you know, some economic leadership, we're getting religious leadership onwards.
ANDERSON: The fighting the organ but for all the right reasons because this is the end of mass. It's just before quarter past 12 here and mass started at half past 10, an historic day for the pope, for the Catholic church, and indeed, for the UAE and the Arabian Peninsula.
The atmosphere is, I can only describe it as joyous here at the Zayed Stadium. We are going to take a very short break and we'll be back after this.
[03:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, at least eight people are dead after a fire broke out in a Paris apartment house. A Paris prosecutor said Monday night's blaze also injured 30 including three firefighters.
The official added the fire may have been started maliciously and that a 40-year-old woman who lived in the building has been taken into custody. The fire service told local media the death toll might still rise because the blaze is not completely under control on the top two floors. And the search for residents is still underway.
The building is located in an affluent part of western Paris that's home to embassies and Roland-Garros Stadium.
Well, the U.S. president's State of the Union speech is just a few hours away. The White House promises an olive branch of sorts. A call for bipartisan cooperation, but there is also the push for Donald Trump's southern border wall. Meanwhile, he is reacting to a word that presidents never want to hear, impeachment.
Here's our Pamela Brown.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: CNN has learned early drafts of President Donald Trump's State of the Union speech will not include a national emergency declaration for border wall funding according to a senior White House official. But with another possible shutdown looming in less than 11 days, Trump has said he is leaving all options on the table.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would you shut down the government again?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, we're going to have to see what happens on February 15th.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're not taking it off the table?
TRUMP: And I think -- well, I don't -- I don't take anything off the table. I don't like to take things off the table. It's that alternative. It's national emergency. It's other things. And you know, there have been plenty of other national emergencies called.
BROWN: But the president is feeling confident about his chances in 2020, saying there's almost no way Democrats can beat him.
TRUMP: The only way they can win because they can't win the election is to bring out the artificial way of impeachment.
BROWN: A new CNN poll shows Trump's approval rating slightly up after the lengthy government shutdown last month.
TRUMP: The problem is you can't impeach somebody for doing the best job of any president in the history of our country for the first two years.
BROWN: And as the Mueller investigation seemingly nears an end, President Trump wouldn't weigh in if the reports should be released to the public?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You wouldn't have a problem if it became public?
TRUMP: Excuse me. Excuse me. That's up to the attorney general. I don't know. It depends. I have no idea what it is going to say.
BROWN: Now White House officials say the State of the Union speech will strike a bipartisan tone. But the theme for last year's State of the Union speech was unity and then the president quickly undercut that by going after Democrats on Twitter and elsewhere. So, it remains to be seen if he will be able to stick with that theme following this year's speech.
Pamela Brown, CNN, the White House.
CHURCH: Joining me now to talk more about all of this is Washington Post White House correspondent Toluse Olorunnipa. Thank you for being with us.
[03:20:04] TOLUSE OLORUNNIPA, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, THE WASHINGTON POST: Thank you.
CHURCH: The president's upcoming State of the Union address has been overshadowed by the leaking of his schedule, which according to Axios reveals he spends about 60 percent of his schedule in executive time, which means tweeting, watching television, making calls, that sort of thing.
What does that tell us about the president, and perhaps more importantly about the fact that someone very close to him leaked this information?
OLORUNNIPA: Yes. This is a leak that has really rocked the White House. There are a number of aides within the White House that are really shocked that someone working close by them is willing to leak this information about the president. It paints an unflattering picture about how he spends his time.
We have known for a long time that the president watches a lot of cable news. He spends a lot of his time with unstructured scheduling, tweeting, calling people on the phone, doing things that you normally would not expect a president who has a very -- normally would have a very busy schedule have a very significant agenda to take part on.
But this is a president who likes to do things sort of ad hoc and off- the-cuff. He doesn't like to have as much structure around him. He does like to have a lot of free time on his schedule so that he can, you know, watch the news, read the news and figure out how to structure his day around what he sees on TV.
But the fact that the president is getting ready to go into the State of the Union, knowing that there's somebody within the White House who is willing to leak negative information about him, cannot be a positive sign as he goes into his second State of the Union as he prepares to really kick off his third year in office and tries to figure out how to battle with the Democrats who have been very strong in opposing his agenda.
Now, he has people fighting with him within his own administration and all of the time that he is spending an executive time has not produced very much in terms of a legislative victory. So, this is a president that is struggling to figure out how to sort of turn the page from a very troubling month so far and the year of 2019 has been tough for the president with the longest ever government shutdown.
OLORUNNIPA: But he is going to the State of the Union hoping to turn the page.
CHURCH: Yes. I mean, one would think it would be very destabilizing with someone so very close, only a few people know about that particular schedule.
But of course, as you mentioned, the president focusing on his State of the Union address for Tuesday night when he will apparently appeal for bipartisanship and less politics and could perhaps declare a national emergency to get his border wall built.
What would be the ramification of just such a move considering that most Americans, according to the polls we're seeing, don't want that wall built, certainly not as a result of a national emergency being declared?
OLORUNNIPA: Yes. That's exactly right. The president has said over the past few days that he was setting the stage for the national emergency with the government shutdown and now with the State of the Union, but he hasn't really been able to move the needle in terms of the public approving of this.
There is a very strong level of disapproval for declaring a national emergency and building a wall without Congress and the wall itself is not necessarily broadly popular with the American people, even though Republicans tend to support it.
So, this State of the Union is an opportunity for the president to try to move public opinion on this. He has had multiple tries to impact the public sentiment around the wall and around the border struggle but he hasn't really been able to get very much in terms of public support.
So, the idea that he is going to go ahead and build the wall with a national emergency is something that is even less popular than the wall itself. And you have a number of Republicans who are in Congress who believe that they should have the power over how the money and how the budget is set and they do not want the president to move forward without consulting them.
So, the president is likely to split members of his own party and he's going to see some resistance from even within his party if he decides to go forward with the national emergency and casts Congress and their will to the side.
So that's something that the president has to think about as he decides whether or not to go full steam ahead with this national emergency, it's that not only are Democrats strongly oppose but Republicans are also split on this issue with several Republicans saying they do not want him to move forward with a national emergency declaration.
CHURCH: Toluse Olorunnipa, thank you so much for joining us. We do appreciate it.
OLORUNNIPA: Thank you.
CHURCH: And our special coverage of the State of the Union address by Donald Trump and the Democratic response starts at 8 p.m. Eastern Time, that is 1 a.m. in London, 9 a.m. in Hong Kong.
We turn now to the crisis in Syria. Millions of Syrian refugees are still displaced. And if they do return home, there's no guarantee their basic needs will be met. Homes have been reduced to rubble and serve as a stark reminder of the realities of war.
CNN's ben Wedeman reports now from eastern Syria.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is not the happiest of home comings. The town of Hajin near the Euphrates River in eastern Syria was the scene of intense coalition bombing followed by house to house combat between ISIS and U.S.-backed predominantly Kurdish forces.
[03:25:08] It's a repetition of the same scenario that is played out for Mosul to Raqqa and now here ISIS' last stand to save towns and cities from the extremists they must be destroyed.
Zahara (ph) returned with her family two days ago and sells snacks to make some money.
"Only stones are left," she tells me. Her little daughter far too young to comprehend what has happened.
Some of the residents of this town which was liberated from ISIS in December have begun to return but to return to what. Most of the buildings are either severely damaged or utterly destroyed, so the best they can do at this point is just retrieve their belongings and then leave again.
Qais (ph) returned last week to find their house in ruins and no way to support a family here. "Life was hard under ISIS," he says, "but it is still hard, harder still with this destruction."
There is no sign that any government or other authorities has begun to clear the rubble and restore a semblance of normal life.
"We want to make Hajin like it was in the days of the regime," said Zad (ph). "There was a hospital and the roundabout and those buildings. All destroyed because of ISIS."
This war has been pursued with a single-minded focus on defeating the enemy with scant detention to what happens the day after victory is declared.
Ben Wedeman, CNN, Hajin, eastern Syria.
CHURCH: Pope brings his message of peace to the United Arab Emirates. He just celebrated mass in Abu Dhabi and we will take you there live as we continue our coverage of his historic visit to the Arabian Peninsula.
ANDERSON: Welcome back to the UAE where we have just witnessed an historic mass by Pope Francis here in Abu Dhabi. More than a hundred thousand people came to celebrate at Zayed Sports City. Just days ago, Pope Francis became the first Roman Catholic pope to ever visit this country and the Arabian Peninsula.
[03:29:57] He used his trip to embrace Muslim leaders, calling for inter-faith dialogue and fraternity. And he also called on them to reject war, mentioning conflicts in Yemen, in Syria, Iraq and in Libya.
Well, CNN, John Defterios has been amongst the crowds here to see the pope. And he joins us now. And John, you are in amongst, what, some 100,000 people who have not been lucky enough to necessarily be inside this stadium, but have been witnessing this entire mass on huge screens, as I understand it, just outside.
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Yes. It has been incredible, Becky, in that respect. It is clearing out fast. So people get a sense of where we -- what's going on right now. We have an after mass concert taking place here with spiritual music, so it's a little bit loud.
But it's clearing out quickly, the hundred thousand that were outside the stadium venue, which was incredibly orderly. I was surprised by some and everybody that's been participating in this mass had said the same.
Let's bring in two parishioners who live in Dubai, Michael and Louisa Baker. It's good to have you on CNN. As you could see, it was orderly coming in and pretty orderly going out with the exception of all the cleaning that needs to take place. How was the experience for you though?
MICHAEL BAKER, DUBAI RESIDENT: Amazing. I mean, it was fantastic day. You know, the weather was great. The organization of the event was fantastic. You know, it was so slick, so smooth. You know, the government did a very good job with this set-up. It is not every day 135,000 people come here, but it was like, so easy. We commend straightaway the event itself. I mean, it was fantastic, very, very memorable.
DEFTERIOS: Well, in fact, I've been to concerts both in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and they manage crowds well, but this is a whole new league. I was thinking about it, Becky, because a tenth of the Croatia population in the UAE was here in one venue at one time. That says a lot to have that many people here.
LOUISA BAKER, DUBAI RESIDENT: I think everybody is just cooperative and they've got so many volunteers so that helped a lot. It is really good.
M. BAKER: An amazing atmosphere, really.
DEFTERIOS: You're a Glaswegian from Scotland. You had a chance in your youth to see Pope John Paul II.
M. BAKER: That is right.
DEFTERIOS: Did you ever think you would see two popes in your lifetime?
M. BAKER: Never.
DEFTERIOS: And the experience that the fact that it took place here?
M. BAKER: Yes. I mean, so lucky to see one, but two is a knock-out. I mean, that is fantastic. And again, it was a beautiful day. It was Bell Houston Park on Glasgow, and you know, it's very similar. I was a kid, back then, very young, the same kind of environment, lovely.
DEFTERIOS: May I ask you about the message though. And Louisa, you could come closer so you can hear me. What's the message and talk about the message of tolerance?
M. BAKER: Yes.
DEFTERIOS: Does it resonate in this crowd though? I wonder if people really understood that and can that spirit live beyond the visit of Pope John Paul -- I mean, Pope Francis.
M. BAKER: Yes. So many different nationalities here. I think everybody is pretty much got the same insight. That made a lot of sense to people. I mean, we got it, so it was lovely.
DEFTERIOS: One thing is so overlook is this is a population where 90 percent -- almost 90 percent are from another country, right? So the locals are actually the minority. To be able to welcome Pope Francis and bring the Grand Iman from Egypt, what do you think personally as a parishioner, being able to pull off such an event after so many years?
L. BAKER: I think it is a miracle. It is a blessing.
M. BAKER: Yes.
DEFTERIOS: And could it lead to peace in Yemen, this is what the pope was suggesting before he left, he wants to see peace, listen to the cries of the women and the children, he said.
L. BAKER: I think it is because it got me. I felt it. M. BAKER: Yes. It was, I mean, lovely service. You know, the word spoken by the Pope Francis rung accord with everyone. You know, I was standing there looking about, and you know, everyday they've got something from it. You know, very simple words, but, you know, they mean a lot.
DEFTERIOS: Yes. I would think it would be hard not to get something from it where you can always hear a pin drop, everybody was so focus.
M. BAKER: Yes.
DEFTERIOS: It was nice to meet you both. I know you have to make your way back to Dubai and I appreciate you staying for the extra half hour. Michael and Louisa Baker from Dubai, originally from Scotland.
Becky, that's pretty good summary of what people felt taking place here. And the festivities carry on. As you know, people have the day off, so they're making the most of it with the religious music that we have in the background and people dancing near the stage. Back to you.
ANDERSON: And you asked permission to take that jacket off. It's warming up here. The forecast wasn't great for today, which is surprising in this country, but actually the sun has come out and it is extremely warm. You've seen that the crowds have disappeared where John is and the stadium now almost empty here.
The signs say we might not be reading from the same book, but we are on the same page as this country celebrates 2019 as its year of tolerance as an example of that.
[03:35:06] You might not know that while this country is predominantly Muslim, well, there are many, many Christians. Here is a look at how religions get along side by side on a daily basis.
ANDERSON: For Ansela and Nuela (ph) Fernandez, breaking bread means more than just eating. It is about bringing people together. It's what they say they love about the UAE.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd say one of the best environments to raise up children.
ANDERSON: The couple emigrated from India to Dubai 25 years ago. They're both devout Catholics and active members of St. Mary's Catholic Church.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In India, although the population is huge, the Catholic population within the parish is very small. Out here you've got tens of thousands of people in our parish, different nationalities, different cultures, different value systems, all integrating together. And that itself is a huge experience.
ANDERSON: And just across the street is a mosque, an image capturing signs of harmony and tolerance. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's very nice on Sundays when, you know, it is
a bit quiet during mass and you hear the call for prayer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just co-exist peacefully. It is a beautiful environment.
ANDERSON: An environment of co-existence that goes beyond this place of worship, to picnics in the park between friends and families where different cultures and faith sit together, eat together and even pray together.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you go back to our scriptures, you know, refer to that, whether is the bible, or the Koran, or the Tora, any other religious book, everybody speaks about peace. We practice the same thing.
ANDERSON: In one of the world's most culturally diverse countries, people from different faiths live peacefully and come together to break bread or in this case Biryani.
ANDERSON: The crowd is disappearing now. There have been over a 135,000 people here at the Sheikh Zayed stadium in the Zayed City here listening to what has been a historic mass by Pope Francis, his first visit, the first visit of a pope to the Arabian Peninsula.
I'm going to take a very short break. We will leave you with some of the images of the day.
[03:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ANDERSON: Pope Francis' historic visit to the UAE is ending. You just saw the pontiff celebrate mass before thousands here in Abu Dhabi in this very stadium, just behind me. Soon a ceremony at the airport will bid him farewell as he prepares to return to Rome as he is the first Roman Catholic pope to visit the Arabian Peninsula.
Pope Francis brought with him a message of peace, a message that left some of the faithful visibly moved. That message was also extended to Christian, to Jewish and to Muslim leaders. He urged them to and I quote, "demilitarize the human heart."
We will have a lot more from Abu Dhabi as I reflect with my guests here on what has been a momentous three days. First, I'll let you go back to Rosemary, who has more news at CNN Center.
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you so much, Becky. We will talk to you again very soon.
Well, more than a dozen countries are now calling on Venezuela's military to support opposition leader Juan Guaido. The LIMA Group that was formed in 2017 to bring an end to the crisis in Venezuela. They met in Canada on Monday urging a peaceful transition to democracy, free and fair elections and respect for human rights. Guaido, who declared himself acting president last month also got the support of more than a dozen European countries on Monday.
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JUAN GUAIDO, SELF-DECLARED ACTING VENEZUELAN PRESIDENT (through translator): There is recognition by friends, liberty, equality, fraternity from Germany, from Spain, United Kingdom, Polonia, Lithuania, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Portugal, Estonia, of more than 20 nations is there recognition to all of you Venezuelan that have never stopped fighting and we will not stop from doing it until we reach democracy and freedom in Venezuela.
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CHURCH: Meantime, Venezuela's sitting President Nicolas Maduro ignored a Sunday deadline from E.U. countries to call new elections. His foreign ministry says the U.S. is leading an effort to topple him.
CNN's Isa Soares has more now from neighboring Colombia.
ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is feeling the weight of the world on his shoulders. And if these images are anything to go by, he's hiding it well.
In the last 24 hours, a host of European Nations have thrown their support behind national assembly leader and self-declared interim President Juan Guido, this after Maduro failed to respond to Europe's ultimatum to call early presid3ential elections.
Despite the loss of support and the tens of thousands who protested against him at the weekend, Maduro isn't budging, standing and sounding defiant. Speaking to Spanish television, he had this message for U.S. President Donald Trump.
NICOLAS MADURO, PRESIDENT OF VENEZUELA (through translator): Stop, stop Donald Trump. You are making mistakes. There are going to stay in your hands with blood.
SOARES: Meanwhile, the LIMA Group of nations meeting in Ottawa, Canada, are promising to help the millions of Venezuelans who are struggling to survive as they face hunger, corruption, and hyperinflation. Germany is promising more than $5 million in aid. Canada is stepping up too.
JUSTIN TRUDEAU, PRIME MINISTER, CANADA: Canada is stepping up and announcing $53 million to address the most pressing needs of Venezuelans on the ground including the almost 3 million refugees.
SOARES: The first round of humanitarian aid is expected to be making its way to Kukuta(ph), the border between Colombia and Venezuela by the end of this week.
GUAIDO (through translator): This is not a right or left issue. It is about human beings. This is an emergency. It is a crisis. We are announcing this immediately and making the determination for this to enter the country and for it to be distributed efficiently and where it is most needed.
SOARES: This will no doubt rattled Nicolas Maduro who says that Venezuela is not a country of beggars and who has even denied they even being a humanitarian crisis. The challenge will be on the military and where their allegiance implies with the people or with Maduro.
Isa Soares, CNN, Bogota, Columbia.
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CHURCH: And coming up, we will look back on this extraordinary day, one that made history as our special coverage of the pope's visit to the Arabian Peninsula continues. Back in just a moment.
[03:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ANDERSON: Welcome back to Abu Dhabi where Pope Francis has wrapped up his historic visit to the UAE, celebrated mass here at the Zayed's Sports City, where crowds inside the stadium and those watching on screens outside totaled more than, I'm being told, 160,000 people. Well, the pope about to return to Rome after what has been this whirlwind trip to the Arabian Peninsula. His visit is a symbol of peace, hope and understanding for so many people.
Well, John Defterios has been among the crowds outside the Zayed Sports City all morning. And the crowd certainly thinning out. Now, you can almost hear a pin drop within this stadium. We've been discussing how orderly everything has been, both for those getting in and those getting out. How have people enjoyed this occasion? John, what have they been telling you?
DEFTERIOS: Yes. Exactly, Becky. You know, I never saw one usher here. Even as people cleared out, that is how orderly it was. Obviously, ushers at the exits and ushers when they did the Holy Communion, but people ease their way out of the grounds here. There's a concert, you can hear the music, for those who want to stick around here at the Zayed Sports City where we are located.
At a distance, you can see the hashtag, you see some of the parishioners taking pictures of the Pope Francis UAE hashtag that's here. And we have one parishioner that is from originally Goa (ph) has lived in the UAE for 11 years. John Manuel Fernandez, nice to have you. Thanks for staying around. You were really moved right by the process.
JOAO FERNANDEZ, GOAN EXPATRIATE: Great.
DEFTERIOS: Twenty seven percent of population, the majority of the population is from India and there is a great turn out from your community.
FERNANDEZ: We left morning at about 12:30 in the morning and we are here by 1:30. From 1:30 to 10:30 we're just struggling. We are waiting for the Pope Francis to see him passing through his pope mobile. It was amazing. Eleven years I'm in Abu Dhabi, 11 years I'm in Abu Dhabi, I couldn't imagine.
Thanks to the leaders. I salute the leaders of UAE for making this day possible for each and every Catholic person to be so joyful laborers (ph). Actually, the chair of the Pope Francis coming into this country and uniting two brotherhood, Muslim and Christians, to unite together, one brotherhood and the peace, what is gone to be a channel for each and every nation.
DEFTERIOS: In fact this is the year of tolerance. And you've lived here for, you know, nearly a dozen years now. Do you think that that message can resonate beyond the borders of the UAE because this is a very rough region, one that has been in turmoil, as you know, since the Arab spring? 3Does it resonate for a long, long period of time in your view?
FERNANDEZ: Exactly. It was a message to -- will go to the nations, beyond the borders of UAE because every leader must be watching today, this day, how these great leaders have come together to proclaim this peace and unity and bring that solidarity into their nation, to their country. So, I believe this message of peace definitely will be passed on to each and every leader of each and every nation.
DEFTERIOS: Do you think it will bring the peace that Pope Francis was talking about because he had a very direct but elegant message saying that we had to listen to the cries of the women and the children of Yemen and we need a resolution and 2019 should not just be a year of tolerance, but one of resolution? Is it possible now, with all the symbolism and having the Grand Imam from Egypt here as well, Al-Azhar, do you think it's possible now, realistically?
FERNANDEZ: Definitely it's possible. The process should changes heart, of course. Every person can change that, especially the leaders of each and every country should, actually it's wisdom, divine wisdom to act his heart and then only, they can carry forward and they can change. The women are lacking to come forward, the down bottom people.
[03:50:11] They can lift tradition up because these are the small people who have chose the leaders to (inaudible). So, leaders should be in their position to bring them up, to lift them up because god has made leaders to unite everyone, to bring one family.
DEFTERIOS: I think, Pope Francis was saying, I can deliver the message, I can bring people together, but it's up to them to unify, right, in the future, to have these communities deepen their unity, I think.
FERNANDEZ: Yes. The -- Pope Francis really wants to be pass in each and every heart, each and every heart should understand what is the meaning of peace first. Peace is nothing that will unite together, but it is the forgiveness, to forgive each other and then only the unity and peace will win. If in your own family there is no peace, how can you bring peace into the nation?
DEFTERIOS: Very profound message you're giving actually. It's nice for you step aside and talk to us. FERNANDEZ: Thank you.
DEFTERIOS: Jose Manuel Fernandez, originally from Goa, but living in Abu Dhabi. My pleasure, thanks for your time.
FERNANDEZ: Thank you very much.
DEFTERIOS: So Becky, you can hear the message through every single person we've spoken to over the last three hours and then even during the mass of Pope Francis really resonate the message of peace, but it has to start with the family and then carry on beyond that to have the religions has side to poor family as well.
ANDERSON: Yes. Fascinating. Thank you, John. Joining me once again an Emirati diplomat, Omar Saif Ghobash, historian Peter Hellyer, and Jaber al Lamki from the National Media Council here. Let's talk legacy. John has been talking to people in the audience outside the tens of thousands of people who Jaber helped organize logistics for, which has been an effort in and of itself. But let's talk legacy. What in the end was the point of this visit, Jaber?
JABER AL LAMKI, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, UAE NATIONAL MEDIA COUNCIL: See, Becky, what we have just witnessed in the last couple of hours is history. People from all different walks of life they come here and they think one important thing that we need to see that this was a snapshot of what is the UAE is all about. It is about co-existence, it's about respecting individuals and their differences and living in peace and harmony.
You have more than 200 nationalities here feeling safe. They feel the UAE is home to them. And I think the message from Abu Dhabi to the world like we can really live together.
Today as we have been told just a few minutes ago, about 160,000 people were coming from all around the place not just only in the Zayed but even outside the compound of the Zayed Sports City.
Those people and having this well organized, I think, I would like to send a big message and thank you to the UAE nationals and all the workforce who have been on the ground, who had been deployed, trying to really showcase what is the UAE is all about. It is about love and peace, it is about giving a chance for us to co-exist and disregard our differences and our beliefs in terms of being very tight, holding tight to your own ideologies and concepts of violence and hate speech.
ANDERSON: If this legacy then, Omar, is of peace, the pope urging during a speech last night, the idea of demilitarizing the human heart, is this a year of peace, genuinely, can we genuinely say this has been an historic moment for this region. Can we genuinely say that 2019 will be a year of peace for Yemen and for so many other people in this region who live in a state of crisis and conflict?
OMAR SAIF GHOBASH, EMIRATI DIPLOMAT: I think we can genuinely say we hope for peace and we want peace and none of us want to go into war. And you know, my son is going to be entering the military as soon as he finishes school in June. So this is something personal for many of us.
And what I would say is that the stadium behind us is now empty, but nobody can take away the fact from us the fact that the pope did come here, that he did his mass and that we have reached out to each other, Arab Muslims and to Catholic Christians to set the tone for the coming years.
I think it is going to be very interesting and important to observe the kinds of reactions we see in the media in the next few days as well as the reaction from the clerical establishment across the region, in Iran, in Morocco and other parts of the Arab world. So, it's going to be a very important to see how we then take this tolerance to the next level.
[03:55:07] ANDERSON: As we speak, the pope, well, it's a farewell relief from the Crowned Prince here and other Emirati leaders this -- I mean, you can hardly hear a pin drop, it has to be said, here, at the speed at which this stadium was empty. I mean, the logistics I have to say, you know, with respect from you, Jaber, and those who's have been involved in the entire effort, I mean, it is absolutely remarkable, the orderly fashion.
I mean, you wouldn't expect people to be fighting, obviously, on their way out from something like this, but it has been incredibly orderly to the extent that it was only what -- you know, half an hour or so ago that the mass finished here and Pete, for the pope now on his way out. What's the legacy of this trip to your mind?
PETER HELLYER, UAE HISTORIAN AND WRITER: I think first the legacy is not just about the pope's visit, historic though that is, is something Omar brought up early on which is the courage of those who came together here in Abu Dhabi this week.
It is Pope Francis, it's the Grand Imam Al-Azhar and invited by Abu Dhabi's Crowned Prince, Mohammed bin Zayed, the courage of those men to bring this meeting together, knowing that within the region, within the Catholic Church, within from the Islam, there will be people who will not be very happy with what's happening, but the commitment to working together, human fraternity, is the target of the declaration of the sign that has been displayed by the Pope Francis and by the Sheikh Al-Azhar, I think that is the beginnings of the legacy.
At the end of the declaration, the two of them said what we need to do is push this need for discussion, the promotion of human fraternity out into education, into the schools, into the families, in to the faiths and that is where we will see the legacy, a good start has been made by three very courageous men. And I think provided that the message that they have given us is listened to, is heard around is acted upon, then we will see a legacy.
ANDERSON: It is four minutes to 1 in the afternoon here and these is -- are the closing images of Pope Francis as he says goodbye to the leadership here in the UAE and he will head for Rome. This country will be left to reflect on what has been achieved over the past three days.
Thank you for joining us for our special coverage of the Pope's historic visit to Abu Dhabi. I'm Becky Anderson, here in the UAE.