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Hala Gorani Tonight
Biden Delivers Sweeping Speech As Several Crisis Unfold; Wary Investors Hope For Signs Of Government Bailout For Evergrande; European Court Rules Russia Behind Litvinenko Poisoning; Interview With Gitanas Nauseda, Lithuanian President, on Authoritarian Regimes; Taliban Commander Tours Kabul Police District; Haitians Flock To U.S.-Mexico Border; Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Remains In His Post; Aired 2-3p ET
Aired September 21, 2021 - 14:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone, live from CNN in London, I'm HALA GORANI TONIGHT. The U.S. President Joe Biden promises the U.S. is back and
ready to support its -- to support its allies, but with so many crisis unfolding on the world stage, are the president's words matching up to
his actions? Then a damming ruling. Europe's top human rights court says Russia is responsible for the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko. We'll have
more from Moscow.
Later, I'll be speaking to the president of Lithuania, speaking of Moscow following his address to the United Nations. He joins me live from New
York. The U.S. is back at the table ready to work with any country seeking peace. That is President Joe Biden's message to the world. He covered
everything from climate to human rights in a sweeping speech to the United Nations General Assembly. China, though, not mentioned by name, loomed
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: All the major powers of the world have a duty in my view to carefully manage their relationships. So,
they do not tip from responsible competition to conflict. Say it again. We are not seeking a new cold war or a world divided into rigid blocks. The
United States is ready to work with any nation that steps up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: All right, well, overall, Mr. Biden is trying to convince allies that the U.S. is there for them and let adversaries know that it is a
threat, but he is facing several big foreign policy challenges right now. In the past five weeks alone, the Biden administration has handed
Afghanistan back to the Taliban. It's angered America's oldest ally, France, over a nuclear submarine deal with Australia.
Let's discuss with CNN's senior U.N. correspondent Richard Roth and White House correspondent Jeremy Diamond. I want to start with you, Jeremy,
because we just heard from the U.S. President and, of course, his primary message was we are back at the table, we are ready to support and work with
our allies, and, in fact, we're ready to work with anyone who shares our values and our goals. Yet, this is happening in the middle of a huge
diplomatic spat with the country's oldest ally.
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, no question. President Biden's central tenet of rebuilding those alliances in the wake of four
years of President Trump disrupting many of those alliances is, is a lot harder to deliver, that message is a lot harder to deliver in the wake of
what we have seen between the U.S. and France. President Biden has requested a call with France's President Emmanuel Macron, and yet, we have
still yet to see that call actually take place. But nonetheless, the message that we heard from President Biden was one focused on turning the
page on these last two decades of war, primarily in Afghanistan, but also, of course, in Iraq where the U.S. still does maintain some forces in combat
missions guarding bases there.
But he was talking about turning the pages on two decades of that and looking forward towards an era of what he called "relentless diplomacy".
And that, of course, would be American-led diplomacy, but also working through multilateral organizations, and he stressed the importance of
international cooperation in the face of what we are seeing are increasingly global challenges, everything from the current coronavirus
pandemic to climate change as well as issues around trade and cyber security. So, the president really stressing the importance of the world
working together, and he said, as you mentioned, Hala, he said that the U.S. is willing to work with any country that is willing to abide by the
rules of the road.
And while he talked about this competition that will continue with countries like China and Russia, though he did not name them, we also saw
the president trying to make that very clear distinction, saying that he is not seeking a new cold war. That was a distinction that the president
sought to make even as he vowed what he called "vigorous competition".
GORANI: And Richard Roth at the United Nations. So, the big themes, COVID, climate, of course, the big international relations concerns and foreign
policy topics that dominate every UNGA, but it is different still this year, right? We're still kind of in the middle of a pandemic here.
RICHARD ROTH, CNN SENIOR U.N. CORRESPONDENT: Yes, when you come across a minister in the hallway who is wearing a mask, you do have to say, what is
going on? And it's been a long time though. It's incredible how time has gone by. There was no U.N., you know, active pact, old-style general
assembly for the 75th anniversary last year. And you know, a scene someone told me about aides rushing up to the secretary general after he met with
some country's leader, rushing up and giving him hand sanitizer, and usually in the past, it would be aides handing briefing papers.
They're very cautious and concerned in the secretary general's office. He is meeting one-on-one with dozens of these visitors. The U.N. has this
honor system of this -- leaders are able to say they did not have COVID, they had a recent test, but no one -- there's no enforcement of that
policy. It's kind of similar to a lot of the resolutions the security council passes in a rim shot. But I want to talk about a speech that just
occurred, the Iran -- the new Iranian President Raisi rather strong, clear to understand series of remarks. And let's just say it wouldn't play in
Peoria or a lot of parts of the United States in the general public, but he's also playing for the hearts and minds of the Iranian people.
The big story is, will these talks, nuclear talks resume? The joint agreement, will it restart to come up with a new formulation? And he
bluntly said the U.S. has got to drop sanctions. That's their obligation, that's what they've got to do. Early on in the speech, he noted historical
events such as from the capital to Kabul, from the seizing of the U.S. Capitol by riotous protesters and what -- with people flying from these
planes, taking people out of Afghanistan and falling to the ground. So, welcome to the world scene, President Raisi, a speech delivered by
videotape, though I have not heard an exact reason why he may not have chosen to come here.
GORANI: All right, Richard Roth, thanks very much. Jeremy Diamond as well. They're reporting on the U.S. president's speech. Interesting there that
Afghanistan and the U.S. pull out one of the themes seized upon by the new Iranian president. Human rights was a key theme for Mr. Biden today as
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: And that chorus of voices across languages and continents, we hear a common cry, a cry for dignity. Simple dignity. As leaders, it's our duty
to answer that call, not to silence it. The future will belong to those who embrace human dignity, not trample it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: So while the U.S. president was lecturing the world about not trampling human dignity, there might have been some jarring pictures to
accompany that speech. These pictures were broadcast from the U.S.-Mexico border by "Al Jazeera". You can see U.S. law enforcement agents on
horseback using their reins to lash out at migrants who are running away from them. We'll have more on the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border later in
the program. But we thought it was worth showing you what is happening on America's doorstep just as the president preaches dignity to the UNGA.
This is something very much picked up on by foreign media around the world. The Biden administration though has responded with the Homeland Security
Secretary claiming to be horrified by these images. Let's discuss President Biden's challenges on the world stage. CNN global affairs analyst Susan
Glasser joins me from New York. She's also a staff writer at "The New Yorker". So Susan, Biden's rhetoric about including allies in
consultations, about multilateralism being alive and well, about the U.S. being back at the table, and this is all happening in the midst of this
giant spat with France, so angry that it actually recalled its ambassador from Washington and from Canberra as well.
Is the president's rhetoric not matching up with his actions? Susan, if you can hear me? OK, I think we lost the audio connection with Susan. We're
going to repair that and hopefully any second, we will get back to Susan Glasser for her thoughts on the U.S. President's address. Well, speaking
of Joe Biden, he and the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison met in New York a short time ago, praising the two countries' partnership.
Australia, of course, you'll remember recently announced that it would build nuclear-powered submarines with help from the U.S. and the U.K.,
widely seen as a way to counter China and act as a deterrent in the region.
Both leaders are in New York for the U.N. General Assembly. But Europe's reaction to the so-called AUKUS deal might overshadow this year's session.
The security pact comes at the expense of a multibillion dollar subcontract that France had with Australia. All right, we'll get back to Susan Glasser
and hopefully Cyril Vanier who is in Paris a little bit later once we address some of these technical issues. When we come back, Europe's top
human rights court issues a ruling on the poisoning of Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko drawing a swift review from the Kremlin.
Plus, it started yesterday, and stocks are still struggling to rebound after a massive sell-off. Why a Chinese company's debt crisis is moving
global markets. That's next.
GORANI: Welcome back. Let's discuss President Biden's challenges on the world stage. CNN global affairs analyst Susan Glasser and "New Yorker"
staff writer joins me from New York. Are you in New York?
SUSAN GLASSER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: I'm not. I'm hold up -- book- writing in Massachusetts, Hala.
GORANI: Oh, OK, I thought -- I thought I got that wrong. You are in Massachusetts. All right, well, thanks for interrupting your book-writing
to talk to us about this. Because President Biden has been telegraphing this message really from day one, that the U.S. is back, that
multilateralism is alive and well, that this is not the Trump administration anymore, yet this is all happening in the midst of a really
serious diplomatic spat with France, so angered by the sub-contract with Australia that it pulled its ambassador from D.C. and Canberra. Are the
president's words not matching up to his actions do you think?
GLASSER: Well, I guess, you know, he would say, you know, just because one ally is mad at us doesn't mean that we aren't committed to alliances,
plural, and to other allies. Now, Australia, of course, is also an ally of the United States. And, you know, look, I think it reflects the tough
choices that any U.S. president faces, and in particular President Biden coming not only after four years of Donald Trump, but also after
essentially 20 years of this post-9/11 foreign policy focused, you know, on counterterrorism around the world, a renewed focus on the Middle East.
Biden is doing what his predecessor Barack Obama wanted to do but was never really able to do, which is say, we are going to make a more strategic
pivot away from that counterterrorism era and toward the threats of the future, things like China and challenges from autocracies as well as trans-
national problems like COVID-19, like climate change.
GORANI: So, but all of the -- I mean, optically-speaking, the withdrawal from Afghanistan, what happened with France, all of these things are not
helping President Biden's favorability ratings domestically, right? Because we're seeing he's at 52 percent, which is not bad, but this is quite a
significant decline from April according to the latest CNN polling. Is he suffering politically because of all of these -- perhaps what some might
call unforced errors?
GLASSER: Well, look, there's no question that Joe Biden had a really tough Summer and particularly in August. I don't think that the slide in his
approval ratings has all that much to do with foreign policy. In the end, American voters, as you know, are much more focused on their immediate
concerns. But, you know, the biggest problem that Joe Biden has faced is that he promised a Summer of liberation from the pandemic and that did not
happen with the resurgence of the Delta variant and death toll in the United States are back up to over an average of over 2,000 deaths a day.
We just passed 675,000 Americans dead total in the pandemic. That exceeds the number of Americans who were killed in the previous unfortunately
record-setting pandemic, the 1918 great influenza. So, that's the number one reason I think that Biden has faced such trouble, obviously that has
huge economic impacts as well. The resurgence and persistence of the pandemic. The other thing is the pull-out from Afghanistan and the way in
which it was executed, the chaos and the concerns about Americans and others being left behind.
That really struck right at the heart I think of the Biden promise for a renewal of competence and transparency in government after the four years
of the Trump era. And so, I think that really did affect his standing even though the overall policy decision to withdraw from Afghanistan I should
note remains supported by Americans really across the political spectrum.
GORANI: Even the Iranian president who delivered his address -- the new Iranian President Raisi, who delivered his address via a video conference
seized on the U.S.' messy withdrawal from Afghanistan. Do you think there's any hope that this Iran deal can be revived under Biden and this new more
hard-line Iranian president?
GLASSER: You know, it's interesting. I noted that it was significant that Biden mentioned it in his speech at the U.N. General Assembly, his first
speech at the U.N. General Assembly. He did have a few sentences about that. He said the U.S. remains willing to re-enter and to enter back into
full compliance with the terms of the JCPOA. That's the Iranian nuclear deal that the U.S. and other European powers negotiated with Iran during
the Obama administration. You know, there hasn't been a lot of focus on it recently, and I don't think it is top of mind in crisis-ridden Washington
these days where, you know, really the domestic politics are just overwhelming for Biden.
His entire legislative agenda, the fate of that is being hashed out as we speak right now up on Capitol Hill. That combined with trying to get the
pandemic under control, you know, remains the focus. So, you know, I'm still skeptical, but at the same time I don't think the Iranians are going
to have a better chance than this administration to do that.
GORANI: And you're talking about the domestic challenges and, of course, looming in the not-so-distant future are the midterm elections, and the
Democrats have to make sure that they don't lose their very thin majorities on Capitol Hill.
GLASSER: Well, that's right. You know, there's been a lot of talk, of course, about Biden's really potentially transformative legislative agenda,
but unlike Democratic predecessors like LBJ or Franklin Roosevelt, he has the barest of margins with which to enact any legislation. It's a 50-50
Senate, tied in the United States with Kamala Harris having to be the permanent tie breaker as the vice president. In the House of
Representatives, there's only literally three seats to spare for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and the Democrats head into the midterm elections
really not favored to hold the House of Representatives.
History is against them. This is also a re-districting year in the United States, and what that means in our arcane system essentially is that the
boundaries will be redrawn to reflect the results of the most recent census. And again there, the news was good for Republicans, and that alone
might prove the edge going into the election next year, the midterm election. So, you know, right now, there's a question as to whether Biden
can enact any of his very ambitious legislative agenda.
GORANI: Susan Glasser, as always, a pleasure talking to you and thanks for joining us. Good luck --
GLASSER: Thank you.
GORANI: With the book-writing. As I mentioned earlier, U.S. President Joe Biden and the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison met in New York a
short time ago, praising the two countries' partnership. This after Australia announced that it would build those nuclear-powered submarines
with help from the U.S. and the U.K., and essentially tearing up a deal it had with France. And as we've been reporting, France is still very much
fuming about this. Cyril Vanier is live in Paris for us. So, the U.S. president is meeting at the White House with Boris Johnson; the U.K. prime
minister. He met with Scott Morrison.
But from what I understand, and correct me if I'm wrong, the call with Emmanuel Macron, the French president, hasn't happened yet?
CYRIL VANIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, absolutely, Hala. And we don't know when it will happen. The last we heard about this was yesterday from both
sides. Here, the French presidency and the White House both saying that there would be a call in the next few days. The French presidency adding,
and perhaps, it is not much of a surprise, adding that the -- it was the U.S. President Joe Biden who initiated the idea of this call, that it was
him who asked to speak to Mr. Macron. Well, that being said, it has not happened. And I do believe that call has the potential to be an inflection
point in this story. Why?
Because the French President Mr. Macron, has not spoken on this in the last six days. Of course, he let his ministers, his government do a lot of
talking. They did not hold any punches. But what matters most is what Mr. Macron will say. The fact that he hasn't said anything yet, I believe,
could be tied to the fact that he hasn't spoken with Joe Biden. And perhaps after that conversation he decides how far he really wants to take this.
After all, France does not want to alienate the U.S. too much. They neither want to nor can afford to make an enemy out of the United States, but they
also want to assert their global clout and the need for the U.S. to take them seriously.
I think what matters at this juncture is what Macron will or will not say after that phone call has happened, Hala.
GORANI: All right, Cyril Vanier, thanks very much, live in Pairs. Russia, unsurprisingly, is rejecting a ruling from Europe's top human rights court
that found Moscow is responsible for the poisoning of dissident Alexander Litvinenko. The former KGB spy died an agonizing death back in 2006 after
drinking tea laced with a radioactive isotope in London. Matthew Chance is in Moscow. Matthew.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Alexander Litvinenko was a former Russian Intelligence official-turned Kremlin critic who was living in
London when in 2006 he was poisoned with a rare radioactive substance called Polonium 210. British investigators at the time said the prime
suspects were two former Russian colleagues of his that he'd met for a cup of tea in a hotel lobby. And later British inquiry into the incident found
that the Russian security services were responsible. So, it's no surprise that the European Court of Human Rights has reached the same conclusion.
Of course, the Kremlin categorically denies any connection with the killing, calling the allegation of state involvement politically-motivated.
At the time, the incident soured relations between London and Moscow, leading to diplomatic expulsions and a freezing of Intelligence
cooperation, but it's unclear what consequences there may be, if any, of the latest ruling. What it does do however, is remind us of how the
agonizing death of Alexander Litvinenko was perhaps an early sign of the kind of brutal state that critics say Russia has become under Vladimir
Putin since Litvinenko killing, a prominent Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was gunned down outside the Kremlin.
In 2018, another former Russian Intelligence officer along with his daughter who defected to Britain was poisoned with novichok, a powerful
nerve agent. And just last year, Russia's leading anti-corruption campaigner and Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny fell seriously ill on a plane
with suspected novichok poisoning and nearly died. It all underlines the lengths that have been gone to, to silence the Kremlin's critics. Hala.
GORANI: All right, thanks, Matthew. The chairman of China's Evergrande Group is vowing that the debt-laden property developer will walk out of the
darkness and avoid a looming default. Investors aren't so sure though. They still are not seeing signs that the Chinese government will intervene with
any kind of bailout. Evergrande's stock has been plummeting this year, and if the company were to fail, it could trigger far wider losses around the
world, which is why indices, stock indices outside of China on Wall Street took a hit yesterday in particular.
CNN's business editor-at-large Richard Quest has been watching the turmoil in the markets. What are -- so stocks bounced back, but they didn't make up
those big losses from yesterday. So, there must still be some lingering concern here.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS EDITOR-AT-LARGE: Oh, there is. And I think what you're seeing, Hala, left to its own devices the Dow and the other
major markets would probably continue to rise. There are worries about what the Fed will do this week. There are worries about tapering, inflation and
all those other things. But then if you're like a manageable, throwing the Evergrande issue in China and you see what we're seeing on the screen. At
the moment, you're seeing this volatility. The market has been up and down, then up and down, and it looks like it will close down today, but we're
still an hour and a half away from that.
So, Hala, I think that what this is, is a very large, deep, dark cloud hanging over the financial world that has all the promise of dumping large
amounts of rain.
And if that were to happen, then you'll see the market fall further.
GORANI: So what is the probability that the Chinese government will come to the rescue of Evergrande?
QUEST: If it was any normal case, you would say, well, probably quite good because nobody wants to see a systemic failure with ripple effects, Hala,
Lehman Brothers, although, there are some who have said this isn't anything like that. However, Hala, we know that the Chinese government is reining in
big tech over data privacy. They believe they're too powerful. We know they're reining in education companies, we know big retailers like Alibaba
have been reined in. So, if the message of Xi is we are not doing business as usual, then you have to ask, are they prepared to have the chaos of,
say, for example an Evergrande default.
And if they are, they'll have to pick up the pieces afterwards. We just don't know. There is no -- there is --
GORANI: Yes --
QUEST: There's zero transparency on what the Chinese will do in this situation.
GORANI: So let's assume a worst case scenario.
QUEST: Right, yes --
GORANI: There's a default. Evergrande goes bust. What direct impact on European stock levels and, indeed, in fact, European -- I should say -- I'm
saying European, European and American and western companies' financial health. What's the direct impact there?
QUEST: Direct impact from Evergrande is limited in the sense that most of the debt is not held in the United States. It's held --
GORANI: Yes --
QUEST: In Europe and elsewhere. So direct, manageable. Banks are very well capitalized, however, systemic risk of other lenders and other borrowers in
the Chinese system, because what it becomes then, Hala, is if Evergrande can go, who is next? Whose debt don't you want to be holding? And then you
are starting to look a little bit more like Lehman with everybody looking over their shoulder saying, I owe them money, are they good for them? And
even if they are, I'm not lending them anymore. And so the system slowly starts to gum up with bad debts and worries. We're a long way from that to
be sure --
GORANI: Yes --
QUEST: But those are the fears.
GORANI: Those are the fears. All right, well, we'll continue to follow that, and Richard, of course, we will be watching --
QUEST: Yes --
GORANI: "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" at the top of the hour. Thanks very much.
QUEST: Thank you.
GORANI: Still to come tonight, I'll talk with Lithuania's president who spoke today at the U.N., his strong message to the world about
authoritarian regimes. Plus, CNN follows along with a Taliban commander patrolling the streets of Kabul. Why the group's transition to governance
is still very uncertain.
GORANI: COVID, the climate crisis and collaboration are common themes in today's U.N. General Assembly speeches. Brazil's controversial president,
Jair Bolsonaro, was oddly reserved in his speech but consistent, talking up the merits of the traditional nuclear family and criticizing lockdowns, for
The U.S. President, Joe Biden, followed with a sweeping address, focused on strengthening global alliances.
We are closely monitoring these speeches and high-level meetings taking place in New York all this week, of course. Global security is also a big
topic as nations, particularly smaller ones, grapple with how to deal with countries like China and Russia, especially if they live in those
neighborhoods such as Lithuania.
The Lithuanian president, Gitanas Nauseda, who spoke earlier today at the U.N. General Assembly, joins me now.
President Nauseda, thank you so much for joining us. So the U.S. President --
GITANAS NAUSEDA, LITHUANIAN PRESIDENT: You are welcome.
GORANI: -- did not name China but clearly, as we saw with his submarine deal and his previous pronouncements at the G7, for instance, China is a
big focus of America's foreign policy -- perhaps not as much as Russia is.
Do you have some level of concern that this will embolden Russia, as you probably have concerns, of its own expansionism and what you consider to be
its aggression with Ukraine?
NAUSEDA: Yes, we see some kind of actions and risks, threats we are exposed to. First we can talk about first Ukrainian situation. We see the
frozen conflicts in this country. We have the frozen conflicts in Georgia, Transnistria region in Moldova.
So it leads us to the conclusion, so far we don't see any change of the pattern of behavior of Russia. And this is bitter to say (ph), that in such
a situation, it is very difficult to establish a dialogue between the European Union.
I mean frank and open dialogue with Russia because we need some changes in the behavior of Russia in order to stop this dialogue. And of course, as a
country, which is close to the border, which has quite long border with Belarus.
NAUSEDA: We are exposed to the migration crisis. And this migration crisis, this is a hybrid attack, hybrid attack, first of all, of Belarusian
regime against Lithuania. We see this attack three months in a row.
And we see that attempt to threaten Lithuania increasing. And now we see as a target other countries of the region like Poland and Latvia. So this
leads to the conclusion that we need common response to what is happening in the region. And especially we are concerned about the security situation
in the region.
GORANI: So obviously you are familiar with what happened in the aftermath of the security pact that America signed with Australia and the U.K., to
deliver nuclear-powered submarines, that very much angered France, which pulled its ambassador from Washington and from Canberra.
I spoke yesterday with the chair of the Defense Select Committee in the House of Commons here, who had this to say about how this particular
diplomatic crisis could possibly weaken NATO. I want our viewers to listen and then I will get your reaction.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOBIAS ELLWOOD, CHAIR, DEFENCE SELECT COMMITTEE, UNITED KINGDOM: My concern though is where this leaves NATO, because you have this humiliating
departure from Afghanistan, sadly increasing global instability and raising questions about NATO's overall purpose.
You know, who should lead it, as the United States chooses to back away.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: -- NATO, President Nauseda, is not as forceful as it could be in its protection of your country and other Baltic states against Russia.
NAUSEDA: I don't hear.
(Speaking foreign language).
GORANI: Yes. If you can hear me now, President Nauseda?
NAUSEDA: Yes, I can hear you again.
GORANI: Are you concerned that, because there is tension between NATO allies, that NATO is perhaps less well-positioned to protect your country
against any expansionism or aggression from Russia?
NAUSEDA: I wouldn't draw such conclusion. I think this is too pessimistic conclusion. Of course, we have some disagreements in the NATO right now.
But we should talk. We should negotiate for Lithuania and for other countries, Baltic region, other countries.
NATO remains the main source and main instrument to just achieve a certain level of security. And NATO still is for us very important security factor.
They will do everything, what is in our hands, in order to keep the dialogue open and not to create some organizations at the cost of NATO.
I think that this attempt to increase the stability in Pacific, Indian Pacific region, was correct, was OK. But it should not go on the cost of
NATO cooperation, which is crucially important for the stability of the region.
GORANI: What do you think is the main difference between the Trump administration and the Biden administration?
NAUSEDA: Trump administration and Biden administration?
NAUSEDA: If your question is like this, I would say that I see some similar approaches, especially toward NATO. I think NATO was important
organization and we saw the big contribution of our United States ally in NATO during the Trump period in office.
And we see the same attempts to strengthen this organization right now. And I should not -- we should not overestimate what happened recently. And we
should not draw the conclusions about possible death of NATO.
I don't think so. And I will do everything in my hands just to strengthen this organization and to keep the dialogue -- to keep open the frank
dialogue in this organization. By the way, I would like to mention that Lithuania will be the host country of NATO summit in 2023.
GORANI: Right, yes, and NATO is a very important organization for you. But just so I understood you correctly, you don't believe there's a big
difference in terms of the U.S.' approach to NATO between the Trump and Biden administrations, that there's continuity there?
NAUSEDA: I see some sort of continuity and I think this is extremely important, because we have very big hopes that NATO organization will
remain operational, will remain in place and will serve as a shield, as a shelter for every ally in this organization.
GORANI: All right. That's interesting. I just want to ask you one quick last question on Belarus. So you mentioned that what is going on in Belarus
is causing waves of migration of Belarusians to cross into your country.
What impact is that having?
NAUSEDA: We see the attempts of Belarus regime to increase the number of migrants since May. Previously the rhetoric from Alexander Lukashenko, that
he will feed Lithuania and other countries of the European Union with the drugs, with radioactive waste.
And now he tries to use the people as a weapon against certain countries of European Union. This is not appropriate. And we already have the 4,000
hundred -- 100 migrants in our country.
But now we try to stabilize the situation and we tried to assure and to guarantee the normal, basic living conditions for these people, because we
take the human rights factor very seriously. And this is our obligation against these people.
GORANI: All right the Lithuanian president, Gitanas Nauseda.
GORANI: Thank you so much for joining us from the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
NAUSEDA: Thank you. Thank you.
GORANI: Thank you.
NAUSEDA: Have a nice day.
GORANI: You, too.
Also on the agenda there, Afghanistan, the Taliban's role reversal from violent insurgents to the ones now policing the street remains an uneasy
transition. Our Nic Robertson followed along with a Taliban patrol in Kabul.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): Taliban commander, Mansour Haqqani is on a public relations offensive, winning, he
hopes, hearts and minds, in the Kabul police district he now runs.
He doesn't carry a weapon but his backup does. Taliban fighters fresh from the frontlines toting American weapons, wearing U.S. combat gear.
ROBERTSON: This is one of the most important neighborhoods in the center of Kabul, the financial district. Its security is a priority for the
ROBERTSON (voice-over): With the Taliban's well justified reputation for brutality, it should be an easy job for the 17-year veteran Haqqani to get
control. But it's not.
ROBERTSON: How does it feel to be policing the streets, rather than fighting to take control of the country?
ROBERTSON (voice-over): He says he is happy to serve the nation just as before to bring sharia religious law to the city. But there are lots of
people, a lot of corruption and a lot of thieving to get rid of, he says.
Haqqani's posting, it used to be the city's plum police job. Lots of money, lots of shakedowns.
ROBERTSON: You get the feeling walking along here that people are still being a little bit cautious about the Taliban. But at the same time,
they're out on the streets, they are trading, they are doing business. So it feels like it's settling down. But it's that kind of uneasy feeling,
which way it's going to go.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): We are happy this gold trader tells me, no corruptions so far. I can leave work after dark. It's safer.
ROBERTSON: So how is the situation here now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Institutions are very good. If you see like one year ago, two years ago, we see thieves and robbery here and no safety here. Now
with Taliban, I hope God willing, life is very good.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): With the Taliban within earshot, it's hard to know for sure how people really feel. But despite their presence, several brave
This woman, close to tears, tells me she is a widow with six children. The Taliban fired her from a government job, sent to home without pay.
As we talked, another woman comes forward. Also out of work, she says, because the Taliban stopped girls she taught from going to school. She's
been paid for next month but has no idea what happens after that.
It's up to Haqqani to choose whether he will be firm and respected or forceful and feared like the Taliban before. He says, for now, no plans to
cut thieves' hands off like before; which way he'll tip, a bellwether for the country -- Nic Robertson, CNN, Kabul, Afghanistan.
GORANI: A sexual assault lawsuit against Prince Andrew can now move forward after he was served with legal papers in the U.S.
Virginia Roberts Giuffre says Andrew assaulted her on multiple occasions, including when she was a 17-year-old minor, after she was trafficked by the
now-deceased sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein. Anna Stewart has the latest.
ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Now the papers have been served, Prince Andrew's legal team have 21 days to respond.
They have consistently denied the claims, calling the case baseless, nonviable and potentially unlawful. They have also said Andrew was actually
released from any and all liability due to a sealed settlement between Virginia Giuffre and the convicted pedophile, Jeffrey Epstein.
When the papers are served in Hollywood movies, you often hear the line, "We will see you in court," but we aren't likely to see Prince Andrew in
court anytime soon.
A judge now needs to decide whether the case can proceed. It is unlikely that Andrew would agree to submit to the jurisdiction of a U.S. court and
unclear whether a U.K. court would order him to participate. The case could continue without him but, even if it does, it would be hard to enforce any
resulting order without Prince Andrew's cooperation or that of the British justice system.
However, it is a step forward for Virginia Giuffre. One of her lawyers has told CNN they are pleased the service issue is now behind them and they can
proceed to a resolution, they say, of Ms. Giuffre's claims -- Anna Stewart, CNN, London.
GORANI: Mexico is coping with a wave of migrants from Haiti, who are trying to reach the U.S. and a better life. That's next.
GORANI: Thousands of desperate Haitians are trying to enter the United States from Mexico. They have left behind a country marked by extreme
poverty and political turmoil. The fact that the U.S. has begun deporting people who cross the border illegally is not stopping anyone. Matt Rivers
tells us about these migrants' journey.
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A packed street in southern Mexico resembling something out of Port-Au-Prince. Hundreds of Haitian
migrants fill the sidewalk of Tapachula. The city is often a stop for those traveling north to the U.S.
But the number of Haitians making that journey right now, both government officials and activist say is unprecedented.
"We've seen lots of migration before," says Ruben Figueroa, "but we have never seen this many people from Haiti. It's unbelievable."
Nearly 19,000 Haitians and counting have applied for asylum in Mexico this year, already three times higher than all of 2020. But for many, asylum
claims won't keep them here. They will head north, arriving by any and all means.
Here, a few days ago, dozens of migrants, many of them Haitian, take a ferry to cross a river, the only way to get across. Most will then pay a
few to a motorcycle taxi to take them along the next leg of the journey.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking Spanish).
RIVERS: So he's basically saying that he has never seen this amount of Haitian migrants come through here before.
The goal for many is to make it to a place like here, seven hours away in the town of Malpaso, where there is fierce competition to get on the buses
Tensions boiling over at times arguments erupting outside of ticketing stations. These buses will eventually take them to the U.S., which is how
recent scenes of thousands of Haitians trying to get into the U.S. came to be. The U.S. says it will deport these people by the thousands but there
are more coming.
So this is base in southern Mexico, up until just a few days ago. It was actually a place where hundreds of Haitian migrants were staying on a
temporary basis every single day. This community actually set up the shelter because of this recent influx.
As you can see now though, it's empty. All the Haitians that were here left. They're headed north to the United States.
And in this surge in migration has every chance to continue after a devastating earthquake struck Haiti six weeks ago.
RIVERS (voice-over): Hundreds of thousands were displaced and immigration activists say many could leave the island soon and eventually end up right
back here in southern Mexico, U.S. bound.
GORANI: That was Matt Rivers, reporting from Mexico.
Still to come, Canada's prime minister survives a very tight election but his victory still kind of feels like a defeat. Why the race didn't play out
the way he had wanted or gambled. We will be right back.
GORANI: Canada's prime minister Justin Trudeau has won a tightly contested parliamentary election but not the way he wanted. He wanted it to be
decisive. Yet his party secured enough seats to keep him in power but failed to reach his target of 170.
That means he will not get the majority government he was seeking, even though that was the main reason he called these elections early. He didn't
have to. Let's get more now from CNN's Paula Newton in Montreal.
So he stays prime minister but I mean this gamble didn't pay off, Paula.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely it didn't. Although perhaps on paper he's the winner, he certainly could emerge from this a
Hala, I got to tell you, people were angry during the five-week campaign that he called this election. This morning, people are still angry,
especially when you see the results that they're basically the same that Canada had two years ago.
I want you to listen to Justin Trudeau though after the election was called last night. Maybe he is getting the message. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUSTIN TRUDEAU, PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA: I hear you when you say that you just want to get back to the things you love, not worry about this pandemic
or about an election, that you just want to know that your members of parliament of all stripes, we'll have your back through this crisis and
The moment we face demands real important change and you have given this parliament and this government clear direction.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: Yes, one would argue Canadians had already given him clear direction and really to keep his eye on the ball in terms of the pandemic.
Just a reminder, Hala, we are still dealing with a stubborn fourth wave of the pandemic, even though nearly 80 percent of Canadians are fully
vaccinated. Look, when I say he is emerging perhaps as a diminished leader, he said he called the election to get rid of some of the toxicity.
NEWTON: What I have witnessed in the campaign in the last weeks is a level of polarization that is familiar to us when we listen to the rhetoric in
the United States. I want you to listen to Erin O'Toole, Trudeau's main rival, who I'm going to point out won the popular vote. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIN O'TOOLE, CANADIAN CONSERVATIVE PARTY LEADER: Five weeks ago Mr. Trudeau asked for a majority. He said the minority parliament was, quote,
"unworkable." But tonight Canadians did not give Mr. Trudeau the majority mandate he wanted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: You know, what is interesting here is one of the Quebec leaders in the Quebec Party said, really, we interrupted our barbecues for this?
Look, you're going to make Canadians cranky when you call that kind of election in the last days of summer. Hala, there's a serious issue here
though and that's the kind of toxicity, I was saying will continue to apply likely to wedge issues here in Canada when it comes to the domestic
What kind of bandwidth does it leave for Canada, especially when you are dealing with hard choices on things like climate going forward, especially
leading up to the climate summit certainly in the next few weeks?
It will be interesting to see how he navigates this. Again, a lot of wounds to heal for a leader who has not emerged like a winner from this.
GORANI: It is interesting. These COVID divisions are really happening everywhere and we're seeing in many countries: half the country angry, the
other half of the country, you know, willing to wear a mask and abide by rules. We're seeing it in Canada, in Germany, in France, in the U.S.
Paula, thank you so much for covering that.
Speaking of COVID mask wearing, Brazil's Bolsonaro could probably go to any restaurant he wants to back home but not in New York City. There it is no
shirt, no shoes, no shot, no service. He is in town for the United Nations General Assembly, as we have covered.
But since he is not vaccinated against COVID and actually brags about it, he cannot eat indoors at a restaurant. So his team got pizza instead and
here they are, eating on the sidewalk.
New York style pizza is amazing obviously but you know, they won't be able to sample any of the amazing restaurants that are run by amazing chefs in
New York. There you have it, eating on the sidewalk for the Brazilian president.
I'm Hala Gorani. I will see you next time. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is next.