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At Least Three People Killed In West Bank Violence; E.U. And U.K. Reach Deal On Northern Ireland Brexit Protocol; At Least 61 Dead In Migrant Shipwreck Off Southern Italy. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired February 27, 2023 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: I'm Becky Anderson. This is CONNECT THE WORLD live from our brand-new state of the art studio here in
Coming up. Settlers torched Palestinian homes in the West Bank after two Israelis are killed.
Scores of migrants drowned off the coast of Italy.
Political outsider Peter Obi scores and upset Nigeria's presidential election.
And later in the show. Man United claimed their first trophy in six years.
We begin in the West Bank where a deadly surge in violence is overshadowing a new commitment to peace. There's been a wave of revenge attacks after two
Israeli settlers were shot and killed in the town of Howrah, south of Nablus. One Palestinian was killed in the ensuing violence.
The IDF says it is now bolstering its forces in the West Bank. Well, the violence broke out is rare talks took place between representatives of
Israel and the Palestinian authority in Jordan, where both sides affirmed commitment to previous peace agreements.
Hadas Gold is in Jerusalem. Let's start with what happened on the ground over the weekend, Hadas.
HADAS GOLD, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, first I want to say congratulations on the new studio. It looks great. But in terms of what
happened in this region yesterday, it was a day that I think many people haven't seen violence like this in so long. We keep referring back to the
Second Intifada. But once again, you have to make the comparison because yesterday was one of those days.
It began with this attack on these two Israeli brothers actually around 19 and 21 years old, they were driving along a route that's often a flashpoint
between Israeli settlers and Palestinians because it crosses through Palestinian towns. And apparently while these two men were sitting in
traffic, an attacker came up to them and shot at them at essentially point- blank range. And they died shortly after and the attacker managed to get away.
And then as night fell, that's when we started to see these revenge attacks. These massive groups of Israeli settlers essentially going to the
same area where this -- where this attack took place. Torching homes and cars, families had to be evacuated out of their homes. They even attacked
things like fire engines. And we also know that at least one Palestinian man was shot and killed and several others were injured as a result of this
And speaking to residents in this area and locals, they have not seen scenes like this. This sort of revenge attacks, these rampages in either
ever or in years. Now in response, the Israeli military says that they are bolstering with several battalion security in the West Bank. I should also
note actually, that an IDF official who briefed reporters called those acts by the settlers acts of terror. That's kind of a rare moment of agreement
with Palestinian officials who also call them terrorist acts.
And they also called the attack on the two Israelis a terrorist act. Now, the Israeli military, they say that by bolstering the forces in the West
Bank, that that will help the security situation because not only they say, are they still looking for the attacker, but they say they are trying to
keep essentially these two sides, the Israeli settlers and the Palestinians away from each other to try to calm the situation on the ground because it
is a very dangerous place for security officials to be in if they have these sorts of acts like we saw yesterday, Becky.
ANDERSON: This as talks, Hadas, between Israelis and Palestinians brokered by the Jordanians were ongoing in Jordan to restore calm. What came out of
that Aqaba Summit?
GOLD: Yes. I mean, I think it's been something like 10 years since such a summit has taken place. The Israelis, Palestinians, Jordanians, Egyptians,
Americans all meeting in Aqaba. And the point of this meeting was to try to come to some sort of agreement that can help bring a sense of calm
especially ahead of Ramadan and Passover, which are once again overlapping later this in the next coming weeks.
Now, a communique was sent down afterwards that said that both sides had agreed to take steps to try to bring some sort of combat. The Israeli said
that they would stop discussions about settlement expansion for a few months, the Palestinians saying that they wouldn't bring any sort of
measures against the united -- against Israel and the United Nations. And the two also agreeing to set up a sort of security committee to potentially
get back to that security cooperation that was severed in the last few weeks.
Security cooperation scene is so important, believed by many to be so important. But then after this communique came out, we got sort of
conflicting messages from members of Benjamin Netanyahu's government to saying there would be no settlement freeze. And Itamar Ben-Gvir even saying
what happens in Jordan will stay in Jordan. So, not entirely clear whether there has actually been a full agreement with and whether we'll actually
see that action on the ground or that calm that they're trying to reach translate to the ground. Becky?
ANDERSON: Hadas Gold is in Jerusalem. Hadas, thank you. In our next hour, we speak to the man who was the linchpin of those talks in Jordan. Ayman
al-Safadi I'm Al Safadi, the Jordanian deputy prime minister and foreign minister. He joins us in around an hour's time here on CONNECT THE WORLD.
Well, in the last hour, the U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak met with the E.U. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in reaching a deal they hope
will resolve some of the issues with the Northern Ireland protocol as it's known. A constant sticking point for post-Brexit government.
To give us some more detail is CNN International diplomatic editor Nic Robertson joining me from London. And just walk us through the nature of
this deal and why it is important that Sunak get agreement from the E.U. and in principle before he pitches this or attempts to push through -- this
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes. It's a very big political test of Rishi Sunak. He's taking a lot on this here. He's taking
the support of his party, the support of Parliament and critically in Northern Ireland, the support of the Democratic Unionist Party. Just to
break all that down. This has been the thorniest issue of the sort of post Brexit trading relationship between the E.U. and the U.K.
And it concerns how goods get between mainland U.K. and Northern Ireland because Northern Ireland remains with inside the European Union single
market for trade, which gives it a different place in the E.U. world than the mainland U.K. to get around difficulties with the peace agreement of
1998. British Prime Minister at that time, Boris Johnson decided that the best way forward was to essentially put some customs controls essentially
up the Irish Sea between mainland U.K. and Northern Ireland.
And that's where the discontent began. It didn't sit well with those pro- British Unionist politicians in Northern Ireland. So, what Rishi Sunak has to do today, and we don't know the details yet of what's contained and
what's expected to be a very heavy, dense legal document, this agreement. What he has to do today is to convince his party and Parliament that they
can support it and see if it passes the Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Ireland passes their seven tests.
Again, as I say, we don't know the details but some of the things that have been indicated that the difficulty over customs issues for trucks taking
goods to Northern Ireland could be overcome by having red lanes and green lanes. But that's sort of the very sort of, if you will, simple version of
what this deal is all about.
ANDERSON: More to come. Nic, thank you for that. Nic Robertson on the story for you.
Well, the death toll is rising following a shipwreck in the rough seas of Southern Italy. 61 migrants are confirmed dead. Dozens are missing after a
wooden boat sank on Sunday. Migrants from Afghanistan, from Pakistan, Somalia and Iran onboard the vessel which departed from the city of Izmir.
CNN International Correspondent Ben Wedeman joining us live from Rome in the details coming in and the Italian Prime Minister has been speaking out
about the tragic deaths. What does she had to say, Ben?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTENATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, she has of course expressed her pain that seeing this disaster take place without necessarily
making much reference to her policies. The policies and platform that she ran on in the election last September which was very anti-immigrant, but at
this point, the focus is on just trying to take care of those people who were rescued.
Now just to update you, the death toll at this point stands at 63. And Italian officials say that number, that death toll is almost certain to
WEDEMAN (voice over): The tide brings in wreckage of a boat. The wreckage of more lives lost in the Mediterranean. Among the dead to wash up on this
lonely Calabrian beach, an eight-month-old infant.
The 20-meter-long wooden boat reportedly took to see from Turkey Thursday with perhaps as many as 250 people on board coming from among other places
Afghanistan, Pakistan Iran and Syria.
Fisherman Luciano Vincenzo (ph) was one of the first on the scene before dawn. When we arrived we found 10 dead, he said. And as dawn broke, we
found more and more.
Only around 80 people survived the shipwreck. The rest perhaps well over 100 either dead or missing.
This type of tragedy should have been avoided said the governor of Calabria, Roberto Occhiuto. Sunday, Pope Francis told the faithful in St.
Peter's Square. I pray for each of them for the missing and for the other migrants who survived. But thoughts and prayers won't save lives.
Since 2014, more than 20,000 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean. Escaping war, famine, repression, chaos and hopelessness.
Increasingly Europe, including Italy, is taking a hard line on those from the global south fleeing their native lands. In a statement, Italy's right-
wing Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni expressed what she called her profound pain and the disaster.
But Maloney wrote to power on an anti-immigrant platform. And last week, the Italian Parliament approved new laws making it ever more difficult for
volunteer groups to carry out rescues at sea.
What Europe can do for those in need has been made vividly clear by its embrace of millions of Ukrainian refugees. And embrace it doesn't extend
those braving deadly voyages such as these to reach Europe's shores.
WEDEMAN: And normally, the ships that are reaching the Italian shores come from North Africa with migrants, many of them from Sub-Saharan Africa.
What's different with this particular boat, which was a fishing boat was that it came from Turkey. The Italian authorities are saying that even
though Italy -- rather the E.U. and Turkey have an agreement whereby Turkey tries to stop boats from leaving their shores and going to Europe that
because of the earthquake earlier this month, in Turkey, the authorities simply weren't able to carry on implementing that agreement. Becky?
ANDERSON: Ben Wedeman is in Rome for you. Ben, thank you.
Sexual violence against men, women and children enforced disappearances and the arbitrary detention of civilians. The U.N. chief not mincing his words.
Describing some of the atrocities being carried out as Russia's war on Ukraine grinds into what is now a second year with no end in sight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONIO GUTERRES, SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS: The Russian invasion of Ukraine has triggered the most massive violations of human
rights we are leaving today. It has unleashed widespread this destruction and displacement. Attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure have
caused many casualties and terrible sufferings.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Meanwhile, Russia's relentless assaults on the east of Ukraine not letting up. CNN's Alex Marquardt is following the developments on the
battlefield. He's in Sloviansk. And of course, it is this relentless assault by the Russians on the east of Ukraine which is where we've seen
brunt of the action over the last year. What is the status as we speak?
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, it is ferocious fighting, Becky, all up and down the Eastern Front, particularly
around the cities of Lyman, Kopychyntsi, Avdiivka, to name a few places that our viewers may be familiar with. But certainly, the fiercest fighting
is taking place in and around the city of Bakhmut. It has been a grinding war of a battle of attrition over the course of the past few weeks and
The fight is getting much, much closer. It has evolved from a longer-range fight using artillery and mortars and tanks to something that is extremely
close quarters. Street to street, building to building, house to house. The Russian forces which are primarily made up of mercenaries and convicts from
the Wagner private military company. They are leading the charge though they are backed up by regular Russian forces. They appeared to be gaining
some ground, Becky, trying to encircle the city.
Their claim that they have taken several villages to the north of the city. So, they do look like they are making some progress. Ukrainian officials
saying that the Ukrainian military there is holding its ground in the face of these intense assaults from Russian forces. Now, there is no discussion
publicly right now about a withdrawal of Ukrainian forces from Bakhmut. But it --President Zelenskyy does appear to be softening his tone on that,
saying that they will not defend it at any cost, if it means losing everybody.
So certainly, it is a very, very tough fight in that city for the Ukrainian forces. Earlier today, Ukraine's military said that in the past 24 hours,
they have repelled some 81 Russian attacks in the East. Becky?
ANDERSON: Alex, appreciate it. Thank you. Well, Ukraine seeing a new level of support from Saudi Arabia with a visit from the Saudi foreign minister.
This is the first such visit since the two countries established diplomatic relations 30 years ago. Saudi Arabia has until this point stayed neutral on
Russia's invasion of Ukraine. But over the weekend, the Kingdom signed agreements to give assistance to give including $100 million in
humanitarian aid and 300 million in oil products.
Coming up. New search and rescue efforts in Turkey after the country is hit with yet another huge aftershock.
And a model murdered and dismembered in Hong Kong. More on the arrests and family connections after this.
ANDERSON: Well, the gruesome murder of a model has shocked the people of Hong Kong. Police have arrested the ex-husband for Abby Choi after some of
her body parts were found. Alex Kwong who authorities say was trying to flee. His brother and their father have been charged with Choi's murder.
Kristie Lu Stout has more details about the investigation. And a warning folks you may find the content in her report, disturbing.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): A fashion model and Mother brutally murdered in Hong Kong in a case that is sending shockwaves
through the usually safe city. 28-year-old Abby Choi was a well-known social media influencer with more than 100,000 followers on Instagram who
just weeks ago appeared on the digital cover of a luxury magazine. She was reported missing on Wednesday.
On Friday, police say pieces of her body were found in a refrigerator in the northern typo district of Hong Kong.
They also found a meat slicer and an electric saw. And later police discovered a head, ribs and hair in a soup pot.
ALAN CHUNG, HONG KONG POLICE SUPERINTENDENT: It's a skull, with hair. OK? And as I said, unfortunately there's a hole on the right-side rear on the
skill. So, the pathologist that should be the fatal attack on the victim.
We're on the scope so that the pathologist believed that that should be the fatal, fatal attack on the victim.
STOUT: Police arrested Abby Choi's ex-husband on suspicion of murder on Saturday. Police said they caught him at a pier on the city's Lantau Island
where they believe he was trying to escape by boat.
STOUT (on camera): (INAUDIBLE) that Choi's ex-husband Alex Kwong appeared here at the Kowloon City Magistrates' Court on Monday along with his father
and brother. They are all accused of murder. Now Kwong's mother also appeared in court. She is accused of obstructing the case, all four were
STOUT (voice over): Over the weekend, authorities launched a massive search operation to track down the rest of the model's remains. They deployed more
than 100 police officers including an abseil team and divers to search a cemetery and nearby catch water and the area of Tseung Kwan O. They're
still looking for several body parts.
A gruesome murder of this young woman in the spotlight who leaves behind four children, including two from the ex-husband, who is now in custody.
Kristie Lu Stout, CNN, Hong Kong.
ANDERSON: More devastation in Turkey as a 5.2 magnitude aftershock struck Malaita province on Monday. Now rescue workers searched for more victims.
The latest aftershock comes three weeks after the initial magnitude 7.8 quake hit Turkey and Syria. More than 50,000 people have died. Hundreds of
thousands of victims have been using temporary tenses homes with no long- term solution insight.
Well, Nada Bashir joins me from Istanbul. You've got the very latest on the ground, Nada.
NADA BASHIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL REPORTER: Yes, absolutely, Becky. I mean, this latest aftershock is yet another reminder of the trauma that many
people in southeast in Turkey are still going through. Of course, those aftershocks have been happening every single day for the last three weeks.
Now this comes just a week after that other powerful 6.3 magnitude aftershock that we felt Adana just a week ago.
And for many of the families in southeastern Turkey who have been displaced by this earthquake, this will only underscore that fear, that apprehension
that they are still feeling. And we were actually able to visit a number of these camps that have been set up. Now housing hundreds of thousands of
people across Southeast Turkey. They have lost absolutely everything. And this is going to be a long, long process for not only the people who have
lost their homes, their loved ones and family members but also for the Turkish government now grappling with one of the largest crises that has
faced in years. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BASHIR (voice over): Amid the rubble in Antakya, there was quiet. Buildings teetering on the edge of collapse. The air thick with dust as excavators
comb through the destruction. There were no more survivors to be rescued. Only bodies to be recovered. For the living, life has changed forever. And
all that remains is the trauma of the earthquake.
The moment the earthquake happened, our electricity was cut off. It started to rain and hail fell from the sky, Manija (ph) tells me.
I pray no one ever has to witness such a moment. Homes cracked and collapsed in front of us. This family has lost everything.
Three generations now housed in this small tent in the nearby city of Iskenderun. They are among the hundreds of thousands of people displaced
across Southeast Turkey. With camps like this expanding each day. Every effort is made to provide families with a semblance of normality. Hot
meals, medical care, and even psychological counseling are provided at this humanitarian hub.
But there are also many smaller camps with little in the way of infrastructure or even shelter.
Seventy-three-year-old Tahir Astajawi (ph) tells me that he has not only lost his home but he has lost loved ones too. Now his family is living on
Many of the families still waiting for a tent at this camp are Syrian. Already made refugees by a cruel war at home. Now some say they feel they
are being sidelined in favor of Turkish families.
They've given tents to the Turkish families here, but still no tents for us, Arwa (ph) says. Each day we wait. But they say the Turkish families
come first. Aren't we all one? Aren't we all brothers and sisters? This earthquake affected all of us. Her sister-in-law, Danya (ph) says that
they, along with their young children has spent every day and every night on the streets since the earthquake struck.
Accounts like this have been shared with us by numerous Syrian families here in Iskenderun. Though authorities and volunteers alike have told us
that no distinction is made between Turkish citizens and Syrian refugees. The hope for many now living in tents is that this will all be temporary.
But aid workers tell us that these camps could be in place for years and the threat of yet another earthquake still hangs over this already
BASHIR: And look, Becky, with these camps expected to still be operational for two to three years now, the need for international support and further
humanitarian relief is only going to grow. And we've met so many families across the last two weeks. We're still waiting for some news of what their
future might look like, where their permanent residence will be. And of course, there are still calls for that international support to come in.
Just today, the Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry was holding talks with Syria's President Bashar al Assad. Of course, Syria implicated in this
earthquake the northern parts of the country heavily impacted. Sameh Shoukry holding talks there with Syrian also expected to later hold talks
in Turkey expressing not only Egypt solidarity with both Turkey and Syria but also committing further aid. They say that they will stand by Turkey
and Syria for as long as this takes. Becky?
ANDERSON: Another aftershock piling on the devastation. Nada, thank you. Well, amid that devastation, there are more heartbreaking stories from
survivors. One father says, his 15-year-old daughter used to jump up and down like a butterfly but she he says is psychologically broken.
That story much more on the earthquake and all the big developments from the region, of course in our Meanwhile in the Middle East newsletter. That
is cnn.com/Mideast. You can sign up there. It's a jolly good read.
Still to come on CONNECT THE WORLD.
Anger and frustration in Nigeria over a presidential election that has not gone smoothly. We're live in Lagos after this.
ANDERSON: Welcome back. I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Your headlines this hour. The Israeli military is
sending three battalions to the West Bank to increase security around Nablus. Now that follows the killing of two Israeli settlers, which has
sparked revenge attacks.
Dozens of migrants are dead following a shipwreck off the coast of Southern Italy. Wooden boat carrying around 100 people. Broke apart of the hitting
rocks in the rough seas of the coast of Calabria.
And the European Commission chief visits the U.K. to seal a deal with the Prime Minister to finally resolve the Northern Ireland Brexit protocol.
And as we speak, the British prime minister just beginning to speak. Let's listen.
RISHI SUNAK, PRIME MINISTER OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: -- with Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell and his family after last week's abhorrent shooting
in Omaha. A man of extraordinary courage. His first thought was to protect the children he had been coaching. President von der Leyen and I stand
united with the people and leaders of all communities across Northern Ireland.
Those trying to drag us back into the past will never succeed. This afternoon, I welcomed President von der Leyen to Windsor to continue our
discussions about the Northern Ireland protocol. I'm pleased to report that we have now made a decisive breakthrough. Together, we have changed the
original protocol, and are today announcing the New Windsor framework. Today's agreement delivers smooth flowing trade within the whole United
Protects Northern Ireland's place in our union and safeguard sovereignty for the people of Northern Ireland. Now these negotiations have not always
been easy. But I'd like to pay an enormous personal tribute to Ursula for her vision in recognizing the possibility of a new way forward. And to my
colleagues, the foreign and Northern Ireland secretaries for their steadfast leadership. The United Kingdom and European Union may have had
our differences in the past, but we are allies, trading partners and friends.
Something that we've seen clearly in the past year as we joined with others to support Ukraine. This is the beginning of a new chapter in our
relationship. For a quarter of a century, the Belfast Good Friday Agreement has endured because at its heart is respect for the aspirations and
identity of all communities. Today's agreement is about preserving that delicate balance and charting a new way forward for the people of Northern
I am standing here today because I believe we have found ways to end the uncertainty and challenge for the people of Northern Ireland. We have taken
three big steps forward. First, today's agreement delivers the smooth flow of trade within the United Kingdom. Goods destined for Northern Ireland
will travel through a new green lane with a separate red lane for goods at risk of moving on to the E.U.
In the green lane, burdensome customs bureaucracy will be scrapped. That means, food retailers like supermarkets, restaurants and wholesalers will
no longer need hundreds of certificates for every lorry. And we will end the situation where food made to U.K. rules could not be sent to and sold
in Northern Ireland. This means that if food is available on supermarket shelves in Great Britain, then it will be available on supermarket shelves
in Northern Ireland.
And unlike the protocol, today's agreement means people sending parcels to friends or family or doing their shopping online will have to complete no
customs paperwork. This means we have removed any sense of a border in the Irish Sea. Second, we have protected Northern Ireland's place in the Union.
We've amended the legal text of the protocol to ensure we can make critical VAT and excise changes for the whole of the U.K. For example, on alcohol
duty. Meaning our reforms to cut the cost of a pint in the pub will now apply in Northern Ireland. The same quintessentially British products like
trees, plants and seed potatoes, will again be available in Northern Ireland's garden centers.
Onerous travels on pet requirements have been removed. And today's agreement also delivers a landmark settlement on medicines. From now on
drugs approved for use by the U.K. as medicines regulator will be automatically available in every pharmacy and hospital in Northern Ireland.
Third, today's agreement safeguards sovereignty for the people of Northern Ireland. The only E.U. law that applies in Northern Ireland under the
framework is the minimum necessary to avoid a hard border with Ireland and allow Northern Irish businesses to continue accessing the E.U. market.
But I know that many people in Northern Ireland are worried about being subject to changes in E.U. goods laws. To address that, today's agreement
introduces a new storm on break. Many had called for Stormont to have a say over these laws. But the Stormont break goes further, and means that
Stormont can in fact stop them from applying in Northern Ireland. This will establish a clear process through which the democratically elected assembly
can pull an emergency brake for changes to E.U. goods rules that would have significant and lasting effects on everyday lives.
If the break is pulled, the U.K. government will have a veto. This gives the institutions of the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland a
powerful new safeguard based on cross community consent. I believe the Windsor framework marks a turning point for the people of Northern Ireland.
It fixes the practical problems they face. It preserves the balance of the Belfast Good Friday agreement.
Now of course, parties will want to consider the agreement in detail. A process that will need time and care. Today's agreement is written in the
language of laws and treaties. But really, it's about much more than that. It's about stability in Northern Ireland. It's about real people and real
businesses. It's about showing that our union that has lasted for centuries can and will endure. And it's about breaking down the barriers between us.
Setting aside the arguments that for too long have divided us and remembering that fellow feeling that defines us. This family of nations,
this United Kingdom. Thank you so much. Ursula.
URSULA VON DER LEYEN, PRESIDENT OF EUROPEAN COMMISSION: Good afternoon. Thank --Prime Minister Rishi. It is an honor and a pleasure to be here in
Windsor with you. And it is with a great sense of satisfaction that we stand here together. We are about to deliver on an important commitment we
made to each other a few months ago. I remember our first discussions when we saw eye to eye on how to support our Ukrainian friends.
And I was encouraged by our trustful and strong cooperation on this crucial geostrategic issue. But I also remember how the two of us were honest with
each other about the difficulties in our bilateral relationship. And it was vital to put that on the right footing to. We committed to work hard
together to do so. We knew that for us to be able to make the most of the potential of our partnership, solutions were needed for the issues around
the protocol on Ireland, Northern Ireland.
We knew it was not going to be easy. We knew we needed to listen to each other's concerns very carefully. Above all, we had to listen to the
concerns of the people of Northern Ireland. We knew we had to work hard with clear minds and determination. But we also both knew the regime that
we could do it by because we were both genuinely committed to find a practical solution for people and for all communities in Northern Ireland.
Today, we can take pride in the fact that we have delivered on that commitment. Because today, we have agreed -- we have reached an agreement
and principle on the Windsor framework. The winter framework lays down new arrangements on Ireland, Northern Ireland. This new framework will allow us
to begin a new chapter. It provides for long lasting solutions that both of us are confident will work for all people and businesses in Northern
Solutions that respond directly to the concerns they have raised. Prime Minister, we worked hard across a wide range of areas. The new arrangements
or delivering a comprehensive package so that we can address in a definitive way the issues faced in everyday lives. I will only mention two
examples that I find most telling indeed the New Windsor framework will ensure that the same food will be available on supermarket shelves in
Northern Ireland, as in the rest of the U.K.
And furthermore, the New Windsor framework will permanently enable all medicines, including novel ones to be available in Northern Ireland at the
same time under the same conditions across the U.K. For this to work, we have agreed on strong safeguards, like it access labels and enforcement
procedures that will protect the integrity of the European Union's single market. The New Windsor framework respects and protects our respective
markets and our respective legitimate interests.
And most importantly, it protects the very hard-earned peace gains of the Belfast Good Friday Agreement for the people of Northern Ireland and across
the island of Ireland. Violence has no place in our society. I condemn wholeheartedly the shooting of the PSNI officer in Northern Ireland last
week. And my thoughts are with the officer and his family and friends. This year will mark the 25th anniversary of the Belfast Good Friday Agreement.
An important milestone of the historic peace process. The New Windsor framework is here to benefit people in Northern Ireland and support all
communities celebrating peace on the island of Ireland. And this is why I believe we can now open a new chapter in our partnership. A stronger E.U.-
U.K. relationship standing as close partners, shoulder to shoulder now and in the future. Many thanks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Ursula. We have time. Some questions from the media. Can I start with the BBC?
CHRIS MASON, BBC POLITICAL EDITOR: Thank you, Chris Mason, BBC News. If the Democratic Unionist Party don't go back into government in Northern Ireland
after all of this, does it ultimately amount to a failure? Question to both of you.
SUNAK: Well, Chris, I think today marks a turning point for Northern Ireland. I've spent a lot of time listening to communities, their
businesses there, the Unionist community as well, understanding their concerns and I believe that today's framework addresses them. It ensures
that we can move goods freely around our U.K. internal market. It protects Northern Ireland's place in the Union, and it safeguard sovereignty for
Northern Ireland's people.
But I also recognize that parties and communities across Northern Ireland will want to take the time to consider the detail of what we're announcing
today. And we should give them the time and the space to do that. And I fully respect that. But I believe that what we have achieved today is a
real breakthrough. And it's now for the parties to consider that and decide themselves how to take it forward and build a better future for people in
VON DER LEYEN: I think it's historic what we have agreed today and what we have achieved and indeed a lot will happen. The establishment thing of the
green line lane, for example, and the red lane for goods, the using of an amount of paperwork, reduce customs and checks on the ground, sharing
customs data information in real time. All these will drastically facilitate when implemented.
It's a big step forward and I think what is exceptional is that we managed to find an agreement for solutions that will protect our respective single
markets. And this is a lot. And therefore, I really want to thank for the excellent cooperation. And I really want to thank our teams also, for all
the time they've invested, all the knowledge, the result is extraordinary.
SUNAK: Now, I'd echo what Ursula said about thanking our teams. And actually, Chris, to just building on what Ursula said, often we focus on
the politics of situations, Westminster and all the rest of it. But this is about the people of Northern Ireland, about the communities about the
businesses there, and what's best for them. And I believe that the Windsor framework that we've agreed today really resolved the challenges that had
It resolves all the practical issues on the ground. It puts people in charge of their destiny. And that's why represents such a major
breakthrough. And I hope everyone can recognize that and take the time to consider it. But this framework will start making a positive difference to
people's lives in Northern Ireland almost immediately. And regardless of all the politics of this, I think that is something that hopefully all of
us can recognize and celebrate.
Can we turn next to RTE?
JOHN CREEDON, RTE RADIO HOST: Hello, John Creedon (ph) from RTE here. The Unionists say they want to be treated the same -- and it's to both leaders.
They want to be treated the same as any other part of the U.K. However, Northern Ireland is the only part of the U.K. that shares a land border
with the EU. So, the will have to be some differences for Northern Ireland compared to the rest of the U.K.
Do you believe the Unionists will accept different treatment? And can you point to how, for instance, the European Court of Justice will have
jurisdiction in Northern Ireland?
SUNAK: What -- do you want to take that first, Ursula? I'll just actually just echo what I just said John actually about -- yes, of course, politics
matters and parties in Northern Ireland, Unionist communities will want to take the time to consider what we've announced today, digest the detail and
we should give them the time and the space to do that. But if you focus on people, on families and communities on businesses, I think people will see
that the framework we've agreed today delivers significant improvements in almost every aspect of their lives that have seen disruption and challenge
from the protocol.
And that is something that I think can be celebrated and recognized and that benefit will start coming very quickly. There are a range of things
that I heard when I talked to communities in Northern Ireland and because of the breadth and the comprehensive nature of this framework, and you
heard some of it in my remarks earlier, I think we're addressing all those practical challenges and indeed, safeguarding sovereignty as well.
And I know that's something that's particularly important to communities in Northern Ireland. You know, with regard to the role of E.U. law recognize
that with the consent of people in Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland has access to the single market. And I think we all collectively share an
ambition to avoid, as you say, a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.
And that's why there's a role for E.U. law in Northern Ireland. But that happens with consent. And as a result of the agreements that we've reached
today, there is further democratic accountability of that role of E.U. Law with the new storm on break which perfect provides a very powerful
mechanism for the Stormont institution to use when it has concerns and I think that is a really important part of correcting the democratic deficit
And providing reassurance to everyone in Northern Ireland, that they are in control of their own destiny.
VON DER LEYEN: Yes, indeed, the European Court of Justice is the sole and ultimate arbiter of E.U. law. That's natural because it's prescribed by the
E.U. legal order. So, the ECJ will have the final say on E.U. law and single market issues. But we have in this Windsor framework, worked hard on
the rules that existed before, not only the ECG on E.U. law but also the arbitration panel or not E.U. laws.
And this includes the new Stormont break, which is based on the petition of concern that comes from the Good Friday Agreement. So, we have built on
this peace process the next step, we've kind of leveled up or improved. The overall mechanism. I think important is in our winter framework, that we
are putting also in place several mechanisms that should avoid having to resort to the Stormont break which is an emergency mechanism.
So, intense -- consultations with the U.K. and Northern Ireland stakeholders on new E.U. laws. But also, consultations of the E.U. by the
U.K. on U.K. plant regulatory changes, this is important for us.
And with view on Ireland, of course, there is has always been the full commitment and there is the full commitment of the European Union to
safeguard the Belfast Good Friday Agreement in all its dimensions. No hard border on the island of Ireland. And of course, that we fully protect the
integrity of the E.U. single market.
SUNAK: (INAUDIBLE) next to the Express.
SAM LISTER, POLITICAL EDITOR, THE DAILY EXPRESS: Thank you, Prime Minister. Sam Lister, the Daily Express. This has been described by some as a test of
your leadership. Are you planning to have a vote on this deal? And if so, how tough are you prepare to be on Boris Johnson and members of the ERG if
they decide to oppose it?
I wonder if I could just ask President von der Leyen a question. Can you explain to us why Rishi Sunak has been able to negotiate these concessions
when his three predecessors were unable to? Thank you.
SUNAK: So yes, Parliament will have a vote at the appropriate time and that that vote will be respected. But as I said earlier, I think it's important
that we give everyone the time and the space they need to consider the detail of the framework that we've announced today because it is
comprehensive in nature and that will take time for people to digest. But ultimately, this isn't necessarily about me, it's not about politicians.
It's about the people in Northern Ireland. It's about what's best for them. It's about those families, those businesses and what this framework, what
this agreement will do to improve their lives. And I believe that the changes that we have made, the breakthroughs that we have been able to put
forward together will make an enormous difference. We can now say that goods will flow freely, smoothly across the U.K. internal market that we've
protected Northern Ireland's place and our union, that we've safeguarded sovereignty for Northern Ireland's people.
Those are all significant achievements. And that's what we should focus on. And I think all of us know about the stability that is required in Northern
Ireland, the delicate balance of the Belfast Good Friday Agreement and how important that is. Today's framework means that that balance is restored.
And that's why I think this is a very significant step forward. It marks a turning point for the people of Northern Ireland today. And I very much
hope as a result of this. They can look forward to a better future.
VON DER LEYEN: I think it is very important to take note of the fact that the two of us, when we met for the very first time, we agreed that -- I
mean, if you look at the huge challenges we are facing together, whether it is the atrocious Russian war in Ukraine, or the fight against climate
change, we have so much in common. We're fighting for the same values. We're standing on the same side, shoulder by shoulder.
And we want the best solution for the people of Northern Ireland in the situation that we have right now. So, there was a very constructive
attitude from the very beginning to solve problems, to find solutions, practical solutions for everyday life of the people and businesses in
Northern Ireland. That's what we've done. And we've jointly developed the solutions. It needed a lot of goodwill and knowledge.
And we have jointly agreed on that now. So, I'm very happy about the agreement that we found with winter framework.
SUNAK: Right. And lastly, we've got Le Soir.
LE SOIR, BELGIAN NEWSPAPER REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE) for the Belgian Newspaper, Le Soir. Would you say that the trust is back between the U.K. and the
E.U.? And would you say that this deal will help the U.K. to participate get again to Horizon Research Program?
SUNAK: You want to stop, Ursula?
VON DER LEYEN: Yes. This Windsor framework is good news for scientists and researchers in the European Union and in the U.K. because of course the
moment we have finished this agreement. So, it's an agreement in principle. The moment it's implemented. I am happy to start immediately right now, the
work on an Association Agreement, which is the precondition to join Horizon Europe.
So good news for all those who are working in research and science.
SUNAK: I think I'd also -- just add to that. There's a -- there's a range of different areas that we can cooperate productively on and the President
and I started that work when we first met. But if you look at how we've responded to the situation in Ukraine that's required very close
coordination on things like sanctions policy, which the President has led, and we work very closely together on that.
Also, energy security more broadly given the interconnected nature of our energy markets. Climate change is another area and indeed illegal
migration. These are all the types of things that we can continue to make good progress on working together to the benefit of all of our communities
that we represent.
And I look forward to doing that with President von der Leyen as well.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good. Thank you very much for your time.
VON DER LEYEN: Thank you.
ANDERSON: Well, described as the new beginning. A new chapter in our relationship. The British Prime Minister announcing a new Northern Ireland
agreement between the U.K. and Europe known as the Windsor framework. The Prime Minister described this deal as protecting Northern Ireland's place
in the union and removing any sense of a border in the Irish Sea.
Nic Robertson, our international diplomatic editor has been listening into that press conference between the British prime minister and the European
Commission president getting on well, and that's almost unique, Nic, when you consider what's been going on between the U.K. and the E.U. since
Brexit three years ago. This is a Brexit deal on Northern Ireland. Just explain why this is significant.
ROBERTSON: It's significant because the Unionist Party in Northern Ireland that wanted Brexit, that got a Brexit that they found, cut them off from
the mainland United Kingdom, refused to join a power sharing government in Northern Ireland on that basis, and this threaten the peace ultimately in
Northern Ireland. So, this is why Rishi Sunak talks about it.
It -- this is -- this framework agreement, the Windsor Framework Agreement is about helping the people, helping the families in Northern Ireland. And
I think there are a couple of pieces of language there that are going to be hugely important at the moment from the Prime Minister's perspective to
frame his argument to that Unionist Community that has got what they want. You mentioned one of them, no border, or effectually means no border down
the Irish Sea.
Those red and green channels to speed trucks across the Irish Sea. That's something people wanted. He talked about, you know, sandwiches, the same
sandwiches you can buy in the U.K. -- in mainland UK in Northern Ireland. Ursula von der Leyen talks about the same medicines coming on the shelves
in mainland U.K. at the same time, new medicines will be able to arrive on the shelves in Northern Ireland.
These are -- these are complex technical issues within the European Union Single Market, which is where Northern Ireland is and where mainland U.K.
isn't. But they've managed to do this. And I think the other big thing there that the Unionist community will be picking over is this idea of a
storm on break that if they don't like something, they can essentially pull a break on it.
ANDERSON: Nic, to a certain extent, are we seeing the back end of these negotiations now with the E.U.? Very briefly.
ROBERTSON: It would appear so. And it must be so in a way. Rishi Sunak is the third prime minister now to be sort of tackling this post Brexit
scenario. And it's been very thorny, and there are these needs climate, Ukraine and other needs to improve the relationship, not least of all, the
economy for the U.K. and getting on better and having a trade relationship, a good trade relationship with the United States. President Biden set high
stock on this, what we're witnessing today happening.
ANDERSON: Nic is in London on the story of the hour. Thank you, Nic. We are going to take a take a very short break. It is a busy couple of hours.
CONNECT THE WORLD of course continues after this.