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Syrian opposition presents its roadmap proposal; The Russian perspective on Syria talks; Fadumo Dayib aims to be Somalia's first female president; Imagine a World: Village growing a green legacy. Aired 5-5:30p ET

Aired September 8, 2016 - 17:00   ET


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST, AMANPOUR: Tonight, as the US and Russia prepare to sit at the negotiating table again, the Syrian opposition sets

out its peace plan. My interview with Hind Kabawat, a member of the negotiating team.


HIND KABAWAT, SYRIAN OPPOSITION HIGH NEGOTIATIONS COMMITTEE: We all know that it's happened before. There would be lots of promises and not lots of

delivery for those promises. So, we just need to cross our fingers.


AMANPOUR: And also ahead, the Somali refugee running for president. Fadumo Dayib on why she wants to become her country's first female leader.

Plus, how the smallest people in a small village in England are inspiring the big wide world with their own homegrown green revolution.

Good evening, everyone. And welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour in in London.

Another day, another airstrike. The day after a reported chlorine attack sent 100 civilians to the hospital, chaos was once again unleashed on

Syria's innocent. Once again, the images are upsetting.

For how long will it go on and who will stop it? As US Defense Secretary Ash Carter told me yesterday, President Obama is giving Russia one more

chance to "stop doing the wrong thing and start doing the right thing" in Syria.

Foreign Secretaries John Kerry and Sergey Lavrov will try again in Geneva tomorrow to nail down a ceasefire. But as you'll hear tonight, the

positions are still very far apart.

We'll talk to a close Putin ally Sergey Markov. But, first, Hind Kabawat of the official Syrian opposition joins me with their negotiating position

and a roadmap for Syria's future, one they've just unveiled here in London.

Welcome to the program.

KABAWAT: Thank you.

AMANPOUR: You have now again Secretary Kerry, Foreign Minister Lavrov about to sit down in Geneva on Friday, discussing, trying to come to a

ceasefire agreement. What do you know about those discussions? What hope do you have for those discussions?

KABAWAT: Yesterday, in the meeting with Kerry, he mentioned that there is a deal and there is negotiations, but we all know there will be no

negotiation until the day of the result.

And there will be no deal if there is no enforcement.

AMANPOUR: There are reports that he talked specifically about, for instance, banning Assad's planes from flying over certain areas. Can you

confirm that?

KABAWAT: He mentioned this and he said it. But we all know that it's happened before. There would be lots of promises and not lots of delivery

for those promises. So, we just need to cross our fingers.

The protection of the Syrian civilians is our priority.

AMANPOUR: You say the protection of the Syrian civilians, obviously, stopping the barrel bombing, stopping the chlorine gas, lifting the sieges

of places like Aleppo and elsewhere. Do you believe, though, that it will go beyond that and actually delivery on the political transition that

you've agree to?

KABAWAT: We are very committed to a political solution. The HNC is very keen to start the negotiations immediately because we all know that there

will be no solution with the war. We need to stop the killing of the civilians. So, we're all hoping, and the minute we'll have some changes,

they will stop the enforcement of the displacement of the Syrian - the killing of the Syrian civilians.

We were always ready, Christiane, to negotiate. But it's not us. This is the regime. When we're in Geneva, he starts killing and bombing. So, we

needed to stop.

AMANPOUR: Yes. You're talking about the last round. I absolutely remember that. So, there's been almost no negotiations between the

opposition and the regime. I mean, they were never face-to-face, but there have been no - even contact negotiations.

KABAWAT: No, it was like proxy talk before. But, now, we are ready for a direct negotiation. For us, HNC, we are so keen to finish this conflict as

soon as possible for the sake of Syrian civilians?

AMANPOUR: At any price? With Assad staying as he wants to stay at least in a transition arrangement?

[17:05:04] KABAWAT: It's not my position. This is the Syrian people's position. He is a war criminal. And for many people, it is not even at

the table.

So, for us, we have to listen to what the Syrian people say. And when they say there is no Assad, in our visions, it was clear he has to leave the

first day of the transitional government budget.

AMANPOUR: Some people say Syria is so broken that even people who were friends before the war on different sides, Sunni, Shiite, Christian,

whoever it is are now - their friendship and their politics have been destroyed.

KABAWAT: Syrian is a multi-face and multicultural. We always live together - Christian, Muslim, Alawite, everybody. The conflict is


But now, if we get a good transitional justice systems, like it is in our visions, we want to have justice for all. People will go back and live

together because, in the end of the day, the Syrians are Syrians. And we know we cannot have futures without each other. That's why our vision is

for the Syrians. It's not for the oppositions.

We want to have everybody together for the future.

AMANPOUR: This has been now into its sixth year of war. There are people running for president in the United States today who seem confused about

the Syria war.

Let me just play you a little soundbite of one of the candidates, you may not even know him, but his name is Gary Johnson. And he is the - running

on the - well, libertarian and he's polling about 10 percent. This is what he said about Aleppo.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What would you do if you were elected about Aleppo?



JOHNSON: And what is Aleppo?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're kidding?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Aleppo is in Syria. It's the epicenter of the refugee crisis -

JOHNSON: OK, got it. Got it.



AMANPOUR: The US - you're counting on the United States to deliver peace. Does that kind of thing worry you?

KABAWAT: We met with Clinton team and they assured us that the protection of the civilians is their priority one. So, let's hope for a good woman

leader to lead the United States.

AMANPOUR: All right. I see that, a diplomatic evasion of that question. Do you expect Russia to endorse the kind of peace proposal, the kind of

transitional plan that you have put down and that the international community endorses?

KABAWAT: We always count also on the international communities. They need to pressure. They need to put their pressure on the others because, if we

don't have an enforcement for this deal, we can't have any deal.

And if the international communities, they have to live principles about democracy and freedom, and for us it's a big problem when nobody can tell

the Russians, stop the killing of Syrian civilians.

The international community, they always look at Syria and they say ISIS and Assad. The devil we know is better than the devil we don't know. But

they don't know there's lots of moderate oppositions, liberal, democratic, they believe in justice. There is so many civil society today on the

grassroots. They are working so hard together.

So, it's a message also for the international community. You take a moral stand. You cannot compare evil with evil.

AMANPOUR: Powerful last words. Hind Kabawat, thank you very much for joining me, member of the HNC.

KABAWAT: Thank you, Christiane.

AMANPOUR: And for a view of how far both sides are from each other, we turn to Sergey Markov, he's a political analyst close to the Kremlin.

Let me first ask you. What are your hopes and expectations for this upcoming yet one more round of negotiations between Mr. Kerry and Ms.


SERGEY MARKOV, DIRECTOR, INSTITUTE FOR POLITICAL STUDIES IN MOSCOW: We all hope that Russia and United States as the mostly strong military powers

will act together in Syria, fighting against Islamic State and Jabhat al- Nusra and their allies.

And Russia asked Washington to (INAUDIBLE) we will act together.

AMANPOUR: You do sound still very, very far apart. Let me play for you what Secretary of Defense Ash Carter told me about Russia yesterday.


ASH CARTER, US SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: And as the president said, he wants to test the proposition that the Russians can at last do what they said

they were going to do in Syria, namely make a political transition from the Assad regime, which is necessary to put an end to the civil war, which is

the whole cause of all this suffering.

[17:10:09] And also, then join the campaign against extremism, and particularly ISIL, which we are meanwhile conducting and having results in,

but the Russians aren't helping and not really participating in that.


AMANPOUR: What do you make of that, Mr. Markov?

MARKOV: It was a big strategic mistake of Washington when Washington decided to support Saudi - Bashar al-Assad - do you really believe that

Saudi Arabia more Democratic than Bashar al-Assad.

And second mistake, it's supporting for jihadis. And who rationally can believe that Bashar al-Assad can step down during the war. Bashar al-Assad

is military chief now.

That's why Russian approach on Bashar al-Assad is very easy and very simple. Please allow Bashar al-Assad to crush jihadis in his country. And

after this, we will have some kind of negotiation and transition government and probably Bashar al-Assad will leave, but only after jihadis crushed.

AMANPOUR: Why doesn't Russia get out there and fight the jihadis instead of the more moderate opposition to Bashar al-Assad?

MARKOV: Russia almost no fighting against moderate opposition to Bashar al-Assad. First of all, frankly speaking, there are no moderate opposition

seeking (INAUDIBLE). But those who are fighting by Kalashnikov, they are not so moderate.

AMANPOUR: Do you think that the Assad regime should stop using barrel bombs and stop dropping chlorine on their own people as they did this week

again in Aleppo?

MARKOV: I think should stop using those weapons which can kill a lot of civilians. And, of course, we all pay a lot of attention that the damage

of civilians should be as less as possible.

AMANPOUR: Let me ask you another thing then because this now goes to the heart of politics. There is widespread belief that it was some kind of

Russian hack of the Democratic computers, the DNC, as you remember.

And even recently, in an interview with "Bloomberg", President Putin talked about it. He sort of halfheartedly denied it. But he did say that we

didn't do it, but it doesn't even matter who hacked this data from the campaign headquarters from Mrs. Clinton. Is that important?

He said the important thing is the content was given to the public. Is Russia - does President Putin have a vested interest in this election?

MARKOV: First of all, I'm absolutely sure that the Russian government has no deal with such computer attacking against Democratic Party of United

States and Hillary Clinton headquarters.

We are, in Russia, strong believe that we anyway will have to deal with a political system of United States and political establishment of United

States. And there will be no so big difference in foreign policy of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

AMANPOUR: Sergey Markov, thank you very much indeed for joining us.

And when we come back, wars, refugees, famine, terrorism, Somalia has seen it all. But we'll meet the refugee who is bidding to become her country's

first female president. She joins me next live.


[17:15:43] AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program. President of Somalia, it could very well be one of the toughest jobs in the world. But Fadumo

Dayib says that she is up for it.

After countless warlords have laid waste to that nation over the past several decades, she wants to be its first female leader and make a


Women are treated as second-class citizen in Somalia, but 44-year-old Dayib's incredible life story and her experience as a refugee for most of

her life gives her a special wisdom, she says.

Fleeing the war, she was granted asylum in Finland where she not only learned to read at age 14, she started a successful academic career and

raised her children. But her heart has always been in Somalia.

And Fadumo Dayib joins me right now here in the studio. Well, welcome.

FADUMO DAYIB, SOMALI PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you. So, I talked about the warlords and, obviously, I've covered Somalia in some of its

worst, worst times. And I've seen the waste that they've laid of your beautiful country. What is it about the political system that you want to

change about the process of voting and democracy?

DAYIB: Well, we don't have a voting system, we don't have a democratic system. We unfortunately have what is called a 4.5 clan-based system.

It's a system that subjugates women. It's a system that silences, oppresses 99 percent of the Somalis. And this is the system I want to


AMANPOUR: What is 4.5? And when you say, you don't have one person, one vote, then who elects the president or the leaders up until now?

DAYIB: 4.5 is a system that is comprised of the four major clans and the 0.5 minority clans or clans that are seen as being subhuman.

AMANPOUR: Subhuman?

DAYIB: Subhuman because it's a system that is very similar to the Hindu caste system. And the four clans are premised on supremacy and on being

pure, ethnically pure.

AMANPOUR: Do you think you'll get a chance to change that? It's one thing running for president. It's another to try to change the whole system.

DAYIB: Yes. Because what I'm doing is not only running for office, it's really much broader than that. It is instigating social change. It is

work that is required in order to be done for decades and centuries down the line. And I am just the catalyst that is starting that work.

AMANPOUR: You are a woman. You wanted to be the first female president. As I said, Somalia, like many Muslim countries, many African countries

really actually keep their women down. How do you think you're going to be able to buck this cultural trend, as well as the political challenges you


DAYIB: I don't see that being a problem when gender is not an issue. It is after all the gender that has produced half of Somalis and is the other

half. It's a gender that has actually brought the little peace we have in Somalia. It's the gender that has maintained the society that actually

keeps it running.

And so, it is time for us to formalize that role. We have been the informal leaders of Somalia. We want to formalize it.

AMANPOUR: You are so eloquent and, obviously, very determined. You only learned to read when you 14 years old. I mean, it is incredible how far

you've come, given that you've spent most of your life as a refugee. Tell me about that. Why did you leave? What was sort of the growth process for


DAYIB: I was forced to flee. I was actually born into displacement, like so many millions of people around the world. I was fortunate enough to

reach Finland where I had the opportunity to study, to gain economic emancipation, and that has led me to the path that I'm on because I gained

skills while I was in Finland as a refugee. And these are skills that the country needs. And that is why I am going back to build Somalia.

AMANPOUR: Sort of a reverse brain drain.


AMANPOUR: But your children are still in Finland. And you're going to come up across the terrorist group, Al-Shabaab. They may have already

threatened you. I don't know. But you've told your children you may not return.

DAYIB: Yes. I told that to my children in January. I'm going to have to do that again. And this is an unfortunate issue, particularly for female

candidates because they are not only risking a lot of things, but they are also in the process risking their own lives.

[17:20:00] Security is a big issue, particularly because of Al-Shabaab and other unruly elements inside the country, but I want for people to

understand that we will no longer be intimidated, silenced, oppressed. We are here. We're not negotiating for our existence and we will make sure

that Somalia becomes a peaceful country.

AMANPOUR: You say you want to negotiate with Al-Shabaab. Most people say there's no negotiating with these people. Like ISIS, you've got to destroy


DAYIB: Well, Al-Shabaab is different from ISIS because Al-Shabaab has said they want political power. This is why they're causing insecurity inside

the country. And if that's the case, then they must come to the table, the peace table, based on three conditions.

First, they disarm. They stop killing Somalis. And they renounce their affiliation with international terrorism. So, yes, they're welcome to the

peace table, like many others, but they have to come through with the conditions that we set.

AMANPOUR: Do you think they would? Do you think it's even a starting proposition?

DAYIB: I think it is possible because by them coming forward and saying it explicitly that it is not about religion, it is about power shows us that

they want to come to the peace table. This is their way of making the intentions known to all.

AMANPOUR: Fadumo Dayib, you're taking on an incredible challenge. Thanks for coming and talking to us about it.

DAYIB: Thank you for the opportunity.

AMANPOUR: Thank you. And a world of challenges facing her, as we've said, if she was to win the race to the presidency, not least on the environment.

Harsh conditions in Somalia and across Africa have sent climate refugees on the move. As the US President Barack Obama nears the end of his second

term, he's told "The New York Times" that his most consequential legacy will be his efforts to slow global warming.

Up next, we imagine the English village growing its own green legacy. That's after a break.


AMANPOUR: And, finally, a study by the World Bank has found that air pollution costs the world trillions of dollars and is particularly hurting

the planet's poorest.

Well, tonight, we imagine a world getting cleaner village by village. It's happening here in northwest England where young, young residents define the

term grassroots. Our Isa Soares takes us down revolutionary road to Ashton Hayes.


[17:24:59] ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Picturesque, quaint, and traditional, Ashton Hayes is a village that is

quietly living a green revolution. And its youngest are leading the change.

(on-camera): What are you trying to teach other people?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not to make waste and not to waste energy.

SOARES (voice-over): It's a principle they live by. In the last three months, Ashton Hayes primary school has become carbon negative, running

entirely on free electricity, thanks in part to a roof covered with solar panels.

These five peoples have become eco leaders, sharing tips with others on waste, energy, and water.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've learned like not to leave the tap running while you're brushing your teeth and we've learned not to leave your light on,

like, so you can open your curtains and then the sunlight - so the sunlight shines in instead of just leaving your light on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've learned that air conditioning and things like that, windows would do just as good as a job.

SOARES: Luckily, for the children and the community here, there's no enforced eco homework. That's because Garry Charnock has made his Going

Carbon Neutral project fun, apolitical and voluntary.

GARRY CHARNOCK, CREATOR OF GOING CARBON NEUTRAL PROJECT: We've not told anybody to do anything. We've just said, would you please share with us

what happens when you do something.

And it's the sharing of the community of ideas, which inspires others. So, it's this grassroots movement, rather being told from the top. It's all

come up from the bottom. And some people do certain things, and we all learn from them, and we all help one another to do the next step.

SOARES: So, they do what they can. Some swap the dryer for the clothesline, others use a hybrid. Some install water and solar panels and

others buy locally-sourced fruit and vegetables.

(on-camera): These changes of habits, these sacrifices, such as getting on your bike rather than using your car, are already reaping rewards. In the

last ten years, the community here has been able to reduce emissions by a quarter, putting Ashton Hayes on the map and on its way to becoming

England's first carbon-neutral village.

(voice-over): For this community, this is a huge source of pride. After all, they've been able to get here on their own initiative without a single

politician in sight.

An inspirational community that is hoping their ideas to save the planet can inspire others further afield.

Isa Soares, CNN, Ashton Hayes, England.


AMANPOUR: And where there's a will, there's a way. That is it for our program tonight. Remember, you can always listen to our podcast. See us

online at and follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks for watching and goodbye from London.