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Connect the World
Gone in 48 Hours: How Silicon Valley Bank Collapsed; HSBC Buys British Operations of SVB; Tunisian Government Denies Country is Racist Following Saied Comments; Star Football Host Gary Lineker Allowed back on BBC; Iran and Saudi Arabia to Resume Diplomatic Relations; CNN Film Wins First Oscar for "Navalny". Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired March 13, 2023 - 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: The biggest banking collapse since 2008. This hour, we explore the ripple effects of the Silicon Valley
Bank collapse and what it means for the rest of the world, including this region of the Gulf and Middle East.
Up first, the heavy losses mount in Baton Rouge is the war of attrition there between Russia and Ukraine grinds on. Ukraine says fighting continues
around the clock bark maintains that the situation is under control.
Half a million Israelis took to the streets in the 10th consecutive week of anti-government protests the largest it seems so far. Critics accuse
Benjamin Netanyahu of enacting policies that will crush Israel's democracy.
Chaos at the BBC subsides at least for now the network's Highest Paid Presenter Gary Lineker will resume his duties on its flagship football show
after a recent impartiality storm. The former professional football player criticized the UK government's asylum policy, prompting the BBC to ask him
to step back from his presenting.
CNN film Navalny has won the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature Sunday's Academy Awards. Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny is currently serving a nine
year sentence in a Moscow prison. His family at the ceremony dedicated the win to him.
Right you're back with us for the second hour of 'Connect the World' and you are more than welcome in the last few hours U.S. President Joe Biden,
reassuring the American public that the banking sector there is safe. It comes after the biggest failure of a U.S. Bank since 2008.
Silicon Valley Bank the victim of an old fashioned bank run of after a fire sale of securities at a loss spooked customers, or despite shoring up any
contagion effects today, the U.S. and indeed now the UK scrambling to prevent this from ballooning into a wider financial meltdown.
So tonight we ask, is this the start of a bigger banking crisis or joining me to unpack this complex myriad of interest rates macro-economics and
banking systems is Mohamed A. El-Erian, Chief Economic Adviser Allianz.
And Ryan Lemand, who are Co-Founder and CEO of New Vision Wealth Management based here in Abu Dhabi? Let me start with you, Mohamed, simply do you
believe? Or what do you make of the action; firstly taken to avert what looked like a ballooning crisis.
MOHAMED EL-ERIAN, CHIEF ECONOMIC ADVISER ALLIANZ SE: So I think it makes total sense that both in the U.S. and the UK, the authorities move to
protect the deposits, and not protect the shareholders or the bondholders. So I think that was appropriate, I think the way in which it was done if
you compare and contrast the UK to the U.S. I think the UK was cleaner.
But it would then it was easier for the UK because it was a smaller SVB entity, they're more generally, what we are seeing are the consequences of
a prolonged period of very loose monetary policies followed by the Fed hitting the brakes. And we should just be aware that the probability of
financial accidents has have gone up.
ANDERSON: That's fascinating, you're saying the risk of financial accidents has gone up explain what you mean?
EL-ERIAN: So a lot of the financial system got used to interest create being no forever got used to the Fed putting in liquidity and therefore
behaved in a certain way. The example here in this particular bank as that deposit went up they put it into treasury bonds, and didn't think about
what happens to the value of those bonds.
When interest rates go up as we know when interest rates go up, the value of the bonds come down. So you have a whole ecosystem that got used to this
very us accommodating liquidity situation the Fed didn't react quickly enough to inflation called the transitory and therefore it's had to raise
interest rates higher than would have had to otherwise. And now we are seeing the lagged effects of that.
ANDERSON: So how the Central Bank, the Fed not raise interest rates? The understanding is that inflation would have gotten further out of control.
And we are staring down the barrel of a very hard lending as far as a recession is concerned. Your point is it seems that they didn't raise rates
And now, the problem is, are they in a position to keep rates high enough given that there is some, it seems real systemic issues in the banking
sector? Is the Fed in a position to keep rates high enough to avoid a further risk of inflation? And a very hard landing, what's your perception
at this point?
EL-ERIAN: So your analysis is absolutely right. Remember, for most of 2021, the Fed kept on assuring everybody inflation is transitory. Transitory
Becky is a very dangerous word, because it means temporary, it means reversible, it means don't pay attention; this thing is going to go away.
So people didn't adjust to what turned out to be not transitory inflation. And a number of us were warning, look, be careful, this is different. And
then when it finally retired that word from its vocabulary, if you remember, at the end of November, it didn't do anything. And it is not so
much that it started raising interest rates. So it was very vague.
It says if you're driving down a freeway and motorway, and you should be slowing down, but you're not your foot is pedal to the metal. And then
suddenly you realize that you are on this insulation fog, and then you slam on the brakes. What will that do? It will tend to cause an accident. And
that's exactly what has happened.
ANDERSON: We are taking a really good look with the best analyst in the business at the macroeconomic story here. I just want to get our viewers
just a little more of what Joe Biden said earlier on Mohamed standby.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I'm going to ask Congress, the banking regulators to strengthen the rules for banks, to make
it less likely this kind of bank failure would happen again, and to protect American jobs and small businesses.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Has he done that? I mean, there are three things that we have to be really, really sort of mindful of here are the banks; you know what
happens next in the banking system? And you say there is a possibility or the risk of a real accident here?
How depositors feel at this point? You know, we know that depositors around the world were really concerned about what would happen to their bank
accounts this Monday morning, and then Fed rate hikes take that on?
EL-ERIAN: So first, let's start with the deposits, because that's important. Deposits are safe. People in the U.S. in the UK, where there has
been policy announcements should not want to the banks to move their deposits, your deposits of fine, there's no need to worry.
The second issue is I'm more worried about what Becky you and I called the non-banks, the financial institutions that are outside the banking system
that are even less well regulated, less well supervised, that are where the imbalances can occur in a systemic sense.
And finally, what you point out is what I call the dilemma. How does the Fed in this environment now that is so late balance, controlling inflation,
financial stability, and third and foremost, minimizing the damage to the economy and drops. It has become much harder to meet all these objectives?
ANDERSON: We started with the question, are we staring down the barrel of a financial crisis here? So let me put that to you specifically, are we?
EL-ERIAN: I don't think so. I think we are staring down the barrel of a really bumpy journey for the economy, for finance and for policymakers. But
I do not think that this is 2008
ANDERSON: Mohamed, thank you! It's a joy to have you. Let's turn to my guests who I've got here with me in the studio. Ryan Lemand is Co-Founder
and CEO of Neo Vision Wealth Management. This is a story with global implications. I'm well aware you will be too of the people in this region
who were equally as concerned about how the markets were going to open up this morning.
So they were concerned about banking stocks, the financial sector as a whole. And then there were many, many people in this region, particularly,
for example, in Israel, who bank with SVB. And those are mainly in the tech sector.
And there were some real concerns about whether those who had deposited with that bank would get their money out this Monday morning? So the U.S.
and UK have taken steps to ensure that deposits, as Mohamed suggested are actually free and accessible to people.
But there is a wider story here as Mohamed and I have just been discussing. I know you are no fan of regulators, no intervention in the markets. But
what do you make of what we have just seen over the past, what 72 hours or so?
RYAN LEMAND, CO FOUNDER AND CEO OF NEOVISION, WEALTH MANAGEMENT: Well, what we have seen as the following, it's not only about SVB. Over the past few
days, we've witnessed the second, third and fifth largest bank failures in U.S. history. SVB is the second. The third is Signature Bank. And the third
is First Republic Bank out of Dallas. These are three banks.
We're talking about several hundred billion dollars of assets here. OK, so it's not only about SPV. Second, let's look at the region here. What we
know is that there are roughly 500 startups in the MENA region Middle East and North Africa that are clients of SVB.
Over the weekend, there was a lot of angst among many of these startups. I know a few here in the UAE, they were very afraid. And what's even worse is
that vultures were surrounding them and telling them sells us your deposit for 60 cents on the dollar, because on Monday, you won't have anything.
Now thankfully, all of them have waited until Monday. And here we are deposits are guaranteed for these startups. As Mohamed has said these
deposits are safe. However, everyone else has been wiped out shareholders and unsecured creditors.
ANDERSON: I just want to spend a moment talking about what is a relatively nascent sector in the UAE but a wider, more developed tech startup market,
as you rightly pointed out around the region, not least in Israel. What does this region need from its banking sector?
LEMAND: Why did these startups go as far as the U.S. to open accounts? That's the big question. I think it's a struggle for many of these startup
owners to open a bank account in the UAE. It's just very hard. OK. And that is why they are going abroad cross border to open accounts.
Now, thankfully, we're starting to have digital very advanced banks here in the UAE. And I can name a few there are a couple of in Abu Dhabi a couple
in Dubai, who are stepping in and becoming on the forefront of helping these startups however, it's still very, very early stage.
These startup owners will need banking institutions that are open, pragmatic, nimble, and can adapt to them open account for them cater for
their daily needs financing, as well as the long term financing safe series, ABC, et cetera.
ANDERSON: Were you surprised to hear Sheikh Tahnoun who is the Interior Minister here, brother of the President of the UAE, the head of two very,
very significant funds here? One is a sort of sovereign wealth fund in - the second and third, in fact, is Abu Dhabi assets which and proud private
family money as well. Were you surprised to hear reports that he was potentially in the bidding for SVB's UK arm, which, by the way, we now
know, has been bought by HSBC?
LEMAND: Well, to tell you the anecdote, I was sitting with a few peers, and we were discussing this crisis because we get together to understand
ANDERSON: --weekend right?
LEMAND: Yes, absolutely. And we were over zoom actually, not physically. And we were saying, why don't we just gather together and maybe try to bid
for a piece of this because there's a lot to make out of it.
And one of the gentlemen who were on the call, he said, no, no, doesn't worry, His Highness Sheikh - will beat us to it. He's always on the
forefront of these opportunities. And I think he was interested in the U.S. one and then the UK one. But yes, it took another direction.
ANDERSON: And I was just thinking about the comments that you made about this market needing its banking system that understands the nature of the
tech startup scene, and they're in layer a great opportunity. Before I let you go, I do just want to run this little bit of sound from Benjamin
Sorry, this is a tweet. Let me just bring this up for you on the screen. Benjamin Netanyahu in response to the news at the weekend of the SVB
collapse, we cannot ignore the collapse of this bank today I will consider with the finance and economy ministers and the Governor of the Bank of
Whether or not actions are necessary to assist Israeli companies in distress, mainly with cash flow due to the collapse of SVB? If any of you
watching, wherever you are around the world, was unaware that this story of the Silicon Valley Bank has global repercussions.
We are just discussing those very repercussions and the way that their tentacles get out to the UAE. Yes, so finally, just the tech sector as a
whole here, positive? What do you see is its outlook?
LEMAND: The outlook is definitely positive. I'm going to say a phrase hope it's not going to mean misunderstood. I'm not unhappy about SVB's collapse
with respect to startups in the region, particularly in the UAE.
Because hopefully now someone will step up and cater for them here in the UAE. Let's stop catering for these companies with banks across border, and
have them catered for here locally. But yes, I am positive on them.
ANDERSON: Ryan, good to have you.
LEMAND: Thank you.
ANDERSON: Thank you, sir. Well, Ryan Lemand in the house. Just ahead, the political turmoil in Tunisia Tunisia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Nabil
Ammar joins me to talk about the newly convened Parliament relations with Syria and an awful lot more that is coming up. And we will take a look at
what a landmark agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran means for Israel that after this?
ANDERSON: To political tensions in Tunisia now President Kais Saied appears to be moving his country towards full restoration of diplomatic relations
with Syria. Saied said Friday he wants to see Tunisia and Syria appoint ambassadors to their countries.
Meantime the Tunisian government has denied that country is racist to following comments from Saied last month that fueled a wave of xenophobia
against migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa. And today the nation's parliament convened for the first time since 2021. After Saied shut down the previous
elected parliament in what opposition parties have called a coup.
Well, let's bring in Tunisia's Minister Foreign Affairs Nabil Ammar. He joins me now via Skype from the Capital of Tunisia. There is a lot to
unpick tonight. But I do want to start with Syria sir. Tunisia cutting ties with Syria back in 2011 when the revolution and subsequent Civil War took
place. Why has Tunisia taken this very visible position now of wanting to bring Syria and specifically Bashar Al Assad back into the fold?
NABIL AMMAR, TUNISIAN FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER: Well, the relations of Tunisia and between Tunisia and Syria are very ancient very close countries
on many if not all the levels.
So, it is very natural that we re-establish we restore the relations with, with Syria after more than 10 years; we also need to be pragmatic. And what
is I mean; this is the internal business of the Syrian people to design to select who is governing them. We have relations with state between states,
Tunisia and Syria return to diplomatic relations between states.
ANDERSON: You see the relations Syria and Tunisia completely rehabilitated, do you?
AMMAR: This is the direction and the President of the Republic has already announced it. We are going to re-establish the normal level of diplomatic
relations between the two countries.
ANDERSON: You're tracking a movement by other Arab nations to restore relations. Correct?
AMMAR: Yes, many of them, many of them are already have already contacts with the Syrian authorities. I have had already myself phone conversations
with my colleague in Damascus, and so all the many Arab countries are considering this positively. And Tunisia marks them.
ANDERSON: I mean there are many other Arab countries are considering exactly what you are doing, whether or not their people agree with it. All
right, Tunisia has come under fire after President Saied made controversial comments at a sub-Saharan, aimed at Sub Saharan migrants. The government
has denied it is racist. But with all due respect, sir, what isn't racist about claiming that African migrants will change the demographic
composition of Tunisia?
AMMAR: I mean Tunisian geography and history is showing clearly that this country can just not be a racist country. This is a joke and a bad joke,
unfortunately. I mean, whoever for all the people that know a little bit about Tunisia knows that this specific country will come in all the people
we are a melting pot, Islam spread from Tunisia and or Africa. We have helped all the African countries.
ANDERSON: Let me put it this way, let me put this through, I've heard this argument. But let me put it through the lens of the countries that these
migrants came from. They have accused, Tunisia of being racist, the migrants themselves accusing.
ANDERSON: They feel unsafe sir.
AMMAR: So many fake videos have been realized outside Tunisia and outside this time. And people thought it was--
ANDERSON: You are defending these comments; you see nothing wrong in these comments at all. Is that what you're telling me?
AMMAR: Of course, nothing wrong. There has been a lot of misunderstandings, and often people that want to raise this issue for other agendas, which are
not, which are not ours at all. Our agenda is to protect those illegal migrants. And we want we don't want them to be victims. And we want
security and stability for all the people living on the Tunisian soil. But others have other agendas.
ANDERSON: With respects, those very same migrants that you've said you want to protect, say they feel completely unsafe in the country, how do you
AMMAR: Well, there may have been some individual acts. But all the measures have been very soon taken in order to protect them and the country from any
kills. And this is what we did. And this is what they have realized. But again, there are other parties that have interest in having tension
ANDERSON: Let's have a discussion about this. Let's have a discussion about this. The international community seems to think that his comments were
racist. The World Bank's is spending strategic partnership, hang on. The World Bank--
AMMAR: Who is the international community? Who is the international community?
ANDERSON: Hang on. I'm just going to explain, I am just going to explain.
ANDERSON: You came on to the show to address a number of issues. You knew that this was one of them. Let's address this. Why is it today that the
World Bank is suspending strategic partnership talks with the Tunisian Government following the president's comments?
AMMAR: It is not suspending its program.
ANDERSON: At a time when the Tunisian government cannot afford to suffer any further economically.
AMMAR: If you don't let me try to answer I mean this is going to be complicated for me. No, the World Bank has just postponed its meeting on
Tunisia because it wanted to avoid having this discussion in the middle of this use this polemic. That's it. I mean, they are going to postpone the
meeting in April, I think and not in March. And that's it. Not more than that. The programs of the World Bank are still ongoing in Tunisia normally.
ANDERSON: OK, well, we'll get comments from the World Bank, as well, to this. The very fact that they've suspended strategic partnership talks with
the Tunisian Government does certainly seem important and significant at the moment. The African Union has described these comments as shocking.
AMMAR: Yes, and we have reacted, we have responded to them that we have rejected this, this communique of the African Union. And we know who is
behind that, what interests are behind that, and, what miss understanding were behind. They have said that they had to produce this communique
because of --sorry?
ANDERSON: Who's behind this? Who are you accusing? Who you are accusing?
AMMAR: Don't expect me keep.
ANDERSON: You keep saying you know who's behind this.
AMMAR: Don't know; don't expect me to nourish the politic. I'm trying to come down all the spirits because it is in the interest of all the parties
not to increase this tension, because the victims will be the immigrants themselves. And we don't want that.
ANDERSON: The Japanese embassy in Tunisia has said many migrants from Sub Saharan countries no longer feel safe in Tunisia. What do you say to those
AMMAR: We have published many communiques and measures. And the information that we have is that they are now calm, they are now reassured. I have had
so many phone calls from my colleagues, African colleagues and everything is in the right direction. We should not nourish any negative feelings
about this very sensitive issue, really, if we want to be responsible towards those people and our countries.
ANDERSON: Do you believe that the President should apologize for these comments?
AMMAR: Not at all.
ANDERSON: You are saying we should nourish a polemic here. But hang on. These comments were clearly very insulting. And you don't want to nourish
this polemic. Surely the best way to tamper this down would be an apology, wouldn't it?
AMMAR: This might be the feeling of some parties. It is not our feeling at all. And it is not reflected in the discussions that we are having with all
the colleagues and with the delegation of the African Union received by the president. Not at all there is any excuse to present. I mean, we are the
Tunisian Government that regional authorities are in their right to say what they say.
It's not it's not there's no excuse to give. We didn't insult anyone. We didn't even we didn't even recall what others have done in terms of racism.
We didn't do that at all.
ANDERSON: So, you don't, you see, you see no reason for an apology. You do not accept that these were offensive comments. You want to draw a line
AMMAR: You are saying its offensive comments. It is not in our intention or mind.
ANDERSON: No, sir. With respect no, no, no. The African Union called these shocking; the World Bank is suspended strategic partnership talks. I mean,
the response was, was swinging around the world.
AMMAR: Yes, we - it was meant to, they wanted it. But we have explained we have been put in a position to explain what is already clear. Tunisia
cannot be a racist country, by history and by geography. It is not the case of many others. And if there is one sentence to be there is, this one.
ANDERSON: Go on. You tell me what the message in this is.
AMMAR: This is the message, Tunisia cannot be, you cannot become a racist country or people in two weeks' time. This is not impossible. This is not
just it's just impossible. Our history our DNA is to receive different people. We are a melting pot, we cannot be racist. So, it's a bad joke
ANDERSON: That argument doesn't wash, but it's good to have you on sir. Thank you very much indeed for joining us.
AMMAR: Thank you for inviting me.
ANDERSON: That's Tunisian Foreign Minister on "Connect the World" with me Becky Anderson. Just ahead, the BBC reinstates one of its biggest names
after a controversial tweet. But questions remain about the bigger picture of impartiality and free speech, that coming up after this.
ANDERSON: Welcome back. You're watching "Connect the World" with me Becky Anderson. Final stocks plummet as United States is President Joe Biden
moves to reassure Americans the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank will not affect the wider public. Now after the panic that caused that inclusion the
Securities and Exchange Commission says it's on high alert for any potential misconduct that threatens market stability.
Iran says more than 23,000 people involved in recent protests have been pardoned. That announcement came without specifics on the pardons, but it
claimed another 60,000 people have been granted amnesty this year, and nearly 35,000 have had their sentences reduced. CNN could not independently
verify those numbers.
China's new premier says his country does not want to economically disengage with the U.S. Lee Chang spoke to reporters as China wrapped up
its National People's Congress saying there is "Great potential for Sino- U.S. co-operation. Well, those comments come as President Xi Jinping unanimously re-elected as China's President vowed to make China's army a
great wall of steel.
While the BBC star football host Gary Lineker is thanking the network's chief what he called his understanding during this difficult period. A
short time ago, Lineker was given his job back; he'd been pulled off the air over the weekend over a tweet criticizing the conservative UK
government's asylum seeking policy. BBC Director General Tim Davie says the network's social media guidance will be reviewed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIM DAVIE, BBC DIRECTOR GENERAL: I think I've acted in the right way through this. It's always been difficult. As everyone's been saying on this
affair, there have been no easy answers. It's been tough to get the balance right. But asking Gary Lineker to step aside, I think was appropriate at
that moment. Then we reset and we do the things we've laid out in this agreement, which I think are right and we going forward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: I want to bring in Amanda Davies live from London. Amanda, how did the BBC let this get so out of control and chaotic? And why is it
AMANDA DAVIES, CNN WORLD SPORT: Yes, I think bluntly Becky they completely underestimated the power of Gary Lineker and football and it tells us so
much about the place of football in society. Gary Lineker was well known as a former England football captain. But for the last couple of decades, he
has been perhaps the most well-known sports presenter on the BBC.
The nation's national broadcaster hosting match of the day, the iconic weekly, Saturday Night Football show that you and I grew up watching on a
Saturday night with our families. There has been an apology and admission from the BBC that perhaps their social media guidelines which were reviewed
and rewritten in 2020 left a grey area, particularly when it came to the likes of Gary Lineker, non-political or news journalists and broadcasters
on the channels.
Those who are freelance and appear to discuss other topics than politics the BBC as the national broadcaster upholds impartiality as one of its
great cornerstones. And that is what they said was broken when Gary Lineker tweeted as he did last week, reacting to the changes to the UK government's
asylum policy saying they were using language not dissimilar to Germany in the 1930s.
The thing is when they took Gary Lineker off air; so many other big name football hosts and pundits followed his lead and said they would not be
coming back to their broadcasting duties whilst this was ongoing. And from there football clubs said their players would not be talking to the BBC.
There were changes in the scheduling in the networking and really, the BBC was left with no other option than to admit there had been some wrongdoing.
And now this independent review has been put into place.
Its interesting Tim Davie said that until the review is seen through Gary Lineker will abide by the impartiality, social media guidelines. But very
quickly, he responded, yes, as part of his thanks to the BBC, he brought the issue back to what he had been hoping to highlight last week.
He said this, a final thought, however difficult the last few days have been it simply doesn't compare to having to flee your home from persecution
or war, to seek refuge in a land far away. It's heart-warming to have seen the empathy towards their plight from so many of you; he is not going to be
silenced. And there is an argument; he is not the political editor of the BBC.
Do people really think that what Gary Lineker, the football host tweets on his platforms is a reflection of the political views of the BBC. What we do
know with 8.8 million followers, he is certainly very, very influential. And how these impacts these guidelines, these policies moving forward will
be fascinating to see.
ANDERSON: Absolutely, Amanda, thank you. Amanda Davies on the story! Coming up on "Connect the World", I'll speak to the former U.S. Ambassador to
Israel, Martin Indyk about how Israel sees Saudi Arabia and Iran re- establishing ties, and it was a ceremony packed with surprises. We're going to take you through some of the biggest firsts at the Oscars last night.
Stay with us for that more. I'm Becky Anderson; you're watching "Connect the World".
ANDERSON: Much of the Middle East is praising what was a landmark agreement between regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran. The diplomatic breakthrough
was mediated by China and it was announced in Beijing on Friday. Now many are hopeful that it can usher in a new era of reduced hostility in some of
the region's most complex areas of conflict such as, for example, Yemen, and Iraq.
But they go on one country that has been silent on the agreement is Israel. Of course, a major foreign policy goal for Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu has been to create a regional alliance to counter Iran.
But we have heard from former Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid who tweeted saying that while he was in power, Israel and Saudi Arabia signed an
aviation agreement and "all this came to a screeching halt when the most extreme government in the country's history was established here. And it
became clear to the Saudis that Netanyahu was weak, and the Americans stopped listening to him".
Well, joining me now is the former U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Martin Indyk. Martin, I have to ask you on the widest story, before we sort of hone in on
Israel. What do you make of or what did you make of that announcement on Friday, a Chinese brokered coming together of two massive regional rivals
Saudi and Iran. And it's that rivalry which is created so much of the crisis and conflict that we see in this part of the world, the Middle East
and, and Gulf?
MARTIN INDYK, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO ISRAEL: Well, I think that it's a papering over those deep-seated rivalries that you refer to, between the
leader of the Sunni Arab world and Sunni Muslim world or Saudi Arabian leader, the sheer world, which is the Iranians. And we've seen the
manifestation of that rivalry all across the region for a long time now.
So, to imagine that these, this reconciliation, which has been underway for some time, promoted by the Iraqis, and the Omanis, before the Chinese came
in, showing some diplomatic agility in pulling off this agreement. But nevertheless, I don't think it has dealt with the fundamental rivalry
between these two countries and neighbors.
But it reflects a kind of tactical move on both sides to calm things down for the moment, because the Saudis want the Iranians to help stop the
Houthis from attacking them from Yemen and the Iranians, I think, want the Saudis to stop backing the dissident movements in Iran and minorities in
ANDERSON: We know that this region, certainly the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the UAE talk about a new era of sort of diplomatic efforts to serve
their economic interests. Gone other days, they say, of, of sort of muscular regional foreign policy, which can be escalatory. This is all
about these days, sort of finding diplomatic avenues through crises in order to serve economic needs.
And the Saudis have got a big economic story, which is vision 2030. They don't want that knocked off track by any conflict or crisis, that being one
of the reasons they say that this is an important deal. What are the implications for Israel here? I want to say Israel in the first instance,
and Benjamin Netanyahu in the second influence - instance, I think you're going to conflate the two though, in answer?
INDYK: Yep. There's no doubt that Israel has benefited from the fact that the Saudis and the Emiratis and the other Gulf states as well have seen a
common interest and a sense of common threat from Iran. And that has driven the normalization process; we saw the Emiratis take the lead on and
resulted in the Abraham Accords.
But also, significant steps that Saudi Arabia has taken towards Israel, short of full normalization. Netanyahu coming to power, again, thought very
much that he could drive this to full normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia. He thought he could taste it, he thought it was real. And he
was excited by this prospect.
And so now that instead, the Saudis have gone off and normalized relations with Iran, Israel's great adversary, this has struck a blow to Netanyahu's
hubs. And because everything is so political now in Israel, given the broader context here of, of what's going on, with the judicial reform, and
the people out in the streets opposing it.
So, the opposition has used this as an opportunity to show that Netanyahu's dream of, of peace for peace has been deflated. And he, of course, is
turning around and blaming them. So, it's become a bit of a political catfight here. But I have to tell you, Becky, that it's really not the
primary issue by any means. In Israel today, it's all about judicial reform all the time.
ANDERSON: Yes. And the Americans are keenly focused on that, of course, as are others around the region, just briefly, then do you see the Abraham
accords at risk at this point, given where Israel is at? And given that we have seen, you know, from the UAE, you know, real criticism of what is
going on certainly, with regard the West Bank, not perhaps as much on the judicial reform, far, but certainly with regard the West Bank, are these
Abraham accords at risk?
INDYK: I do think that there's a potential there. We know that that none of the Abraham Accords, countries wanted to tie their relationships with
Israel to what happens with the Palestinians. But if it does blow in the West Bank, and it could, all of the vectors, as we've discussed before are
headed in the wrong direction in that regard.
It will be hard for them for the emirates Bahrainis Moroccans, to maintain a warm embrace of Israel, in circumstances where, you know, Arabs across
the region as seeing on their screens every day, clashes between the Israeli army and Palestinian youth, militants and so on. So I think that
it's a very sensitive time, it will really depend on how funds develop in the West Bank.
ANDERSON: With that, we're going to leave it there, we thank you very much indeed, Martin for joining us as ever. And for more on this story, do head
to cnn.com and subscribe to the newsletter, meanwhile in the Middle East there, you'll get the latest analysis on how this landmark agreement will
impact this region from Israel to Yemen, to Lebanon.
That is cnn.com/mideast newsletter, you can sign up there to get that into your inbox three days a week. Still to come on "Connect the World" the man
who stood up to Putin how Alexei Navalny's story turned into an Oscar winning documentary, that after this.
ANDERSON: It's what everybody seems to be talking about and for good reason. Last night Oscar's ceremony were filled with, was filled with tears
with applause and a lot of firsts. Well, India took home its first Oscar ever after the movie, RRR won the award for Best Original Song, titled
Naatu Naatu, the award winning tune also rocked the stage during last night's ceremony.
Traveling to the Marvel Universe next, Costume Designer Ruth Carter became the first black woman to win multiple Oscars. After her work on "Black
Panther: Wakanda Forever" scored her second Academy Award for Best Costume Design. And a tearful wins for everything everywhere all at once.
Actor Ke Huy Quan as he bagged his first Oscar win as Best Actor in a Supporting Role. And for those of you who remember this win comes a long
way from Quan's appearance in the 1984 movie Indiana Jones and The Temple Of Doom alongside Harrison Ford.
Well, the Oscars also honored a film produced by CNN, Navalny, one best documentary. It is CNN films his first win after five previous Oscar
nominations. The movie, the story of the poisoning of the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and the investigative journalists who
trace the plot back to Russia.
CNN's Chief International Correspondent Clarissa Ward features prominently in the film. And I'm absolutely delighted to say that Clarissa joins us now
live. What a win, you must be absolutely delighted, as we all are closer. Just explain how significant this is.
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's obviously thrilling Becky at the same time, I would say it's a little bit
bittersweet, because we're keenly aware of the fact that while people who made the film it'll be celebrating there. Of course, Alexei Navalny is not
able to join in those celebrations. He continues to languish in a maximum- security penal colony.
Inside Russia, he is in bad health. He has lost more than 20 pounds. He has crippling stomach aches. His lawyers say that he's been prescribed very
strong antibiotics that are inappropriate that are making his stomach cramps even worse, he has no access to his family.
But at the same time, I think everyone understands that the more this film is in the limelight, the more people pay attention and the more engaged
they are with the work of Alexei Navalny. And the current plight of Alexei Navalny, the more it becomes difficult for the Kremlin to punish him
potentially by, you know, in the worst-case scenario killing him. So the hope from his family and friends and of those filmmakers is that this Oscar
will only go to afford him an added measure of protection.
ANDERSON: That is the hope of course. The movie, as I explained the story of the poisoning of Alexei Navalny. And the investigative journalists who
trace the plot back to Russia and you were yourself involved in some of that work. Just we've got a minute and a half, 90 seconds or so. Just give
us a sense of, of what viewers you won't have seen this movie necessarily yet might see.
WARD: This was an investigation that was spearheaded by Christo Grozev, a brilliant investigator at Bellingcat. He basically using a number of
different sources was able to put together the work of a toxins team, if you will at the FSB, Russia's Federal Security Bureau, whereby dozens of
men had been following Navalny for three years.
They actually were creating Novichok, a soviet area nerve agent. They then followed him to Siberia sprinkled it in his underwear. And of course, the
moment in the film that you are sort of jaw drops and disbelief is that, Alexei Navalny himself gets on the phone and starts calling the poisoners.
One of them he manages to hoodwink into believing he's part of the Russian National Security Council, and goes on to extract a full confession of how
this poisoning was done. We also had the opportunity to knock on the door on one of the toxins team and confront him face to face about his role.
Needless to say, he didn't want to speak to us. But it's a very powerful documentary and a very powerful indictment as well of Russia's security
ANDERSON: We're going to leave it there. We thank you very much indeed for joining us, Clarissa Ward for you, CNN's Chief International Correspondent.
And to the team at CNN, huge congratulations to many of our colleagues involved in that.
And as Clarissa said, it's amazing to get this sort of award. One also has to think about the man himself and it's not forgetting him languishing in
that Russian jail at present. Thank you for joining us. Wherever you are watching in the world from the team working with me here in the UAE, it's a
very good evening. Wherever you are watching CNN of course continues after this short break, so please, don't go away.