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Connect the World

Dozens of Countries Pledge to Phase Out Coal at Climate Meeting; Denmark Halts Public Financing of Fossil Energy Abroad; U.N. Probe: All Parties Committed Human Rights Violation; U.S. Says it will Resume Nuclear Talks November 29; Israel's Plan to Build in West Bank Draw Condemnation; Abu Dhabi Awarded Prestigious Bike City Label. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired November 04, 2021 - 11:00   ET




ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN, Abu Dhabi. This is "Connect the World" with Becky Anderson.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: Welcome back. You're watching "Connect the World". This hour humanity needs to ditch coal to save itself

but it also needs to keep the lights on. So what gives?

You're watching "Connect the World" from Abu Dhabi, where the time is 7:00 in the evening. Consigning coal to the landfill of history that is a top

goal of Climate Leaders that the COP26 talks which are now well underway in Scotland, today 23 new countries made commitments to phase out coal the

single biggest contributor to climate change.

Indonesia, Ukraine, South Korea, all big coal users made pledges but not signing up some of the world's biggest coal consumers and emitters,

including the U.S., China and India. Earlier what in one climate finance expert calls and historic breakthrough 20 countries agreed to stop public

financing for fossil fuel projects abroad.

For the first time this deal includes oil and gas projects as well. But the optimism COP26 comes in a stark new warning from the UN the world is not

adapting fast enough to the climate crisis, let's get the latest from CNN's Phil Black who's covering the COP26 Summit from Glasgow in Scotland.

What do we make of what we are hearing? These are pledges and they are non- binding and we know that some of the biggest consumers and emitters not least the U.S., China and India not really aligned here with those who are

making noise, aren't they?

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so a number of deals announced here on energy day, Becky relating to some countries committing to kicking coal,

and some countries declaring that they will no longer be prepared to help finance dirty fuels.

This is progress of a sort. But there are caveats and to unpack this now I'd like to bring in Mark Maslin Climatologist with University College

London, Mark, I want to begin by talking about this most recent announcement 20 countries, including the United States, Canada, the UK, a

number of developing countries as well, saying they will not be putting public funds into fossil fuel projects abroad.

Crucially, they can still do it at home. But this goes further than some of the recent commitments we've had about not financing coal, because it's all

fossil fuels.

MARK MASLIN, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON: I think this is really important because we need to follow the money. And what's happened in the

past is that countries may be decarbonizing themselves. But then they're investing in other countries and putting coal fired power stations.

And it's really important to tackle that, because at the moment, we know that renewable energy is cheaper to build. And it's cheaper to run, and it

produces cheap electricity. But the finances the big banks in the world, when they loan money to a developing country, they will do it at a cheaper

rate for fossil fuels, the renewables, which is madness.

So this actually makes a real dent in that money. Its country saying we're not going to put money and also we're going to make sure the banks don't

put money into those fossil fuel projects.

BLACK: It's a powerful message.

MASLIN: It's fantastic message.

BLACK: And it should drive the way money flows into renewable energy technologies.

MASLIN: Absolutely because the sensible thing is if you want to make money nowadays, you should be investing in renewables. It's much more economic,

it's safer. And also it's going to make a big investment return for you.

BLACK: Now, the other statement today 46 countries, essentially saying we're going to phase out coal, in the 2030s for developed countries, 2040s

for developing countries. But here there are some notable absentees, the big users, of course, the United States, India, China. This is progress,

but how significant is it?

MASLIN: So I think we will say that COP26 was the death of coal. Coal produces 37 percent of the energy for the whole world and unfortunately,

it's dirty, inefficient causes huge amounts of air pollution. So it's about time we face the out just for the good of local people anyway.

But the key thing is this really interesting country. So South Korea, South Korea's whole electricity is generated by 60 coal fired power stations, and

they're going to phase those out by 2040. It's an amazing agreement.

Poland also really relies heavily on coal. They've suddenly turned around and said by 2030, but you're right, we need the big ones we need Australia,

India we need China and we need the U.S. to come on board and go coal is just not effective is not efficient and is not a good way to produce



BLACK: No, I think there was a hope that the U.S. would join a commitment like this. But that doesn't happen. We presume for domestic political

reasons, the U.S. President is trying to get his infrastructure package through Congress. And a big part of that is climate change is directed at

climate change. But how disappointing is that?

MASLIN: I find this really disappointing because if I was an American, I'd be looking at the facts. There are 10 million jobs in the U.S. in the green

global economic sector. There are only 350,000 in fossil fuels, and only 30,000 of those are in coal.

So if I wanted to build my country up, and I want to boost jobs, I'm going to invest in the green economy every single day. And I think America


BLACK: So I think there's a theme that we're seeing in a lot of these announcements that have come through in the first week of the COP. They are

better; they represent progress that the right direction, but they're still not good enough. Is that fair?

MASLIN: Well, I really want more ambition in week two, because it's great that we're having all these announcements about deforestation, about

getting rid of coal. But I think what we really need is that solidarity, we need all of the country's 197 countries here, all pulling in the same

direction, and as fast as possible.

That means we need to move money from the developed world into the developing world to help lift them out of that extreme energy poverty. We

also need some real thinking about how we change the way we produce energy? So we're just going to use more and more.

BLACK: So very quickly, in a word, how do you think the talks are going so far based upon all the -- tubes so far?

MASLIN: I think it's a good first half. But I'm looking forward to the second half. And I'm hoping that we can have a few touchdowns.

BLACK: Becky it's here to match or two hearts apparently. So some progress as I say there are these announcements which deliver on achievements, which

seemed to be driving a guarded sense of optimism here.

But it's not enough to achieve what we know are the fundamental goals. Really driving down carbon emissions and ensuring the world sticks to 1.5

degrees Celsius by the end of the century Becky?

ANDERSON: Yes, fascinating. All right, Phil, thank you for that. Good discussion. Denmark, one of those countries saying it will end public

financing of fossil fuel projects abroad. It's on the global coal to clean power transition statement.

It also says it will contribute over $15 million to phase out coal and invest in new energy sources. My next guest highlights a few caveats.

However, he says, "We need to ensure alternative employment for the local population, including retraining programs as Minister for Foreign Affairs,

it is important to me that we demonstrate the viability of a leave no one behind green transition. I think that Denmark can take the lead and set a

good example".

Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs Jeppe Kofod joins me now live from Glasgow, in Scotland. And just explain if you will, what is it you think

Denmark can set a good example?

JEPPE KOFOD, DANISH MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Yes, we can definitely do that. We started a few years ago, to declare a war on coal and stopped, you

know, financing coal with public money abroad. Now we say all fossil fuels from January 1st will stop financing.

So no more -- public financing to that, and no more, you know, helping of our companies to invest in the in fossil fuel sector in that sense. And I

think it's a good an important step, because we need to move the world fast if you're going to fulfill the Paris Accord, and keep temperature rise

below 1.5 degrees centigrade. So this is a big step. But it's an important step.

ANDERSON: Foreign Minister, with all due respect, this announcement makes for a good headline, but Denmark's investment and consumption of fossil

fuels, as you rightly point out, has declined significantly over the past, what 10 years? And that is no bad thing, of course, but what tangible

impact is this thing going to truly have on the environment?

KOFOD: Well, I mean, what we do nationally is important as an example, and also as a concrete contribution, but what we do abroad in our alliances,

how we now say clearly that we will stop public money into fossil fuels abroad, is very important signal.

And what we want to do is to be inspirational to say other, you know developed countries come along; I think it's important if we are going to

meet our targets, we need to do that. I mean, we have a huge task of phasing out coal, but all fossil fuels are a problem in the future.

And so we need to get started now and invest instead in renewables and decommission all of the fossil fuel energy production that we have in the

world and to do that in order to that we need to ensure that there's no public money into fossil fuels in the future.


ANDERSON: It is a fact that mitigating climate crisis will help mitigate other crises such as, for example, migration. Your country has been dealing

with influxes of refugees and migrants for years. Do you view the climate crisis as a national security issue?

KOFOD: Yes, definitely. I mean, the climate crisis is kind of a proliferator of the other entire crisis we see you know, more in conflict

over land, for example, the extreme weather that we see that will drive people away from their homes, migration, as you alluded to, but also on

conflict over resources cost resources as water.

So this is really private and security goes hand in hand, and it's really something we need to deal with so, so both for the sake of the future of

the planet, when it comes to environment and climate, but also for peace and security. This is very important to deliver on the Paris accord.

ANDERSON: While we're talking migration, and I must ask you about Denmark's immigration policy, which has been widely criticized case in point a new

law in the summer allowing the country to deport asylum seekers to reception centers in third countries, thousands of miles away.

For country once applauded for its progressive asylum policy, and for the way it offered protection for refugees, Denmark's actions, many say reek of

populism, do them not?

KOFOD: No, not at all. What we have seen today in the world is a broken system when it comes to migration and asylum seekers. We have seen

thousands of people died over the Mediterranean that were endangered in dangerous routes to Europe.

We have seen human smugglers; we've seen an incentive to humans, partners, industry, criminal industry, and the ones who pay the most price of that

broken system today is the most vulnerable refugees.

So we want to invest in all ideas, where we will see a more fair and more humane migration and asylum system. We are partnering with countries in

North Africa, for example, we are scaling up our humanitarian efforts.

We are helping to create job opportunities for young people in Africa, we want to ensure that that the system is today will be replaced by something

better this is not sustainable. So it will actually be more humane warfare if you get another system that one we have today.

ANDERSON: But the point being we don't have that system at present. So I must push you on this. Do you describe Denmark's immigration policy is

humane at present?

KOFOD: Yes, because the system we have today, as I said, is broken down. We have people dying, irregular migrants that -- device in dangerous journeys

over the Mediterranean and other routes.

So what we need to do is countries of origin, countries of transition, countries of destination, we all come together and find a better, more

famille humane system. And one of the things we need to do is to incentivize people and criminal groups that will smuggle irregular migrants

that that should be stopped.

And they will instead have regular migration. And also resettlement of refugees, UN quarter refugees, that's a system we want that is more humane

that is helping the right people better. And that is stopping the criminal industry of smuggling people that we have seen today.

ANDERSON: Seeing a view on migration policy from the Foreign Affairs Minister in Denmark. Briefly before I let you go, how would you describe

the atmosphere in Glasgow? Do you have a sense that there is some optimism that this conference will deliver, at least in part for a fairer and safer


KOFOD: Well, thank you. I think I'm very encouraged when I will leave now Glasgow because there's also a lot of focus this time on action and

implementation. We all know we have to meet the Paris target. We all know we know the reports from the IPCC.

We know what we're standing in front of. We also have the technology we have the -- also companies that deliver renewable energy efficiency, we

know which direction the world should go.

We also know that today in most parts of the world, it's actually cheaper to build renewable energy for example, wind then installing a new power

plant generate electricity based on fossil fuels. So we should get there.


KOFOD: So I sense optimism. But of course, I still hope at the end of this COP, they will see this political bill all around the world to take a

necessary step because we need to do that we will let down future generations if we do not deliver a strong message. And it's still too early

to call, but I sense some optimism being here.

ANDERSON: And you finally you've been talking about the need to ensure alternative employment for local populations, including retraining programs

in you know, we have we have to consider these regions around the world which are heavily invested in coal, for example, and other fossil fuels. Do

you see action, like real action being enforced or taken at least to ensure that?

KOFOD: Well, yes, what I announced today was allocating 100 million Danish kroner to the climate investment fund that is exactly directed to

decommission coal power plant and help not only with new technology, so we can generate energy.

But also help the community's people who will be unemployed to get a new employment to ensure that that just in fact, transition. And there we are

not far enough today, we need to help especially the delivery world of causes that to make it to go through that transition.

And we need to decommission the coal power plants not only talk about it, but have real action and Denmark is in the forefront of finding solutions

to that.

ANDERSON: With that we'll leave it there. We thank you very much indeed for joining us. Thank you, sir. Just ahead, even as the fight against fossil

fuels intensifies, pressure is mounting on OPEC and its allies to pump more oil.

The Alliance just held big meeting details on that are a little later. Why concerns are growing that the conflict in Ethiopia's Tigray region could

soon erupt into full scale war, that coming up after this.


ANDERSON: Governments in Europe, Africa and in the U.S. calling for all sides in Ethiopia, to de-escalate as a yearlong conflict there threatens to

erupt into full scale Civil War. Report suggests rebels from the Tigray and Roma regions are preparing to advance on the capital of Addis Ababa, with

one rebel group tweeting it's in a nearby town and the government forces are defecting.

CNN cannot independently confirm either claim. U.S. bench Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa arrived in the country today to try to defuse tensions.

It's all on the heels of a disturbing U.N. report released on Wednesday that says it is likely all sides have committed war crimes. Here's the U.N.

Human Rights Chief.


MICHELLE BACHELET, U.N. HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS: There has been an escalation and the last days and the last hours of the conflict that

could lead to a real civil war with a lot of bloodshed and with a lot of more pain and suffering for not only for the Military forces who are -- who

will be fighting but also for the civilians.



ANDERSON: Well, Ethiopia's legislature today approved a six month state of emergency that had been announced on Tuesday. Now that allows for the

Military to enlist anyone age 18 or older who owns a firearm, and for the rest of anyone deemed cooperating with and I quote here "terrorist groups".

David McKenzie -- out Ethiopia got to this point and what could happen next.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Through a year of bloody conflict, Ethiopia's crisis was centered mostly here. In Tigray the far

north, that's changing fast Tigray Defense Force rebels shown in Dese this week, just 250 miles from Addis Ababa.

They are threatening to move on the Capitol. And in an unlikely alliance, they've joined up with the Oromo Liberation Army that has links to the

country's largest ethnic group.

ABIY AHMED, ETHIOPIAN PRIME MINISTER: The enemy is digging a deep pit.

MCKENZIE (voice over): United against this man, Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize winner Abiy Ahmed promised the conflict would be swift. I was

always asking citizens to take up arms to defend at us and the nation is in a state of emergency.

AHMED: This enemy we will fight with our bones. We will embarrass our enemies. Ethiopia, we will raise our flag. Ethiopia will not be


MCKENZIE (voice over): But this conflict has embarrassed Abbey and threatens the very makeup of Ethiopia, a key U.S. ally in the region, the

U.S. has sent a senior diplomat to try and stave off a collapse.

NED PRICE, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON: We are gravely concerned by the escalating violence by the expansion of the fighting that we've seen in

northern Ethiopia and in regions throughout the country. We are concerned with a growing risk to the unity and the integrity of the Ethiopian States.

MCKENZIE (voice over): The conflict has been marked by allegations of awful human rights atrocities and indiscriminate killings highlighted by CNN's

reporting. And the government is accused of withholding food aid to desperate Tigrayans facing famine, something they deny.

BACHELET: We have reasonable grounds to believe that during this period, all parties to the Tigray conflict have committed violations of

international human rights, humanitarian and refugee law. Some of these may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.

MCKENZIE (voice over): Abiy came into power promising to unite Ethiopians and renew national identity. He squeezed the Tigrayans out of political

power. But Ethiopia is a fragile collection of regions, often with their own ethnic loyalties and militias.

And Abiy's military strike on Tigray after their attempt to break away from federal control, set up this titanic struggle. On Wednesday the Capitol was

calm people going about their business as usual.

An Ethiopian government official blamed the international media for him alarmist narrative, but the sight of these rebels commonly walking through

a major city, far from Tigray gives no doubt that Abbey is under threat. David McKenzie, CNN, Johannesburg.


ANDERSON: Well, last hour I spoke to the head of the Africa branch at the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Maarit

Kohonen Sheriff was heavily involved in writing.

The joint United Nations report that you just heard about, I asked her for more details on that report, here is part of our conversation.


MAARIT KOHONEN SHERIFF, OHCHR CHIEF OF AFRICA BRANCH: The report is one of the first of its kind in terms of an impartial account that has actually

managed to talk directly to victims, because most of the other reports have been remote monitoring. So yes, we confirm the scale and the horrific

nature of the violations.

We affirm it. And we've laid down enough evidence so that this could lead to legal -- further criminal investigations and legal prosecutions of those

responsible because just as well as an imminent ceasefire, cessation of hostilities, political dialogue is important.

The victims told us that they want to know the truth and they want the perpetrator to be condemned and to be -- to be paying for the crimes

they've committed. ANDERSON: Is this an impartial report it was put together written with the support of Ethiopia state appointed Human Rights


It is impartial, it's impartial because we insisted on a methodology that is impartial that is tried and tested and impartial in its findings. It's a

faithful description of the facts we found, but we're not neutral because we're on the side of the victim.

So the report is not neutral. A report is on the side of the victim portraying their suffering because in the end both parties are guilty.


SHERIFF: And depending on the time of the conflict on the timescale, some part during the first part of the conflict, it's clear that the Ethiopian

forces and the Eritrean forces committed the majority of the violations.

But at the same time when Tigrayans took over, they also engaged in a lot of serious human rights abuses. So the constant here, Becky, during this

past year is the suffering of civilians and the horrendous human rights violations they're undergoing.


ANDERSON: A lot more on what is going on in Cash starved Lebanon trying to mend fences with some wealthy gulf states. The Lebanese

prime minister says he is determined to restore relations with Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Kuwait.

They all withdrew their ambassadors over some critical comments from Lebanon's Information Minister on the war in Yemen, where Saudi Arabia is

still fighting Iran backed Houthi militants.

Israeli lawmakers today passed the country's first budget in three years. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's on Twitter saying a holiday for the State

of Israel! After years of chaos, we've passed a budget for Israel! We continue forward with full throttle.

Well, the vote was a key step to preserving Mr. Bennett's coalition and averting a fifth election in just what is a few years. For more on this,

let's get you to Hadas Gold in Jerusalem. And you cannot underplay the importance for the government and indeed for Israel at this point, not

needing to go back to another election.

This is a really strategic day. What kind of negotiation went on behind the scenes and what is Naftali Bennett had to concede to either wing?

HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky definitely being seen as a huge victory for this very diverse coalition really stitched together, stitched

together of parties from the left to the right, and the first Arab Israeli party to sit in government.

Of course, their first major victory, Becky was simply coming into power. This is definitely their second major victory, as it essentially guarantees

that this new coalition government will survive for now, as you noted, avoiding any sort of elections.

It's also seen as a major setback for opposition leader, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as his potential to upset this coalition is

now significantly diminished, he doesn't really have a very clear path now to try to come back into power.

Now Naftali Bennett called it the most important moment for his government since its establishment. There's a lot in this budget that they say will

help the average Israel that was sort of their focus for this budget, I spoke to sources who said that it was a long time coming.

It was a long night, the vote passed very early in the hours this morning 61 to 59, on exactly what you call party lines, essentially, the coalition

government versus the opposition. So there was no defectors from either side, but also relatively little drama, the coalition had to pass this

budget by November 14, otherwise, elections would have been triggered.

And that's, of course, how the last government fell apart in December of 2020, leading to that other round of elections where it seemingly an

endless cycle of elections in Israel. But there could now be increased pressure from the Americans now, because now that the budget has passed,

this new coalition government is in a much stronger position.

And there's a sense that it could give the Americans the opening to put some more political pressure on Israel, because without the fear of that

causing more instability, Netanyahu possibly coming back.

Now the American Americans could potentially push forward on issues that they're caring about, such as Israeli settlements in the West Bank, and of

course, the potential reopening of an American conflict for Palestinians in Jerusalem. Becky?

ANDERSON: Hadas Gold on the story for us. Thank you. Well, Israel standing by its decision to designate six Palestinian NGOs as terror groups, but the

Irish Foreign Minister says there's no evidence to back that up.

That was top of his list during a two day visit to Israel. I'll ask him about that trip later this hour. And Iran says it's returning to

negotiations over the nuclear deal, the latest news from the United States Iran envoy about when his country will join the talks.



ANDERSON: Big news coming from the COP26 Climate Summit underway in Scotland as we've been reporting more countries pledging at least to phase

out coal the single biggest contributor to climate change.

But those not signing up on some of the world's biggest coal consumers and greenhouse gas emissions, including the U.S., China and India. Alongside

this push to go green comes pressure for all producers to pump more oil.

OPEC classes just wrapped up a meeting in a video conference and the Alliance says it is sticking to its current output plan despite intense

pressure from oil consuming countries, not least Joe Biden himself the U.S. president to cool the oil market keep in mind crude prices are at their

highest level in seven years, so fluctuations in oil prices very much tied to developments in the Iran nuclear talks or lack there.

Up until this point, Iran recently agreed to return to negotiations in Vienna before the end of the month. And now we are hearing from the U.S.

State Department that its special envoy for Iran will be in Vienna, to resume the talks on November the 29th.

The U.S. has repeatedly pushed for Iran to get back to the table Iran stop complying with a nuclear deal after the Trump Administration withdrew from

it. Now the Biden Administration frustrated by months of inaction from Tehran says the window for diplomacy is closing.

I want to talk more about these developments because they're important with Vali Nasr. He's a Middle East scholar and foreign policy advisor, professor

of international studies at John Hopkins University. And I'm very happy to say a regular guest on the show and a friend of the show, a date has

finally been set. Why?

VALI NASR, PROFESSOR, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY: Well, partly is because there have been intense negotiations between Iran and the European members

of JCPOA in Brussels. So I think a lot of the underbrush has been clear between the Europeans and the Iranians.

And I think certain terms perhaps have been agreed, according to which Iran would come back to the talk. So I think the Iranians approach this as that

they're not going to just jump back into where the previous Iranian administration had left it off, that they were going to take some time to

reassess where the talks war. And then they were going to engage the Europeans before they came back to Vienna.

ANDERSON: So what do you believe Tehran believes the Americans are prepared to offer at this point?

NASR: Well, we don't know because a lot of the talks in Brussels have been secret. But there's no question that after intense discussions with Iran,

when the President arrived in Europe.

I think the Europeans conveyed to him what they had gained from those intense negotiations with Tehran, which then led President Biden to make

some very positive statements about expectations from the talks, including one sentence where he said that the United States would stay in the JCPOA

for so long as Iran did.

And the United States is prepared to come in if Iran is prepared to go back also to full compliance. These clearly were signals to Iran there were

perhaps things that were necessary in order to prepare the ground for Iran coming back.


NASR: I don't think it's going to be easy for them to arrive at a deal, but at least they've agreed to certain terms that allow them to come back to

the table.

ANDERSON: So as Tehran is concerned, they want sanctions lifted. And they want to know, and you just pointed this out that the Americans are not

going to do what Donald Trump did and back out of that agreement.

But Joe Biden really isn't in a position to make that promise, ultimately, is he that a president who will follow him might at some point, not pull


NASR: That's very true. I think the guarantees are more important than all the sanctions being lifted, because Iran doesn't want to end up in a yo-yo

situation where they come back in the deal, dismantle some of the resilience that they have built in their economy in order to engage with

the Europeans, et cetera.

And then the United States pulls the rug. Yes, the president cannot make a promise about the future. But there are certain guarantees that he still

can give about certain companies or certain sanctions being able to be lifted or exempted.

But the problem until now has been that President Biden has not been even willing to give guarantees about his own term in office in other words, not

even saying that at least the sanctions would not be re-imposed before 2024.

So the Iranians were very unwilling to make any concessions unless they will guarantee at least certain amount of -- with the sanctions.

ANDERSON: Yes, and, of course, these are not direct talks with the Americans as of yet these are talks between the other parties to the JCPOA

talks, of course, and indirectly speaking through those parties to the U.S.

Should these talks be a success? There's this assumption that Iran will then flood the oil market and the recent article visiting fellow at the

ECFR who happens to be Iranian. Talk about how Gulf countries particularly the UAE, where I am, are keen for the nuclear deal to go ahead so that they

can do business with Iran many already are.

And he wrote, and I quote, "The UAE is a major re export hub, meaning that Iran sources goods from a wide range of countries from suppliers in the UAE

the growth in Iranian imports from the UAE, UAE has been so rapid. Well, he said that the Arab entrecote has now replaced China as Iran's top import


I just want to bring up some numbers to showcase out on the screen Iranian imports from the UAE March 2023, 21. 9 billion since March 2021, 5 billion

forecasts for March 2022, 12 billion t are fascinating numbers aren't they?

What is your sense, firstly, about how long these talks might last? And secondly, should they be a success? Where do you see Iran going next? And

are these sorts of relationships, the important ones for them?

NASR: Yes, I mean, first of all, I think Iran learned the lesson from 2015 that that ultimately, its neighbors have to be happy with the nuclear deal.

And that Iran does not want to end up in a situation where the Persian Gulf countries are lobbying against the deal in Washington.

And that's why it has engaged with Saudi Arabia, it has sent very powerful signals to UAE, that if its economy opens up, UAE will be a big

beneficiary. I have to say that, you know, for UAE and Saudi Arabia, it's a double edged sword, because in the past four or five years, they've also

eaten up Iran share of the oil market.

So that's benefited them. But at the same time, if they want business with Iran, Iran has to have an income and so particularly UAE is very motivated

to let Iran come back in. I don't think Iran can flood the market.

Just because there are Iran is a member of the OPEC and in fact, coming back in means that Iran has to abide by OPEC quotas. But nevertheless, they

will get more money and that money will lead to greater number of imports, financial transactions, et cetera.

And I think UAE and particularly Dubai will be great beneficiaries. And the current Iranian President has made trade with the neighborhood the top

priority for his administration. So far, it's Iraq and Afghanistan and Turkey.

But I think UAE also sees that it's important that it gets a piece of the pie as well. I think all that is positive, because I think if these

countries have economic interests in one another, this less likely that they will have serious security situations like we saw attack on tankers

and oil facilities, et cetera.

ANDERSON: With that we're going to leave it there. It's always a pleasure thank you very much indeed your insight and analysis extremely important.


ANDERSON: Those talks scheduled to start once again November the 29th. Beijing is hitting back after the Pentagon warned that China is rapidly

expanding its nuclear arsenal. CNN's Selina Wang brings this more the reaction.

SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: China says the Pentagon's report on its future nuclear capabilities is full of bias and turns a blind eye to the

facts. China has repeatedly accused the U.S. of overhyping the threat posed by China's Military modernization program.

The key data point in this new Pentagon report that has Washington concerned is the claim that China intends to have at least 1000 nuclear

warheads by 2030. That's a dramatic increase from last year's projection.

U.S. officials are also worried about the intent behind this nuclear stockpile while China maintains a no first use policy when it comes to

nuclear weapons. A senior U.S. official briefing reporter said China has suggested there are instances when this would not apply.

This comes on top of reports about China testing a hypersonic weapon over the summer and satellite imagery CNN has reported on. That shows three

suspected silo fields in China that could eventually be capable of launching long range nuclear missiles.

China has not responded to requests for comment on that report. The Pentagon report also claims that China's Military modernization is deeply

intertwined with its broader goal to match or surpass U.S. power and global influence by 2049.

Experts say part of China's strategy here is to try and deter the U.S. from intervening if Beijing ever uses force to take Taiwan. The report says if

China can reach its 2027 Military goals, it could give Beijing a range of options including blockading Taiwan, or an amphibious invasion of the


But important context here is that even with this accelerated nuclear expansion, Beijing is still lagging far behind the U.S. when it comes to

the size of its nuclear arsenal. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, China has 350 nuclear warheads in its stockpile.

Compare that to 3750 in the U.S., for the U.S. and Russia's 4630.

In response to this Pentagon report, Chinese officials have repeated that their nuclear strategy is just for defense. Selina Wang, CNN, Tokyo.

ANDERSON: Outrage across much of Europe as Israel plans to expand settlements in the West Bank. Ireland's foreign minister is one of the

voices opposing the moves he just visited the region and I will ask him about that more up next.


ANDERSON: Israel's plan to green light thousands of new settlements in the West Bank is drawing outreach from the UK and a dozen other European



ANDERSON: Last week, the Israeli government gave the go ahead for more than 1300 housing units to be built in the West Bank. It's also pushing plans

for an additional 3000 homes for Jewish settlers there.

Under international law, the West Bank and East Jerusalem are considered occupied territory, meaning all Israeli settlements there are illegal that

Israel disputes this. Well my next guest represents one of the 12 European foreign ministries, jointly calling on the government of Israel to reverse

its plans.

In a statement they wrote, and I quote, "We reiterate our strong opposition to its policy of settlement expansion across the occupied Palestinian

territories, which violate international law and undermine efforts for the two state solutions. Simon Coveney joins me now.

He is Ireland's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Defense; it's good to have you with us. So you've just returned from a two day trip to

Israel and the West Bank? Did you speak directly to Israeli counterpart to express your concerns about these settlements? And if so, what did he say?

SIMON COVENEY, IRISH FOREIGN MINISTER: First of all, thank you for having me on. And, yes, we've spent the last three days in Israel and in the

occupied territories in the West Bank. And yes, I spoke to the Israeli president, but also the Israeli foreign minister and deputy prime minister.

And we had good, but also frank discussions. And you know, the Irish position, just like the EU position is very clear on this settlements in

occupied territory are illegal. And the expansion of those settlements is certainly illegal.

And the responsibilities that countries have under the Fourth Geneva Convention are clear. If you are an occupying power is on somebody else's

land, it is prohibited to transfer your population into that occupied territory.

And Israel has been consistently doing that now, for years. And as a result, there are close to 700,000 Israelis living in settlements across

the West Bank, many of them strategically located to divide up the West Bank.

So not only is this illegal, but it is also making a two state solution. And the peace process more and more distant and more and more difficult.

And that is creating very significant tension between Israelis and Palestinians, particularly in occupied territory.

ANDERSON: So you express, so you express your outrage, as you had done before the trip to your Israeli counterpart. And what did you say that you

and others would do so far as action is concerned, if you don't see a change in policy?

COVENEY: You know it's not about Irish outrage; it's about the world calling out illegality and the international community acting to put to put

pressure on Israel, which is a democracy and has responsibilities as an occupying power.

But if we are serious about peace between Israelis and Palestinians, which I hope the international community is, then the accepted solution, in terms

of a peace process is a two state solution to states living side by side with security intact.


COVENEY: And, and the more Israel expands its settlements in Palestinian territory, the more a two state solution becomes a more and more remote

possibility. And that is why -- spoken out --

ANDERSON: -- I understand that. And we've heard the statements before. No, no, absolutely. We've heard the statements before and you are emphasizing

that point and make in a very erudite way. Look, I would appreciate on this, because the new Israeli Government has just passed its budget for


No, I understand that. Let's just have this discussion. The budgets just been passed for 2021. It looks as if it's on track to pass its budget for

next year as well. To the degree that the fear must be receding that Benjamin Netanyahu can make a comeback.

People like you and others in the EU and the U.S., for example, can start to say what you and they really think about settlements and other elements

of occupation. And you can take actions that reflect that over things like access to EU programs.

Can you not -- and that's what I'm trying to get to here. What sort of action can you all might you take?

COVENEY: Yes, I mean, I think that that both the EU and the U.S., quite frankly have been cautious in terms of any criticism of this new Israeli

government because it's a fragile government. It has eight different parties all contributing to it.

Many of those parties have diametrically opposing views on certain issues, including settlements. And so I think a lot of people wanted to wait and

see whether this government was likely to survive.


COVENEY: I think the passing of the budget last night and the likely passing of next year's budget tonight; I think is now giving people like me

and many others a degree of confidence that this Israeli government, as diverse as it is, is here to stay for a considerable period of time.

That's good news. And it means that we need to build a partnership with this government to reignite a peace process that can actually get a result.

And we have a lot of work to do to build confidence and to build trust between Israelis and Palestinians.

But I think both Washington as well as the European Union needs to now focus on their relationship with this new Israeli Government and make it

very clear to them.


COVENEY: That if we are serious about delivering a peace process together, well, then expanding settlements, not only is illegal, but it's also

unacceptable to the international community and the European Union certainly --

ANDERSON: Simon, can you can you conceive of getting to a point where access to EU programs, for example, is denied unless there is action taken?

COVENEY: Well, I mean, we are due to have called an association council meeting between the EU and Israel in the coming weeks and months, we'd like

to see that happen. But I think the parameters around agreeing a date for that Association Council agreement, which is about building a closer

relationship between the EU and Israel, which is what we all want to do.

But I do think that there needs to be a consequence for Israel, for ignoring international law for ignoring the overwhelming consensus of the

international community in relation to settlements and settlement expansion, because it is such a corrosive influence on a peace process that

we all want to try to reignite.

So I do think the European Union will be considering its options. I don't think it's appropriate for me to go into those options now. But certainly,

I think relentless and strategic expansion of settlements in the West Bank will have a very negative consequence in terms of EU Israel relations. And

none of us want that. And I hope Israeli government will see that for what it is.

ANDERSON: Less than two weeks ago, this government designated six Palestinian NGOS as terror organizations for links, the government believes

with a band faction, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Island is one of the countries that fund some of those NGOs, you express concern over this, did you raise that issue with Israeli officials on this

trip? And did you get more information from them of the basis for these designations?

COVENEY: Yes, I've raised this issue. I mean, not all conversations, by the way, with Israel were negative. But certainly I have raised real learn

about this, you know, any functioning democracy has got to allow a space for civil society has got to allow a space for NGOs, even if those NGOs

raised difficult questions, cause trouble for governments.

I mean most of the NGOs that my government funds criticize me all the time. That's what NGOs do. But the way to respond for that was not to -- is not

to outlaw --

ANDERSON: So did you meet with the people from the two organizations that I Island provides funding for?

COVENEY: Yes, so two of the six organizations that have been labeled now and designated by the Israeli government as terrorist organizations we

fund, we have a robust process in terms of how our money is spent and a pretty transparent process in terms of following that money.

And we have no evidence to suggest that the two organizations of the six that we have provided modest funding to are in any way linked to terrorism.

And so I have asked the Israeli government to share their evidence with me as the basis for this decision.

And we haven't seen any credible evidence. That's the truth, maybe there is there if there is we will of course act on it. Irish money will never give

any terrorism or an incitement to violence. But there is no evidence that I've seen that suggests that that is the case.

And that is why those of us who care about civil society and an NGO voice, particularly in volatile parts of the world, like the occupied West Bank,

need to speak out and protect those organizations unless there is clear evidence to suggest otherwise.

ANDERSON: We're going to have to wrap it up here. We'll have you back, sir. Thank you very much indeed for joining us.

COVENEY: Thanks Becky. I appreciate it.

ANDERSON: We will be right back after this.



ANDERSON: This hour we've been talking about cutting fossil fuels, haven't we in reducing our reliance on coal world combat climate change, we as

individuals need to help as well. And that means a lot of times changing our lifestyles. Right here in Abu Dhabi that has just become easy, I have

to say.

The UCI the world governing body for cycling has named the UAE Capitol, one of the bike cities and that they say is in recognition as these shorts show

the world class events hosted here. And of Abu Dhabi's promotion of cycling in the community into -- the city is expanding its cycling network to

around 1000 kilometers including a massive loop linking key sites.

Now, app says good news for me and many of the people I work with here because we regularly zip about on the cycle paths that already exist here.

It's all an effort from the city to make getting around easier while being environmentally conscious.

So if you have somewhere to be today, ditch the car, ditch the bus, pick up a bike if you can, it's good for you. It's good for the environment. And

good evening from Abu Dhabi.