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Soon: Biden to Meet With Turkish President; Netanyahu Will Remain Head of Likud Party as Opposition Leader; Netanyahu Ousted as Israeli's Long-Serving Prime Minister; New PM Takes Office After Diverse Coalition Ousts Netanyahu; Biden Prepares For High-Stakes Talks With Putin Wednesday; Pandemic Worsens Japan's Mental Health Crisis. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired June 14, 2021 - 11:00   ET




ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN, Atlanta. This is "Connect the World".

LYNDA KINKADE, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: Hello and welcome to connect about I'm Lynda Kincaid in Atlanta filling in for my colleague Becky

Anderson, good to have you with us.

Well, I want to head straight to Brussels where the U.S. President is due to sit down with Turkeys' leader this hour. It has been a busy day for Joe

Biden at his first NATO Summit. As President, he is working to reassure leaders of America's commitment to the Alliance following the Trump


And of course, it's coming at a time of cooler relations between Washington and Ankara, with tensions of issues like defense spending, and the conflict

in Syria. Well, for more we have our Melissa Bell in Brussels while our Jomana Karadsheh has perspective from Turkey for us in Istanbul. Good to

have you both with us.

I want to start first with Melissa and the reset in relations we are seeing now that U.S. President Joe Biden is in office. We will obviously remember,

under President Trump he threatened to withdraw from this important Alliance, Joe Biden is saying that he calls the defense of NATO allies a

sacred obligation.

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. And I think the idea is that these are allies who could once again speak again, without threats without

fear of the collapse of the architecture of international diplomacy, and with some sense of trust in the word of each other.

But of course, the point is that behind that very obvious division between the American President these last few years and his allies, whether that be

in the G7 context, or the NATO context, was that it had a lot of other divisions.

And those are some of the ones that are being faced up to here today at this NATO Summit in Brussels amongst them the substantial divisions that

have existed these last few years between the Turkish President and his NATO allies on a number of issues on Syria on Libya on the eastern

Mediterranean, a very acrimonious and personal disagreement as well with Emmanuel Macron.

The French President had one bilateral meeting with Recep Tayyip Erdogan this morning, after several months of very sharp bars. Remember that the

Turkish President one point pulled into question, his mental health.

And in that meeting, not only did they cover all those contentious issues that I mentioned, but also the question of what Emmanuel Macron was

fighting for, which he said was not against Islam, but against extremism.

So some attempt to build bridges that other very important bilateral with Recep Tayyip Erdogan is underway. Even now, Joe Biden meeting with him

fraught is likely to be as well tense at any case, and at heart, of course, that fundamental disagreement between Washington and Ankara over Ankara's

purchase of Russian missiles to defend systems and more recently, the American recognition of the Armenian genocide.

So another frosty conversation, no doubt, but everyone hopes that will lead to some thawing of what had become very frosty relationships.

KINKADE: Yes, frosty indeed Melissa, and I want to get some more perspective from Jomana on that relationship, who is in Istanbul for us? As

Melissa mentioned, there are several points of contention most notably Turkey buying a Russian defense system and its human rights record. What

can we expect when we hear the leaders from the two nations from Turkey and the United States speaks together?

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, Lynda, President Biden has inherited a very complicated relationship with a very difficult ally, the

relationship between Turkey and the United States has been strained over the past few years over a long list of contentious issues for both sides.

But President Biden is no stranger to Turkey. He has dealt with President Erdogan. He has dealt with this country, as Vice President; as Turkish

officials will tell you he's visited this country several times and met with the president but their relationship was also off to a bit of a rocky


It took about three months for President Biden to hold his first phone call with President Erdogan. Then there was what Melissa mentioned the President

Biden becoming the first U.S. President to recognize the mass killing of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire as genocide that really is something

that Turkey does not accept.

And we heard President Erdogan yesterday before heading to Brussels saying that this is one of the issues he is going to bring up during his meeting

with President Erdogan.


KARADSHEH: Look, this is a relationship with a long, long list of contentious issues topping that list. As you mentioned, for the United

States for NATO allies, it's Turkeys' purchase of the S-400 missile defense system. And then they - Turkey was sanctioned by the United States over

this issue. He was kicked out of the F-35 fighter jet program.

All these issues President Erdogan say he's going to bring up for Turkey topping the list of issues is the United States support of Kurdish fighters

in Syria, their allies in the fight against ISIS seen as a national security threat to Turkey.

They see them as the same as the separatist Kurdish group that is recognized as a terrorist group by the United States by the EU, the PKK. So

this has always been an issue for Turkey. So this is, of course, going to come up again in these talks, but at the same time, as they bring these

disagreements to the table.

There's also something that Turkey can offer. And this is something we've heard from President Erdogan. Turkey is of course now - raising military

power. It is involved in various theaters around the world. President Erdogan mentioning Afghanistan, saying as the United States and other NATO

countries are withdrawing turkey could be offering something in terms of security in the country.

That is something we'll have to wait and see. It's something he hinted at yesterday. And then there's also Turkey's relationship with Russia. Some

see Turkey pivoting more towards Russia, but it's far more complex relationship than that Lynda Turkey has, you know, as some would say, it

has managed to contain Russia's expansion in certain theaters like Libya, for example.

So we'll have to wait and see what comes out of this meeting. No one is really holding their breath that this is going to come with any sort of a

major breakthrough, but it is a start. They are sitting, they are talking and Turkey for months now has been signaling that it wants a reset for this

relationship, Lynda.

KINKADE: Exactly the dialog is open. We will see if there is indeed a reset? Jomana Karadsheh in Istanbul and our Melissa Bell in Brussels thank

you, both. Well, NATO is trying to balance how it deals with China on several fronts?

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says there are opportunities to work together with China on issues like climate change, but China doesn't

share the alliances democratic values in NATO countries need to respond together on those issues.


JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL: We also know that China does not share our values, we see how they crack down on democratic protests in Hong

Kong, and also persecute minorities in their own country and use modern technology, social media, facial recognition, to monitor and surveillance

their own population away were never seen before.

All of these matters for our security, and no country and no continent can manage or deal with this alone. So therefore, we need to respond together

as an alliance as NATO.


KINKADE: Which China is now announcing the G7 Summit after it wrapped up on Sunday, saying one small group of countries shouldn't dictate decisions

that affect the world? It's also accusing G7 countries of slander after its final statements scolded China and several controversial internal issues.

Our Ivan Watson reports from Hong Kong.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Monday was a national holiday in China, but that didn't stop the Chinese Embassy in London from

taking shots at the G7 Summit that took place in the UK, with a statement saying that, "The days when global decisions were dictated by a small group

of countries are long gone"

And a subsequent statement accusing the G7 in its final communique of distorting facts about China about slandering China and accusing countries

like the U.S. of having sinister intentions now, this is after President Biden arrived at that summit pledging to take a tougher line on Beijing

take a listen to what he had to say?


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I think we're in a contest with China per se in a context with autocrats, autocratic governments

around the world as whether or not democracies can compete with them in a rapidly changing 21st century?


WATSON: Biden's criticism of China was a topic of major disagreement, particularly with European leaders at the negotiating table at the Summit.

In fact, at one point on Saturday, a Senior Biden Official says the internet had to be cut off to the room because the leaders couldn't come to

an agreement.

At the end of the day they did agree to criticize China calling on it to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms in its Xinjiang region and

here in Hong Kong calling on countries to come up with mechanisms to stop products produced with forced labor from ending up in the global supply



WATSON: That's another indicator that is pointing towards China calling for an investigation into the origins of the Coronavirus, which was first

detected in the Chinese City of Wuhan at the end of 2019.

Now, these have all been areas of major disagreement between Beijing and Washington in the past. What's different here is that this American

President has gotten a group of democratic countries including France and Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and Canada, to agree to criticize China

collectively, and he's bringing that tougher line to the Summit at the NATO Headquarters, Ivan Watson, CNN, Hong Kong.

KINKADE: Well, - CNN exclusive, the U.S. government is assessing a report of a leak at a Chinese Nuclear Power Plant. That's according to U.S.

officials and documents reviewed by CNN.

In the report, the Chinese government is being accused of raising the acceptable limits radiation detection, outside the Taishan Nuclear Power

Plant in Guangdong Province, in order to avoid having to shut it down.

Well, our David Culver joins us now from Shanghai with this exclusive. Just talk to us about the documents that you've uncovered and the threat that

was described.

DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is really frightening Lynda, when you hear the potential of a nuclear leak and what's being monitored right now,

however, while sources are telling our team in Washington, particularly CNN's Zachary Cohen, that this is an imminent radiological threat that

according to the documentation that was filed by the French company that co-operates this plant, along with the Chinese.

Experts we've talked to have also suggested that this could be resolved relatively quickly, assuming that the French company gets the information

that they are seeking from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Now, the specifics here are still left out. And there is a concern of lack of transparency on part of the Chinese. But let's set this up as to how

this came about? It started late last month when Framatome the French company reached out to the U.S. Department of Energy.

They wanted to apply for a waiver of assistance so that they could move forward with a fix to this fishing gas leak now fishing gases and natural

byproduct of nuclear reactors. And experts tell me it is radiological. But it's also rather common so long as it's within certain limits should be


The question is, what limits are they at right now? The concern according to the French company, as they followed up with two more requests to the

Department of Energy is that it is going beyond the threshold that they felt were safe. They said the Chinese were raising the safety limits, so as

to continue operating the plant.

Now for its part we've heard from the plant via its website, and in a statement they posted I'll read some of it to you here that essentially

this is under control. I'll read quote since it was put into commercial operation, the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant has strictly controlled the

operation of the units in accordance with operating license documents and technical procedures.

All operating indicators of the two units have met the requirements of nuclear safety regulations and power plant technical specifications. At

present, continuous monitoring of environmental data shows that environmental readings of the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant and its

surrounding area are normal.

So Lynda, they portray that this is under control, though it's kind of conflicting information from what our team in D.C. found in that initial

request for that waiver to the Department of Energy.

KINKADE: Yes, it certainly does sound concerning. Very important exclusive and we look forward to hearing more about this. David Culver, thank you

very much.

Well, just a little later, he couldn't be more affable with his NATO and G7 allies. But what will you U.S. President Biden says when he meets with

Vladimir Putin of Russia later this week? We'll have a live preview from Geneva.

Plus, the longest serving Prime Minister in Israel's history is ousted after a razor thin vote. Well, Benjamin Netanyahu says the Former Protege

who replaced him in office will fail. We're going to take a deep dive into whether he's right and what's ahead for this new coalition? Complete

coverage coming up on "Connect the World" stay with us.



KINKADE: Welcome back. New Israeli Prime Minister and new challenges today after the ouster of Benjamin Netanyahu, Naftali Bennett now leads a diverse

coalition of Yair's parties with varying interests and goals. He was sworn in Sunday night after Israel's Parliament the Knesset approved the new

government by a single vote.

Mr. Bennett and his cabinet held a ceremonial meeting today with Israel's President. He says he wants to unify the government and focus on domestic

issues. He will hold office for two years before a centrist politician replaces him as part of a power sharing agreement.

Well, Benjamin Netanyahu will remain Head of Likud Party as Israeli opposition leader as Oren Liebermann tells us Netanyahu did not leave the

office quietly, predicting the new government will fail and vowing to return as Prime Minister.


OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): After 4457 consecutive days in office, Benjamin Netanyahu's grip on power was broken. In his final

speeches Prime Minister before being replaced Netanyahu lashed out at his rivals.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, FORMER ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: You call yourself the guardians of democracy. You're so afraid of democracy that you're ready to

pass fascist laws against my candidacy, the language of North Korea and Iran in order to maintain your regime.

LIEBERMANN (voice over): The man who replaced him right wing rival Naftali Bennett, speaking under a hail of abuse from Netanyahu allies far right

extremists. Late Sunday night, Bennett won a crucial confidence vote in the Knesset Israel's Parliament. Swearing in made it official. Bennett became

Israel's Prime Minister. He promised a different kind of politics, one aimed at unity and agreement, not discord and division.

NAFTALI BENNETT, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Twice in our history we have lost our national home precisely because the leaders of the generation were not

able to sit with one another uncompromised. I'm proud of the ability to sit together with people with very different views from my own building.

LIEBERMANN (voice over): The 49-year-old high tech millionaire is Israel's first religious Prime Minister. His rollercoaster political journey has

taken him through a series of different political parties on the right. He now leads the most diverse coalition in Israel's history, including the

first Arab Party ever to join a government.

Until the final moment Netanyahu was working to scuttle Bennett's government hang on to power. In language echoing Former U.S. President

Donald Trump, Israel's longest serving leader accused his rivals of the greatest fraud in the country's history.

Trump gave Netanyahu major political gifts, recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel, moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem normalization

agreements with some Arab countries and more. But it was never enough to get Netanyahu what he craved an outright election victory.

Netanyahu couldn't overcome a polarized electorate and the ongoing corruption trial in which he is denied wrongdoing. He's now Leader of the

Opposition, as he watches Naftali Bennett lead the country into a new era of politics.


KINKADE: So much to cover. Oren Liebermann joins us now from Jerusalem and Oren Israel has seen four elections since 2019. Will this new government

bring any more stability?


LIEBERMANN: Of course, that's the million dollar question right now and one Benjamin Netanyahu and Naftali Bennett would very much like to know the

answer to. From one side, this razor thin government means that any defection any vote against the government is a chance for somebody to

topple that government, of course, specifically there, Netanyahu.

On the other side, there are a lot of parties in this eight party coalition that have basically committed political suicide if this coalition doesn't

hold, and because of that, they are very invested in making sure this works.

They're not designing this coalition to deal with some of the bigger issues facing Israel in the long term, for example, what to do with 2 million

Palestinians in Gaza and 2 million more in the West Bank, or there about?

This is a coalition that's designed to handle internal issues, passing a budget, cost of living, cost of housing, state and religion. And if it can

hold together focusing on those issues, if it can bring together accomplishments, it may well hold.

As an example, Netanyahu had a 61 seat razor thin coalition in 2015 after the election, it held for four years. So we will very much have to wait and

see here.

KINKADE: We certainly will. And in terms of Netanyahu, he had 12 years as Prime Minister this time round what does it mean for him to be out of

power, especially as this corruption trial hangs over his head?

LIEBERMANN: Twice before Netanyahu has been leader of the opposition, and he was a very effective leader of the opposition, within a few years,

bringing Likud back into power with a strong majority, one that held for quite some time, three years and then beyond that, the second time.

So Netanyahu knows that he can make the coalition's life, frankly, a living hell, especially because the opposition in this case is quite united. Now,

of course, he has the ongoing corruption trial, he'll have more time to deal with that, because he's not the Prime Minister.

But he also knows that he has a very high powered legal team. And I think the list of prosecution witnesses is more than 200 witnesses long and

because of that, that's a problem he knows that he can essentially worry about years down the road because of the expected length of this trial.

Yes, the corruption trial is hanging on there. He has denied wrongdoing; it will continue to haunt him to shadow him. But right now, it's not his most

pressing concern that is doing what he can to topple this government. Government he is called weak and dangerous for Israel.

KINKADE: Certainly interesting times they are Oren Liebermann, for us. Good to have you staying across all of that and much more. We will speak to you

again soon.

Also, he's record breaking second term as Israeli Prime Minister is over. But is it truly the end of an era for Benjamin Netanyahu? Hadas Gold looks

at Netanyahu's complicated political history and the hurdles he faces in his promised return to office.


HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The balloons were left hanging as Netanyahu waved goodbye from what might have been the final election

night. Once again his Likud Party won the most number of seats, but not enough to claim outright victory, and break Israel's political dysfunction

four elections in two years, and an inability to form a lasting government.

As he left the stage the many political enemies he collected along the way, began gathering to oust him, aiming to bring an end to one of the most

influential figures in Israeli's history.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We never intended to stay.

GOLD (voice over): Netanyahu launched his political career in the United States as Israel's Ambassador to the UN.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome to "Larry King Live" tonight, a bloodbath rocks, the cradle of civilization. Is there one man who can stop it?

GOLD (voice over): Where he honed his skills with the media that barely knew how to pronounce his name.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our first guest tonight is Benjamin Netanyahu. Benjamin Netanyahu is the recently resigned Ambassador to the United Nations.

GOLD (voice over): A connection with the media and the U.S. that would define the rest of his political path.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are asked to defend this tiny country.

GOLD (voice over): A representative of Israel during some of its tenses periods like the Gulf War.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you repeat that?

NETANYAHU: I must say that this is the - way to conduct an interview.

GOLD (voice over): Soon after Netanyahu pulled off his first stroke of political magic in 1996.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The exit polls and projections were giving the incumbent Shimon Peres a slight lead something in the range of about 1.5

percentage points over his challenger Benjamin Netanyahu.

GOLD (voice over): Squeezing by two in his first term as Prime Minister with a wafer thin majority. During his first term, U.S. brokered peace

initiatives gave the Prime Minister the world stage legitimacy he craved, but Israeli voters were not convinced, and he was ousted after one term.

Netanyahu spent part of the next 10 years preparing himself for his next move, returning to power in 2009.

NETANYAHU: With pride but with great humility.


GOLD (voice over): His relationship with the new U.S. President strained from the start as attempts to restart the Palestinian peace process sputter

reaching a near breaking point, as Netanyahu positioned himself as the Chief Antagonist of the Iran nuclear deal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A red line should be drawn right here.

GOLD (voice over): Which Obama was negotiating even addressing the U.S. Congress infuriating the White House.

BARACK OBAMA, 44th U.S. PRESIDENT: That deal will not prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. It would all but guarantee that Iran gets those

weapons, lots of them.

GOLD (voice over): Obama giving short rebuttal just hours later.

OBAMA: The alternative that the Prime Minister offers is no deal, in which case or Iran will immediately begin once again, pursuing its nuclear


GOLD (voice over): The relationship between the two men remain tense, as Obama continually criticized Israeli settlements in the West Bank seen as

detrimental to any formal peace process. But U.S. relations turned with Donald Trump's 2016 election win.

It was a bromance that Netanyahu craved an American President with whom he shared a common language, much of bullying, fake news, and alliances with

the far right, the critics say normalized extremism, and almost identical Middle Eastern agenda, recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's Capital.

NETANYAHU: Our greatest ally, the United States of America today, its Embassy opened here.

GOLD (voice over): Endorsing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

NETANYAHU: And on this day, you two have charted a brilliant future, a brilliant future for Israelis, Palestinians and the region.

GOLD (voice over): And proposing a deal of the century with the Palestinians. So favoring the Israeli position, the Palestinians dismissed

it as the slap of the century. Then the Abraham Accords historic normalization agreements with Arab countries.

NETANYAHU: You have successfully brokered the historic peace that we are signing today.

GOLD (voice over): For Netanyahu shifting the diplomatic paradigm in the region from land for peace, to peace for peace but after 12 consecutive

years in power, Netanyahu making little progress on peace with Palestinians.

Three bloody conflicts with Hamas led militants in Gaza, more settlements in the West Bank, all helping make Israel an increasingly partisan issue in

U.S. politics meanwhile, an ongoing legal battle on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust, threatening jail time, Netanyahu denying all the

charges, even after a world leading Coronavirus vaccination campaign.

In the end, it was the personal equation, the many enemies made along the way that led to his downfall. Former allies and longtime foes reaching

across the political spectrum with one common goal, bringing King Bibi's rein to an end, at least for now. Hadas Gold, CNN, Jerusalem.


KINKADE: Still ahead, much more on Israeli politics. Naftali Bennett will be Prime Minister for two years, followed by the centrist Yair Lapid. We're

going to talk to an Israeli politician about the new government as well as Mr. Netanyahu's legacy and much more. Stick with us you're watching

"Connect the world".



KINKADE: Welcome back. Returning now to our top story, Naftali Bennett is beginning his first full day as Israel's Prime Minister after the Knesset

approved a new coalition government by a razor thin one vote margin. His cabinet held a ceremonial meeting with Israel's President today.

Mr. Bennett leads a fragile alliance spanning the political spectrum. Benjamin Netanyahu's record 12 years in power came to an end Sunday; he

fought the shift in power to the bitter end vowing a comeback.

Well, the new Prime Minister, meanwhile, is promising a government of unity. Mr. Bennett will leave the government for two years before passing

the torch to Yair Lapid. And as our Oren Liebermann reports they are the political odd couple.


LIEBERMANN (voice over): They called it a brotherhood, a pact that looked like the odd couple, the religious high tech millionaire and the secular

television host. Naftali Bennett came into politics on the right advocating for Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

There are no two narratives. There are no two truths. There is one truth and that truth is very simple. Greater Israel belongs to the Jewish people.

His rollercoaster political journey took them through a series of different parties since 2008 a constant Right Wing thorn in Benjamin Netanyahu side.

It should be clear we will not allow the Israeli government to recognize a Palestinian state under no circumstances. We will not allow Israel to hand

over not even one centimeter of land to the Arabs.

This is what we are here for to guard the land of Israel, as we have always done. Now he leads the Yamina party with a mere six seats 5 percent of

Israel's parliament, but enough to become Israel's Prime Minister.

Former TV host Yair Lapid entered politics in 2013, the surprise story of the election, netting 19 seats with his Yeshatid party. The two rookie

politicians formed an alliance then based on a genuine friendship, and a commitment not to lie to each other.

According to those familiar with the relationship, they used their newfound powerful leverage against Netanyahu, a taste of what was to come. Through

the years they found themselves on opposite sides, but the friendship held and the alliance reemerged after the last election, a return of the


The two are selling a different future for politics, not the divisive polarizing politics of Benjamin Netanyahu. But a politics based on

agreements and unity, where your opponent is a patriot with a different view on how best to help the country.

Their success depends on the most diverse disparate coalition in Israel 73 year history, a grand experiment in politics based on a brotherhood that

has lasted so far.


LIEBERMANN: Their alliance is made possible by the nature of their parties. Naftali Bennett hopes to pull votes from the right where Yair Lapid hopes

to pull votes from the center and the left.

So their success isn't mutually exclusive. Because of that they saw an opportunity with Benjamin Netanyahu's continued failure to form a

government to try something new, something different where one and one made more than two. Oren Liebermann, CNN, Jerusalem.

KINKADE: For more in depth look at Israeli politics after the departure of Netanyahu. I want to bring in Yohanan Plesner. He's the President of the

Israel Democracy Institute. Good to have you with us.


KINKADE: So after 12 years in power, Benjamin Netanyahu is out. Give us your perspective on the legacy he leaves behind.

PLESNER: Well, first of all, it's a sign of strength for Israel's democracy to experience a peaceful transfer of power. It's never trivial and it's

always a beautiful thing to see. All the - you know, security guards in the convoy of the Prime Minister Netanyahu driving into the Knesset yesterday,

and the same convoy then taking enough tally Bennett along and it also symbolizes a shift of generations in Israeli politics.


PLESNER: And Naftali Bennett is almost a generation younger than Mr. Netanyahu and Netanyahu didn't only serve for 12 years as Prime Minister,

he actually became first Prime Minister 25 years ago in 1996.

And in between, he served for 15 years as Prime Minister, and otherwise at the top of Israeli politics. So he's been a very dominant figure in Israeli

politics. He has a mixed legacy both of macroeconomic stability, security, and stability.

And at the same time, he's leaving behind a divided Israeli society, toxic internal rhetoric that characterized our internal discourse in this new

government that is led by Naftali Bennett. But it's basically is the first among equals, it's a government of a number of partners.

Its main goal is to heal the Israeli society and to kick start Israeli economy and prepare it for the post COVID environment.

KINKADE: When you look at this coalition, it is highly diverse. It is this cobbled together coalition of Right Wing, Left Wing, Centrist Islamist

parties who really had in common the desire to push Netanyahu out. Where else will they find a unified platform?

PLESNER: Well, you're right that one of the common denominators of this heterogeneous group of eight political parties is the fact that they wanted

to replace Mr. Netanyahu, this is the glue that connected them together, it's Right Wing Centrist, and Left Wing parties, all building a partnership


They have a very narrow and a parliamentary base. And you know, political professionals will say, well, it won't necessarily survive for long. But

what keeps them together is number one, Netanyahu didn't retire from politics, he remained a dominant chairman of the opposition, and continues

to pause it to pose a political threats to this group.

So in order to deal with this threat, they have to stick together. And at the same time, all of those younger politicians have an interest in

improving themselves in focusing on the 70 percent that most Israelis can agree on, rather than on the 30 percent of issues that are more


And if they focus on those 70 percent and get the machine of government to function, again this coalition can survive and surprise many pundits and

perhaps serve for three or four years.

KINKADE: And talk to us breaks it down for us when you say the 70 percent of things that is really the ground versus 30 percent of points of

contention. Break it down what exactly you're talking about, are we talking more in internal politics, when you're talking about the 70 percent of

things that that will - people will agree on?

PLESNER: One of the two main areas where people agree on, first of all, is getting a - the economy started, the government needs to pass a budget. And

it has a plan to make massive investments in infrastructure, in government reform.

And in most of those areas, unlike, say, in American politics, actually in Israel and those areas are less politically controversial. And it's easier

to build the agreement around them.

So the government will first and foremost, they will focus on the economy, it will focus on making many appointments that have not been made as a

result of a two year political crisis.

So the bar is actually quite low, just to get the government functioning to pass a budget to make nominations and to lower the flames of the internal


And perhaps even and this will be a more challenging goal to initiate some constitutional measures and electoral reform that are very much the

conclusion of the two year political crisis that we have, that we had that in order to fix a political system.

And to ensure that we won't slide back into paralysis, we need to initiate some constitutional reforms and electoral reform that will really stabilize

our system.

If this government will be on just passing a budget and making nominations, initiate constitutional and electoral reform, it will actually have the

opportunity to become a historical government and not just a caretaker government that will take us out of the political crisis.

KINKADE: And just briefly, to wrap this up, we recently saw the flare up of the Israeli Palestinian conflict. Is there any chance of pace any chance of

some sort of strategy now that for the first time we are seeing our party within government?


PLESNER: Well, you're right to mention the fact that something historic happened. One of the parties that represent the Arab minority of Israeli

citizens, 20 percent of our citizens belongs to the Arab minority. And for the first time this coalition includes an Islamist party that is a voted

confidence in a Zionist government.

And there's, with a support broad support of Israelis across the political spectrum. This is an important step forward in the integration and

normalization of the participation of our Arab citizens in the political process. Vis-a-vis the Palestinians are not Israeli citizens, but rather on

the other side of the fence.

I think the main goal would be to stabilize a relationship. Hamas initiated a deadly violent rocket attacks at Israel, the policy vis-a-vis Hamas is

not going to change if Hamas will not shoot, the Israeli government will not shoot back.

If Hamas decides to escalate the situation, this government will respond and retaliate as well. So I think when it comes to security policy, we're

not going to experience any deviation from the past.

Of course, a major challenge for the new government would be to collaborate and cooperate with a no U.S. Administration in dealing with the Iranian

threat and ensuring that Iran does not achieve a nuclear capability.

KINKADE: All right, we'll leave it there for now, Yohanan Plesner, great to get your perspective on all of that. Thank you very much.

PLESNER: Thanks for hosting me.

KINKADE: Well, still to come we'll take you to Geneva where the U.S. President and his Russian counterpart will hold a high stakes meeting in

just a couple of days. Our live preview is next.


KINKADE: Welcome back on Wednesday, U.S. President Joe Biden will switch from working with allies to trying to deal with a rival of the days of

harmonious meetings with fellow NATO and G7 members. He was president and will sit down in Geneva with Russian leader Vladimir Putin and the stakes

could hardly be higher.

Both presidents agreeing that relations between Moscow and Washington are at what they both describe as the low point. I'm connecting you now to

Geneva and CNN's Matthew Chance.


KINKADE: Matthew I'm wondering whether they will - there is any hope for a prisoner exchange because this morning we heard from the parents of a U.S.

Marine jailed in Russia and according to a letter that he Trevor Reed managed to get out of jail. He's not doing too well and his parents

desperately want him home.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, look the parents of Trevor Reed, who's this former U.S. marine who's been one of

the Americans who's been put in jail in Russia is in prison for nine years for assaulting a police officer. He got into a fight basically, after he

was out in Moscow with his girlfriend and got drunk.

Look, he's been in prison since last year. His situation isn't great. He's been diagnosed with COVID-19. He's written a letter which we got exclusive

access to, to his parents just last week. And you know I've got a summary of it here.

It basically made the point that he said, look, I've got a pain in my lungs. I also suffer from a cough from time to time. I've lost a few

kilograms in weight. And he's asking whether the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, the State Department in Washington, even know about his case.

And of course, there have been a lot of inquiries made by U.S. diplomats in Russia about his welfare. They say they've been essentially denied access

to him for the past consular access to him for the past three weeks.

And along in his case, along with the case of another American in a Russian jail, Paul Whelan is on the agenda of the talks that are scheduled to be

held in a couple of days from now here in Geneva, Switzerland, between President Biden of the United States and President Putin, his Russian


And it's ahead of those talks that Trevor Reed's parents have made an emotional appeal on CNN for some kind of solution to be found to secure his

release. Take a listen to what Trevor Reed mom had to say earlier.


PAULA REED, MOTHER OF TREVOR REED, U.S. MARINE VETERAN IMPRISONED IN RUSSIA: We've been told that President Biden is definitely going to bring

up Trevor's case and Paul Whelan's case with President Putin. And our hope obviously is that they can come to some agreement that will let our son

come home, I guess Putin is open to a prisoner exchange.

And I know some people say we shouldn't do a prisoner exchange because Paul and Trevor are innocent of the charges that get them. And the people that

we would be trading are guilty criminals, but I really don't care how my son gets home.


CHANCE: Yes, I mean, that that's been one of the holdups of course, which as Trevor Reed's mom was referring to then that the people that the

Russians want in any potential exchange are sort of, you know, in a different category of criminal we've got on the one hand, Konstantin

Yaroshenko, was convicted of conspiracy to smuggle cocaine.

And on the other hand, we've got Victor Bout, who many of our viewers will know is one of the world's most notorious arms traffickers, who is serving

many, many years in an American penitentiary.

Those are the people that the Russians want swapped for Trevor Reed, who was convicted of assault, as I say, of a police officer, and of Paul

Whelan, who was sentenced to 16 years on what many critics regard is trumped up charges of espionage, Linda.

KINKADE: Alright and Matthew Chance in Geneva. We will be watching that meeting closely on Wednesday between U.S. President Joe Biden and the

Russian President Vladimir Putin, hoping for a good outcome for the parents of Trevor Reed, thank you very much.

Well, I want to connect you now to a close ally of Mr. Putin's Belarus. Opposition leaders are questioning whether a jail journalist was forced to

appear at a state run news conference. Roman Protasevich appeared on camera at the press event where officials claimed there was no forced landing of

that Ryanair flight last month in mixed.

Opposition leaders say Protasevich has been used as a trophy by the Lukashenko regime. Well, they want to get to CNN's Frederik Pleitgen for

more on all of this, and certainly given what was said it certainly seems that he was saying it under duress.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, there are many indications of that could most probably be the case. The

opposition certainly is already crying foul saying that essentially, the world should never forget so that they believe that Roman Protasevich is a

hostage of the Belarusian government of the regime of Alexander Lukashenko is really quite an awkward scene.

In that press conference, you had Roman Protasevich there sitting right next to Belarusian security officials, including military officials at a

press conference that was organized by the Belarusian Foreign Ministry. Now in that press conference, which again, wide parts of the international

media and of course the Belarusian opposition say they believe he was there under duress.

He claimed that any sort of medical problems that were being talked about were not true that he was being instrumentalized by the opposition. Now, of

course, once again, they believe that he was not saying this. The opposition doesn't believe that he was saying this voluntarily.

So this is certainly something where it has already drawn a lot of criticism on the part of the Belarusian opposition and most probably will

draw even more criticism internationally as well.

As have some of the other things that have happened in this case we have to keep in mind, this is already the third time that Protasevich - Mr.

Protasevich has been put on cameras or in front of a camera.


PLEITGEN: One of the ones was an interview with Belarusian state TV where you could still see very deep marks in his wrist which very much seemed to

come from handcuffs being on very, very tightly for an extended period of time.

So the Belarusian opposition is saying don't believe any of what you're hearing from the Belarusian regime. And of course, the Belarusian

government itself continues to deny that it played any sort of malicious part at least in forcing that aircraft to land the Ryanair flight about

three weeks ago with Roman Protasevich on it Lynda.

KINKADE: All right, Frederik Pleitgen for us in Geneva, we will stay on this story. Thank you very much for that update, Fred.

Well, still ahead on "Connect the World" the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened loneliness in Japan, leaving young and older like even more vulnerable to

depression and suicide. We're going to look at how Japan is trying to tackle the crisis?


KINKADE: Welcome back. Well with less than 39 days to go into Japan host the Olympics. The President of Tokyo 2020 welcomes the G7 statement

supporting the upcoming games. Seiko Hashimoto released a statement saying Japan is "Fully Prepared" to host a safe and secure event.

You see spectators here watching the Olympic torch relay. While the focus of many public health measures in Japan has been to control the spread of

COVID itself, another epidemic loneliness is taking lives every day. Earlier this year, Japan appointed a minister of loneliness to help tackle

the crisis, our Blake Essig reports.


BLAKE ESSIG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): For the third time this week, Masatomi Yokoo and his team enter a home to claim a simple job, but nothing

about it is easy.

MASATOMI YOKOO, PRESIDENT, MEMORIES COMPANY: He probably died here. I don't know the shape because the body fluid has soaked into the Tommy so much,

but I think probably here.

ESSIG (voice over): --President of Memories Company has been in the cleaning business for about 13 years. But recently, he says cleaning up

after lonely deaths, where people die alone and remain undiscovered for long periods of time, has sadly turned into big business.

YOKOO: We do this kind of work every day. This scene is that we always witness. We can see that his life is getting rough, and that he is issuing

a SOS, this is an ordinary scene for us.

ESSIG (voice over): The 79-year-old man who lived here died alone. The cause of death is unknown. We say his body was found about a month after he


ESSIG (on camera): Walking through this apartment, it's as if time has stood still there's still food and drinks on the counter - on the floor and

if you take a look around this apartment, there is garbage and clothes scattered everywhere. It's a heartbreaking scene. It is all too common here

in Japan.

ESSIG (voice over): Michiko Ueda is an Associate Professor at Waseda University who studies loneliness. While she says japans' aging population

is at great risk of isolation. It's actually the young that suffer most. Her research analyzing the public's mental health found 40 percent of the

entire Japanese population feels loneliness. For those under 40 that number is 50 percent.


MICHIKO UEDA, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, WASEDA UNIVERSITY: They have high suicidal ideation. They want to kill themselves very often, and then also

do feel that they use because they have no meaning in life. So that the psychological effect of loneliness is on individual is very, very high.

ESSIG (voice over): A psychological effect likely impacting more people as a result of the pandemic. In 2020, for the first time in 11 years, the

suicide rate in Japan increased from the previous year and changed.

UEDA: What typically happens is during the economic crisis, the middle aged men die by suicide. But now it's the young woman as definitely something

different is going on.

ESSIG (voice over): And the numbers show it's getting worse. According to the National Police Agency, the suicide rate in the month of April

increased more than 19 percent compared to last April. Although pandemic has claimed more than 10,000 lives in Japan during that time, more than

23,000 people have taken their own life.

For Nanako Takayama, those numbers are personal. She experienced loneliness depression, and contemplated suicide when she was 30 years old shortly

after giving birth to her first child.

NANAKO TAKAYAMA, COUNSELOR, A PLACE FOR YOU: I wanted to disappear. I didn't know how to handle my feelings and it was too painful to think about

what to do.

ESSIG (voice over): About a decade later Takayama studied psychology and as a Counselor at "Anata No Ibasho", "A Place for You", which is a 24 hour

chat service for those who just need someone to listen, at times she interacts with four to five people a day. She uses her own struggle with

loneliness to help others.

TAKAYAMA: I want to say that you are not alone. We seriously want to listen to your story. Voicing your concern is never a bad thing. It doesn't mean

that you're running away from the problem or you're weak.

ESSIG (on camera): Experts say about 30,000 people here in Japan die lonely deaths each year and when that happens, this is the result. Cleaners asked

to come in to pick up the pieces of a life lost.

YOKOO: I can't get used to this forever. Time has stopped here. I can feel what kind of life he was having here right away. Honestly speaking, my

heart aches.

ESSIG (voice over): Blake Essig, CNN, Tokyo.


KINKADE: Well, loneliness, social isolation, suicides are of course not issues that are unique to Japan. And if you need support, there is a

worldwide directory of resources and international hotlines provided by the International Association for Suicide Prevention. You can also turn to

"Befrienders Worldwide".

Well, I'm Lynda Kinkade that was "Connect the World". Thanks so much for joining us. I highly recommend you stick around for "One World" with my

colleague Zain Asher up next.