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South Korea: Unidentified Projectiles Fires by North Korea; South Korea Reporting 4,212 Total Cases, 22 Deaths; Asian Markets Rebounding after Last Week's Declines; Pete Buttigieg Ends Campaign for U.S. President; Polls Predict Another Stalemate in Israel; U.S. Confirms Second Death from Coronavirus; U.S. Signs Historic Agreement with Taliban; Taliban Negotiator is Interviewed about Peace Agreement. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired March 2, 2020 - 00:00   ET


NATALIE ALLEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: From CNN center in Atlanta, hello everyone. I'm Natalie Allen.


Coming up next here on CNN NEWSROOM, Asian markets are on the rebound as coronavirus works its way around the world, and the number of cases mount.

Pete Buttigieg drops out of the U.S. Democratic primaries, possibly handing Joe Biden a big boost as he tries to seeks to best Bernie Sanders this Super Tuesday.

And Israeli voters are casting their ballots at a record third election, hoping to break the political deadlock that has gripped the government for nearly one year.

Thank you for joining us. We will get to all of those stories in just a moment. But first, we want to begin with breaking news. North Korea has fired two unidentified projectiles into the sea, according to the South Korean defense ministry. It says they were released from the eastern city of Wonsan.

This comes just a couple of days after leader Kim Jong-un made a rare public appearance to oversee military drills.

CNN's Paula Hancocks is live for us in Seoul, and she follows these stories often for us. What do we know about this, Paula?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Natalie, what we have at this point is two unidentified projectiles. We know the South Korean military is monitoring, they say, for any impossible additional launches.

And they are off the east coast into the sea. What we'll be waiting to see is the trajectory, the altitude, to see what kind of projectile this might have been, if in fact, it was a missile.

So we really have to wait and see what the details are. But it does come, as you say, a couple of days after we did see Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, guiding a joint strike drill of the KPA units, the Korean People's Army units. And this was really the first time in a while that we had seen the North Korean leader. We haven't seen much of him since the coronavirus crisis has hit.

We know that North Korea has shut its borders. You know that some of the foreign diplomats are going to likely be evacuating on a flight this Friday, according to a source. And we also know that the U.S. and South Korea have decided to postpone their military drill.

So this just shows that North Korea is continuing as normal. It does surprise some, the fact that they would still want to have these military drills at the same time as they are very publicly fighting coronavirus. You see it on the news, pretty much every day, showing disinfecting, showing they have officials going around the country trying to make sure that everybody is safe.

Up until this point, North Korea has not recorded publicly a single case of coronavirus. But it just shows that, despite all this going on, North Korea is continuing business as usual -- Natalie.

ALLEN: Absolutely. All right. Paula Hancocks for us there. Thank you, Paula.

Well, now we turn to coronavirus. There is a troubling new development at the epicenter of the outbreak in China. The World Health Organization says Hubei province has seen an uptick in new cases for two straight days. The number of new cases had been declining there.

Right now, the global number of infections starts at more than 88,000. More than 3,000 people have died.

In the United States, President Donald Trump announced new screening measures for people arriving from what he called high-risk countries.

And on the West Coast, the second U.S. death from the virus is confirmed in Washington state. Officials are investigating a possible outbreak at a long-term nursing facility near Seattle, Washington.

The outbreak is also affecting Israel's elections. They have set up 16 polling places for nearly 6,000 people under self-quarantine.

And South Korea just reported nearly 500 new cases, bringing their total to nearly more than 42 huntry [SIC] -- hundred, excuse me. That comes after Italy reported more than 500 new cases over the weekend.

For more on South Korea's surge in new cases, I'm joined by CNN senior international correspondent Ivan Watson. Ivan, I'm told you're outside of a car wash there. What's going on?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Not quite a car wash. I'll explain in a second. South Korea has had a surge in coronavirus cases, from 31 to more than 4,200 in just two weeks.

[00:05:06] One of the somewhat innovative ways that authorities have come up with for expediting the testing of coronavirus -- and nationally, they have tested more than 100,000 people -- is right here in the city of Goyang.

They have a drive-through testing facility that has been operating for about a week. So I'm going to walk you through it. People come in here, and let me point out that this is free. It is a free service that the city is offering. And you don't even have to be a resident of the city. You don't even have to make an appointment.

So people drive in. They get hand sanitizer, driving their cars. And they're handed a questionnaire at this location. Then they spin around over to here, where you get your temperature checked by the nurses who, as you can see, are in protective gear. And at no point does anybody get out of the car.

You can see that they're consulting with a driver here and going through the questionnaire.

I've done this process. So questions include things like have you been to the city of Daegu? That's that southern city where more than half of all the country's coronavirus cases have been diagnosed. That's where the big cluster, the epidemic, the outbreak, is at its worst and is struggling the worst.

This city of Goyang has only identified six cases thus far.

And then you can see that each car comes through this process, and then they end up here, where people are sampled. The sample itself, and you can see that this nurse has just taken a swab. They actually job is swab very far up your nostril. It's rather uncomfortable, but it only takes a second or two. And then they conduct a swab of your throat.

And the that goes into a vial and into that cooler.

If you are already symptomatic, as in you have a fever, you have a cold, those kind of symptoms, then they'll send you to a temporary quarantine, and you'll get your test results in hours.

Alternatively, as in my case, I just went through the test. You'll have to wait two or three days to get those test results.

And also, another protective feature for the nurses who are working here, there's this kind of cleaning booth. And they get sprayed with disinfectant.

The mayor of this town says he was inspired to do this by the drive- through's at Starbucks and McDonald's. And the argument in favor of this is they can do it much faster than in a building. There's less exposure between the nurses and doctors, and patients who may be carrying this. And there's less risk of patients sharing coronavirus amongst themselves when they're in a waiting room -- Natalie.

ALLEN: Yet another wonderful idea to try to curb these cases. Thanks for taking us through it, Ivan. Ivan Watson in South Korea for us.

Well, global markets are starting to rebound after the coronavirus caused huge sell-offs last week. Right now, Asian stocks are up, and so are U.S. futures.

A week ago, the virus wiped out roughly $6 trillion in global stock market value. In response, the World Health Organization director- general urged markets not to panic. He told CNBC network this. This is a quote: "Global markets should calm down and try to see the reality. We need to continue to be rational. Irrationality doesn't help. We need to deal with the facts."

Well, let's take that to journalist Kaori Enjoji. She joins me now live from Tokyo, watching these numbers. And irrationality, yes, that's probably not what is needed right now, Kaori.

KAORI ENJOJI, JOURNALIST: Absolutely not. I mean, today started off on a rough note. And it looked like it might be a repeat of what we saw last week and the huge sell-off.

But midway through the morning session, the Bank of Japan, which is the central bank here in Japan, made a very rare move. They issued a statement and said, basically said we're going -- we are prepared to provide the capital markets with enough liquidity if a crisis happens. And it's very unusual for them to issue a written statement like this, on an ad hoc basis.

And this really triggered the rebound that we're seeing in the Tokyo equity market. It's currently at 0.8 percent. But remember, the market lost nearly 10 percent last week. So we are not -- you know, not out of the woods yet.

And as Shanghai and the Hong Kong markets came aboard, they started to rally, as well, triggering a U-turn there, as well.


We're even seeing oil prices move higher, as well. So today, we are trying -- investors seem to be trying to make up for last week's losses. But in no way does that mean that people aren't still concerned about insulating themselves for the possibility of a recession globally.

I think the fact that the Bank of Japan made this statement so close to a similar statement made by the U.S. Federal Reserve last week, the market, traders are telling me that there's a lot of chatter in the markets about possibly a coordinated move by central bankers around the world, who have been talking about, you know, pushing liquidity into the markets. And they might make a joint move sometime this week. And all of that is helping to turn around sentiment this Monday here in Asia -- Natalie.

ALLEN: All right. Another week is upon us. Kaori Enjoji in Tokyo. Thank you, Kaori.

Well, just ahead of Super Tuesday, Democrat Pete Buttigieg has bowed out of the U.S. presidential race. He made the announcement Sunday night in front of a spirited hometown crowd in South Bend, Indiana.

Buttigieg was the first gay candidate to earn presidential primary delegates for a major party's nomination. But he had a tough time pulling in voters of color, and that is a key Democratic base.

He did not endorse any of the remaining candidates during his speech. But Buttigieg did imply the nation will hear more from him.


PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And we have a responsibility to consider the effect of remaining in this race any further. I will no longer seek to be the 2020 Democratic nominee for president, but I will do everything in my power to ensure that we have a new Democratic president come January.


ALLEN: Joining me now, Dr. James Boys. He's a political analyst, an expert of U.S. political history, and the author of the book "Clinton's War on Terror: Redefining U.S. Security Strategy."

Dr. Boys, thanks for coming on.

BOYS: Thank you, Natalie. It's great to speak to you.

ALLEN: All right. Well, let's begin with Pete Buttigieg. He won the first contest for the Democrats. He won Iowa and then bows out right before Super Tuesday. Did that surprise you?

BOYS: Well, I think the challenge is that it was very difficult to see quite where Pete Buttigieg's campaign was going to be going. They have to be able to see a route, I think, to the nomination. Otherwise, they're just going to act as spoilers.

And when you look at the states that are going to be voting come Tuesday, there's giant states like Texas, California, for example. States like Massachusetts. It was very difficult to see where Pete Buttigieg was going to pick up any serious delegates, when you see the polling for the moment and who it is that's leading.

He was, I think, at great risk of coming in under the 15 percent floor in many of those states and basically getting no return whatsoever for his money.

So I think this was a wise choice. It certainly helps Joe Biden, I think, coming out of his victory in South Carolina, as well.

ALLEN: Well, let's talk quickly about the Buttigieg campaign. When he first came on the scene, all of us here at CNN were like where, what, South Bend? What's this guy's name? And look where he went. He talked about values and what he stood for with his followers when he bowed out. But he also talked about being the first openly gay candidate who won delegates in the primary.

So what does his candidacy say in the bigger picture? BOYS: There's no doubt about it, I think, that Pete Buttigieg has --

has certainly broken boundaries within the Democratic Party. He has, as you rightly said there, been the first openly gay candidate to pick up delegates moving forward, even through this primary season.

But I think the challenge is that he spoke with a relatively narrow part of the Democratic Party. And as I'm sure many of your viewers are aware, the Democratic Party is a very broad church, and you need to get a very broad coalition if you're going to win the presidency. And that involves getting the African-American community, which it looked like Pete Buttigieg was really struggling to claw onto. We saw the results in South Carolina, for example.

And again, if you look at the states that are going to be voting on Tuesday, those states in the south, it looked particularly unlikely, I think, that he was going to be moving forward.

So I think he's got a bright future. He's done perhaps better than expected this time around. I would certainly say that it's not the last we're going to hear of Mayor Pete.

ALLEN: Right. His followers, of course, chanting 2024. So we shall see about that.

So Tom Steyer's out. Pete Buttigieg is out. Klobuchar, Warren hanging in right before Super Tuesday. Now we've got Biden with the momentum. We have Bernie at the top. And then enter wild-card Bloomberg. What do you expect on Super Tuesday?

BOYS: Well, it's going to be a wild ride, I think, Natalie. If you look at the states that are going to be voting. You know, it looks like Joe Biden, despite the big bounce he's getting in terms of fundraising coming out of South Carolina, he appears to be writing off California. It looks like, I think, Sanders is going to do very, very well there. Likely in Texas, we may have the unbelievable sight of a socialist winning the Democratic primary in Texas. Who thought that possible?

It looks also as though Bernie Sanders, who is here in Boston, very much nipping at the heels of Elizabeth Warren, he's also going to be trying very hard to embarrass Klobuchar in her home state, as well.

So I think it's going to be a good night for Bernie Sanders. The big question, I think, is how much can Joe Biden nip at his heels and pick up those -- those voters which are now going to peel off, I think, from Pete Buttigieg.

The great wild card is -- is Bloomberg, quite frankly. He's spending a fortune, astronomical amounts of money. He's betting the farm on Super Tuesday. And if we look at some of the polling, which I appreciate we may have to take with a pinch of salt because of Buttigieg's sudden exit. Bloomberg coming away with very little to show for his investment, I think.

ALLEN: Yes. If I could just correct you, he's actually betting the farms. That's how much money he's spending. Seriously. BOYS: Yes, indeed. All the farms.

ALLEN: All of the farms. Exactly.

Well, I was reading an article by Tom Friedman in "The New York Times," an acclaimed columnist and author, who said if the Democratic Party doesn't unite at some point, it cannot be a Bernie Sanders wing; it cannot be a Biden wing. It's got to unite, or it will not beat Donald Trump. How critical is that, in your view?

BOYS: Yes, that's right. There's no doubt about it. If you go back four years to 2016, it's important to remember that Donald Trump in most of the primaries was not the -- was not favored by the majority of voters in those states.

But he was backed by the largest minority of voters. So he was routinely winning at those primaries with sort of 35, 45 percent of the vote. All that meant was that if the rest of the delegates had dropped out, it was entirely possible that a stop Trump candidate could have emerged if that had happened early enough.

ALLEN: All right. We appreciate your insights and your expertise. Dr. James Boys, thanks so much for coming on.

BOYS: Thank you, Natalie.

ALLEN: Well, there is an election right now in Israel. And will the third time be the charm? With polls now open for yet another vote, we look at whether the stalemate between the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and rival Benny Gantz can finally be broken.

Also ahead here.


NIC ROBERTS, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Why should the United States trust you now?


ALLEN: A CNN exclusive interview with a Taliban negotiator who opens up about the historic agreement signed with the U.S. to work towards peace. Stay with us. Much more ahead.



ALLEN: The polls are open in Israel for the third election in less than a year. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is running for an unprecedented fifth term, even as he faces trial on corruption charges later this month.

His main challenger: former Army chief Benny Gantz of the centrist Blue and White Party. And journalist Elliott Gotkine is in Jerusalem following this for us.

And Elliott, as I understand it, polls are predicting another stalemate.

ELLIOTT GOTKINE, JOURNALIST: That's right, Natalie. You know, they say that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Yet here we are, as you say, Israel's third election in the space of a year. Effectively, a third referendum on Prime Minister Netanyahu's rule.

But there is no hope, according to the opinion polls, of there being a different outcome. The polls do point to more political deadlock. The deadlock that has persisted these past 12 months will continue, according to the last polls, the last of which was allowed to be published on Friday.

Now, there has been some movement momentum, according to the polls. It does seem to be a little more towards Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party. But even then, even with his rock-solid support of his allies on the right, he still doesn't get the numbers to get over 60 seats and Israel's Knesset, the parliament here, and enabling him to form a governing coalition.

It should also be said that the numbers don't work for Benny Gantz's Blue and White Party either. The result, most likely, as polls are suggesting, will be another stalemate and more elections after the summer, perhaps in September.

ALLEN: Well, what does it mean, Elliott, the stalemate, when you factor in that Mr. Netanyahu is seeking reelection two weeks before he's due to stand trial on corruption charges? Is that what's causing this? No one quite knows what to do with him at this point?

GOTKINE: I don't think that his charges are causing this political deadlock. Those people that support Netanyahu and his right-wing allies agree with Netanyahu that this is all a witch hunt brought about by a liberal elite. And therefore, they don't believe these -- these charges leveled at Netanyahu, which, of course, he denies. And they will continue to support him.

Likewise, those who oppose Netanyahu believe the charges and will continue to oppose him. So but it's still an incredible fact, when you think about it, that we are just a couple of weeks away from Netanyahu going to trial over these charges, and yet it doesn't seem to be having any impact, really, on the way that people are voting.

ALLEN: We're seeing. All right, Elliott Gotkine for us, following it. Thank you very much, Elliott, for your reporting in Jerusalem.

Well, the novel coronavirus keeps spreading across the United States and has killed a second person in the country, also someone in New York state now with the virus.

What will it take to slow the outbreak, and what should people do? We talk with an expert about that, coming next.



ALLEN: The United States has reported its second death from the coronavirus. Officials say a man in his seventies died Saturday in Washington state, the same area where the first death was confirmed.

So far at least 89 cases have been reported across the country. Sixteen of them are in California, 13 in Washington state. And the U.S. vice president warns the number of cases could continue to rise.


MIKE PENCE (R), U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: We could have more. We could have more sad news, but the American people should know the risk for the average American remains low. And they can be confident. And after three days leading the president's effort on the coronavirus, I'm more confident than ever that we are bringing a whole of government approach.


ALLEN: Meantime, President Trump has announced new screening procedures for travelers entering America. He says they will now be screened as soon as they arrive in the country.

Let's talk more about the United States' response with CNN security analyst, Juliette Kayyem. She joins me from Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Juliette, good to see you. We just heard the vice president there saying that they're confident, they're ahead of this. Your expertise is preparedness. Do you think the United States has been prepared for the spread of this virus, and from what you can tell, doing all we need to do at this juncture?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN SECURITY ANALYST: Not at this stage. I think the best evidence of that is, of course, the deficiencies in testing that we have had for the last month. We've had just a couple hundred of tests going on, or a couple thousand of tests going on. Our testing kits are not -- were not fully deployed. Some of them weren't working.


You know, we had a month, or more than a month, while China was trying to contain the virus to really prepare the American homeland for what we would obviously eventually get, just given the global nature of travel, which is some cases here in the United States.

So I think that that is one incident, one instance where sort of, you know, we have failed, we waited too long. There are others. And I think what that means now is that the American public is probably going to be a little bit surprised that, as this testing goes, and as we get these more cases, that our numbers are going to go exponentially up, just like as they did in Italy. As you test, you will find, and we are likely to find that there's a pervasiveness to the coronavirus in the United States that just went undetected until most recently.

ALLEN: Right. In the meantime, Americans were trying to figure out what do I do to stay safe? They seem confused. Many of us were told to wash our hands, but don't wear masks.


ALLEN: So what can you say to people about what we can do meantime, while the United States ramps up its efforts?

KAYYEM: Right. So a lot of this can reside in us, and I think that's really important. If you feel sick but take a responsibility to isolate yourself, to get testing, and for your family members to do the same until we know what it is.

I think washing hands is important, because it actually breaks down the virus. And so you can stop the spread. So there are basic things that we can do to sort of treat each other as part of a community.

There are other areas where we can do better. I think employers have to begin to prepare employees for what may happen. If they're allowed to telecommute, if school districts close, that's going to have a real impact on employers and employees, and what they're able to do.

And then, of course, supporting state and local government. This is -- this is not unlike a hurricane or a tornado. This is going to hit the local level first in terms of providing them with the resources they need.

What we do know is that already, you're going to have what's called the worried well. People who are just -- you know, they have a little bit of a fever, and they're worried that they have it. So our systems are going to be overwhelmed by this. And so the more that people like me, for example, who don't think that they've been exposed, can try to keep myself healthy and my children healthy, the less stress we put on a system that is clearly going to be overburdened by these cases.

ALLEN: And the president has put his vice president in charge of the response, Mike Pence. Of course, as governor of Indiana, he was criticized for not responding to HIV, and now he's in charge of this. Plus, he has another job as vice president.

KAYYEM: Right.

ALLEN: Do we need a coronavirus czar, a medical leader, a research leader? I know that the United States has been a global leader on pandemics in the past.

KAYYEM: Right.

ALLEN: We set the standard for containment. Are we doing that, though?

KAYYEM: So the governance issue is, I think, really complicated. I was -- on CNN, I was complimentary of the press conference on Saturday that the White House had. I think they really did let the experts lead. They showed a soberness, which I think that the president hadn't show before about the magnitude of this, and the stress and the fears that the American public have.

I'm not a big fan of having a political person the head of an incident, what we call an incident command in a crisis. I teach crisis management. The reason why is you actually want decisions, very difficult decisions. These are decisions that are -- you know, when you're in a crisis, most people are unhappy. You have to make difficult decisions. You want them made by experts based on the science and the medicine, or on non-political people, as we saw in the case of the Ebola czar choice of Ron Klain. People who can just drive resources and make sure that the federal government is speaking in one voice.

We'll see. It's only day three of Mike Pence. But I thought it was -- I thought it was -- I was not pleased with the choice, not simply because of, you know, the vice president's history with pandemics and AIDS and what happened when he was governor, but also, I just thought that having a political person at the lead always leads to -- can often lead to political decisions, rather than ones based on facts and science.

ALLEN: Right. Yes. And he did go to a political fundraiser after, you know, he made the announcement that he was taking charge. So we appreciate your expertise, as always. We'll talk with you again. Juliette Kayyem, thank you.

KAYYEM: Thank you. Good night. Bye.

ALLEN: Still to come here, CNN sits down with a Taliban negotiator to talk about the future of Afghanistan, women's rights and much more. That exclusive interview next here on CNN NEWSROOM.



ALLEN: Clashes are escalating between Turkish and Russian-backed Syrian forces around rebel-held Idlib in northern Syria. Both sides say Turkey shot down two Syrian warplanes there Sunday. Turkey also says it's destroyed Syrian air defense systems, helicopters, and dozens of tanks and neutralized more than 2,000 Syrian troops.

In recent days, Turkey ramped up its military operation after dozens of its soldiers were killed in an airstrike last week.

Taliban leaders expect to meet U.S. President Donald Trump in the coming days or weeks to discuss details of the historic agreement that could end the war in Afghanistan.

The deal calls for the U.S. to begin withdrawing thousands of troops over the next 135 days, with the goal of an eventual full withdrawal. But in return, the Taliban must commit to ending terror attacks in Afghanistan, including helping in the fight against ISIS and al-Qaeda.

One major sticking point is the release of thousands of Taliban prisoners and the exact timing of when that might occur. The Afghan president says his government has made no commitment to such a release without the Taliban meeting a lot of conditions.


ASHRAF GHANI, AFGHAN PRESIDENT: We will discuss the question of prisoners as part of a peace deal, which is to be comprehensive, which is to discuss. The wording that is used there is that the United States would facilitate.

We've made it very clear to Ambassador Khalilzad that the political capital, and the consensus in the country that would be necessary for such a major step does not exist today.


ALLEN: One day after the agreement was signed, CNN's Nic Robertson sat down for an exclusive interview with a Taliban negotiator and asked him to clarify some key details about the deal.


ROBERTSON: Well, before the ink barely dried on that agreement, already a hurdle in the way. The Taliban expect the Afghan government to release what they believe are 5,000 of their prisoners before the Taliban say they will go into the intra-Afghan talks with the Afghan government, expected to begin on the 10th of March.

The Afghan government, for its part, believes that is too many prisoners too soon. They're not ready for that. So that first round of intra-Afghan talks, the timeline on that could slide.

But a big question going into this, is the position of the Taliban. Are they going into this believing they're coming in as victors, something Secretary of State Pompeo warned them against. I asked that of one of the Taliban negotiators. Do they think they beat the Americans?

Does the Taliban believe the United States has been defeated militarily?

MUHAMMAD SUHAIL SHAHEEN, TALIBAN NEGOTIATOR/SPOKESMAN: We reached a solution through talks. That means, when you reach a solution through talks, that means that it is a win-win situation for both sides.


ROBERTSON: Why should the United States trust you now, when you say that you will now go after al-Qaeda and go after ISIS? Because the Taliban have been allowing al Qaeda to live inside their territory in Afghanistan for the past 20 years.

SHAHEEN: It is our policy that anyone who wants to use the asylum (ph) of Afghanistan for their goals against other country, and harm our country, our people, we will not allow them.

ROBERTSON: When it comes to al-Qaeda, are you turning your back on your Muslim brothers of many years, of many decades, to support the United States, a Christian country in their national security?

SHAHEEN: It is a question of our -- our policy, that if someone harms other countries from Afghanistan and on our territory, and we have declared a law that they should not do this, it means that we have to take steps to prevent them. Because this is the law.

ROBERTSON: Well, another big question, particularly if the Taliban, as they do, believe that the Afghan government right now under President Ghani is an illegitimate government, the question is what is the future government going to look like? Will be there -- will there be a new constitution? And what will the role of women be? That's not written down in the agreement between the United States and the Taliban.

Again, the Taliban involved in the negotiations explain to me their views.

Will it have a new constitution, this new government?

SHAHEEN: Yes, sure. I think they must have constitution, a new constitution in the country. New with that -- that means -- means the constitution of that patient (ph) time, so it will not have credibility in terms (ph) of the people.

ROBERTSON: What guarantees are you going to give in that constitution for the education of women and the role of women in society?

SHAHEEN: Yes. About the role of women, their education, their education, because women want to have education. And women want to have right of work. We do not have any problem with that.

ROBERTSON: And education up to which age?

SHAHEEN: Yes, yes. No problem which -- the higher -- higher education. That's not the problem.

ROBERTSON: Higher education for women?

SHAHEEN: Only the issue is the Islamic hijab, they observe. Because it is an Islamic society.

ROBERTSON: So the Afghan government, and the Taliban poles apart. The Taliban see the Afghan government as illegitimate. The Afghan government has what they call an Islamic republic. The Taliban want an Islamic emirate.

So many fundamentals still in play. And it's not clear that all of this can actually lead to peace. But the -- the signature between the United States and the Taliban, it represents an opportunity. Far from a done deal, though.

Nic Robertson, CNN, Doha, Qatar.


ALLEN: Thank you for watching. I'm Natalie Allen. Be sure to follow me on Twitter, @AllenCNN. I'm back in 15 minutes with more news for you. Stay with us now for WORLD SPORT.