Return to Transcripts main page
Connect the World
Antony Blinken Talks in World Economic Forum in Davos; Israel and Hamas Strikes a Deal to deliver Medicine to Hostages; Missiles and drones target Sunni militants in Pakistan; U.S. Expected to Re-Classify Houthi Militants as Terror Group; Princess of Wales in Hospital; U.K. Foreign Secretary Says Immediate Humanitarian Pause in Gaza is "Absolutely Essential"; Volodymyr Zelenskyy Addressing the World Economic Forum in Davos; Situation in Gaza is "Gut-Wrenching"; King Charles to Get Treatment for Enlarge Prostate. Aired 10-10:43a ET
Aired January 17, 2024 - 10:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is CONNECT THE WORLD.
ELENI GIOKOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello and welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Eleni Giokos.
We are following breaking news in the U.K. where Kensington Palace has announced that the Princess of Wales is in hospital after undergoing
successful abdominal surgery. More on that story in just a moment.
But we begin with the shadow of Israel's war against Hamas in Gaza. Listen to how Antony Blinken, who was in Davos at the World Economic Forum,
describes what's happening there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: What we're seeing every single day in Gaza is gut-wrenching. And the suffering we're seeing among innocent
men, women, and children breaks my heart.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: Well, meanwhile, Qatar is reporting some movement on the humanitarian front. The foreign ministry says a deal has been struck
between Israel and Hamas to deliver medication to Israeli hostages. In exchange, civilians in the most affected areas of Gaza would receive
For more on what's happening on the ground, we've got Jeremy Diamond joining us from Tel Aviv, as well as Nada Bashir, who is in Beirut.
Jeremy, let's start with you. Very significant deal, complicated deal struck that was negotiated by Qatar to get medication to hostages that are
in Gaza. Give us a sense of how those medicines will be delivered to the hostages.
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Well, I spoke with an Israeli official this morning who said that this deal to transfer the medication to
the hostages is indeed now underway. We don't know exactly where in the process that delivery of medication actually is. But yesterday, the Qatari
government said that planes would be flying from Doha, Qatar to Egypt today in order to transfer that medication, then via land, through the Rafah
Crossing to Palestinian health ministry officials inside the Gaza Strip. From there, getting it to Hamas, which is going to be providing the aid
directly, we're told to some 40 hostages.
Many of these hostages are those who have chronic medical conditions that existed before they were taken into captivity. And over the course of these
more than 100 days of captivity, many of them have not had access to the kind of medication that they need to treat some of their -- those
Now, in exchange for the medication being provided to the hostages, Israel has agreed to allow more humanitarian aid and medication into what we're --
we understand are some of the most affected areas of the Gaza Strip, though it's not exactly clear exactly how much aid that actually is.
What we do know certainly is that the conditions on the ground certainly require a lot more humanitarian aid. When you look at the numbers of
Palestinians who are displaced, the numbers who are dealing -- who are now facing famine, it's clear that much, much more is still needed.
I think one of the major questions that now remains is what exactly is going to come of this deal to provide the medication. Is this some kind of
a confidence building measure that could lead to some kind of a broader deal to free additional hostages? Something that we know U.S., Israeli,
Qatari officials, Egyptian officials have been working on for weeks now. Or is this some kind of a standalone situation? That remains to be seen.
Of course, the families of those 100 plus hostages who still remain in captivity have been really ratcheting up the pressure, especially as we hit
that 100-day mark over the weekend, and they would also like to see some kind of proof that this medication actually reached the hostages who need
it the most.
GIOKOS: Yes. Jeremy, stay with me. We've got Nada Bashir who's in Beirut right now and monitoring what's going on in Gaza. And as Jeremy said, you
know, we've seen so many people displaced. The death toll is rising. The U.N. warning of famine there as well, Nada. Give us the latest.
NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Yes, absolutely. We continue to see that death toll rising each and every day, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.
Now, it's popping 24,000 among them, they say more than 10,000 children. It is a staggering and shocking figure, of course. And as you mentioned
earlier, we are hearing the warnings from U.N. agencies, from other aid agencies around the humanitarian situation on the ground.
We're getting information over the last few days has been extremely difficult in Gaza as we continue to see a communications blackout in the
Gaza Strip, the longest that we have seen thus far. But from what we have gathered in terms of the video and speaking to people on the ground,
including journalists reporting on the ground, we are seeing heavy fire in Southern Gaza, particularly around the Khan Younis area.
We've seen video emerging showing families fleeing the Al-Nasr hospital in the south, one of the few remaining hospitals still somewhat functional.
But also a hospital, according to the World Health Organization, that is sheltering some 7,000 civilians who have flocked to the hospital in search
As we know, the vast majority of Gaza's 2.3 million population are now internally displaced. The vast majority, again, concentrated around
Southern Gaza, where the Israeli military says it is now focusing and putting an emphasis on its military operation there.
Now, of course, the Israeli military says it is not targeting civilians, it is targeting Hamas infrastructure. And it says that it has focused on what
it believes to be around the Al-Nasr hospital complex Hamas rocket launch site. This has been denied by Hamas officials. And we have repeatedly been
hearing from health officials on the ground in Gaza denying any Hamas presence within Gaza's hospital complexes.
But of course, as we continue to see bombardment intensifying in the south, there is mounting concern over the safety and security of the tens of
thousands, hundreds of thousands of civilians who have flocked to the south in search of protection, and of course the humanitarian situation as well.
The amount of aid that we're seeing getting into Gaza is minimal. It is a drop in the ocean in comparison to what is actually needed in Gaza. And of
course, we have been hearing those warnings from U.N. organizations and agencies around the potential for Gaza to be pushed to the point of famine
now. And of course, around concerns of a public health disaster.
This is a very small portion of land in the Gaza Strip, the besieged Gaza Strip. This is an area where we have seen families crammed together in
these makeshift tent cities, and there is concern. over the spread of infections and diseases.
And of course, as we know, the vast majority of Gaza's hospitals are inoperational. Hospital officials say they have run out of the necessary
medical supplies and medicines, as well as equipment needed in order to carry out the urgent care that is so desperately needed by so many wounded
in the Gaza Strip. We've been hearing from doctors on the ground saying that they are carrying out amputations without anesthetic. This is a dire
We heard just yesterday. from the U.N.'s humanitarian chief, Martin Griffiths, he described the situation as being a stain on the collective
conscious of the world. And of course, we continue to hear those calls for a long-lasting humanitarian ceasefire in order to allow aid to get in.
The Israeli military says it remains focused on its targets. It says it has struck over the last 24 hours a number of terrorist targets within Southern
Gaza. But as we know, the civilian death toll continues to mount. And we've been hearing not only from U.N. officials, but also now from U.S. officials
that more needs to be done in order to mitigate the risk of civilian casualties.
We heard just today from U.S. Secretary States Anthony Blinken speaking at the World Economic Forum, discussing -- describing the situation in Gaza as
gut-wrenching, again, saying that the U.S. government has continued to impose on Israel to do its utmost to protect civilian lives in Gaza.
GIOKOS: Nada Bashir in Beirut, thank you. Well, for months the International Community has voiced concern of the lack of vision by the
Israeli government for what happens after the war. However, some Israelis have a very clear plan, to resettle Gaza.
Israel unilaterally evacuated the enclave in 2005, but nearly two decades later, some on Israel's extreme religious and nationalist right see the
aftermath of October 7th as an opportunity. Jomana Karadsheh reports.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was a moment of decision pain and trauma for many Israelis. The end of Gush Katif, a
cluster of Israeli settlements in Gaza dismantled by the government in 2005. Thousands of settlers forced out of their homes under the
disengagement law that saw an end to Israel's presence in the Gaza Strip.
But after nearly two decades of yearning for return, the movement to do so now appears more emboldened than ever.
Among no less than Israeli troops themselves. Social media is now awash in images like these, one of Israel's most popular musicians to the cheers of
troops sings about that return. And moving the Nova festival, scene of a Hamas massacre to Gaza's beaches.
From inside Gaza, soldiers proudly displaying the orange color of protest against the 2005 disengagement. Here soldiers with a banner that reads on
the settlement would be considered victory.
And in this video, troops announcing the symbolic re-establishment of a former settlement,
YISHAI FLEISHER, INTERNATIONAL SPOKESPERSON, JEWISH COMMUNITY OF HEBRON: Jewish sovereignty, Jewish governance, and of course Jewish people being
able to live in this ancestral piece of land. Arabs, if they are post jihad, pro-Israel and want to live that good life in that beautiful soil,
there should be an opportunity for that. But anti-Israel, pro jihad Arabs have got to leave, and they're going to have to find a different place to
KARADSHEH (voice-over): From the frontlines a message to the Prime Minister.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We are occupying deporting and settling. Do you hear that, Bibi? Occupying deporting and settling.
KARADSHEH (voice-over): Bibi, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has yet to unveil his government's plans for postwar Gaza. But he's dismissed calls
to reestablish settlements as "unrealistic."
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Israel has no intention of permanently occupying Gaza, or displacing its civilian population.
KARADSHEH (voice-over): But those calls for expelling Gazans and reviving settlements are coming from powerful far-right members of his coalition.
BEZALEL SMOTRICH, ISRAELI FINANCE MINISTER (through translator): We will not be able to rule there without re-establishing a settlement. The
majority of them want to emigrate. They just need to be allowed to do it.
KARADSHEH (voice-over): The comments have been concerning enough to draw rebuke from U.S. and Arab governments, and many within Israel who say
they're widely unacceptable. But voices of the movement are growing louder by the day.
Ultra nationalist and religious parties bringing that discussion into the Knesset. While these voices are by no means a majority in Israel, they are
powerful and have been advancing their extremist agenda.
DAHLIA SCHEINDLIN, JOURNALIST AND POLLING EXPERT: The ideas that often seem very extreme at a certain phase in Israel's history can over time
become increasingly normalized very incrementally.
KARADSHEH (voice-over): Palestinians fear this is the unspoken plan.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): There is only one solution for the Gaza Strip.
KARADSHEH (voice-over): Gaza has become unlivable. The North a decimated wasteland, around half of our buildings across Gaza damaged or destroyed.
Nearly its entire population forced to move time and time again.
1.9 million people squeezed into a tiny part of the Enclave not knowing if they'll ever be allowed to return to their homes. And the far-right has
been promoting relocating Palestinians as a humanitarian idea.
ITAMAR BEN-GVIR, ISRAELI NATIONAL SECURITY MINISTER (through translator): We must promote a solution to encourage the emigration of the residents of
Gaza. This is a correct, just, moral, and humane solution.
KARADSHEH (voice-over): For that, Israel is facing accusations of violating international laws, acts that could amount to genocide.
OMER BARTOV, PROFESSOR OF HOLOCAUST AND GENOCIDE STUDIES, BROWN UNIVERSITY: There's an opening for those ministers, media people and so forth on the
Israeli right to say, well, the most humanitarian solution is to remove that population or to encourage them, as they say, to move out of Gaza.
If that happens, then this entire scenario that I'm talking about will be seen as ethnic cleansing. And I think cleansing is always on the verge of
KARADSHEH (voice-over): A view rejected by the likes of Hebron settler leader and returned to Gush Katif activist, Yishai Fleisher.
FLEISHER: It is a time of opportunity to change more people's minds here in Israel and to bring more unity and brotherhood in our peoplehood.
KARADSHEH: Do you feel that this vision, what you believe in, what should happen has become more of a possibility, more realistic right now, post
FLEISHER: I'd love to think so, yes. But Israel isn't very much in conversation right now. There's definitely a think out happening. People
are like waking up to -- you know, they're trying to open their minds.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OMER BARTOV, PROFESSOR OF HOLOCAUST AND GENOCIDE STUDIES: There's an opening for those ministers, media people and so forth on the Israeli right
to say, well, the most humanitarian solution is to remove that population, or to encourage them as they say to move out of Gaza. If that happens, then
this entire scenario that I'm talking about will be seen as ethnic cleansing. And ethnic cleansing is always on the verge of genocide.
KARADSHEH (voice-over): If you rejected by the likes of Hebron settler leader and returned to Gush Katif activist Yishai Fleisher.
FLEISHER: That is a time of opportunity to change more people's minds here in Israel, and to bring more unity and brotherhood in our peoplehood.
KARADSHEH: Do you feel that this vision what you believe in what should happen has become more of a possibility more realistic right now post
FLEISHER: I'd love to think so. Yes. But Israel is in very much in conversation right now. There's definitely a think out happening. People
are like waking up to, you know, they're trying to open their minds.
KARADSHEH (voice-over): Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, London.
GIOKOS: And regional tensions are rising further with an Iranian attack in Pakistan. Iran says it used missiles and drones to target two Sunni
militant strongholds. Pakistani officials report the attacks killed two children in the Sabz region. Iran says the militant group, it was targeting
-- stormed a police station in Iran and killed 11 officers last month.
Pakistan recalled its ambassador to Iran after the attacks. And its foreign ministry is warning Iran of serious consequences. At the World Economic
Forum here in Davos, Iran's foreign minister downplayed any tensions between Iran and Pakistan while claiming the attacks were justified. Take a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOSSEIN AMIR-ABDOLLAHIAN, IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): We'd only targeted Iranian terrorists on the soil of Pakistan before this.
I talked to my colleague, the honorable foreign minister of Pakistan, and I assured him that we do respect the sovereignty and the territorial
integrity of Pakistan, also those of Iraq, but we don't allow and we don't allow our national security to be compromised and to be played with. And we
have no reservation, no hesitations when it comes to our national interest.
GIOKOS: Well, the Biden administration is expected to re-classify the Houthi militant group in Yemen as a terrorist entity. The White House had
delisted the Houthis as a terrorist group in 2021, shortly after President Joe Biden took office.
Now, this looming change comes as Houthi militants continue to fire missiles at shipping interests in the Red Sea. On Tuesday, the U.S.
Launched its third strike against Houthi targets in Yemen in an effort to stop the attacks.
Paula Hancocks is back with me this hour. And just bringing off what we've heard from the Iranian foreign minister, importantly, in Davos, at the
World Economic Forum, where you have global leaders gathering and defending the attacks that we've seen in Pakistan, in Syria, as well as in Iraq.
Saying this is self-defense, essentially, but also saying that this will only end if Israel stops its war on Gaza.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Eleni. I mean, you think about what's happened just this week with Iran, with those missile launches and
those missile strikes, and it's really quite remarkable, and then you have the foreign minister standing up in front of everybody and, and pointing
out that this is not of their making, that -- and surprisingly, they're blaming Israel, saying that this is of Israel's making. So, let's listen to
what the foreign minister himself has to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMIR-ABDOLLAHIAN (through translator): But Israel brought the war out of Gaza and they assassinated one of the leaders of Hamas, not in Gaza, but in
Beirut. So, this is -- this has created a new situation.
Yes, but definitely if the genocide, the war of the Israeli regime comes to a halt, then it can lead to the stop of other crises and attacks in other
parts of the region against Israel.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANCOCKS: So, this really goes to the heart of what we've been talking about for some time here, which is whether or not there is going to be a
wider conflict. And the foreign minister there has effectively said, there is a wider conflict. It's of Israel's making.
And interesting to point out that if the Gaza war were to end, if Israel were to pull out of Gaza, then all of these proxy wars, if you like, the
Iranian proxies around the region would instantly pull back and cease their attacks on U.S. troops, on, on shipping vessels in the Red Sea.
Now, it's very questionable as to whether or not that would be the case. Potentially Hezbollah in Lebanon, which is autonomous but could well pull
But when it comes to these smaller groups like the Houthis, it's unlikely, many analysts say, that they would actually decide that that was enough.
That they didn't need to continue to target the commercial shipping in the Red Sea.
HANCOCKS: They have made a name for themselves. They have become more powerful during this time.
GIOKOS: And they've done this before. They've been, you know, targeting vessels in the past as well. So, this isn't new, essentially, but this
level and this escalation and the U.S. and its coalition partners striking back is also significant because that brings into question just what are we
seeing in the region? It feels like this domino effect that things are just spilling over quite dramatically so.
HANCOCKS: Well, there's also that argument that the U.S. and the U.K. potentially played into the Houthis and Iran's hands by retaliating. But it
got to the point when you have this many missile launches, to start with against Israel, but then against commercial shipping in the Red Sea. When
you have that continually, it was very difficult, we hear from many experts and officials, for the U.S. and the U.K. to just turn a blind eye and
But we're seeing continual strikes. The third strike from U.S. Navy trying to target some of those anti-ship missiles, which the Houthis are using to
a fair effect in the Red Sea. And still, they have said that they believe less than a third of the weapons capabilities have been destroyed. So, this
isn't something that they just pulled back from, or the U.S. and the U.K. can destroy easily.
HANCOCKS: This goes a lot further.
GIOKOS: Exactly. And it started, who knows how long this will take to pull back essentially. Paula Hancocks for us. Good to see you in studio.
Well, that's more news to cover. We're going to a very short break. Stay with us.
GIOKOS: Welcome back. And I want to return now to our breaking news. Catherine, the Princess of Wales, is in the hospital recovering from
abdominal surgery. Kensington Palace says the surgery was successful and she'll remain in the hospital for 10 to 14 days before she can continue her
recovery at home. I want to go now to our royal correspondent, Max Foster, who's in London for us.
Max, what more can you tell us about the princess?
MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it was planned and they -- you know, it was quite an upbeat statement from the palace, but we do have to
look at the fact that she needs two weeks of recovery in the hospital and another two to three months of recovery at home. So, it was quite a
significant operation on that level.
Although, of course, there'll be more cautious as, you know, a senior royal with all the private care available to her to make sure that recovery is as
easy as possible. They've canceled all future travel. All engagements, certainly up until the spring. And we are told by a source as well that
this was non-cancerous, and I think that was quite important to get out there because there was a lot of concern about this.
The palace would normally tell us updates on private medical matters, but because she went to hospital, I mean, she could have been seen, but also,
they have a duty to, you know, in the public interest, really, to keep the country updated on the condition of their senior royals. And she will, of
course, be the next queen.
So, I think they're trying to temper concerns. But clearly, being quite honest about, you know, the impact of the operation on the princess. You
see her here. This was just in November. She's been out more recently. She's looked really well out in public, Eleni. So, I don't think people are
too concerned. And if we hear any more updates, I think there'll be significant updates. Otherwise, we won't hear anything at all.
GIOKOS: All right. Max Foster for us. Thank you.
Well, back now to Israel's war against Hamas, which is among the topics taking center stage at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Speaking at a
panel discussion moderated earlier today by the host of the show, Becky Anderson, the U.K. foreign secretary said an immediate ceasefire in Gaza is
absolutely essential. David Cameron stressing the need to end the conflict as soon as possible.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: First of all, we need an immediate pause, an immediate humanitarian pause, so that we can get aid in
and we can get hostages out. That is absolutely essential. And I think that the really important question is, is there some way of turning that pause
into the sustainable ceasefire that we want to see?
Because it would be much better if we didn't, after a pause, return to fighting, return to violence, return to destruction.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: Well, the gatherings in Davos also happening against the backdrop of Russia's war on Ukraine. Addressing the panel, the Ukrainian minister of
foreign affairs laid out the details of the plan for his peace in his country.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DMYTRO KULEBA, UKRAINIAN MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS: The most important part of this peace plan is, of course, restoring territorial integrity of
Ukraine. So, when we hear arguments coming from some experts or thinkers that maybe it's worth freezing the conflict. Our response is, you know, we
need frozen assets, not frozen conflict.
This is the way forward. This is the way forward to send a clear message to everyone in the world that if you dare to break rules, you're going to pay.
If we don't send that message, if we don't make it very clear, the number of conflicts, interstate conflicts and tensions across the globe will be
growing. And I think this is -- and the price of fixing them will be much higher than the price of helping Ukraine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: And as you may have seen, Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, addressing the gathering in Davos on Tuesday. He emphasized
Ukraine's need for air superiority over Russia.
Hours later, Russian drones and missiles targeted several Ukrainian cities. Ukraine's air force says it shot down all but one of the drones. In all,
officials say 20 people were wounded in Kharkiv and in Odessa.
Now, Mr. Zelenskyy also appealed to Ukraine's allies for more money and weapons. However, help from the United States will be long in coming, if it
comes at all. The latest round of U.S. assistance is stalled in Congress. Fred Pleitgen looks at the crucial role U.S. military hardware is playing
in the war.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As the Russian Army assault Avdiivka in Eastern Ukraine, U.S. provided Bradley infantry
fighting vehicles are key to keeping the Ukrainians in the fight.
We're ready, the crew say, and then unleash their powerful 25 millimeter gun on Russian troops in nearby tree lines, helping Ukrainian infantry
blunt and assault.
The vehicle's commander's callsign is Barbie tells me the Bradley's are making all the difference.
I doubt that we'd be talking with you doing this interview if we didn't have the Bradley's, he says, most likely the northern flank would have been
already lost without the Bradley's.
They have no time to lose the next task waiting as the Russians tried to press forward.
PLEITGEN: The Ukrainian say Bradley is now one of their most effective tools in the defense of Avdiivka. Because of its armor, and its strong
cannon, it can easily defeat Russian armored vehicles.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): The Bradley's also own the dark, the crew says, able to find and target Russian troops with their thermal scopes. You can
see the rounds impact after they fire a salvo at Russian forces.
I asked Barbie if the Russians fear the Bradley.
The Russians are very afraid of the Bradley, he says. We were getting radio intercepts where we could hear their infantry shouting that the Bradley was
coming and they couldn't do anything against it.
They've come a long way since Ukraine's failed counter offensive this past summer, when Bradley's and other western vehicles were often bogged down by
minefields and Russian artillery barrage is unable to unleash their firepower.
Now, it often looks like this, Ukraine's 47th mechanized brigade provided us with these videos of what they say is Bradley's firing at Russian
infantry positions. They also provided several videos purporting to show a Bradley beating Russia's most capable main battle tank the T-90 in a duel.
The Bradley fire salvos at the Russian tank. After taking many hits, the T- 90 seems to be out of control. It's turrets spinning. The vehicle then hits a tree before the Ukrainians send a drone to finish it off. The Russian
crew manages to bail.
But the Ukrainians fear this could end soon if U.S. Congress doesn't OK additional funding for military aid. And both U.S. and Ukrainian officials
have said that Ukraine is already forced to ration some ammunition.
JOHN KIRBY, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR: The assistance that we provided, has now ground to a halt.
The attacks that the Russians are conducting are only increasing.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): Barbie and his crusade, so far they have no shortages of ammo or spare parts for the Bradley's, a key weapon as they
try to hold the line against a massive Russian invasion force.
Fred Pleitgen, CNN near Avdiivka, Ukraine.
GIOKOS: Welcome back to CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Eleni Giokos in Abu Dhabi.
Now, America's top diplomats has been addressing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, calling it gut-wrenching. Speaking at the World Economic Forum,
Antony Blinken said Washington has pressed on Israel the need to minimize civilian deaths and get more aid into Gaza.
He also said there is a major opportunity for "regionalization" going forward. That was in reference to Muslim countries normalizing relations
with Israel, as well as the establishment of a pathway towards Palestinian statehood.
For his part, the United Nations secretary-general has long said that a ceasefire in Gaza is the only solution which would prevent more suffering
on both sides of the war.
CNN's Julia Chatterley spoke with Antonio Guterres in Davos on Tuesday. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONIO GUTERRES, UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY-GENERAL: I think we need a humanitarian ceasefire. And we believe a humanitarian ceasefire is
necessary to facilitate the liberation of hostages. And independently of that, hostages should be released immediately and unconditionally.
To take hostages is unacceptable in any conflict. But we need it also in order to be able to provide effective humanitarian aid to the people of
Gaza that is suffering in a desperate situation. With starvation progressing in a terrible way. I mean, it's unimaginable. The living
conditions in Gaza, I mean, it's really hell on earth.
And so, without a humanitarian ceasefire, it will be impossible to organize effectively the distribution of humanitarian aid. And then I believe that a
humanitarian ceasefire would facilitate a serious negotiation for de- escalation in Lebanon. We cannot have, in Lebanon, another Gaza Strip. And it is essential to avoid an escalation in Gaza that could be an absolutely
We need to have freedom of navigation in the Red Sea. I mean, a lot of things need to be avoided. And the key for that is to make a serious effort
in order to have a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza and to create the conditions for the acceptance by both sides of the need of the two-state
solution in which Israelis and Palestinians can live together in security.
JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: You're worried about the Red Sea situation? You just said to me, you don't want to see Lebanon become the
next Gaza. How worried are you? And are you that worried about Lebanon?
GUTERRES: I'm extremely worried. But I also see a lot of efforts being made by the Lebanese government. I just spoke with the Lebanese prime
minister by the U.S. There is a special envoy that has been going to Lebanon and very much interested in the negotiated the escalation of the
situation and by many others around the world that consider that it is absolutely crucial to avoid a massive confrontation in Lebanon.
That would be the devastation of the country. And with a lot -- with a level of suffering that would be absolutely intolerable. And we must avoid
it. There are conditions to avoid it. There are perspectives of negotiation that are possible. But again, the solution in Gaza will be very important
to allow for de-escalation in the other parts of the Middle East.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres there speaking to Julia Chatterley at the World Economic Forum.
We're going to a very short break. I'll be back after this.
GIOKOS: Welcome back. Now, a reminder of our developing story. And we have learned that the Princess of Wales is in hospital recovering from abdominal
surgery. Kensington Palace says the surgery was successful and she will remain in hospital for around 10 to 14 days. And we also understand that
Catherine will then be able to continue her recovery at home, but that could take months as well. And then, the news from Kensington Palace comes
as a shock.
We've also just had this come in to CNN, King Charles to attend hospital to be treated for an enlarged prostate. That news just coming in from
Buckingham Palace as well.
We've got CNN Royal Historian Kate Williams about what it means King Charles as well as Princess Catherine. Give me a sense, Kate, of -- let's
start with the princess. She's been treated. She's going to be remaining in hospital for 10 to 14 days. That is significant period for recovery, and
then go home. Give us a sense of what you know right now.
KATE WILLIAMS, CNN ROYAL HISTORIAN: Yes, as you say, it's a significant period for recovery. So, we're all wishing the princess all the best with
The last time we saw her was on Christmas Day at the royal's traditional service at Sandringham. She looked in marvelous spirits. We understood that
she was celebrating her 42nd birthday on the 9th of January with a low-key celebration. But now, we do understand that she had this abdominal surgery
She went into hospital yesterday. It all went well. But it is going to be, as you say, a significant period of recovery, up to two weeks in hospital.
And then, the royal family are saying that her engagements will not start again until Easter.
So, this a serious recovery. This a serious operation. And we are very pleased to hear that, as Max Foster was saying earlier from his source,
it's not cancerous, but it is clearly something that will take some time for recovery from, even though, as we know, the princess is very fit, she's
very healthy, it is going to be a long recovery process.
GIOKOS: Absolutely. You know, the timeline here is definitely interesting. But she was very busy. She had a full diary in December. We saw her, you
know, up and about and around. And now, having to stop all of these commitments for some time, for the next few months. What does this mean
essentially for the royals?
WILLIAMS: Yes, she was very busy in December. She had a carol service. She was doing all kinds of engagements with her royal foundation for Early
Childhood. So, I think, you know, there'll be a lot of engagements that have to be postponed now.
And with this breaking news that King Charles will also be going into hospital next week for the enlarged prostrate, we haven't heard if he's
going to the same hospital as Kate. We don't know that yet. So, that means that, really, I think, a lot of engagements are going to fall on Queen
Camilla and on Prince William. It is going to be quite a busy time for them.
And, you know, this a -- the London Clinic is a hospital that's treated royals in the past. Prince Philip, Princess Margaret, JFK was in there,
Elizabeth Taylor. I actually did go there myself for surgery a couple of years ago, and it's very private. I didn't see or hear another patient
while I was there. It's very quiet, very private. I mean, she couldn't have found a more private quiet place.
But -- so, I hope that, you know, obviously her recovery is very smooth. And I think we do hope to see perhaps maybe a few online engagements, maybe
in February or March when she feels a bit more recovered. But, you know, as with recovery, you just can't push it. So, we are wishing her all the best.
GIOKOS: Yes, absolutely. And health comes first. And we've just had this line in as well from Buckingham Palace in common with thousands of men each
year, the king has sought treatment for an enlarged prostate. His majesty's condition is benign and he will attend hospital next week for a corrective
So, we wish them all the best and speedy recovery. Kate, good to see you. Thank you so much.
And that is it for CONNECT THE WORLD. Stay with CNN. I'm Eleni Giokos in Abu Dhabi. And "Marketplace Middle East" is up next.