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CNN Intnerational: Ceasefire Takes Effect in Nagorno-Karabakh; Raisi: Exchange Prompted by Humanitarian Motives; Greek PM Announces Extra Funding to Fight Climate Change; Ukraine May be Striking Wagner- Backed Forces in Sudan; Britain's King Charles, Queen Camilla in Paris. Aired 9-10a ET

Aired September 20, 2023 - 09:00   ET




RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR NEWSROOM: Hello and welcome to the CNN "Newsroom". I'm Richard Quest in New York. We have a busy hour ahead. There's a fragile ceasefire, just a Russian brokered plan to stop the fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh is now in effect.

Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenians both agree to lay down their arms in the breakaway region. A U.N. summit, as U.S. President Joe Biden will meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the forthcoming hours. They will discuss Iran and the potential for an Israeli Saudi diplomatic deal.

And Britain King Charles and Queen Camilla have started that three day state visit to France. The welcome ceremony is underway in Paris. We will be there in a moment. We started the ceasefire in Nagorno- Karabakh where Azerbaijan has agreed to suspend military operations in the breakaway region.

Ethnic Armenians there have also accepted he feud ceasefire proposal. It was a deal brokered by Russia. Moscow has confirmed that Russian peacekeepers will help implement the truce. Nic Robertson is live in London, Nic with me now.

This came almost out of out of nowhere, potentially blew up into something very serious and large. And it's difficult to understand now, how this ceasefire holds.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, Richard, I think you know, when we look at this for many people, Nagorno-Karabakh is something that they're aware of, and then they're aware of it and hadn't been focusing on what's been happening there.

But the Armenians for some time, I've been pointing out a lot of things that have been building to this moment, the blockade on the enclave, although it's an enclave that's within and is internationally recognized Azerbaijani territory, the buildup of Azerbaijani weapons around the enclave in the past few weeks.

So there have been a lot of clues. But this sudden bursting forward of tensions intense military escalation, yes, there is a ceasefire for talks tomorrow. The terms of those talks, that's a question mark, but the hard thing for the people of Nagorno-Karabakh was to suddenly wake up yesterday and find this violence exploding around them.


ROBERTSON (voice-over): Casualties from Azerbaijan's deadly artillery assault, rushed to hospital in the majority Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. The Armenian death toll growing as a historic foes fragile peace explodes into dangerous warfare with potentially disastrous consequences.

JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL: We are concerned and it is important that both parties now de-escalate.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): They've been here before two wars in the past 30 years over the disputed region. But in June, Azerbaijan began blocking the strategic latching corridor, the only link between Armenia proper and the 120,000 people living in the enclave, internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan humanitarian aid convoys were denied access.

Russian peacekeepers couldn't or wouldn't get them through. Food and fuel and the enclave were in short supply. Respected international lawyer, Luis Merino Champo wrote a legal opinion calling the blockade genocide, Azerbaijan disputes his analysis.

And in recent weeks, Armenians claimed Azerbaijani forces were massing weapons readying for a new offensive Tuesday their fears of attack were realized, the enclave's de facto capital Stepanakert, echoing to gun and artillery fire, frightened women and children cowering in the street.

OLGA GRIGORYAN, STEPANAKERT RESIDENT: We don't know how to live in such a situation? How to raise your children when you constantly live in stress, tension and no one wants to help you.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Civilian homes smashed as Azerbaijani officials claim they've launched an offensive against terrorists demanded the Armenian army leave.


And The Nagorno-Karabakh government disband and depart Armenia denies it's the aggressor.

NIKOL PASHINYAN, ARMENIAN PRIME MINISTER: Armenia is in no way involved in any military operation. And I reiterate that the Republic of Armenia has no army in Nagorno-Karabakh.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): EU politicians while calling for calm, also calling out Russia's peacekeepers in action, and Azerbaijan's intransigence.

ROBERTA METSOLA, EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT: Full condemnation of the actions that we saw earlier today, but also recognition that this is Russia at play, we are seeing yet another conflict, one sided attack.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): But escalation cannot be ruled out Azerbaijan's powerful neighbor Turkey risks fueling the fire.

RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, TURKISH PRESIDENT: Karabakh is the territory of Azerbaijan any other status imposed will never be accepted.


ROBERTSON (on camera): Now the Azerbaijan is very clearly feel that they have in an international law, they are Nagorno-Karabakh is their territory internationally recognized, but the concern for the Armenians right now is they think number one, the Russians have been playing it not a fair hand.

They've been sitting on their hands and not doing what they were supposed to do in terms of their peacekeeping arrangement. And the Armenians themselves have taken steps recently that might indeed have upset President Putin. They've trained with U.S. troops just last week they sent aid to Ukraine for the first time.

And they've also decided to accept the Rome statutes which would enforce the ICC call for President Putin to stand trial for war crimes in Ukraine. So those three things, but in terms of these talks tomorrow, that's the real concern for the Armenians because they expect it to be wholly on the Azerbaijani terms.

They feel weak at this situation, and that they think although there's a ceasefire today and talks tomorrow, the terms of those talks could end up forcing out many of the Armenian population within Nagorno- Karabakh, Richard.

QUEST: Nic Robertson in London watching events and will interpret more as the day moves on. Thank you, sir. So the war in Ukraine where fire has broken out at a major oil refinery in the central Ukrainian City of Kremenchuk, the target of course of a Russian drones.

Meanwhile, a crew of Togo registered cargo ship had been rescued by Romanian authorities after their vessel apparently hit a sea mine in the Black Sea. Katie Polglase has the details.

KATIE POLGLASE, CNN INVESTIGATIVE PRODUCER: Morning, Richard. Well, yes, this cargo ship is certainly quite alarming because these are civilians that were on board is a Togo cargo ship. They were rescued by the Romanian authorities 12 crew on board. They called me day distress call.

And we're then picked up and taken to the port of Salina in Romania, but very close to the border with Ukraine. And really, this encapsulates how heavily fought over and how disruptive this war has been to Black sea shipping and cargo ships in this area. It's a very risky journey, making this journey these days and clearly so.

Now it's worth pointing out, we don't know if this was a deliberate attack or an accident. There are many drones in this area, but is suspected to be a sea drone that hit the boat and exploded in the ship engine area and putting this into context of President Zelenskyy.

The Ukrainian President in the United States this week, it's worth pointing out that he mentioned attacks in the Black Sea. He mentioned specifically of course, he targeted Russia said Russia was behind them and said that this was part of weaponizing food security globally.

This became part of a pattern we saw in Zelenskyy speech throughout really saying that there was a global threat because of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Have a listen to what he said.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: We must act united to defeat the aggressor and focus all our capabilities and energy on addressing these challenges. While Russia is pushing the world to the final war, Ukraine is doing everything to ensure that after Russian aggression, no one in the world will dare to attack any nation.


POLGLASE: Now, clearly, he is talking about Ukraine, but he's trying to put this in the global context to make clear to world leaders that what is happening on his border could affect the world globally. Now, of course, this is coming as he is heading to D.C. to talk with lawmakers there to make it clear why U.S. funding is so desperately needed.

And why funding Ukraine is also an investment in global security and clearly a lot still to watch out for as U.S. funding. It's still very much up for debate.

QUEST: Katie in London, thank you, President Biden and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are set to meet for the first time since Mr. Netanyahu returned to power last year. The meeting will be about an hour later on the fringes of the U.N. General Assembly.


It's becoming an increasingly strained relationship as the Israeli Prime Minister's judicial overhaul efforts have faced criticism from Washington. Hadas Gold is with us from Jerusalem. And the Biden Administration has made their distaste very clear for these judicial reforms, whilst accepting of course, you know, it's an internal matter for Israel.

The Israeli Supreme Court is discussing is deciding now. So what will the relationship be like, between the two Prime Minister and President?

HADAS GOLD, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the conduct between the two of them in about an hour when we see them sit down will be very interesting, because you have almost been able to taste the reluctance from the Americans to set up this meeting. In fact, it took a while for us to even get confirmation on the day and the time and the location for this meeting. And it's a bit unusual it's been nine months now, since Benjamin Netanyahu took power once again in Israel, and never in recent memory. The last time it took this long for an Israeli Prime Minister and a U.S. President to meet face to face was back in the 1960s.

And that gives you a sense of sort of where this relationship stands right now between Israel and the United States. And notably, is that the meeting will be happening on the fringes of the U.N. General Assembly in New York at the hotel and not in the White House at the Oval Office.

And keep in mind that Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who's also at the U.N. also there. He is going right back down to D.C. to have that proper meeting with President Biden in the White House. And that is a very, very clear message from the White House to the Israelis, about how they see the relationship right now.

And most of this is over this new right wing government not really new anymore, but this right wing government, their conduct, their actions, but especially over the judicial reform. But in addition to the judicial overhaul where I'm sure President Biden will bringing up once again, his distaste for how it's been handled.

And his encouragement to try to have these really government reach a broad consensus on this. We'll be hearing about Saudi Arabia normalization, we'll be hearing about the Palestinians in the West Bank, and Iran. And I expect the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will use many of the same words we heard him use with Elon Musk.

Earlier this week where he'll say, yes, I want to reach a consensus on judicial reform, I want to reach a moderate position. But Richard, when you hear Benjamin Netanyahu and his government speak in Hebrew to Israelis, you get a different sort of message than the one he sends to the Americans in English.

QUEST: Let's just pause and talk Saudi Arabia for a second. The U.S. is very keen on a security pact of some sort with Saudi Arabia, in many ways, adding Saudi to the Abraham Accords in some shape or form, is the next logical step. But is it something that Netanyahu is prepared to do yet?

GOLD: I mean Benjamin Netanyahu would love to have normalization with Saudi Arabia. He talks about it all the time. He's very open about it, he wants it. But one thing that is clear is that in order for this normalization to happen, there will have to be some sort of significant movement on the Palestinian issue.

Now, we're not talking about necessarily the establishment of a Palestinian state, but there will be have to be some significant changes, whether that will be money, whether there will be other sort of guarantees. But there is a big question, because whatever Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister may want to do.

You have to keep in mind is who is sitting around him in his cabinet. And these are extremists. These are right wingers. These are people who have made very, very, sometimes disturbing comments about the Palestinians, some of them have been very clear. They don't believe a Palestinian state should exist.

Some of them have even said the Palestinian Authority shouldn't exist. So there is a bit of disconnect here. How could Benjamin Netanyahu get through these sorts of big changes potential concessions to the Palestinians for this normalization agreement, while he has these people sitting in government beside him?

We may have to see actually, the sort of fall of this government, perhaps a new unity government comes together, before we might be able to see any sort of Israeli-Saudi normalization.

QUEST: Hadas Gold is in Jerusalem, will watch and interpret that meeting with the President coming up later, thank you. As five Americans detained in Iran recover and reunite with their families back on U.S. soil. Fareed Zakaria has spoken exclusively to the Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, about the deal with the U.S. and what made it happen. Here is part of that conversation.


FAREED ZAKARIA, HOST OF FAREED ZAKARIA GPS: I know relations between your government and the United States are still very strained. But does this deal mean that you are able to work with the United States government on issues of mutual interest.

EBRAHIM RAISI, IRANINAN PRESIDENT: The issue of exchange of prisoners that is at the core of your question. We did something that was prompted by humanitarian motives and those individuals who are imprisoned in the United States whom up to the point that we were informed.


Our information indicated that they were unjustly imprisoned, but the folks who were imprisoned in Iran, they had committed crimes. And their complaints have gone through the legal system and they were condemned. And there was an opportunity for this exchange to take place.

And this exchange was, as I said, prompted by purely humanitarian motives. And I do think that accomplishment was something that led to the happiness of the families of the prisoners, as well as haven't been able to show the true face of our humanitarian motives and efforts.


QUEST: And you can see the full interview on this Sunday on Fareed Zakaria GPS which is 10 o'clock in the morning New York time. As we continue the climate crisis talks with Turkey and an airport listing, plenty to discuss with the Greek Prime Minister.


QUEST: It's that time of the day when leaders from around the world are converging in New York for the UNGA, United Nations General Assembly. The Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is here. Ahead of his trip to the U.S, The Prime Minister stressed the importance of reopening communication channels with Turkey.

Tensions between the two nations have fled since 2020 after a naval standoff, relations, perhaps beginning to thaw, after Greece sent aid to Turkey following the devastating earthquake earlier this year. The Turkish President and the Greek Prime Minister are expected to meet on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly today.

They last met in Lithuania during the NATO summit. With me now is the Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis. Good morning, Prime Minister. Thank you. Can you just confirm you are going to meet the Turkish President today?

KYRIAKOS MITSOTAKIS, GREEK PRIME MINISTER: Good morning, Richard. Indeed, I'll be meeting the Turkish President in a couple of hours on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. It's going to be our second meeting. Since, we both were re-elected with a strong mandate this summer.


And I'm looking forward to building upon the positive momentum that has been created in relationship between our two countries, as you know we have long standing differences with Turkey. But we will try to resolve these differences by using the only playbook that we have available.

And that is international law, and in particular, the law of the seas. Beyond that, we are looking to cooperate on various other issues of common concern, for example, adaptation to climate changes.

QUEST: Right.

MITSOTAKIS: Challenges faced from global warming, these are common challenges that our two countries face. Sorry, go ahead.

QUEST: But the difficult areas with Turkey, I always get the feeling with Greece and Turkey that you'll find together as long as you don't go there. And there's a large area that you can co-operate and work with migrants, climate change all these other issues, but underlying the relationship are always the territorial difficulties.

MITSOTAKIS: Yes, I mean, these are long standing difficulties. And we recognize that we have one major outstanding difference with Turkey. And that is the delimitation of our maritime zones in the Aegean and the eastern Mediterranean. It's not an easy issue to resolve, otherwise, it would have been resolved.

But this does not mean, Richard that we cannot cooperate on other issues of common interest. Nor does it mean that we need to reach a level of aggressive behavior on Turkey's behalf. That is essentially pushing our two countries to the brink of an armed conflict.

So even if we can agree to disagree on the main issues regarding our territorial claims, we can still leave the door open for co-operation in many other areas. And this is what I will strive to achieve in my meeting with President Erdogan.

QUEST: On the issue of climate, now, you had a thumping victory in the election. And to that extent, you came in with a strong mandate. But the last few weeks, months have been very difficult, with floods, fires, climate change the effect of the searing heat this summer.

And so you arguably, should be in a very strong position for thumping the table at all the climate change meetings, because it seems to me that Greece has been hit very hard.

MITSOTAKIS: Well, Richard, this summer, has felt a little bit like, you know, the two faced Roman gold, Janice, on the one hand, the economy is performing extremely well, after 13 years, we finally managed to get our upgrade to investment grade status, we're going much faster than the Eurozone average will have a record season in terms of tourism.

And on the other hand, as you pointed out, we were struck by a climate related disasters first a catastrophic fire, and then an even more catastrophic flood, the largest flood we've ever seen in Greece. And as you pointed out, indeed, I will be banging my fist on the table to argue that we need to spend more money as the European Union on issues related to adaptation.

We're spending trillions, literally trillions over the next decade on mitigation, and rightly so we need to bring down our greenhouse gases and bring Europe to carbon neutrality by 2050. But these climate disasters are affecting our lives today as we speak.

And frankly, the money that the European Union is putting on the table to support European countries facing these types of crisis is extremely, extremely limited. So we need a proper balance between mitigation and adaptation. And again, this is not just an issue related to the southern countries of the European Union.

I think we need a global sort of adaptation alliance to share best practices, and to argue that climate change is already happening. And we do address it today.

QUEST: You're right, but it isn't your fear. I realized it might be some way off. But that the southern European countries could cease to be as attractive as tourist destinations. If for every year, the temperature starts getting into the 40s. And it becomes unpleasant and unbearable, and then you do end up with your very core industry, tourism being at risk.

MITSOTAKIS: You know, I hear this line of thought Richard, I don't necessarily agree and I'll explain why. I mean, there will always be lots of people who want to enjoy, you know, the heat of the Mediterranean summer and will come to Greece or to other Southern European countries in July and August.

If anything, I think what is happening with our tourism industry is that we're actually able to extend the season. And we're able to communicate to people that it is extremely pleasant to come to Greece in March, in April or in October, in November, this is actually happening.

So in that sense, that you know, the climate crisis could be an opportunity for us to pitch Greece not just as a destination where people can come in July and August. But having said that, we need to address, you know, the fact that you know the summers is getting hotter.


You know the waters are getting hotter. But you know, trust me, Richard, you've been to Greece many times, which is still an incredibly attractive destination, even in July, and August and these extreme weather events are happening. They are affecting, you know, local citizens, but they're not derailing our main tourism industry.

QUEST: One final question to -- , do you actually enjoy coming to New York and the General Assembly? I always wonder people in your position, whether you look at it in the diary as a chore or a joy.

MITSOTAKIS: Well, it's an opportunity, Richard, first of all, for us to communicate on a global stage, especially when it comes to global issues such as climate change, and migration. I'll be talking a lot about migration in my speech tomorrow, but also a great opportunity to catch up with other global leaders.

I mean, we come for two, three days New York is always a very pleasant city. We have a very sort of dense program, but I think it's time well spent. And I think it is important for global leaders to do show up at the U.N. I mean, it was pointed out that of the five securities you know, permanent Security Council members.

Only one of the United States was represented by its Head of State in this U.N. if we really want to make the U.N., you know, continue for the U.N. to remain relevant. We need to we need to be here during a showcase event.

QUEST: Just make sure you get your restaurant reservations in early. Thank you Prime Minister, it is good to see you always great to chat to you.

MITSOTAKIS: Thank you, Richard.

QUEST: As we continue beyond borders, you evidence that the Russian- Ukrainian conflict is having military repercussions beyond Europe and into Africa. We have an exclusive CNN investigation.



QUEST: The fallout from Russia's invasion of Ukraine may be spreading far beyond Ukraine's borders. An exclusive CNN investigation has uncovered compelling evidence that Ukrainian forces have struck Wagner-backed fighters inside Sudan. It comes as Russia tries to expand its influence in Africa following the death of the Wagner Chief Yevgeny Prigozhin. CNN's Nima Elbagir reports from neighboring Chad. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Nightfall in a war torn neighborhood in the Sudanese City of Omdurman. You are watching a thermal imaging video depicting military forces equipped in high tech gear, far more sophisticated than the Sudanese have demonstrated to date.

And here, a series of high precision daytime strikes raining down from the sky in and around the same city hitting targets backed by Russia's Wagner Mercenary Group in Sudan, a Ukrainian military source told CNN this is the work of a foreign military. Pressed on whether they would say unequivocally that Kyiv was behind the attacks.

The source would only say that Ukrainian special services were likely responsible, which would constitute a dramatic expansion and Kyiv's theater of war against Moscow. Previous CNN investigations exposed that the Sudanese paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, RSF, has been heavily backed by Wagner as they fight the Sudanese army in a war for dominance.

CNN obtained a series of videos of the operation showing 14 different strikes on RSF weapons and equipment believed to be provided by Wagner. We pinpointed seven different locations of the drone strikes in Omdurman and RSF stronghold that has become a focal point of the conflict.

And we geo located footage of the night raid to the same city by identifying the building seen here. The drone video obtained by CNN had already been edited, but clues remain as to the identity of those behind the attacks. Text on the monitor of the drone control, as seen here is in Ukrainian.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Press to start recording.

ELBAGIR (voice-over): These commercially available drones are widely used by Ukrainian forces. They have a maximum video transmission range of around nine miles. That means we can tell that the pilots of the drones were in Sudan, close by. It's a common tactic in Ukraine but not so much in Sudan.

Drone experts consulted by CNN said this is the first time drones like this have been deployed in this fashion in Africa. CNN shared the videos with a high level source in Sudan's army for comment, who said they had no knowledge of a Ukrainian operation in Sudan and did not believe it was true.

Sudan became embroiled in Russia's war against Ukraine last year, despite being thousands of miles from the front line. When as we reported Wagner exploited Sudan's gold resources to help finance Moscow's Ukraine war effort, circumventing U.S. sanctions on Russia.

After a plane carrying Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin plummeted to the ground late last month, many believed that Wagner's influence would recede. But just the opposite has happened. Military whistle- blowers in a number of African countries have told CNN that the Kremlin is consolidating its power over Wagner networks in the Central African Republic, in Sudan, in Libya and in Mali. And now that network has expanded further, this time into Chad.

ELBAGIR: Chad has really been impacted by the fighting in neighboring Sudan. And, yet, it's emerging as a key transit point for supplies to the Rapid Support Forces in Sudan, part of an expansion of Russia's influence in Africa.

ELBAGIR (voice-over): Cross-referencing testimony from intelligence and military sources active in the region with satellite imagery, CNN has uncovered evidence that Wagner arms crossed through Chad within the last two weeks to get to an RSF military base in Sudan.

If you look closely, you can see over a hundred vehicles including scores of trucks at the base, proof the supplies provided by Russia, Wagner continue. A strike on Wagner-backed forces in Sudan would constitute a blow to Moscow.

If it is Ukraine, they will have raised the stakes for those willing to accept Wagner's backing in the future. A lesson illustrating the price they could be forced to pay for co-operating with Russia. Nima Elbagir, CNN, N'Djamena, Chad.


QUEST: India is warning its citizens to exercise utmost caution.


When in Canada, warning of growing anti-India activities in the country and now protests are broken out across India after the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau linked New Delhi with the murder of a Sikh activist on Canadian soil back in June. Paula Newton joins us from Ottawa. This is starting to spin out of control.

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is, except the fact that this needs to exhaust itself in this short cycle. So both countries have traded travel advisories that are for sure you just headlined India's travel advisory, one from Canada says about the same thing asking travelers to exercise caution.

What I will say is that right now, Trudeau is in danger of standing alone on the world stage while he did obviously inform allies like the U.S. and Britain and France, of the allegations he was about to make. Everyone is trying to tamp this down a little bit realizing that India remains really a critical ally in anyone's Indo-Pacific strategy.

This has been a tough issue for the Trudeau Government at the same time, really trying to side with the Sikh community here a real political force in Canada, there are Cabinet Ministers that Trudeau has that are sick the origin. Having said that, though, even Canada itself, Richard, as you know, it was about to try and launch some trade negotiations with India, which are now on hold all this to say that eyes are on the police investigation now.

I can't underscore enough for to the fact that there are no suspects in custody right now. RCMP tells me that, in fact, this priority investigation continues. And yet they really don't have much to show for it. So whether you're allies of Canada, or whether you're looking at this from a police investigation, everyone is looking to see the evidence and hoping that it is concrete and that at some point, this will come to some kind of a resolution.

QUEST: Paula Newton in Ottawa, thank you, Britain's King Charles and Queen Camilla are in Paris. At the start of a three day state visits. President Macron has pulled out the stops. Remember, of course, this was a delayed visit for the royal couple. But there is unprecedented security in the capital.

And here you see the President and the King talking. The events kicked off a short time ago, at the Arc de Triomphe. The two men have met many times the King and Macron. And of course, King Charles is believed to speak more than passable French which will all go down rather well. There we have the President driver and the Queen. Max is with me in Paris. Good morning, Max.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Good Morning, yes, I'm just watching them the right beside me noticing how warm if I can call it that the relationship appears to be between the King and the President. That is what everyone behind the scenes wants to see.

Because this is really about that ongoing reset, I think Richard about, you know, post Brexit, post Boris Johnson, frankly, and how the two countries can move forward and rebuild the relationship. This is about celebrating the long term ties between the two countries. It's not meant to be all about politics.

But certainly a previous visit by Rishi Sunak was seen as very successful as well. And diplomats are telling me U.K. diplomats, this is all about building on that very successful meeting between the Prime Minister and President earlier in the year, the King and the President are going to go inside, they're going to have a conversation.

We've been told a bit about that. We're told it's going to be about environment that won't surprise you, Richard. But we also heard from the -- side a source they're telling us that the King always likes to hear what the President's views are about international affairs.

And we've seen, haven't we how he's got a bit more involved, not necessarily in politics, but a bit more forthright on his views about international affairs, the King than his mother. So that's an interesting slight change. I think we're seeing here.

QUEST: These are I mean the relationship is a strong and good one. And if there are two worlds those statements if you will, who can negotiate that very fine line. It's probably King Charles and Emmanuel Macron. They sort of know where they can go.

FOSTER: Yes, and they got, they do have very clear views. That's why I think that meeting inside will be really interesting to see, wouldn't it because they would be very honest with each other. But this isn't really about politics, but I'm sure politics will be discussed inside. I think also, the other thing I'm hearing from the British side is that this is absolutely great news for them because the Queen wasn't traveling obviously, in their later years. Now, they've got this great weapon in their diplomatic toolbox that they can roll out effectively to key allies like France.

QUEST: And that is an excellent place to start with France and the King. Thank you. Max Foster, who has a busy three days ahead and we look forward to the pictures and you're reporting. The banking sector in Africa is undergoing massive change as the continent embraces cashless transactions.


One of the firms's leading the charge in South Africa's largest financial institution, the Standard Bank Group. Eleni Giokos, spoke to its CEO to discuss the digital revolution? It's "Connecting Africa".


SIM TSHABALALA, CEO, STANDARD BANK: Now is a time that is most exciting for the banking industry. Off the back of an increase in cell phone subscriptions, you know, there are 840 million people that are now subscribed.

That progress is continuing with more internet connectivity, more fiber being rolled out by the cell phone companies on the African Continent. The consequence of that is that the African Continent is in a position to leapfrog.

And banks operating on the continent are using that capability and that connectivity to meet the needs of their clients to pay to move money around to invest and indeed to create wealth and pass it on to future generations.

ELENI GIOKOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: How much uptake have you seen of the smaller guys coming in and seeking financial services, even if it's just at small scale, because that is the start right? That is the start of including an enormous community across the continent.

TSHABALALA: There are the new entrants. The small traders that you and I would see wherever we travel on our beloved continent. These traders require the ability to receive cash or receive payments for the goods that they sell in the services that they provide.

They also want to make payments to their suppliers. And their ability to serve those clients with points of sale with lending propositions with core propositions is something quite exciting. And it is central to how we are Standard Bank are competing on the continent.

GIOKOS: And part of what you're telling me really ties in beautifully with the efforts of the continental free trade area and the vision, right? Because connecting the continent means getting everyone involved in some way in the economic prosperity on the continent being able to trade between ourselves on the continent. How important are banks going to be in bringing to reality the AFCFTA? TSHABALALA: Eleni again, you hit the nail on the head, and I agree entirely with you. The African continental free trade area is going to be a game changer for our continent. Firstly, it's going to reduce poverty. It's going to increase incomes.

It's going to increase the ability of people ideas, knowledge and capital to move between countries. Therefore, it's going to increase economic activity. And I'm hoping you get a sense from me as a pan- African that this shall be the African century it is in credibly exciting.


QUEST: "Connecting Africa" that's it for now. "Quest Means Business" later today please come join me. "Marketplace Europe" is next.



CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN HOST, MARKET PLACE EUROPE: The light bulb moments that remakes our world. I'm Clare Sebastian in London. This month, we're all about innovation, from the seaweed startup with the royal stamp of approval to the AI driven ships powering across the Atlantic. We'll show you the ways these inventions can change the way we eat, drink, and trade. That's all coming up on "Marketplace Europe".


GIOKOS (voice-over): All ideas have to start somewhere and fir Notpla this is London warehouses where they hope to turn the trillion dollar industry on its head.

PIERRE PASLIER, CO-FOUNDER AND CO-CEO, NOTPLA: Pierre Paslier and I'm the Co-Founder and CO-CEO of Notpla. So our mission is to make packaging disappear. We started with this belief that nature has solved all these problems. And if we can use the natural materials found in the environment, we're never going to create a long lasting problem.

SEBASTIAN (voice-over): Since 2019, Notpla has produced a range of packaging made from biodegradable seaweed. It can replace single use plastic for all kinds of users from thirsty marathon runners who can hydrate without using plastic bottles. To home chefs who can watch plastic bags dissolve in boiling water and very occasionally, for news reporters in need of refreshment.

SEBASTIAN: So you can't taste anything except the liquid inside? You do have to chew through the outside a little bit. But this is the "OHO" which was the very first product that Notpla introduced. And the challenge now for the company is to bring in more products like this one. And to try to have them adopted at scale.

SEBASTIAN (voice-over): This year Notpla announced it's expanding further into Europe. PASLIER: I think we are graduating from the startup moments where things are really only proven at the lab scale. And now having put millions of our products on the market that are replacing single use plastics, it really feels that we are entering the phase of mass impact.

SEBASTIAN (voice-over): Last year, Notpla was a winner of Prince William's Earth Shot Prize an award for eco-entrepreneurs that comes with more than a million dollars in prize money. Paslier says the impact on his company has been huge, and not just financial.

PASLIER: I think the value of the asset price is so much greater than just the money. Since winning the asset price, the association with Prince William and everything that's happened, it's made us like instantly more interesting as a partner.

So people who wouldn't return our calls are all of a sudden organizing meetings and they want to kind of like partner together. And that's the stuff that you can't buy with money. And we feel very fortunate to have one.

SEBASTIAN (voice-over): Prince William is not alone in wanting to support their work. Deal room says venture capital funding for climate tech has surged in Europe, from $5 billion in 2019 to $20 billion last year. And as the top five countries for climate tech investment, three of them are European. It's not a space though for investors looking for a quick return.

ORLA BROWNE, HEAD OF INSIGHTS, DEALROOM: A lot of the challenges for climate tech startups are the same as for any other startup so its talent, its capital and its regulation. There needs to be a lot more patient capital in the market. And there needs to be people who are willing to make long term bets that might have absolutely enormous outcomes. And not just in terms of capital returns, but also on the planet as well.

SEBASTIAN (voice-over): Notpla closed on around $13 million in VC funding at the end of 2021. Well, there's always pressure to be profitable. Paslier says he's ready to play the long game to protect the planet.

PASLIER: And the way we have the backing of investors that really believe in the long term, so they're not trying to just focus on like the now but they want to continue to see this portfolio of technologies based on seaweed available for lots of other packaging applications that are not ready today.

But we need to have both of these things addressed. So growing the solutions that we have today to a much bigger audience, but also reinventing the future of packaging.

SEBASTIAN (voice over): While those products may be built to disappear they don't just come out of thin air and true startup style going back to the lab is often how they get refined.

[09:50:00] So I got the chance to see how these ideas become reality.

PASLIER: So what you're going to do is basically create a little bit of like that solution

SEBASTIAN: To align --

PASLIER: Yes. And now with this applicator, you're just going to drag across the surface to just apply a very thin layer. And now you'll take this salt solution.


PASLIER: And you just spray across the surface and this is going to transform our viscous liquid. And we've got a membrane

SEBASTIAN: It really feels like plastic.

PASLIER: Yes. So that's it.

SEBASTIAN: They're like totally see through -- even show it up to the camera.

SEBASTIAN (voice-over): Biodegradable kitchen film is next on the company's launch list. To Paslier, there's no time to waste.

PASLIER: We don't have 150 years to solve this problem because the problem is pressing. So we have a lot more urgency right now. But I really believe that the conditions are perfect. Everyone is really aligned on this idea that plastic are a problematic material and those we need to change fast. And here is a tangible solution that is now very scalable.


SEBASTIAN: Coming up we meet the master inventor behind IBM's automated chips. But first, a look at the business calendar across Europe in your "Marketplace Minute".


SEBASTIAN (voice-over): The European Union is heading for slower growth than expected in the year ahead. European Commission cut its projections for this year and next in its autumn economic forecast and says climate risks are weighing on the economy.

In corporate news, H&M releases its latest set of earnings on September the 27th. The company announced last month that it will reopen its stores in Ukraine. In Sweden, the winner of this year's Nobel Prize for economics will be announced on October 9th. Last year's prize was won by a trio of economists, including the Former Fed Chair Ben Bernanke.

And on October 15th, we'll have crucial parliamentary elections in Poland. The country's Law and Justice Party is looking to secure an unprecedented third term in power. Polish government has been in a long running dispute for the European Commission over the country's judicial reforms. And that's your "Marketplace Minutes".



SEBASTIAN: The spirit of innovation is everywhere here in London behind me is actually what supposedly the first ever factory for manmade plastics built by the British Scientist, Alexander Parks in 1866. Now a new generation of inventors is tackling a modern set of challenges. Anna Stewart sat down with one of them.


ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As a lifelong inventor Andy Stanford- Clark has developed his fair share of unusual contraptions.

ANDY STANFORD-CLARK, CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER, IBM, UK AND IRELAND: One of my favorite inventions was a temperature sensitive barcode from the point of view of the victims IOT enabled mousetraps was the worst --


STANFORD-CLARK: -- I have the house that tweet?

STEWART: The house that tweets?

STANFORD-CLARK: I connected various things in my house like temperature sensors, whether certain appliances were turned on like the washing machines running the TV's on.

STEWART (voice-over): That's when you meet him at his place of work, Andy.


STEWART: Nice to meet you.

STANFORD-CLARK: Welcome to the IBM Innovation Studio.

STEWART (voice-over: You see his horizons expand far beyond his home. Stanford-Clark has a job title that most people could only dream of Master Inventor at IBM.


And as someone who's pioneered the use of the Internet of Things he believes technology can change our world for the better.

STANFORD-CLARK: We do have to reduce our carbon footprint. I think that's the biggest challenge facing humanity. And I think IOT is the key enabler to help us win that battle.

STEWART (voice-over): And that's where Mayflower comes in, named after the boat that first brought the pilgrims to the United States IBM's Mayflower is a fully automated ship. There's no captain, no crew, only artificial intelligence guiding it from A to B.

Stanford-Clark was IBM's Technical Adviser on the project. Last year, it replicated the route taken by the original Mayflower in 1620 Plymouth, England to Plymouth, Massachusetts.

STANFORD-CLARK: So the new people on board, and it was what they call Level IV Autonomy -- so the AI capital is completely in control of the boat, and it navigated its way through busy shipping lanes, crossed the Atlantic made a call into the Azores for maintenance. And found its way to Plymouth, Massachusetts, all under computer control. And that, to me was a really great example of sort of Internet of Things applied in action.

STEWART (voice-over): The Mayflower relies on cameras, devices and sensors to navigate and detect hazards. Its team says it can offer a more efficient, environmentally friendly approach to shipping and explore parts of the ocean that other boats wouldn't reach. In the future, that use of IOT technology could help other sectors on dry land too.

STANFORD-CLARK: People get very excited by this, this robot walking around the place. But actually, in fact, to me it's just a mobile sensor platform, the Internet of Things, savings over putting say hundreds of sensors across a building site with power and networking, versus getting one of these financial equation very quickly stacks up to make it well worth doing it this way.

STEWART (voice-over): The Internet of Things has gone from science fiction to an everyday fixture in our lives. And Stanford-Clark hopes that future generations will take as much inspiration from it as he does.

STANFORD-CLARK: I think the amazing thing is that the building blocks to make IOT systems and are readily available. When I first started off, I had to get my soldiering iron out to my workshop and make little circuit boards to do those things. Now you can just buy off the shelf devices to make lights turn on and off, just buy some pieces, put them together, and there's their sensor.


SEBASTIAN: And that's it for this episode of "Marketplace Europe". You can see more from us online and for now, we'll see you next time.