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Zelenskyy Blasts French President Macron; IAEA Chief: Ukrainian Government Requested us to Visit; Bruised UK Prime Minister Tries to move Past Confidence Vote; Muslim Countries Slam India over Offensive Comments; Mexican President says he won't Attend this Week's Gathering; Dustin Johnson Quits PGA Tour for Saud-Backed Event. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired June 07, 2022 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: Yes, street battles, conditions changing by hour. World's news today to describe the fight for
several striking the states well Kyiv Ukrainian city now for days capturing it,
And its sister city of Lisichansk will give Russia total control over what is known as the Luhansk region of the Donbas. Check out the map on the left
hand side of your screen since the weekend. Ukraine has reported gains than setbacks and now uncertainty over what will happen next Russia also
increasingly intensity of its attacks in the Donetsk region firing missiles at Sloviansk and other targets.
In Mariupol in the south and advisor to the Mayor says Russia is quietly closing the port city amid fears of a cholera outbreak. He says corpses are
piled everywhere a lot to get through Salma Abdelaziz, connections from the Ukrainian Capital Kyiv where you've been assessing what is going on the
ground for us? Just get us up to speed on the very latest, if you will.
SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER: Let's start with Severodonetsk. As you mentioned, Becky, of course the key battle city right now President
Zelenskyy saying an address last night that Ukrainian defenders are holding their ground last week it looks like that city was about to fall to Russian
It now appears that Ukrainian troops have been able to claw back some territory but these are fierce street to street battles. And Ukrainian
officials tell us that Russian forces are using an incredible amount of resources, firepower troop's artillery to bomb besiege try to take hold of
Severodonestk and the main access road into that city as well.
That means supply routes are tenuous at best. And that means for the more than 10,000 civilians still trapped in that city. There is no clear way
out. And as you pointed out, why are we speaking about the city as we have four days now because it is that key victory is that key step forward
towards taking Luhansk President Putin's larger goal, of course of taking the Donbas region.
I'm also going to mention the Black Sea because there we've seen according two Ukrainian officials, Russian warships pushed back by 100 kilometers.
That's a tenuous victory at best again, because according to Ukrainian officials, cruise missile systems have already been set up in Russian
occupied territories and Kherson and in Crimea to try to push back again to try to regain what has been lost.
This is important, of course, because it is the ports, the southern ports, particularly the port of Odessa that open up that supply grain to the rest
of the world and Ukraine being the breadbasket of course, for many countries across Africa and the Middle East. It has a domino effect here,
ANDERSON: Yes, we can do more on that, in the hour to come. Ukraine's President said in an interview with the FT that he and I quote him is
simply cannot see the preconditions for ending this war and he reserved harsh criticism for the French President Emmanuel Macron. Over recent
related comments, just explain what this is about.
ABDELAZIZ: Absolutely. So let's start with what President Emmanuel Macron said last week to French media saying and I paraphrase here, that he would
like to see an exit ramp to this conflict for President Putin for Russia, and that the Western world, the allies of Ukraine should not try to
Again, I am paraphrasing here, but President Zelenskyy condemned those comments quite quickly, quite immediately. Take a listen to what he said in
that interview. And I'm sorry; those are air raid sirens behind me Becky, if you hear them. They are a regular occurrence here. But let's go ahead
and listen to what President Zelenskyy said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: Russia has constantly derailed the ceasefire regime; Russia has derailed the exchange of prisoners. So
what kind of humiliation are we talking about? I do not even believe that they are humiliating Ukraine. That would be a weak position. No one is
humiliating us. They are killing us. So in response, we are not going to humiliate anyone. We are going to response in kind.
ABDELAZIZ: Now, President Zelenskyy sounding very strong. They're very strong comments. But this is the concern, right? Is this is essentially
turning into a war of attrition. We are talking about street to street fighting, a kinetic stalemate, if you will, in the east of the country. And
again, I'm sorry, there are those air raid sirens behind me, but this is the conflict it continues to grind on.
And, as currently there is no diplomatic effort that seems to be reaching any sort of success or bringing anyone to the table. President Zelenskyy
takes these matters very seriously, of course, because it is whether or not you can bring President Putin to the table and what concessions that can be
made or whether this conflict continues to grind on and if it does.
President Zelenskyy and Ukraine are going to depend on the west to continue to focus and to continue to support and provide the assistance that they
need in this battle Becky,
ANDERSON: And those sirens just reminder that this war continues not just with risks in the area that we've been reporting on but also where you are
as well thank you.
ANDERSON: Well in his interview with The Financial Times President Zelenskyy called Ukraine's inability to export grain from Russian blockaded
ports, a threat of global magnitude.
Well, that same sentiment expressed by the European Council President at a UN Security Council meeting following a Russian missile strike that
destroyed a green terminal. I want you to just have a listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLES MICHEL, EUROPEAN COUNCIL PRESIDENT: Mr. Ambassador of the Russian Federation, let's be honest, the Kremlin is using food supplies as a
stealth missile against developing countries. The dramatic consequences of Russia swarm are spilling over across the globe.
And this is driving up food crisis, pushing people into poverty and destabilizing entire regions. And Russia is solely responsible for this
food crisis Russia alone, despite the Kremlin's campaign of lies, and disinformation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, that was Charles Michel. Before walking out of the meeting, Russia's UN envoy insisted Western sanctions what is at fault here, not his
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VASSILY NEBENZIA, RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: So today, the masks have been cast off quite simply. And today however, it has now become trendy to
accuse Russia for the energy and the food crisis which you yourselves have created.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, amid increasing worry over the global food supply, Turkey hopes to broker a solution toward his green crisis. Now you will remember
that Turkey has been trying to take on the role of mediators since the start of this war.
Russia's Foreign Minister who is set to visit Ankara on Wednesday and as my colleague Jomana Karadsheh tells us Sergei Lavrov's visit is coming amid
more evidence that Russia is stealing Ukrainian grain.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): From his Istanbul terrorists YouTube issue has watched part of Russia's invasion of Ukraine
play out in Turkey's Bosphorus Strait. First it was the military buildup. Now the ship watcher and founder of the Bosphorus observer has been
documenting Russia's theft of Ukrainian grain. With the help of satellite images and Ukrainian activists he tracked and filmed this Russian ship
transiting the Bosphorus. The ship appeared in Maxar Technologies images obtained by CNN last month, it was smuggling stolen Ukrainian wheat.
YORUK ISIK, SCHOLAR, MIDDLE EAST INSTITUE: This is the bottleneck spot. And there are so many spots like this, this easy to monitor we almost miss
nothing coming out of Black Sea from here only in last two, three weeks, we witness at least 10 journeys of 10 different ships carried wheat from
occupied Ukrainian ports into mostly to Syria, because people are worried about the sanctions et cetera. They are usually carrying first to Syria,
and it's getting distributed to the other Middle Eastern customers from Syria so far.
KARADSHEH (voice over): Turkey straits are governed by the 1936 Montreux Convention. It's already restricted access to Russian naval vessels under
that agreement. But when it comes to commercial traffic, it's limited in what it can do.
But Russia is not only accused of theft, Ukraine, the U.S. and the EU have all accused it of holding the world to ransom, blockading Ukrainian ports
and stopping the export of more than 20 million tons of Ukrainian grain that dozens of countries rely on. Russia blames Ukraine for the blockade
and says its Western sanctions that are causing a global food crisis.
KARADSHEH (on camera): Turkey is trying to use its strategic location and its close ties with both its Black Sea neighbors Russia and Ukraine to try
and broker a deal that would establish a sea corridor for Ukrainian grain exports.
KARADSHEH (voice over): That potential green corridor through the Turkish straits will top the agenda when the Russian Foreign Minister meets his
Turkish counterpart on Wednesday. And meeting Turkish officials are hoping will lay the groundwork for talk soon between Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and
the United Nations.
YUSUF ERIM, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, TRT WORLD: Turkey can definitely provide services an auditor to make sure that grain is being sent out from both
Ukraine and Russia being one of the Black Sea powers. It has the capacity to provide security inside the Black Sea as well.
So it can be a player that provides security that provides observation provides auditing that could be acceptable and considered legitimate by
both Kyiv and Moscow.
KARADSHEH (voice over): But the Russians will have their own demands likely unacceptable to Western powers. They've already indicated they want
ERIM: I expect the Russians to want a waiver on their grain sales as well and they feel that they have the leverage right now Turkey is going to be
very important in being able to negotiate between Russia and the West to be able to get a sanctions waiver for the Russians for their grain sales as
KARADSHEH (voice over): And few will trust what Russia promises. There is no easy path out of this. But Turkey is hoping it can at least begin the
complex process of trying to end the blockade and avert a crisis. The UN has warned will lead to famine and instability around the world. Jomana
ANDERSON: Well with Russia's invasion of Ukraine now in its fourth months, so concerns are growing over the safety of Ukraine's nuclear sites. Ukraine
is home to Europe's largest nuclear power plant in that plan has fallen under Russian occupation during the war.
On Monday, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency Rafael Grossi said and I quote, we are working to send an expert mission to power plant.
Ukraine requested us we will go there. This after warning there is a clear and present risk to the safety, security and safeguards at the plant.
But Ukraine's nuclear energy operator accuses the director general of legitimizing Russia's occupation of the plant and of lying in claiming
Ukraine requested he traveled there earlier today in the IAEA Spokesperson declined to comment on those accusations.
Well let's bring in one person who had hopefully can clear this up. It's the IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi joining us live from the Agency's
Headquarters in Vienna. What's your response to what the Ukrainians have said, specifically accusing you of lying about an invitation to the plant,
RAFAEL GROSSI, DIRECTOR GENERAL, INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY: First of all, it's very good to talk to you again. Let me say that I wouldn't go
we'll go into a polemic or an argument, let me say simply this, the Ukrainian government has effectively invaded and indeed appealed to me and
to the Secretary General of the United Nations to deploy efforts to liberate the nuclear power plant and the IAEA in particular, because of our
mission, to elaborate the necessary modalities to perform the inspections and the safety activities that we have to perform.
Let me say when we talk about invitations, this is about a contractual obligation. The IAEA has to perform these inspections in Ukraine, it's not
a matter of wanting or wishing, it's an obligation for us. And for the Ukraine, naturally, we are experiencing a unique situation with a war with
a facility that has been occupied by a third power. So obviously, we are working and we have to come to a modality as the Ukrainian government has
clearly said, so that this visit takes place and the inspections that we have to perform--
ANDERSON: Let me let me push you on this because it is important you have been accused of lying. The Ukrainian nuclear energy operator has said that
you are legitimizing Russia's occupation of the plant by traveling there. So I want to get this very good. You're not.
GROSSI: Of course, of course, as I said, again, the Ukrainian government has requested us to come to perform an obligation. Alright, this is not
about a social invitation or maybe if you want to come or not. This is an obligation for the IAEA and for Ukraine, to have these inspections which
are not taking place.
I will repeat for a long time now with a lot of nuclear material there that needs to be inspected, and also to assist. And you may know that I have
been twice already in Ukraine I have with President Zelenskyy. I was in the South Ukraine nuclear power plant. I was in Chernobyl, we are dispatching
So we are now assisting in many ways. We are one of the few international organizations I would say on the ground with people and feet on the ground,
ANDERSON: I just wonder what message I believe this is sending to the Ukrainians if you visit a power plant that is under Russian control. They
say that this is legitimizing that control. I just want you're responding to that,
GROSSI: I would say I would. I would say this is absolutely incorrect because when I go there, I will be going there under the safeguards
agreement that Ukraine us with the IAEA not the Russian Federation. Ukraine so maybe whoever is that is saying these things
Is that Ukraine, as with the IAEA, not the Russian Federation, Ukraine? So maybe whoever is that is saying these things should be reminded of the
legal the contractual framework and the way the IAE interacts with member states.
ANDERSON: This was Ukraine's nuclear energy operator accusing you of lying and claiming Ukraine and requests for travel time. Last time we spoke, you
said the world should be careful about frivolous reporting with regard to what is actually happening on the ground. So it's important at this point,
what exactly is the situation at the power plant at present?
GROSSI: Indeed, and this is why I insist that we come. It is only when we, the inspectors of the IAEA, the safety experts of the IAEA go to the place
that the world, the international community, and of course, the member states, the owner of the plant, who has been this owned, in this case, and
everybody else can have an exact idea of what is going on.
So frankly, I do understand, and I know that this is a tremendously difficult situation for all Ukrainians. But the IAEA is actually helping
assisting Ukraine and has been doing so from February 24. And we will continue doing this in spite of some things that one or the other may say
in the middle, perhaps under emotion.
ANDERSON: I want to turn to Iran now, because you have said that you cannot guarantee Iran's nuclear program is exclusively peaceful. IAEA member
states have introduced a resolution that calls on Iran to cooperate with the probe, the IAEA is probe.
Iran's Foreign Minister said in response, and I quote here, those who push for an anti-Iran resolution at the IEA will be responsible for all the
consequences. What do you imagine those consequences might be? How concerned are you about this threat at this point? And how does the IEA
plan to break this impasse sir?
GROSSI: Well, we are trying to do and this is what I said in these reports, you are referring to me in my statements at the opening session of the
Board of Governors the IEA that is discussing this right now is that I am open I am ready to engage the problem is that we have been discussing, this
is a new chapter in your long story.
And I have discussed I had the pleasure to discuss this with you on previous occasions shows a long story with ups and downs. The last chapter,
if you want of the saga has been that I was in Iran earlier in the year we agree. We agreed on certain things that we would be doing for three months
we have been meeting without any results.
ANDERSON: Right. So are you concerned that Iran could further limit cooperation at this point?
GROSSI: Well, I hope not. I hope not. I don't see that in the interest of anybody starting with Iran that would certainly aggravate the present
situation. So we hope that reason will prevail and that we will be at long last be able to sit down around the table and clarify these very important
issues that are still outstanding and not clear about findings that we had in different places in Iran, where we found traces of nuclear activity,
whereas these places had never been declared as places or sites where nuclear activities were taking place.
So my questions have been extremely simple. If there was this material here, where it is? If there was equipment here, what has happened to it,
they have to answer these questions. And these questions are not going to go away.
ANDERSON: Right, those questions still unanswered. Iran has said that you are not willing to condemn attacks on its nuclear facilities, and that has
caused problems. Are you willing to condemn attacks at attacks on their nuclear sites?
GROSSI: On many occasions, you know, I have been clear on condemning any act of violence against anybody, I might diplomat. You know, I'm a man of
peace. And I condemn firmly any act of violence wherever it happens and whoever may be causing them.
I think we should focus on what we should focus. We know exactly what the problems are on the table. Let's work on them. Let's clarify them. And once
we do this, for sure that the whole situation will be clarified and apps, lines of cooperation and many other things that Iran is striving for will
be easier to attain for them.
ANDERSON: You visited Israel last week a country that is not on member of the nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty this will have rankled Tehran what was
the not a member of the nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty. This will have rankled Tehran what was the purpose of that visit sir?
GROSSI: Well, first of all, Israel is a member state of the IAEA, and is part of my job to talk to all member states. It is normal that I talked to
president's heads of state and government was invited by Prime Minister Bennett. And we had a conversation.
So this is part of normal business, of course, and to a certain extent, you can relate that to the previous part of our conversation about Ukraine when
I am talking to Ukraine and Russia as well.
GROSSI: So this is my job. I was--
ANDERSON: What was discussed with regard Iran, what can you shares?
GROSSI: You know, on what they had to say, the perhaps is a question for you to put to Israel. But I think the position of Israelis is very clear.
What I was clear about was my message in the sense that we can do this job that the work of the inspectors must precede, we the IAEA through
diplomatic means, can provide clarity and dispel doubts that there might be development of nuclear weapons--
ANDERSON: Your concern then otherwise, the Israeli's would do the job is that what you're saying?
ANDERSON: Your concern that otherwise, the Israelis will do the job preventing Iran from further developing its nuclear?
GROSSI: Well, you know, I concentrate on my message, and my message is to Iran is, let's work together. Let's roll up our sleeves clarify this
because we can do it.
ANDERSON: Finally, yesterday, you mentioned that North Korea could be preparing for a nuclear test. There have been no inspectors in that country
since 2009 as I understand it. Will you re engage with Pyongyang in the light of this news?
GROSSI: Well, the situation is quite concerning, because, as I said in my report, what we see is fast, fast forward, in every line of the nuclear
program of the DPRK. They are building more facilities to enrich uranium, they are operating their reprocessing plant, the reprocessing plant is what
takes Utonium out of fuel, which is another way to have material for bomb bombs.
And they are readying via a nuclear test site. So, all these points to a very, I would say concerning situation where North Korea seems to be
ignoring the several resolutions from this
ANDERSON: Can I ask - will you reengage them with Pyongyang?
GROSSI: I think first for us to reengage there has to be a political agreement. There have been different platforms to try this. You remember
during the presidency of President Trump, the bilateral was tried before that there have been six party talk systems with other countries.
So before you know we are technical organization, of course with a profound political significance, but we are basically technical organization
inspectors. So what we need is to go and inspect whatever will have been agreed at the political table. So we are ready. We are preparing and we
will deploy immediately once there is an agreement to allow the inspectors back in which is of course long overdue.
ANDERSON: Rafael Grossi, it's good to have your time wide ranging discussion and an extremely important one. Thank you very much indeed for
GROSSI: Thank you. It's always a pleasure. Thank you very much.
ANDERSON: Just ahead, the morning after the night before Britain's Boris Johnson has a message for his top team just hours after surviving what was
a confidence vote. We will be live in Downing Street for you. Saudi Arabia's new Golf Tour NABS another big name for what is its inaugural
event more on that after this?
ANDERSON: Do more to combat the UK's high cost of living that is the message from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to his top team during a
Cabinet meeting a short time ago this Prime Minister in battle as he is clinging on to power after surviving a confidence vote among lawmakers from
his own Conservative Party.
Deep discontent was laid bare Monday night when 41 percent of those Tory MPs voted to oust him and the Scottish First Minister is already describing
Mr. Johnson as a lame duck. But it's the size of that Tory rebellion that's really raising eyebrows.
We're live in Downing Street where CNN's Phil Black is standing by for us. His supporters will say Mr. Johnson has a mandate from the British public
and now the ruling conservative party. It's time to get on with policymaking and wait until the next general election if people want to see
change. Question is when will that be and what happens in the interim Phil?
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Becky? That's right. That is what his supporters are saying. That's what Johnson himself is saying that this is a
clear, decisive, comfortable, handsome various adjectives of this sort. Victory for the Prime Minister, one that says he now has a mandate to get
on with things and no doubt.
That is what Johnson will hope he has that he can now simply focus on policy, start locking in some achievements and lead the party towards its
next federal election in a couple of years or so. But he can't feel confident that that is how things will play out from here, he can't be sure
that this is merely a blip and not the sign of worse to come for him.
And that is because of that figure that result around 41 percent of sitting conservative parliamentary members no longer want him to be Prime Minister.
That percentage is not enough to topple him clearly. But it is more than enough to reveal weakness and to reveal and perhaps inflict further
As a result, what this shows what this result shows is that there is a large percentage of Conservative MPs who feel very strongly the strength of
feeling is great, because not only are they were they voting for him to leave office, but they were voting for all the uncertainty that that would
trigger a long, potentially messy leadership campaign or leadership competition, one with an uncertain outcome where they couldn't be sure,
just who would be the leader of the Conservative Party, at the end of that process, couldn't be sure how electable that person would be.
Well, Boris Johnson is someone who has proven to be very successful, electorally, securing a big majority for his body back in 2019. We know
that for the moment under the rules that Boris Johnson can be challenged again in this way for another year. But those rules can change. And really
how this plays out from here will depend on how Boris Johnson performs, both in terms of the political day to day management of the country.
He's also got some key electoral tests coming up a couple of by elections that will obviously take on a much greater importance in being used to
really read and try to understand what the mood of the British voting public is, and just how they feel about their prime minister after all of
this and how they feel about him keeping his job, Becky.
ANDERSON: Just reminders what happens next because at this stage, the rules are that Boris Johnson doesn't face another vote of confidence even if his
detractors wanted him to do so for at least a year.
ANDERSON: And then of course there is a general election off the back of that, could that change?
BLACK: So in theory, yes, we are told that that can change. There was talk of that same rule changing after Boris Johnson's predecessor, Theresa May
successfully stood and won a motion of no confidence against her. There was such opposition to her in the party from that point.
While she refused to go, that there was talk of changing the rule. In the end, she did go she resigned back then it was policy. The issue was Brexit
at this time. Well, the issue is Boris Johnson's character. It is fundamental stuff like his integrity, his leadership.
This is what has been called into question through the whole party gate affair, really fundamental stuff in terms of a Prime Minister and a party
leader. And it's not easy to see how Boris Johnson can very easily win such a large block of opposition back on side but as has often been said today,
Boris Johnson is not a conventional politician.
The rules of politics don't often seem to apply to him, and he does seem to come out of crises. He does survive often coming out stronger than he was
ANDERSON: Absolutely, thank you sir, taking a very short break back after this.
ANDERSON: India's government has gone into full damage control, after controversial comments made by two officials with the nation's ruling
party, the BJP has suspended Spokeswoman Nupur Sharma for comments about the Prophet Muhammad that were considered offensive and Islam phobic.
Sharma has since withdrawn her statement but that didn't stop at least 14 countries from condemning her words and in retaliation shops for example in
Kuwait were seeing removing Indian products from the shelves.
My next guest Journalist Barkha Dutt tweeted this "Imagine training for the toughest exams in the world trained to be a diplomat and then have to waste
your acumen defender explaining hate mongering of political spokespersons on the global stage word of commiseration for our diplomats today."
Barkha Dutt, joining us now from New Delhi and apologize they are having to do before we get into this specific issue. I want to take a step back and
just discuss how we got here because this anti minority sentiment has gained such a strong position in Indian politics, why?
BARKHA DUTT, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, MOJO STORY: Well, thank you for having me, Becky. And quite simply, I think it's because the ruling BJP, the Bharatiya
Janta Party does not have to pay any electoral price for the others of the Muslim community.
If it did, all political parties eventually are guided by whether they can win or lose elections. Unfortunately, that's the cynical truth. If they
did, then perhaps this sort of polarization, the Islam phobia, the uttering the anti-Muslim rhetoric would have a domestic backlash. But other than,
you know, domestic criticism from progressive from liberals from opposition parties, there have been no serious electoral consequences for the BJP.
If you couple that with a culture of coarseness that has tragically been promoted by primetime shows across private television news in India and
what you saw Ms. Sharma doing I'm ashamed to say is par for the course in many, many primetime television debates in India today. So its politics
coupled with media theatrics.
ANDERSON: So as you point out, this is not the first time that an Indian audience will have heard anti-Muslim comments from BJP members. Why do you
think we are only seeing action then taken now?
DUTT: Well, that's an excellent question, because I'm not sure that your viewers know that there were almost 10 days between the time that these
comments were made about the Prophet and the time that the government actually dropped Ms. Sharma, from their panel of spokespeople and suspended
her from the party.
What went on in those 10 days, quite simply, I guess the government did not think as I pointed out that there would be any blowback domestically, at
least there was not. And then we had the backlash starting to take place in Qatar to begin with.
And soon, you had country after country in the Gulf in the Islamic world, joining the chorus of protests against India. Now, this is a lot about
economics, we're talking about billions of dollars in trade, dependency of energy requirements, massive volume of both import and export of trade
But you're also talking about, you know, hundreds of thousands of Indians who actually live in work in these countries and send money back home. And
we start getting reports of Indians working in these countries now facing social backlash when they're talking about - affairs, prospective security
Briefly, I'll just say that in the Muslim world, the Prime Minister has personally invested in bettering relations with many of these Muslim
countries in the Gulf. And he's seen it as a big vindication that he's been able to do that. So there was a lot at stake. And that is why India could
not afford to ignore this anymore.
ANDERSON: And this is why, as you have put it, these diplomats are now working overdrive to crisis manages this situation. And you're right to
point out to millions of Indians working and living in the golfer area.
These are Gulf Arab states, which share increasingly close ties with India, those relationships, as you rightly pointed out, becoming increasingly
important for New Delhi. Should you or should we expect to hear from the Narendra Modi on this? Or will this be left to these diplomats? How will
this all deal impact these relationships at this point?
DUTT: I do not think that we will hear from the Prime Minister directly. I wish and I have often wished that the Prime Minister himself which would
shut this down the ranks, but that is not his style. I fear that the diplomats are will be left to fix. What is something that has been broken
by the failure of politics?
In fact, that's exactly what one diplomat who served as India's Ambassador to the UAE said to me, he said everybody's calling this a diplomatic
failure, but we've been sent to douse fires that we did not start.
Also very disingenuously, India's diplomats originally tried to describe this particular person Ms. Nupur Sharma as a fringe element. She's the
National Spokesperson of the BJP appearing for the party on behalf of the party when she said this. So that also did not help the credibility of
I believe that diplomats will now have to go into overdrive there will have to be visible action. And what essentially happened is that domestic
politics has collided with diplomacy in a way that a kind of dualism if that worked for the BJP one kind of policy at home but caught in the Muslim
world that's collided and that's what's really happened here.
ANDERSON: Fascinating. Barkha Dutt it's good to have you on thank you very much indeed for your analysis and your insight extremely important to our
viewers. Next up a snap that could have serious consequences so after the U.S. declines to invite three countries to a high profile Summit, Mexico's
President says count him out as well.
ANDERSON: Well, the official meetings aren't scheduled until tomorrow but already the Summit of the Americas as it is known is off to a rocky start.
The Mexican President has announced that he is boycotting a gathering hosted by the United States.
Now this comes after the White House said yesterday, Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela are being excluded because the Biden Administration does not
quote believe dictators should be invited, while 23 other heads of government are expected to attend and U.S. officials insist Mexico's
absence won't prevent progress.
We have a team covering this CNN White House Correspondent Jeremy Diamond is in Washington and Patrick Oppmann is in Havana in Cuba. Let's start with
You know, you were under the impression that you know the Biden Administration might look to bring Cuba in from the cold it sent recently,
you know, a low level delegation down to Venezuela, obviously with the issue of oil sort of roiling for this Biden administration. And what's
going on here?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you're right. We have seen some rolling back by the Biden Administration of some of the tougher
on Cuba policies of the Trump Administration.
But clearly, that was not enough of a stance of a position by the Biden Administration to mollify the Mexican President, who for weeks now has been
saying that he believed that all of these countries should be invited to the Summit of the Americas that openness and invitation to all countries
should be extended.
But ultimately, the Biden Administration formally announcing yesterday that Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua would not be invited on the same day that the
Mexican President said that he therefore would not be attending because of that policy by the United States.
And keep in mind this is the first time that the United States is hosting this Summit of the Americas since 1994 when the first the inaugural Summit
of the Americas was held in Miami. And so this is a significant diplomatic snub by a Mexico who was instead sending its foreign minister Mexico is not
alone, though in delivering a snub to the Biden Administration with the summit.
DIAMOND: The Leaders of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras are also sending their foreign ministers and said that's also particularly notable
because those are three Central American countries that have worked very closely with the Biden administration and with Vice President Harris in
particular who have been working on these root causes of migraine.
So particularly notable because those are three Central American countries that have worked very closely with the Biden Administration and with Vice
President Harris in particular, who has been working on this root causes of migration.
And so where does this leave us with this summit, where one of the central issues that are expected to be discussed is indeed migration, the Biden
Administration insisting they will still be making progress, but notable that some of the key partners in that effort will not be in attendance, at
least not at the highest level.
ANDERSON: Patrick was America's exclusion of Cuba from this summit being has it been received were you on?
PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, the Cuban officials have been weeks, have for weeks been working behind the scenes to try to
get an invitation that and really, they had nothing to lose here.
And yesterday, when it became official that they were not being invited, they were able to blast the United States somewhat ironically, as being
anti-democratic, because they are not being invited to a Summit of the Americas.
And of course, they are part of this region, as are Nicaragua and Venezuela, whether the U.S. likes their governments or not. And we should
point out to the last two Summit of the Americas Cuba was brought in from the cold and invited. And so this time around, they are being snubbed, of
course, you talk to officials in the Biden Administration, and they really are in a no win position, because Cuba has crackdown very hard on
protesters, anti-government protesters.
You have Nicaragua's President who's locked up basically all his opponents, and then Nicolas Maduro, the Leader of Venezuela, who is under indictment
in United States for drug trafficking.
So surely they don't want to be having put President Biden in the position of getting a sermon from leaders of these authoritarian regimes as they see
them or being in the family photo next to Nicolas Maduro, or the president of Cuba, or, you know, another leader that, you know, carries a lot of
baggage with them. So there's kind of a no win here.
But certainly all these countries, you not even just left his countries, but El Salvador's President, the President of Guatemala, and now some
doubts about whether Columbia's President will attend, you know, this really is impossible to put a positive spin on.
It is a region that is essentially snubbing of the President Biden during the most important regional summit in years. It really does show so a sea
changes where before so many of these countries fell into line with what the U.S. said.
ANDERSON: Jeremy briefly, is this reputation leave damaging for the Biden Administration, along with a number of other issues that it's dealing with
DIAMOND: Yes, I mean, it certainly could be. And I think it depends on who your audiences for that. I mean, look here in the United States, the Biden
Administration is already dealing with so much and President Biden himself is dealing with record low approval ratings.
So this certainly isn't a positive story for the Biden Administration, which had hoped, you know, to show regionally that it was re engaging with
this region, reasserting U.S. leadership and influence over this region.
After several years of discontent with the Trump Administration by so many of the countries in the region so, again, it really risks undermining at
least the stated goals of this summit, and certainly the storylines that will emerge from it.
How much the American public is actually paying attention to this is hard to say. But again, it's just, you know, at a time when the Biden
ministration is looking for any kind of wins. This is certainly not going to help with that.
ANDERSON: Jeremy Diamond's in Washington, our man in Havana is Patrick Oppmann. Thank you taking a short break back after this.
ANDERSON: A major boost today for the new Golf Tour backed by Saudi Arabia. Former World Number One Dustin Johnson has resigned from the PGA Tour in
the United States to play the inaugural event of what's known as the Liv Tour, which is just outside London.
He is joining sixth time major win at Phil Mickelson both choosing to leave the PGA Tour for what will be very lucrative paydays. Alex Thomas is here
with me. So what do we know about this live tournament.
Who's playing and what will happen to those who are playing apart from the fact they're lining their pockets, of course, with the enormous amount of
money, what will happen to them in the wider world of golf?
ALEX THOMAS, CNN WORLD SPORT: I mean this could fundamentally change professional men's golf forever. Women not involved at this stage are nice
to have women's series in future Liv Golf Invitational Series.
The official name only eight events in this opening season, although they're going to ramp that up over the next couple of years. And it's
thought that some of the players that have signed up probably have multiyear deals.
Not just for this one year 48 players in the opening tournaments at the club just outside London, although it's gonna be many venues in the United
States, including the climax at the Donald Trump own Doral course in Florida, no less.
That's a team event. So it's a bit different from for people. And this is what Dustin Johnson had to say in a press conference earlier, the first
time we've heard from what is the biggest coup, the biggest signing for this new Saudi factor?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DUSTIN JOHNSON, FORMER WORLD NUMBER 1: Obviously, at this time is, you know, it's hard to speak on what the consequences will be. But you know,
for right now, you know, I resigned my membership from the tour. I'm gonna play here, you know, for now, and that's the plan. You know, but what the
consequences are going to be? Obviously, I can't comment on how the tour is going to handle.
Again, I can't answer for the majors, but, you know, hopefully, they're gonna allow us to play obviously I'm exempt for the major, so I plan on
playing there and unless I hear otherwise.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
THOMAS: The U.S. Open and next week back into the third major of the men's golf season, he expects to turn up and play there because they're organized
a bit like in tennis differently to the other tour events, but live golf said they didn't have to resign from the PGA Tour.
They've just chosen to do so Dustin Johnson's happy to admit that he can earn as much money from these next few years on the live tour and
absolutely just retire. He doesn't want to play golf for his entire life, which he felt he would have done if he'd stuck where he was.
ANDERSON: And the PGA hasn't come up with a list of sanctions at this point. It's not clear known how these guys will be sanctioned?
THOMAS: No, and we don't know what it will be. If any punishment Rory McIlroy is obviously stuck with the PGA Tour says he hopes they don't get
punished too severely. There's probably definitely a feeling amongst golfers that haven't jumped ship, that they're keeping a very close eye on
it. And just to give you some example, Tiger Woods, according to The Washington Post report has been offered a high nine figure some to go Of
He turned it down. So Johnson and Phil Mickelson, the other big star are definitely getting, you know, probably more money for this one event than
they've earned in their entire career combined. 42 years on the PGA.
ANDERSON: We've been talking about this for some time. And we've got to this point with Dustin Johnson, obviously, as you rightly point out, it's
the biggest is the biggest name. You know better than most, you know about the game of golf and it's machinations for those of us who, you know, are
sort of casual observers, as it were. Is this a sport that needs a shake up?
THOMAS: It's certainly had a monopoly in terms of who runs the game, the PGA tour in America and some of the professional game, the U.S. Golf
Association and the role in ancient club and St. Andrews are the governing body of the game.
But you know, we talk about disruptors in other industries, this could be a huge disruptive men's professional golf. I think some players you haven't
spoken out secretly quite hoping that live golf shakes things up.
ANDERSON: Amazing. All right. Well, thank you. It's been an absolute pleasure having you with us. The beginning of Oh, actually, I've been told
we have a little bit more time to talk about I'm going to be out the Centurion club.
THOMAS: Right on the ground from tomorrow tees off on Thursday. And it's clear the players like to have more money for future events they live to
play 54 holes are no halfway cut.
ANDERSON: So tell us about Mickelson then, because there's been a saga around his involvement in this and he tweeted today, quite a sort of
heartfelt kind of apology. You know, to the tournament to his fans just explain what's going on there.
THOMAS: I mean he's a legend of the game golf golden boy who's almost trashed his reputation overnight in connection to this live golf series.
He's not just a participant. He's been an architect of the series.
If you listen to the Liv Gold CEO, Greg Norman, another former legendary player, who a bit like Mickelson always felt the PGA Tour despite being the
most lucrative in the world could have given the players even more money.
THOMAS: The percentage of money they get compared to what's earned by the PGA Tour is far less and other U.S. pro sports like the NBA or NFL that has
collective bargaining agreements with the players and almost share at 50/50.
But Nicholson doesn't like the fact that in public people are starting to see the real side of him is admitted to huge gambling issues. He's trying
to rectify things now. But having really been critical of the Saudis, he's now backtracking rapidly.
ANDERSON: So let me just put this last question to you. And it's wonderful to have some time for them to have left me as much time to talk sport the
end of this show. It's absolutely fantastic exactly when we start talking about spreads.
I guess, one of the things that people had thought at the beginning of this, it will be it will be kind of the retirement tournament for, you
know, some of the kind of celebrity golfers who weren't sort of, you know, making it as much as they were. Is that how you see this at the moment?
THOMAS: No, it's not. It's how it looked a few weeks ago, but now you've got Dustin Johnson at 37. So at the peak of his powers in golfing terms,
certainly and I love film, because it's 51. He won a major last year at the age of 50 the record for the oldest ever major winner. So you know, I still
think that they are onto a winner and they're ready for the long term.
ANDERSON: Centurion club starts Thursday.
ANDERSON: I will be there were five. Thank you. Thank you for joining us. It's a very good evening from London.