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Azerbaijan Launched what it called an "Anti-Terrorist" Campaign Tuesday; Reported Ceasefire in Effect in Nagorno-Karabakh; Biden, Netanyahu Meet Amid Recent Tensions; U.N. Leader: "Humanity has Opened the Gates to Hell"; Residents Left Devastated after Floods Kill Thousands; Saudi Team Plays in Iran for the First Time in Seven Years. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired September 20, 2023 - 11:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: Welcome back. Reports of a ceasefire after dozens were killed in Nagorno-Karabakh. This hour I'll speak to Azerbaijan's

Foreign Policy Adviser.

First up, though, the U.S. President meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York. This is the first meeting -- the first time

the key allies have met since Netanyahu returned to power.

Well, as world leaders call for urgent climate action the United Kingdom planning to roll back some of its net-zero pledges. We are expecting to

hear from the Prime Minister this hour. Plus a CNN exclusive report on how Ukraine is likely behind a series of attacks on Wagner-backed militia in


Right this is the second hour of "Connect the World" you are more than welcome. I'm Becky Anderson. Fears of civil war averted for now at least in

a region in Western Asia that has endured decades of often on conflict. Just hours ago a truce were announced in Nagorno-Karabakh. This is the

breakaway region inside the territory of Azerbaijan that self-governed by Ethnic Armenians.

Recent skirmishes erupted into full-fledged fighting on Tuesday. Well, Azerbaijan's military launched attacks that its government describes as

anti-terrorist operations. Two children are among the dozens of people reported killed.

Well, the Kremlin says Russian peacekeepers in the region mediated that truce and evacuated endangered civilians, but Armenia's Leader is

questioning Moscow's true motives. And Russian involvement is significant with this latest budget, coming amid fraying ties between Russia and

Armenia, and the wider backdrop of course of the war in Ukraine.

Nic Robertson has more on the ceasefire. And how he got to this point, and I must warn you, his report does contain some disturbing images.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: (voice-over): Casualties from Azerbaijan's deadly artillery assault, rushed to hospital

in the majority Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. The Armenian death toll growing as a historic foes fragile peace explodes into dangerous

warfare with potentially disastrous consequences.

JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL: We are concerned and it is important that both parties now de-escalate.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): They've been here before two wars in the past 30 years over the disputed region. But in June, Azerbaijan began blocking the

strategic latching corridor, the only link between Armenia proper and the 120,000 people living in the enclave, internationally recognized as part of

Azerbaijan humanitarian aid convoys were denied access.

Russian peacekeepers couldn't or wouldn't get them through. Food and fuel and the enclave were in short supply. Respected international lawyer, Luis

Merino Champo wrote a legal opinion calling the blockade genocide, Azerbaijan disputes his analysis.

And in recent weeks, Armenians claimed Azerbaijani forces were massing weapons readying for a new offensive Tuesday their fears of attack were

realized, the enclave's de facto capital Stepanakert, echoing to gun and artillery fire, frightened women and children cowering in the street.

OLGA GRIGORYAN, STEPANAKERT RESIDENT: We don't know how to live in such a situation? How to raise your children when you constantly live in stress,

tension and no one wants to help you.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Civilian homes smashed as Azerbaijani officials claim they've launched an offensive against terrorists demanded the

Armenian army leave. And The Nagorno-Karabakh government disband and depart Armenia denies it's the aggressor.

NIKOL PASHINYAN, ARMENIAN PRIME MINISTER: Armenia is in no way involved in any military operation. And I reiterate that the Republic of Armenia has no

army in Nagorno-Karabakh.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): EU politicians while calling for calm, also calling out Russia's peacekeepers in action, and Azerbaijan's intransigence.


ROBERTA METSOLA, EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT: Full condemnation of the actions that we saw earlier today, but also recognition that this is Russia

at play, we are seeing yet another conflict, one sided attack.


ANDERSON: Nic Robertson reporting for us there. My next guest is the Foreign Policy Adviser to Azerbaijan's President Hikmet Hajiyev joins me

now via Skype from Baku. It's good to have you, sir. The authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh have accepted this ceasefire proposal made by the Russian

peacekeeping command. Armenia's Prime Minister says his government had no role in this ceasefire, was Azerbaijan involved and do you accept this


HIKMET HAJIYEV, FOREIGN POLICY ADVISER TO THE PRESIDENT OF AZERBAIJAN: First of all, thank you for it was an opportunity. I do regret that and

reportage but I'm in provided doesn't reflect in a full reality on the ground and it's ultimately one sided. So the reality is that we are talking

about state separatist illegal entity and created and supported by Armenia.

And it's also a current reality is a remnant of the past the 30 years long of Armenia's occupation against Azerbaijan. And Azerbaijan on multiple

occasions has had -- 10,000 strong armed forces of the Republic of Armenia was an element of the tank and heavy cannons. And it was an innocent

counterterrorism actions once against demonstrated, but we are not dealing with the parameters.

We are dealing with the real battle force on the ground that constitutes major threat to the security of Azerbaijan. There's a wider region. But

it's not over now. And we are looking forward with regard to providing rights and security of average Armenian residents of Karabakh under the

constitution of Azerbaijan and ending was a gray zone, but has been in place for 30 years against Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan fully observers that and the -- it was illegal forces on the ground and elements of the armed forces if they disarm and put the guns

down. And if they didn't de-militarize and the operation is called -- we will -- nation process.

ANDERSON: Let's just consider the question I asked specifically then. Do you accept this piece -- this ceasefire at this point?

HAJIYEY: Yes, of course, matters wise -- Azerbaijan actively engaged in that process. And we are peacekeepers and through our international

partners as well. And United States was also behind all of us developments with regard to halting with counter terrorism actions and also disarmament


Until we positively reacted and said about Azerbaijan is ready to do that and glad I'm delighted to say that -- 1300 today but full time, and it

wasn't consent about the table disarm and possibly short so that there wasn't a real battle force.

And then from Armenian Prime Minister denies that there is no forces of Armenia on the ground, but Karabakh -- little puppet regime accepted that

there was an element of the Armenian armed forces on the ground. Again Azerbaijan -- agenda as a piece.

Yes, we will observe that and we will continue to complete implementation and also taking proper control of Karabakh under the constitutions and laws

and also reintegrating Karabakh Armenian residents of Karabakh -- political social economic spectrum of Azerbaijan in a very peaceful manner.

ANDERSON: As Nic reported in his piece there -- campo the respected international lawyer wrote a legal opinion calling the blockade genocide. I

know that Azerbaijan disputes this analysis in the first instance. So I guess it's important for our viewers to understand what is Azerbaijan's end

goal at this point?

HAJIYEY: Now, first of -- I don't take him seriously because he's in a corrupt a lawyer, and there are many -- more substantial allegations

against him, because we also haven't acquired further established facts about his writing such and reports with the money of Armenia lobby groups.

I do regret for being a lawyer and he's a person of uses the term genocide. And I do also regret that some of them international media outlets are

misusing this word in genocide. And to putting this word against the people of Azerbaijan we accept it as a sign of insults, because in the history of

Azerbaijan people we have been subjected to ethnic cleansing and --

ANDERSON: Is your allegations. I'm going to stop you there for one second. Let me just stop you for one second because this is broadcast

internationally. I just -- let me stop you for one second. Acampo -- these are allegations you are making about Acampo certainly not something that we

can stand up here this is your perspective not anybody else is at this point. Carry on; what is Azerbaijan's mission here. What are you hoping to


HAJIYEV: Azerbaijan's mission is here about us in every sovereign country, Azerbaijan is also having a right to ensure its sovereignty and to put in a

gray zone but an existing Azerbaijan's territory for 30 years.


And this gray zone is a remnant of the 30 years long Armenians military occupation against Azerbaijan. I do regret that when international

reporters are covering investigation on the region and -- passing in silence with regard to this fact.

Azerbaijan's our cities have been destroyed. Azerbaijan as Muslim cultural heritage has been destroyed by Armenians who also -- 30 years. And with

illegal entity is also continuation of Armenians policy of military occupation against Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is establishing a sense of



HAJIYEV: Azerbaijan is thing and looking forward to protect rights and security of Karabakh Armenians on the ground, and ensuring withdrawal of

illegal armed formations including military troops of the Republic of Armenia, promising territories. That's an assault on the right in the

Republic of Azerbaijan.

ANDERSON: In this latest episode of what has been now a long running conflict, it has to be said at least 32 civilians have been killed

including two children. You play down these casualties to my colleague Matthew Chance, somewhat dismissing them as collateral damage. Do you stand

by that and what systems were put in place to prevent civilian casualties, sir?

HAJIYEV: First of all, you see that when Azerbaijan started with regard to the provocative mine blasts the landmine blast that has been committed

against Azerbaijani civilians and Azerbaijani police officers. Why is that illegal armed formations on our territory?

Azerbaijan was obliged. It's not just our choice, but we have been obliged to start with counter terrorism, action sorts of ground. Azerbaijan has

used precision guided munitions. And we have been very selective and very accurate with regard to that target acquisition and target de-


And all video footages have been provided. All civilians and all mobile subscribers have been sent SMS message and notifying them please give them

a safe distance from the military installations.

What we have seen on the contrary, local armed formations as a methodology was a terrorist and they tried to put their military installations next to

the civilian installations. And they also carry civilian clauses by holding their arms on the ground. Again, Azerbaijan used all precautionary measures

and we use also radio waves and reach out to the local population. Is it about on a safety?


HAJIYEV: I assure you that there was a maximum minimal damage to the civilians if it occurred as collateral in any way. But the figures I don't

think about realistic figures, these figures needs to be verified and double check. I also do regret Nic's report is not quite balanced and fair

-- certain facts need to be double checked.

ANDERSON: Well, this was an opportunity to voice regret for the death of children. I hear what you're saying. You've explained that guardrails were

put in place, but it was very specifically a question about regretting the death of children.

HAJIYEV: Yes. Of course, not unacceptable, but also understand Azerbaijan is not unlike Armenia. Armenia uses theater ballistic missiles, including

the Scud missiles and Iskander missiles against Azerbaijan cities during the 44 days war, including my hometown, Kandra, where hundreds of civilians

died overnight. It's not Azerbaijan about using besides against civilians against the --

ANDERSON: Civilians is always regrettable of course. We haven't -- we've given you. Sir you're on the show. And you're live on my show with an

opportunity to put the Azerbaijan position. And I'm very pleased that we've given you the opportunity to do so.

Let me ask you this finally. What is the role of Russia in all of this? Their peacekeeping troops are reportedly tasked with preventing further

conflict. Are they coming good on that? I mean is there a strategic role as described, one that Russia is coming good on at this point? I mean, given

that the Ukraine war is going on, I mean, that is obviously this almost becomes a sideshow to that. I mean, what's your sense of Russia's

involvement in this at this point?

HAJIYEV: Russia is a neighboring country and Russia is also -- country and Russia also has historical relations with Azerbaijan Armenia at the same

time. And it was the end of the 44 days war, and we signed a trilateral statement was a supporter of the Russia -- and trilateral statement

unfortunately, it's in a political geopolitical architecture has been destroyed by Armenia and -- a military personnel arms and putting the

landmine is on our territory.

And it was in a recent incident and escalation is one of the side effects of such and a policy pursued by Armenia. And Russian peacekeepers are

operating on the ground as part of -- trilateral statement. We are keeping also competitive relationship and also operational relationship is in

Russian peacekeepers on the ground.


HAJIYEV: When was engagement has happened have started sort of operational channels we have also notified informed Russian peacekeepers on the ground.

And with regard to the disarmament process, we are also trying to work with other Russian peacekeepers on the ground and Moscow and also providing

certain platforms along with in Brussels and Washington platform for the advancement of the peace agenda between Armenia and Azerbaijan. I once

again reiterate by not standing -- by Armenia, Azerbaijan in supporting peace.

ANDERSON: It's good to have you. Thank you very much for joining us.

HAJIYEV: Thank you.

ANDERSON: This is an extremely important complex, complicated story. It's a headline for us today as it should be rightly and it's important to get

your analysis. Thank you very much indeed.

Well, as Russia appeals for calm in Nagorno-Karabakh deadly fighting continues in Ukraine. Six civilians were killed in a Russian missile attack

on Kupyansk in the Kharkiv region on Tuesday as a car with volunteers was crossing a bridge to evacuate civilians. That is according to Ukrainian

officials who say more than 2000 people have left the district amid intensified Russian shelling.

But drone warfare may also be extending outside this was obvious parameters. An exclusive CNN investigation has uncovered compelling

evidence that Ukrainian forces have struck Wagner-backed fighters inside Sudan. Let's bring in CNN Chief International Investigative Correspondent,

Nima Elbagir for more on what is Nima, this exclusive reporting, just explain?

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Well, in the aftermath of the death of the league -- Leader of the Wagner Mercenary

Group, there had been hope for those impacted by Wagner's actions in Africa, that perhaps this would signal a new beginning in Russia's

relationship with African countries.

Our evidence is that in fact, Russia's sphere of influence has expanded to include Chad neighboring to Sudan and just days after we uncovered that

Chad was used as a throughput point to deliver Russian Wagner supplies to the paramilitary Sudanese rapid support forces. Two days later, what

appears to be a daring strike by Ukrainian forces likely our sources tell us by Ukrainian forces was carried out take a look at this.


ELBAGIR (voice-over): Nightfall in a war torn neighborhood in the Sudanese City of Omdurman. You are watching a thermal imaging video depicting

military forces equipped in high tech gear, far more sophisticated than the Sudanese have demonstrated to date.

And here, a series of high precision daytime strikes raining down from the sky in and around the same city hitting targets backed by Russia's Wagner

Mercenary Group in Sudan, a Ukrainian military source told CNN this is the work of a foreign military. Pressed on whether they would say unequivocally

that Kyiv was behind the attacks.

The source would only say that Ukrainian special services were likely responsible, which would constitute a dramatic expansion in Kyiv's theater

of war against Moscow. Previous CNN investigations exposed that the Sudanese Paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, RSF, has been heavily backed by

Wagner as they fight the Sudanese army in a war for dominance.

CNN obtained a series of videos of the operation showing 14 different strikes on RSF weapons and equipment believed to be provided by Wagner. We

pinpointed seven different locations of the drone strikes in Omdurman and RSF stronghold that has become a focal point of the conflict.

And we geo located footage of the night raid to the same city by identifying the building seen here. The drone video obtained by CNN had

already been edited, but clues remain as to the identity of those behind the attacks. Text on the monitor of the drone control, as seen here is in


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Press to start recording.

ELBAGIR (voice-over): These commercially available drones are widely used by Ukrainian forces. They have a maximum video transmission range of around

nine miles. That means we can tell that the pilots of the drones were in Sudan, close by. It's a common tactic in Ukraine but not so much in Sudan.

Drone experts consulted by CNN said this is the first time drones like this have been deployed in this fashion in Africa. CNN shared the videos with a

high level source in Sudan's army for comment, who said they had no knowledge of a Ukrainian operation in Sudan and did not believe it was


Sudan became embroiled in Russia's war against Ukraine last year, despite being thousands of miles from the front line. When as we reported Wagner

exploited Sudan's gold resources to help finance Moscow's Ukraine war effort, circumventing U.S. sanctions on Russia.


After a plane carrying Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin plummeted to the ground late last month, many believed that Wagner's influence would recede.

But just the opposite has happened. Military whistle-blowers in a number of African countries have told CNN that the Kremlin is consolidating its power

over Wagner networks in the Central African Republic, in Sudan, in Libya and in Mali. And now that network has expanded further, this time into


ELBAGIR: Chad has really been impacted by the fighting in neighboring Sudan. And, yet, it's emerging as a key transit point for supplies to the

Rapid Support Forces in Sudan, part of an expansion of Russia's influence in Africa.

ELBAGIR (voice-over): Cross-referencing testimony from intelligence and military sources active in the region with satellite imagery, CNN has

uncovered evidence that Wagner arms crossed through Chad within the last two weeks to get to an RSF military base in Sudan.

If you look closely, you can see over a hundred vehicles including scores of trucks at the base, proof the supplies provided by Russia, Wagner

continue. A strike on Wagner-backed forces in Sudan would constitute a blow to Moscow. If it is Ukraine, they will have raised the stakes for those

willing to accept Wagner's backing in the future. A lesson illustrating the price they could be forced to pay for co-operating with Russia.


ELBAGIR (on camera): We also in addition to speaking to the Ukrainian military source, who told us it was likely Ukrainian special services were

involved in this attack, we officially reached out to comment for Ukraine, who tellingly, Becky, told us that they can neither confirm nor deny that

Ukraine was responsible for this raid.

We also our colleagues, CNN colleagues in Washington, reached out to various American agencies, who seemed quite surprised by the idea that

Ukraine could have carried out this attack and said they had no information. A picture emerges, really of Ukraine, if it is indeed Ukraine,

expanding the theater of war against Russia.

And sending a really strong message that if you are going to continue to benefit from Wagner and Russia's African networks, that there is going to

be a price to pay, which potentially takes the impact of the Ukraine war far, far beyond its borders, Becky.

ANDERSON: Nima, good to have you. Thank you. Well, this was a major lift across our investigative and news gathering operations. For more on Nima

and her teams exclusive reporting, you can check out CNN digital there, you'll find a deeper insight into their story, including not just what we

know, but how we know and as well as other news from around the world.

Well you're watching "Connect the World", I'm Becky Anderson. There's a lot more news ahead as you would expect on this show. So stay with us.



ANDERSON: U.S. President Joe Biden says despite their differences, his commitment to Israel is, "ironclad", Mr. Biden, meeting with the Israeli

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu right now on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. President Biden, of course, hasn't made a secret of his

disapproval of Mr. Netanyahu's plan to overhaul the courts.

CNN's Hadas Gold is back with us from Jerusalem. An ironclad commitment to the relationship between two countries, of course, says Joe Biden. It is

the current Prime Minister and the government that the U.S. has such an issue with, at present, what else have we learned at this point?

HADAS GOLD, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Well, listen, Becky, I don't think this meeting went as well as Benjamin Netanyahu could have hoped the

feeling from what we could see on the screens was pretty laid back very complimentary. They mentioned briefly the issues between them kind of

alluding to the issues that the U.S. administration has with the Israeli administration right now.

But they didn't really go deep into it. And it seemed to be the thing that was tying them together. The thing that's keeping this relationship at a

decent place is the prospect of normalization with Saudi Arabia. And I did find it really notable that they both called each other by their first

names President Biden called Netanyahu Bibi.

And Benjamin Netanyahu then called Joe Biden, he said, Mr. President, Joe, and then if they hadn't, they had this very, like, feel good moment where

they said, you know, we can do these things together. And then Joe Biden said together, and then they shook hands.

You know, that's like, that's a movie ending that Benjamin Netanyahu could have only dreamed about. So what very well for him, but we did hear from

President Biden, the issues that they're talking about, he says, we'll be talking about the heart issues of holding democratic values that lie at the

heart of our partnership, including checks and balances in our systems.

And this is, of course, alluding to the judicial overhaul to the law that was just passed here that took away the Supreme Court's ability to provide

one of those checks and balances on the Israeli parliament that's currently being debated in the Supreme Court.

They talked about a two state solution they talked about ran and as you noted, President Biden saying even where we have some differences, my

commitment to Israel is ironclad. Without Israel, there's not a Jew in the world that secure. Benjamin Netanyahu himself was also very complimentary

of President Biden.

He said that now is a time of great promise and great danger. And I think we have a bit of sound from Benjamin Netanyahu talking about the prospect

of normalization with Saudi Arabia, take a listen.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Under your leadership as President, we can forge a historic peace between Israel and Saudi Arabia. I

think such a peace would go a long way for us to advance the end of the Arab Israeli conflict, achieve reconciliation between the Islamic world and

the Jewish state. And advance a genuine peace between Israel and the Palestinians. This is something within our reach.


GOLD: That last bit about advancing a genuine peace between Israel and the Palestinians is interesting, of course, because if he wants to make any

sort of progress on normalization with Saudi Arabia and make any sort of movement on a potential peace with the Palestinians.

He's going to have to deal with his own government here back at home, his own Cabinet Ministers, these extremists, these right wingers who he will

have a hard time potentially convincing to get on board with this plan. This could mean trying to get normalization with Saudi Arabia.

It will be interesting to see if Benjamin Netanyahu is willing to risk this government is willing to make this government fall in order to get

normalization with Saudi Arabia with new coalition partners. Now, Becky, another interesting aspect is, of course, the protesters who were just

outside of this hotel where this meeting took place.

According to the Israeli reporters who were in the room with them, they could hear those protesters on the streets of Manhattan inside the hotel.

So that means that Benjamin Netanyahu and President Biden could hear those protesters. These protesters are many Israeli experts.

They are Jewish Americans there are others who are concerned about the judicial overhaul. Benjamin Netanyahu did address it saying that the

Israel's commitment to democracy. They will continue to uphold the values that both of their proud democracies cherish. Obviously, those protesters

feel a little bit differently about them.

ANDERSON: Yes, I mean, that question is, does this government, this Israeli Prime Minister really share America's values? I mean, and that is sort of

at the heart of what is going on at present. I thought it was very interesting to hear him respond to or certainly describe why it is that

normalization between Israel and the Saudis will be so important.


The question is what does he offer the U.S., what does he offer the Saudis on the Palestinian fight? What does he offer the Palestinians themselves

and that is just not clear as you have rightly pointed out at this point, fascinating, thank you, always good to have you Hadas.

Well, the Secretary General at the United Nations kicks off a climate summit with a dramatic warning. Still ahead what he says humanity has done

to the planet and what needs to be done to fix it? We'll have a live report on that after this.


ANDERSON: Welcome back, I'm Becky Anderson. You're watching "Connect the World", your headlines this hour. I reported ceasefire is in effect in the

Nagorno-Karabakh a disputed region in Azerbaijan self-governed by ethnic Armenians. The Kremlin says a Russian peacekeeping contingent mediated that


While it comes a day after Azerbaijan's military launched attacks that its government describes as anti-terrorist operations. Dozens of people were

reported killed. U.S. President Joe Biden is pledging his ironclad commitment to Israel despite recent differences with the government there.

Mr. Biden has been meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that under President Biden's leadership, Israel could forge an

historic piece with Saudi Arabia. The United Nations Secretary General has kicked off the climate ambition summit. New York Antonio Guterres urged

leaders to take swift action to address global issues.


ANTONIO GUTERRES, U.N. SECRETARY GENERAL: The move from fossil fuels to renewables is happening, but we are decades behind. We must make up time

last two foot dragging arm twisting and the naked greed of entrenched interests raking in billions from fossil fuels.


ANDERSON: So let's hear it from CNN's Chief Climate Correspondent Bill Weir. He's with us from New York foot dragging and the rest of it. I mean,

we expect to hear from Antonio Gutierrez.


And normally it's very doom laden and can be sort of apocalyptic in his language less so perhaps today, you know, clearly pointing out the

renewables other way. For this happening, of course as Rishi Sunak, the British Prime Minister is speaking, the U.K. once seen as a leader in

climate commitments.

It is though it seems not Rishi Sunak's -- these days. He's rolling back net zero pledges saying he will be laying out a more proportionate

response. What do we know at this point? And, you know, what's your perspective on this?

BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know that the Prime Minister wasn't planning on speaking today, news of this rollback, watering

down these ambitions leaked. So he's trying to get ahead of the narrative. Right now we expect him to say that the U.K. has done their share, and it's

time for the rest of the world to step up.

But the U.K. of course, has been, key in convincing the India's and China's to come to the table in good faith. And so critics would say how do you

inspire the rest of the world by doing less in this particular case, environmentalist saying this will shatter? The U.K.'s carbon budgets and

specifically his decision to delay the ban of new gas powered petrol powered cars and trucks by 2030.

Who wants to roll that back to 2035, we understand also delay a move to away from gas powered or fossil fuel furnaces for heating Europe in about

21 countries, the U.K. is last and heat pump installation. So a lot of environmentalists would say to folks who need an encouragement to move

their homes or construction into a cleaner future there as well.

But there's a lot of questions also, from automakers and business leaders who were supporting the U.K. is carbon pledges right now and are sort of in

the lurch on what to do next.

ANDERSON: A lot of confusion out there. I mean, of course, you know, as far as renewables are concerned, I mean, the U.K. does, certainly had some sort

of first mover advantage when it came to wind power. But look, I mean, you know, everybody's sort of laying out where they stand.

We're what you know, two months away from the next big Climate Conference, which of course is here in the UAE. We are seeing some action in the right

direction as the world really does try to play catch up the United States announcing its first ever climate call today. What does that entail?

WEIR: Oh, well Becky, this harkens back to the days of the great depression, when the Civilian Conservation Corps put thousands, hundreds of

thousands of people to work, restoring forests, or helping build roads and those sorts of things. It's sort of a new vision for those 20,000 paid

positions for young people to do everything from restore wetlands and forests to install clean energy, or work with climate justice groups in

cities, and whatnot.

This was something that groups like the sunrise movement young youth activist really wanted in the last big package, it didn't make it in. But

some are disappointed that this is nice, but they're really calling on President Biden to declare the climate as a state of emergency.

And use his Presidential powers in a way to dial down and start shutting off new fossil fuel projects. Because all the young people plant trees in

the world won't matter at the current rate of planet cooking emission pollution right now. So that's where we are and now this new talk as we

head into the next COP, in a couple of months.

As you mentioned, there are talks about whether the language should be ending fossil fuels, you know, winding down fossil fuels or unabated

emissions, as more big oil companies and Petro States say, hey, we can keep burning, as long as we catch the bad stuff, carbon capture and stick it

back underground.

Of course, that hasn't been tested at all to scale. So it's like promising to go on a diet, you know, in 10 years while you still have a cheese cake

tonight. But these again is the conversation around carbon credits and how people with good intentions can still keep business running as usual, but

also not harm the planet, a lot of big discussions ahead on all of those fronts.

ANDERSON: Absolutely. Good to have you as ever. Thank you, Bill.

WEIR: Thank you.

ANDERSON: This crisis needs trillions of dollars in cash to address it, of course climate finance high on the agenda at the General Assembly and will

be a key pillar at this year's U.N. conference COP 28 held here in Dubai at the end of the year. One solution put forward by Colombia and other middle

income countries is the idea of swapping foreign debt for sustainable solutions. Have a look at this Stefano Pozzebon explains.


STEFANO POZZEBON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What do climate protesters in New York and British royalty have in common?


A series of unprecedented natural disasters the summer, from cyclones in Brazil to catastrophic floods in Libya led all to bear the need for a

transition to more sustainable practices. And this week at the United Nations General Assembly, who will pay for that transition is a big topic.

Middle income countries like Colombia are proposing to swap foreign debt to be able to spend more on climate mitigation. The idea presented by

Colombian Environment Minister Susana Muhamad is for multilateral institutions to pay back discounted debt from certain debtor nations, which

then redirect those funds for conservation projects and renewable energies.

SUSANA MUHAMAD, COLOMBIAN ENVIRONMENT MINISTER: We will need to invest something like 3.24 points of GDP annually in climate to fulfill those

promises that we make to the Paris agreement. And we are only investing 0.16 percent.

POZZEBON (voice-over): Susana believes Colombia will soon have to plan for relocating communities from some of the areas, most affected by climate

change, while building infrastructure to prevent disasters, like those seen elsewhere, rushing off foreign debt to allow more resources to be spent on

climate might sound too good to be true, but it's not impossible. The small country of Belize did just that in 2021.

SLAV GATCHEV, MANAGING DIRECTOR OF SUSTAINABLE DEBT OF THE NATURE CONSERVANCY: We refinanced 550 million, so the entirety of Belize's foreign

commercial debt, generating 180 million of savings towards marine conservation, allowing the country to credibly protect 30 percent of its


POZZEBON (voice-over): Replicating the success of tiny Belize on a global scale, we present new challenges. Of course, experts from the IMF and the

private sector believe that for climate swaps are not the only strategy, but can be a powerful instrument for middle income countries looking to

make their climate adaptation more efficient.

SEBASTIAN ESPINOSA, FOUNDING PARTNER OF WHITE OAK ADVISORY: These definitions are not supposed to be a panacea for those kinds of underlying

debt problems. Nobody should embark on desktops simply because they think they're going to be able to reduce their debt for.

POZZEBON (voice-over): This week, calls to address climate change to center stage at the U.N. and even its largest donor promised to create new

partnerships to reach sustainable development who, will foot the bill however, remains uncertain. Stefano Pozzebon, CNN Bogota.


ANDERSON: Well coming up why, where this photo was shot is just as interesting. As the staff, who is in it will go and show you the

geopolitical twists that come with this year's Asian Champions League.



ANDERSON: Well, officials in Libya are considering whether to isolate some of the hardest hit areas hit by devastating floods last week amid growing

health concerns officials have restricted the number of journalists allowed in Derna. However, among the small number who stayed is CNN's Jomana

Karadsheh who filed this report.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Bit by bit, they begin to clear what's left of deadness battered streets and buildings. But for its

people, it's too soon to move on. It's all still so incomprehensible.

KARADSHEH: What happened here residents say was a disaster of epic proportions. It was like a bombing an earthquake and a tsunami all in one.

Wall of water, as high as six storey submerged buildings, and crushed almost everything in its path and split the city into.

KARADSHEH (voice-over): Diverse code the Mediterranean for the remains of men, women and children swept away into the sea with their homes. It is now

these waters that tell the stories of lives ended too soon. Survivors still cling on to the hope their loved ones are just lost in the chaos.

Outside schools turn into shelters people scour through lists with the names of survivors inside. Salma has been searching for her parents and her

brothers. But the gut wrenching reality is starting to sink in. Single mother is now homeless living in this school. What happens to them next

keeps her up at night.

KARADSHEH: Salma says it feels now that life has no meaning anymore, that life is over, she says.

KARADSHEH (voice-over): For the youngest survivors life goes on, makeshift swings enough to distract them and help them forget. But deadness nightmare

is far from over. Warnings of a looming health crisis have everyone on edge. Access to the disaster zones now restricted as fumigates the area to

wash away the stench of death and the ills it may bring.

The ones bustling streets around darkness old city, now almost deserted. Defiant residents who've returned to their homes are now being asked to

leave. -- survived ISIS that once ruled his city. He's also been displaced by civil war just a few years ago. He refuses to live through that again.

I would rather die here than leave he tells us he doesn't trust the same powers that failed them to now protect them. Shock and grief have turned

into anger with calls for accountability for a calamity brought by Mother Nature compounded by man. Its years of negligence, neglect, mismanagement,

corruption and a failed state they blame a resilient Derna and its soul have been crushed. No one knows how they or their city will ever heal from

this. Jomana Karadsheh CNN, Derna, Libya.


ANDERSON: You're watching "Connect the World" with me Becky Anderson. We will be right back.



ANDERSON: Well, according to UNICEF children with disabilities are about 50 percent more likely to have never attended school. But a startup here in

the UAE believes that the right business environment can help change that. Have a look at this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Jose Rubinger and -- Key2Enable in Abu Dhabi. The startup developed an educational keyboard for people with


JOSE RUBINGER, CO-FOUNDER OF KEY2ENABLE: So by doing this, you have access to 144 commands in the computer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Jose moved from Brazil to Abu Dhabi in 2019, to take part in an incubator program held by Abu Dhabi's authority of

social contribution, -- .

RUBINGER: -- that means togetherness. So they were trying to bring together other innovations to the region to help and support people of

determination. They brought to us, for example, professionals that were trying to help us to support us with the pitch deck with the design of our

website with the solution.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Since it began four years ago, -- has supported more than 70 startups with almost 114 million U.S. dollars

allocated to social enterprises.

RUBINGER: We were looking for social impact hubs, social impact accelerators. So it's sometimes very difficult to find those programs,

those incubators that are specific for social impact.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): The startup business seen here is growing and fast. According to research and policy advisory firm's startup genome,

the ecosystem value in the UAE capital is expanding almost three times faster than the global average.

CHRISTOPHER SCHROEDER, CO-FOUNDER OF NEXT BILLION VENTURES: The strength of an ecosystem is essential to actually meet with entrepreneurs and say, what

do you really need in order to expand, it's effectively saying around the world, you can come here and you can succeed and when you have that kind of

sauce, when you have that kind of flywheel really, really exciting things happen.

Mariam is one of many students benefiting from key to enables creation. Using a combination of well-spaced colorful keys, Mariam is able to take

part in the class exercise.

RUBINGER: Every time that I see a childlike Mariam for example, trying and actually having success using any other tool. This is the most important

that can happen to not only us but to all the startups.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mariam, tell them the color, just tell them the color OK?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yellow and purple.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, yellow and purple, OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): A sign that a solid startup ecosystem can impact much more than businesses.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good team right over there. Well done.


ANDERSON: Well, the Asian Champions League is underway as teams face off in the competition's group stage. But this year's tournament comes with a

geopolitical twist as teams from Iran and Saudi Arabia face off on home turf for the first time since 2016.

That means that stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar Jr., and Sadio Mane will play on Iranian ground for the first time ever, and we saw what that

looks like. Just last night is Saudis Al Nassr FC faced off against Iran's Persepolis FC and the Portuguese giant Ronaldo, receiving a rock stars

welcome, have a look at this.


ANDERSON (voice-over): Ronaldo fever spread to Iran as adoring fans welcome the star footballer and his Saudi team Al Nassr and the first visit of any

Saudi team to the country since 2016. Iranian fans raised pictures and banners to welcome Ronaldo crowd surrounded the buses carrying the team.

Support is invaded the hotel lobby Despite attempts by security to prevent them. Rinaldo, getting the Persian carpet treatment, Persepolis gifting him

a luxurious hand woven rug, one young Iranian fan, wearing the Saudi football team's jersey, lucky enough to meet the staff -- , the public

diplomacy is extending to a disabled Iranian artist who painted these portraits of Ronaldo with her feet.

And then it was all eyes on the match on Tuesday night. But a league ban imposed on Persepolis for an offensive social media post two years ago, was

enforced, meaning that the game was played in an empty stadium, depriving thousands of fans the opportunity to see Ronaldo play in person.

In the end on Nassr Beach, Persepolis 2-0 after a red card against the Iranian team helped the Saudi side. But it was arguably the win off the

pitch that was more important. Scenes of Iranians cheering on a Saudi team would have been unthinkable just a few months ago.


Earlier this year the country's restored relations in a major diplomatic move for Ronaldo, his Teheran jaunt was clearly special thanking fans and

the Iranian people, and for the Saudis and Iranians alike, another sign of how the beautiful game can help bridge divides.


ANDERSON (on camera): And there is no better example of the power of football like seeing Iranian kids wearing Saudi football team jerseys with

Cristiano Ronaldo's name on them. And to learn more about how Saudi is harnessing the power of the beautiful game, just check out the latest issue

of all.

Meanwhile, in the Middle East newsletter, where we look at what is the astonishing transformation of Saudis Pro League and how it is changing

global competition and we'll deep dive on that and well worth the read QR codes bottom of your screen. And sign up meanwhile, in the Middle East is a

jolly good read. Thank you for joining us. One World tonight with Lynda Kinkade is up next.