Return to Transcripts main page

Fareed Zakaria GPS

Examining United Nations General Assembly Meeting; Interview with Uraine's President Petro Poroshenko. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired September 30, 2018 - 10:00   ET


[10:00:15] FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: This is GPS, the GLOBAL PUBLIC SQUARE. Welcome to all of you in the United States and around the world. I'm Fareed Zakaria coming to you live from New York.

Today on the show. President Trump spent much of his week at the United Nations General Assembly criticizing Iran.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The regime is the world's leading sponsor of terror and fuels conflict across the region and far beyond.

Iran's leaders sew chaos, death and destruction.


ZAKARIA: I will talk to one of those leaders about the president's charges. Iran's Foreign minister Javad Zarif joins me in a moment.

Also, how to fight back against Vladimir Putin. Lessons from Petro Poroshenko, the president of Ukraine. His nation is literally on the front lines of Russian aggression.

And how to handle immigration from across the global. I'll talk with Mexico's president, Switzerland's president, and New Zealand's prime minister on their views about one of the most divisive issues today.

But first, here's my take. President Trump's speech on Tuesday at the U.N. was an intelligent, at times eloquent presentation of his America first world view. He laid out an approach of pursuing narrow self- interest over broader global ones and privileging unilateral action over multilateral cooperation.

But Trump might not recognize that as he withdraws America from these global arenas, the rest of the world is moving on without Washington. Wittingly or not Donald Trump seems to be hastening the arrival of a post-American world.

Take one of his first major actions, pulling out of the Transpacific Partnership. This sweeping trade deal was an attempt to open long closed markets like Japan, but also to create a grouping that could stand up to China's growing might in trade matters. The other 11 TPP countries decided to keep the deal minus Washington, which simply means America will not gain access to those markets. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe always sweet-talks Donald Trump,

but he quickly struck a free trade agreement with the European Union giving opportunities to Europe that might otherwise have gone to America.

As Ivo Daalder and James Lindsay point out in their forthcoming book, "The Empty Throne," if you are not at the table, you're on the menu. When Washington steps away, the global agenda is shaped without American input. So withdrawing from the U.N. Human Rights Council simply means that American diplomats will watch from the sidelines the group's routine condemnations of Israel.

When Trump cuts funding for various international agencies he's playing right into the hands of Beijing, which has long sought greater influence in these bodies. Similarly, the bizarre and continued absence of key American diplomats -- no assistant secretaries of state for East Asia and South Asia, no ambassadors to Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, South Africa, among others, means that American interests are not being represented.

Perhaps the most remarkable new effort to sidestep America has come from the Europeans. In a reaction to Trump's decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear pact and re-impose financial sanctions on Iran and anyone who does business with Iran. Because of the immense strength of the dollar, few major companies are willing to engage commercially with Iran. The Europeans are therefore trying to create an economic mechanism that can bypass the dollar.

Listen to what EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini told me at an event this week.


FEDERICA MOGHERINI, EUROPEAN UNION HIGH REPRESENTATIVE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS: We cannot accept as Europeans that others, even our closest allies and friends, determine and decide with whom we can make business with or trade.


ZAKARIA: She indicated that other countries, presumably Russia and China, might join this effort. Were the EU's efforts to come to fruition they would put a dent in the most significant element of American financial power, the unrivaled role of the dollar in the global economy.

The truth is the European effort is unlikely to succeed. The dollar towers above its competitors like the euro. And yet it seems foolish for Washington to pursue policies that produce the desire to curtail American power, bypass Washington, create new arrangements especially among America's closest allies.

The result of America's abdication under Donald Trump will not be European dominance or Chinese dominance.

[10:05:05] It will probably be in the long run greater disorder, the erosion of global rules and norms, and the more unpredictable, unstable world with fewer opportunities to buy, sell and invest around the globe. In other words, it will mean a less peaceful and prosperous world and one in which American influence will be severely diminished.

How does this make America great?

For more, go to and read my "Washington Post" column this week. And let's get started.

While much of America and perhaps the world was paying attention to Brett Kavanaugh this week, President Trump was making a renewed case against Iran at the United Nations. On Tuesday after praising his own accomplishments, Trump's main target in his general assembly speech was Iran. Then on Wednesday Trump presided over a U.N. Security meeting -- Security Council meeting. His main target again, Iran. At that meeting he made a plea.


TRUMP: I ask all members of the Security Council to work with the United States to ensure the Iranian regime changes its behavior and never acquires a nuclear bomb.


ZAKARIA: Of course, the United States used to be party to an agreement that many believed ensured that Iran would not require a nuclear bomb but Donald Trump pulled out of it. So what is Iran's response to the Trump attacks?

Joining me now is Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.

Pleasure to have you on.


ZAKARIA: So in your conversations, do the Europeans seem determined to find a way to be able to do business with Iran despite the U.S. sanctions?

ZARIF: I think what was clear last week in the general assembly was that -- and in the Security Council that President Trump has managed to isolate the United States. We saw it in the General Assembly. We saw it in the Security Council where 14 out of 15 members endorsed the Security Council resolution that basically brought the nuclear issue to a close, and the United States was the only country, President Trump was the only person in that meeting, chairing the meeting that everybody opposed with, which was interesting.

I don't know what was the logic behind even calling for that meeting for that matter. So it's not just Europe. It's the international community. Because this time, and I believe in my 35 years of work at the U.N., I believe this is the first time that a country is asking other members of the United Nations to violate a resolution of the Security Council and that country happens to be a permanent member of the Security Council that endorsed and even basically presented that resolution during the previous administration which calls on all countries to observe the nuclear deal. And the United States is now threatening to punish people who observe their international legal obligations.

ZAKARIA: But you know the power of the dollar. You have been trying to do business with companies that pulled out. Can this European mechanism succeed?

ZARIF: Well, I know that Europe is serious. I know that the rest of the world is serious about preventing the United States from destroying what amounts to a major diplomatic achievement, one of the few that we have had in many years. So I think the political will is there. The mechanism is a serious mechanism. Whether it works or not is for all of us to see. And Iran wants to see results. And we've said it to our European partners. We've said it to others, that Iran needs to see the economic dividends of the deal.

ZAKARIA: So for now because of this assurance, you will not pull out of the Iran deal?

ZARIF: We have been talking to the Europeans because one of our options was to pull out of the deal when President Trump announced his withdrawal. We chose not to after we were assured by the European members of the nuclear deal as well as by Russia and China that they would find ways to ensure Iran's interests.

Now we're looking to see -- they've said all the right things. Now they put a mechanism in place. We have to see whether that mechanism works.

ZAKARIA: In your conversations with the Europeans, are they irritated with the United States?

ZARIF: Well, I can't speak on their behalf, but they're certainly not happy with the fact that a permanent member of the Security Council has decided to violate a Security Council resolution.

[10:10:09] Not only violate it, but punish others for observing it. I mean, that's an anomaly. Nobody that I know of, except for a few that you know, have accepted that.

ZAKARIA: President Trump focused in his last week on what he calls Iran's destabilizing behavior regionally. And he points specifically to your support for activities in Yemen, your support for Hezbollah in Lebanon, your support -- of sending militias into Syria, your support in Iraq. Isn't it fair to say that Iran has this very deep influence within the region and is using it actively?

ZARIF: We are a part of this region. We didn't come 6,000 miles away from our home to be in this region and to complain about people who are in the region. It's not in the U.S. neighborhood. It is our neighborhood. And obviously we have influence. But look at who is sewing instability in our region. What -- I mean, President Trump himself said we spend -- the United States spends $7 trillion in the Middle East. It has only made things worse. What is our role? We have been able to help the people of Syria, the

people of Iraq, the people of Iraqi Kurdistan to defeat ISIS. That's been on the record. Even president Trump himself during presidential campaign stated that Iran is fighting ISIS. We have been the serious ones in fighting ISIS and we have had a consistent policy of fighting al Qaeda in Afghanistan, fighting ISIS in Syria, fighting Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

But President Trump's best buddies in the region have a record, almost a consistent record of supporting al Qaeda in Afghanistan, supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan, supporting Saddam Hussein in Iraq when he invaded it, supporting the extremists in Syria, and now bombing civilians in Yemen.

You know, people who are bombing civilians in Yemen are not Iranians. They're American allies using American planes, using American ammunitions, killing innocent children in a school bus.

ZAKARIA: You're talking, of course, about Saudi Arabia.

Next, when we come back, the latest flare up in the U.S.-Iran cold war. Iraq. Why the Trump administration evacuated a consulate in Basra this week and played Iran for it. I'll ask the foreign minister when we come back.


[10:16:06] ZAKARIA: On Friday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the evacuation of the U.S. consulate in Basra in southern Iraq. The reason, threats against the consulate and its personnel. Those threats didn't come from Iraq, the statement said, but from Iran.

This came just days after National Security adviser John Bolton threatened there would be hell to pay if Iran harmed the U.S. or its allies.

Joining me is Iran's Foreign minister, Javad Zarif.

Was there an effort in some way for Iran to use militias that it has some influence with in southern Iraq to threaten U.S. personnel?

ZARIF: No. And I think the United States needs to abandon this policy of threats. It doesn't work. Our consulate in Basra was put ablaze two weeks ago. It was burned to the ground, but we immediately moved to another place. So if we had this problem with our consulate, we cannot control people in Basra.

We, of course, have influence in Iraq, but that doesn't mean we control people in Iraq, as the United States doesn't control people in countries with whom it has good relations. So I think Mr. Pompeo and Mr. Bolton, instead of making these irrelevant threats that would produce no positive result, they need to look at their own policies.

ZAKARIA: What about the attack you made, the threats you issued, the Iranian government, when there was an attack in Iran and you blamed the United States? Do you believe the U.S. is actively engaged in some kind of intelligence special ops to try to unseat the Iranian government?

ZAKARIA: Well, there was a terrorist attack. The U.N. Security Council condemned that attack. It was carried out by people who accepted responsibility for that attack speaking from Western capitals on Saudi-financed television stations. These are facts and --

ZAKARIA: But there's no link to America as far as we know.

ZARIF: Well, the United States has sought to destabilize Iranian government by engaging with various groups that are undermining the security of Iranian people including groups that have a record of working with Saddam Hussein in order to attack Iran. National Security Adviser Bolton was a regular speaker, hate speaker in their events. President --

ZAKARIA: President Enrique.

ZARIF: Enrique. President Trump's attorney, Mr. Giuliani, spoke in their event this year. So it's only for us to conclude from his activities that this government is behaving abnormally, hawking to terrorists who are under U.S. terrorism list up until 2012, have killed Americans, and they continue to pose a threat to Iranian civilians, and their friends and allies are carrying out operations at the borders.

[10:20:12] Not the MEK, but groups that are being supported by Saudi Arabia. In fact unfortunately we see that Saudi Arabia has basically conditioned the payment of more salaries to these groups on carrying out operations. You remember that about a year and a half ago the crown prince of Saudi Arabia stated publicly that they will bring war into Iranian territory. That's what they're attempting.

The fact that we have a strong defense, a strong intelligence, and we can foil most of these attempts does not mean that they're not carrying them.

ZAKARIA: Let me ask you about another accusation the Trump administration has made. The president says it was illegal for you to meet with John Kerry, the former secretary of state.

ZARIF: Certainly I do not have to obey U.S. laws. But for Secretary Kerry to meet with me, I thought that this was not a problem for him. I have met with senators, with former secretaries of state, with former national security adviser, many Republicans.

ZAKARIA: What was the nature of your conversations with John Kerry?

ZARIF: John Kerry -- I mean, we spent more time together in the past -- I mean, from 2013 to 2015 than we probably spent with any of our colleagues. So he tried to convince me that Iran should remain committed to JCPOA.

ZAKARIA: The nuclear deal? ZARIF: The nuclear deal. And that was the nature of the

conversation. And I believe he has every right to do that. But I do not consider myself a subject of U.S. law.

ZAKARIA: Let me ask you finally, President Trump has said that Iran's leaders sow chaos, death and destruction. But then he said perhaps I'll meet with Iran's president one day who I'm sure is an absolutely lovely man. Is there any prospect of a Trump-Rouhani summit?

ZARIF: Well, you see, for us to meet, it shouldn't be just a photo- op. It should be substantive. We already have -- I mean, a photo-op with a two-page agreement is not what we seek. We already have 150- page agreement which we negotiated carefully over many months, and it was not just with another U.S. government. It was with six other countries plus the European Union.

If the United States, if President Trump finds it almost simultaneous -- I mean, an immediate thing to just sign and get out of it, why should we waste our time? Why should we waste our time talking again? We are always open for talks. We are always open for dialogue. We have shown it. We have shown that we remain committed to what we sign. But the point is, we need to have reliance on the other side that they will stick to their words, and unfortunately this government does not enjoy reliability.

ZAKARIA: Javad Zarif, thank you very much.

ZARIF: Thank you.

ZAKARIA: And we will be back.


[10:27:25] ZAKARIA: Now for our "What in the World" segment. When countries see terrible atrocities these days, they have one more mechanism by which to right the wrong, the International Criminal Court. For example, on Wednesday, five South American countries and Canada asked the court to investigate the Venezuelan government for possible crimes against humanity. But the court has one chief critic, President Donald Trump, who pilloried it in a speech at the U.N. General Assembly the day before.


TRUMP: As far as America is concerned, the ICC has no jurisdiction, no legitimacy and no authority.


ZAKARIA: That came two weeks after National Security adviser John Bolton gave his first major policy address, a stinging critique of the court which he called ineffective, unaccountable and dangerous and suggested it would, quote, "die on its own," unquote.


JOHN BOLTON, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: After all, for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead to us.


ZAKARIA: What is all this rancor about? Well, the court may soon announce an investigation into war crimes in Afghanistan that could implicate United States Military personnel. It would be the first time ever that the court has trained its sights on the U.S. which is not a member and does not accept the court's jurisdiction. But the global court has always been a special target of America first conservatives who see it as a worrying sign of creeping global government. I recently asked the president of the ICC, Chile Eboe- Osuji, to respond to these charges.


JUDGE CHILE EBOE-OSUJI, PRESIDENT, INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT: I think it's important for us to remain focused, all eyes on the pole, on why the ICC was created and why it is there. The ICC is the only permanent International Criminal Court that was established to assure some hope for victims of atrocities.


ZAKARIA: The court formally launched in 2002 and includes 123 member countries. The U.S. was originally a signatory to the agreement that established the court, but then it withdrew.

The court represented hope and an idea that some of the worst crimes against humanity, genocide, ethnic cleansing, could be punished and perhaps over time deterred, but the court has long been criticized not just by John Bolton. In 16 years it has completed just six trials. Only four ended in convictions. Three more are ongoing and it's spent $2 billion to get there according to an analysis by the journalist, (INAUDIBLE), in the "New York Times." I asked the president about that record.


ZAKARIA: The argument is not these are not worthy causes. The argument is it seems a very, very, very cumbersome process to get at them.

JUDGE CHILE EBOE-OSUJI, INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT: It is, but justice is a cumbersome process. Anyone who tells you that it can be done speedily, with respect, probably doesn't know how it works. I believe it was Benjamin Cardozo, a famous U.S. jurist, who said that "Justice is not to be taken by storm. It is to be pulled by slow advances."


ZAKARIA: Critics say the court is susceptible to political influence, largely because most of its cases are referred either by a member country or the U.N. Security Council. And its investigations depend on the willingness of governments to participate, which is by no means given. Ironically, many of the charges against the court would be at least

partly mitigated if it had the support of a powerful country like the United States, as the political scientists Terrence Chapman and Stephen Chaudoin note in The Washington Post.

If the United States took up that role and tried to make the court work better rather than undermining it, it would be fulfilling a decades-old precedent that began with American leadership during the Nuremberg trials, President Eboe-Osuji argued.


EBOE-OSUJI: We do believe that America belongs to the ICC and we miss its leadership on the ICC. It is time that it joined the ICC. This is the kind of thing they know how to do. And when they come to the party, people feel more confident about the effort, feel better about it, and we do want them to be there with us. The victims need them.


ZAKARIA: Up next, four world leaders weigh in on some of the biggest issues facing the world today.


ZAKARIA: We New Yorkers have to fight crazy traffic all week when the U.N. General Assembly is in session. But for me, it's a small price to pay to have a chance to connect with politicians and businesspeople from all around the world.

Earlier this week at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum, I had the chance on stage to talk to eight world leaders and three business leaders, all in one hour. Many of the conversations revolved around two of the most contentious issues of our time, trade and immigration. I'll start with Mexico's outgoing president, Enrique Pena Nieto, who just oversaw a renegotiation of his country's trade deal with the U.S. but also has famously told Donald Trump his country will never pay for a wall. One reason: maybe it isn't even necessary.


ZAKARIA: You pointed out that right now more Mexicans leave the United States to go back to Mexico than go from Mexico to the U.S. In other words, in net terms, there is actually negative migration from Mexico to the U.S. Have you made this point to Donald Trump and do you think he understands it?

PENA NIETO (TRANSLATED): Well, this is a fact that is known publicly. It is part of public data statistics. It is a result of the enormous opportunities generated in Mexico. People aren't coming back because they want to leave or because they feel expelled by this country. They are doing it because their families are in Mexico and there have now opened new spaces of labor opportunity and of productive corporations in our country.

We would like the process of migration to be one of choice and not necessity. And I believe Mexico, for many years, starting from the economic crises it suffered, particularly in the '70s and '90s, resulted in growing waves of migration to the United States in search of opportunities. Today, with the situation in Mexico, people are coming back. And here I think you see the benefit of the economic opening which Mexico has pursued and maintained for the past 30 years.


ZAKARIA: Next up was the president of Switzerland, Alain Berset. Last Sunday St. Gallen, one of the 26 cantons in his country, voted by a two-third majority to ban face coverings in public. The so-called burqa ban is seen as a backlash against Muslim immigrants. According to Swiss state media, only 5 percent of Switzerland's population is Muslim and most of them are immigrants from the former Yugoslavia and therefore quite secular.

I asked President Berset if he thought the ban was a good thing or a bad one.


SWISS PRESIDENT ALAIN BERSET: I think it's not a good -- it's not a good thing. But it is also a sign of unease in the population. And we have to take that -- to take that in account. We have to face also this situation and maybe to offer other ways to manage the consequences of the immigration in Switzerland.

I must tell you, I'm working in Bern, our city capital. I know well several places in Switzerland. I've never seen a burqa in Switzerland. You know, that means it is also strong in minds. What do we mean about that?

ZAKARIA: So people are reacting to something that they're not actually seeing on the ground but they're imagining in their heads?

BERSET: I think it is partially so, yes.


ZAKARIA: Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister of New Zealand, made news this week with her infant child, Neve. The so-called first baby of New Zealand became the first baby to be brought to the U.N. General Assembly hall by a female world leader. Neve even got her own ID for the event. But I wanted to dig into Prime Minister Ardern's views on immigration.


ZAKARIA: Because you are, I think it's fair to say, a left-winger. You have...

ARDERN: I'm a progressive.

ZAKARIA: Yeah, you're proudly progressive.

ARDERN: Yes. ZAKARIA: Yet you signed this TPP. You're pro-free-trade.

ARDERN: I am pro-free-trade.

ZAKARIA: And yet you've been tough on immigration. You want to cut immigration. So is that the new winning formula for the left -- left- wing politicians?

ARDERN: I will have to correct you a little bit there. We actually just doubled -- essentially, we increased the refugee quota in New Zealand.

ZAKARIA: Refugees. But you're seen as tough on immigration?

ARDERN: We're tough on the exploitation of migrants and we want to make sure that, when someone chooses to call New Zealand home, that they have a decent job, a decent home and the prospects that we want everyone who comes to New Zealand to enjoy. So we -- we're making sure that we don't see exploitation in our student market and that, when someone goes out to seek someone for work, that they are going to pay decent wages and have a decent job for them.

ZAKARIA (voice over): On the panel with Prime Minister Ardern were Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and the Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. Mr. Mahathir is the world's oldest leader at 93. He beats the queen of England, who is one year younger than him. I asked him what his secret was.

(on camera): So our time is up, but I have to ask Prime Minister Mahathir, survival of the fittest. What is your health regime and how can we all...


How can we all manage to -- to stay as healthy and mentally active as you are at your age? Whatever you eat, I want to eat.

MALAYSIAN PRESIDENT MAHATHIR MOHAMAD: I don't really know, but I do keep to a strict diet. I don't overeat. I do a modicum of exercise and I have six hours of sleep. I think I live a fairly well-regulated life, (inaudible). But if you get some disease which is incurable, there's nothing you can do.

ZAKARIA: All right. I think the number one thing one has to do is pick one's parents carefully.

DUTCH PRIME MINISTER MARK RUTTE: It means that you and I can still be prime minister in 50 years' time.


ARDERN: Well, I have to say, if that's the diet to end up being in leadership until 90, I don't want a bar of it.



ZAKARIA: Thanks to all of my guests and to the Global Business Forum for hosting us all. Next on "GPS," the man who may be the biggest thorn in Vladimir Putin's side. I will talk to Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko.


ZAKARIA: We know why Russia wanted to meddle in the American elections in 2016. One candidate was historically tough on Moscow; the other was not. We know why Russia wanted to meddle in the Brexit referendum. Throwing the E.U. into chaos is one of Putin's goals. And we know why Russia would want to meddle in the upcoming presidential election in Ukraine. It is a neighboring nation, was part of the Soviet Union and the Russian empire before that. And chaos in Ukraine would further destabilize that fragile country.

Russia, of course, still holds Crimea, which it annexed from Ukraine in 2014. And there are still Russian-backed troops in eastern Ukraine. The U.S. helped Ukraine in its fight against Russia earlier this year by supplying Kiev with a powerful anti-tank weapon system called the Javelin.

So what lessons can the world learn from Petro Poroshenko's fight against Russian election meddling? I asked the president just that.


ZAKARIA: President Poroshenko, pleasure to have you on.

POROSHENKO: Thank you for the invitation, Fareed.

ZAKARIA: Talk about these Russian efforts. Because both administration intelligence officials and people at private companies say that Russia is engaged in the preliminary stages of a fairly massive cyber campaign targeted at Ukraine because you have upcoming presidential elections. What do you worry about that the Russians will do and what can you do to prevent it?

POROSHENKO: We have two dangers, actually. The first danger is Putin. And me as a president he's fighting not with any others, but fighting with Putin, because Putin understands that the war on the ground on the east of my country, or in Crimea, during the last four years, is not bringing him success anymore because we created the strong and reliable army, and with the assistance of the United States. Because I'm really proud of the very efficient cooperation with American, British, Canadian, European advisers, and he understands that the success on the ground is not happening for him.

But he expected that the success can happen during the election if he undermines stability from inside the country by cyber attack, by using the fake news, or not fake news but disinformation technology, which is Russia spending a billion in the world, using this, Sputnik, (inaudible), Russia Today, many, many others.

ZAKARIA: And what kind of disinformation? POROSHENKO: About the -- for example, OK, "This is not a Russian

aggression; this is a civil war. This is not Russia who is responsible for this aggression and thousands of victims, but this is the Ukrainian leadership because this is the fighting inside. There are no Russian troops on the occupied territory; this is..."

ZAKARIA: This is all being broadcast by Russian channels into Ukraine?

POROSHENKO: By Russian channels or by Russian agents, not only into Ukraine but throughout the world, and many other things.

ZAKARIA: You found a way to essentially ban some Russian social media?

POROSHENKO: Ban some Russian social media because there was officially cooperating with Russian security service itself, (inaudible) by the Russian bots using Russian social media.

Can you imagine that at the time they have about 10 percent of the Ukrainian market and millions of Ukrainian customers was under strong information attack from the Russian Federation?

ZAKARIA: Those Javelin anti-tank missiles that you've been given are very powerful defensive weapons against Russia. Ukraine is in a much better position?

POROSHENKO: Fareed, this is extremely important symbolically. Because these were the first lethal weapons definitely designed for the defense operation, but first lethal weapons we have received. First of all, this has opened the military technical cooperation with other nations, which is extremely important. Now, it...

ZAKARIA: Because once the Americans do it, other countries will follow?

POROSHENKO: Absolutely, absolutely. So we start to be the country with whom we can provide the military and technical operation because we have, under the statute of the United Nations, we have a right to protect, to defend our own territory, to defend our own people. And now we are probably -- tomorrow we receive the two American ships, patrol ships from the Coast Guard. And that helps us to solve another problem, the Russian attempt to occupy Asov Sea.

ZAKARIA: Where is that?

POROSHENKO: This is on the shore of Ukraine. We have a Black Sea and Azov Sea. And the third important thing, we would be looking very much to buy the air defense system, because also we have a danger about massive attack from Russia using the air force. And with that situation, Putin and Russia should understand that they will pay a much higher price if they make a decision to cross another red line and to attack my territory.

We do not ask that American soldiers protect Ukraine. We just ask to build up the effective global security cooperation where United States is a leader. And this is our efforts to protect global freedom and global democracy. And I want to thank the American people, no matter if they're Republican, Democrat or independent, for supporting Ukrainian sovereignty, Ukrainian independence.

ZAKARIA: Anne Applebaum, a columnist for The Washington Post, says that the strange effect of Putin's campaign against Ukraine has been to unite Ukraine and create a new Ukrainian identity. Do you think that's true?

POROSHENKO: I can only confirm this phrase. Because I give you just a very few figures. In the year 2013 the number of Ukrainians who were supporting the trans-Atlantic integration membership in NATO was 16 percent, one-sixth. Now it is more than 54 percent. Who did that? Putin.

In the year 2013 the number of Ukrainians who support European integration, being a member of the European Union, was 33 percent. Now it's 74 percent. Who did that? Putin. So thank you, Mr. Putin, for making my country much more European and much more ready to protect European values, trans-Atlantic values. And we are absolutely confident that we do not return back to the Russian empire.

ZAKARIA: President Poroshenko, pleasure to have you on, sir.

POROSHENKO: Thank you. Thank you, Fareed.


ZAKARIA: This week in New York many heads of state met each other at the United Nations General Assembly. Some world leaders like to give one another gifts upon meeting, but one head of state took the practice to a whole new level last week, and it brings me to my question. What did the emir of Qatar recently give the Turkish state: a Gulf island, a jumbo jet, a painting by Renoir or a battleship? Stay tuned and we'll tell you the correct answer.

My book of the week is Francis Fukuyama's "Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment." Fukuyama is one of America's leading thinkers and this book is a highly intelligent account of how identity politics developed, from Plato to the "MeToo" movement. But it is also an urgent argument on how to use identity as a unifying force, not a divisive one.

The answer to my "GPS" challenge question this week is B. Earlier this month Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani of Qatar presented President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with a Boeing 747-8i, worth a reported half a billion dollars. According to the BBC, Erdogan told reporters that, when Al Thani got wind of Turkish interest in purchasing his plane, the ruler canceled the sale and gave away the aircraft instead, saying "I won't take money from Turkey. I give this as a present to Turkey." Al Thani's extravagant gesture did not come out of the blue. After a Saudi-led blockade intended to isolate Qatar last year, Ankara sided with Doha, leading to closer ties between the two countries. The emir has also promised to invest $15 billion in Turkey at a time when foreign investors are getting cold feet and the Turkish currency has tanked. Thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. I will

see you next week.