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Queen Rania Details Visit to Rohingya Camp; German Government Troubles; Amanpour Interviews Michael Bloomberg. Aired 2-2:30p ET
Aired October 24, 2017 - 14:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MATTHEW CHANCE: I'm Matthew Chance in Moscow, and this is CNN.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: Tonight, our exclusive interview with Jordan's Queen Rania. Her shock at what she witnessed in a Rohingya refugee camp in
QUEEN RANIA: Nothing could have possibly prepared me for the terrible conditions that I saw there and the unimaginable acts of violence that had
been committed against these people.
AMANPOUR: Also ahead as the far right enters Germany's parliament for the first time since World War II more pressure on the Ground Dam of European
(spencism) and MEP from England Miracle CDU Party joins us on the Backlash by Right Wing Nationalists across Europe. Plus, Michael Bloomberg on his
shiny, new, environmentally friendly headquarters here in London and why he's disappointed with President Trump and the latest (inaudible) feud.
AMANPOUR: Good evening everyone and welcome to the program, I'm Christiane Amanpour in London. Misery everywhere; that simple description tonight
from Queen Rania of Jordan after visiting a camp of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. She joins us as the United States for the first time targets
elements of the Myanmar Military which is says is responsible for atrocities against the Muslim minority. This follows similar moves from
the European Union.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The magnitude and speed of this displacement make it one of the most traumatic humanitarian crises in decades.
AMANPOUR: Indeed more than 600,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since the latest round of violence in August. But Queen Rania says the world is
not paying nearly enough attention and she's also calling on Myanmar's democracy icon Augn San Suu Kyi to step up and speak out. She joined me
shortly after landing back in Amman after her harrowing visit. Queen Rania, welcome to the program.
QUEEN RANIA: Thank you, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: Can I start by asking you, did anything prepare you for what you saw at the camp? The stories you were told?
QUEEN RANIA: Actually, you know before making the trip I had braced myself to witness some really desperate conditions but I don't think anything
could have prepared me for the heart wrenching situation that I saw there first hand and the different accounts that I heard from the people I spoke
Everywhere you looked around the camp, misery stared right back you. I mean I saw families who were crammed in flimsy bamboo shelters sometimes
upwards of 50-60 people in a small shelter.
I saw, otherwise, they had pitched makeshift tents in mud and everybody was scrambling for space, for extra resources; food, water. It was really
quite horrific what I saw. About 95 percent don't have access to clean water. Three quarters are not getting enough food and of course health
services are stretched very, very thin.
And everywhere I looked, I saw children. There were so many children and very often, most of them actually were not accompanied by care givers or
their families. When I spoke to them I heard harrowing stories of how they'd seen siblings, how they'd seen their moms or dads being shot right
before their eyes.
So, nothing could have possibly prepared me for the terrible conditions that I saw there and the unimaginable acts of violence that had been
committed against these people.
AMANPOUR: Usually what I've heard of babies being kicked around like footballs and we've also heard that there is a huge and flourishing sort of
underground you know sex trafficking market going on in some of those camps.
QUEEN RANIA: Sadly that seems to be the case. There has been systematic gang rapes of girls, school girls trapped in schools and raped by soldiers.
I spoke to one aid worker who told me of a 16 year old girl who had been raped 20 times. And also when I spoke to some of the health workers there
they were telling me how very often they sound wounds in the back of people; so they were actually being shot as they were trying to escape.
I've heard accounts of a mother who had witnessed her nephew being cut into pieces and thrown into fire so this seems to be a systematic prosecution of
a group of people. I think it is nothing short of ethnic cleansing is what's going on there. And it's just unfolding before the full view of the
worlds and just going (inaudible) and being received greedy with a great deal of indifference.
AMANPOUR: You've also said that if it was the Muslims as the perpetrators instead of the victims, perhaps the tables would have been turned and there
would have been a different response.
QUEEN RANIA: Well look, the persecution against the Rohingya did not start in August, it has been going on for decades. And I think there is
something to this. Over the last couple of decades there terrible actions of minority of Muslims on the fringes of Islam, in fact we think are all
together outside of Islam, have led to a rise in anti-Muslim sentiment around the world and of negative stereotypes of Muslims to the point where
many around the world cannot even conceive of Muslims of being victims.
And yes, I do wonder sometimes that if it was the Muslims who were committing these acts of violence whether the world has reacted with the
same apathy and indifference. I really thing we need to ask ourselves this question because what we are seeing now is persecution by extremist over
another religion. So extremism is extremism and it has to be met with the same kind of reaction. We have to stop it wherever it exists.
AMANPOUR: What do you make of Aung San Suu Kyi spectacular fall from grace over this issue?
QUEEN RANIA: Well I find it very sad and disheartening that someone like her who has a historically stood for so much good is not being associated
with such brutality and violence. The Rohingya people are being denied the very freedoms that she fought so hard for and sacrificed so much for. And
so her silence is actually quite deafening because not only has she not condemned the acts of violence, she has yet to recognize these atrocities.
AMANPOUR: What would ask her to do in this regard especially since this interethnic fighting has been endemic in Myanmar and there is a very
virulence, as you know, ARSA Rohingya group that sparked the latest round in August.
QUEEN RANIA: Well one thing that she possesses a lot of is her moral authority. She has the power to stand up and speak out against these
atrocities and I hope that she will do that and regardless of who sparked what, I think the reaction of really attacking an entire population and
forcing hundreds of thousands of innocent people to flee their homes is just not the appropriate reaction.
I think the root causes of the suffering of the Rohingya people need to be addressed and she herself had once said, that wherever suffering is ignored
there'll be seeds of conflict. So, I think the reaction or the solution to this should be not to aggravate the problem further but to try to deal with
it through dialogue and reconciliation and to really address the reasons why there has been such systematic a campaign of dehumanization of this
minority that has gone on for so, so long.
AMANPOUR: Queen Rania, thank you so much.
QUEEN RANIA: Thank you Chistiane.
AMANPOUR: And here in Europe, the plight of refugees is being used by populist parties to stoke fear and take power. For the first time in more
than half a century, a far right party takes seat in Germany's parliament. That's today and that's 92 seats. The nationalist backlash and what it
means for Western democracy up next.
AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program. It's a scene few people imagined even just a month ago but today imagination has become reality for
Germany's far right AfD as 92 of their members arrived in parliament to begin their first day on the job and it's the first time in almost 60
They finished a strong third in last month's election running on an anti- immigration ticket. Their surprise gains follows a rising tide of populism across Europe. Most recently the Czech Republic elected a new popular
seater and today Austria's new conservative leader announced that he's invited the far right Freedom Party to form a coalition government.
So, let's bring in David McAllister. He's a German MEP from Chancellor Merkel's CVU Party and joining us from Stasbourg. Welcome to the program,
Mr. McAllister. I guess the first question, what went through your mind when you saw this unfolding in the Bundestag today.
DAVID MCALLISTER, GERMAN MEP: Good evening from Stasbourg in France. Well, the German Bundestag governed for the first time since our national
elections four weeks ago and things are more complicated now in our national parliament. We have a record number of 709 MPs from six different
And, yes for the first time we have a far right populist political group in our parliament. This is sad for Germany but we have to accept the
democratic will of the German people. The AfD got 13 percent of the national elections. That means that 87 percent of the voters didn't vote
for these radicals.
AMANPOUR: OK. So, what can that 13 percent, those 92 deputies, what can they actually do in parliament?
MCALLISTER: I think we should treat the ultimately for Duetche (ph) according to our rules of procedure. I'm not in favor of discriminating
against them. We shouldn't create specific rules to exclude them from certain rights but we should treat them in a fairly and orderly manner.
But one thing must be very clear, for historic reasons for German Bundestag will never ever be a platform for hatred, racism and extreme nationalism
and this is the duty of the new president of the German Bundestag, the Speaker of the House, as you call it in America to make sure this doesn't
happen in (inaudible). I'm very confident we'll do so because he's the most experience German member of parliament.
AMANPOUR: It's very interesting that you mention it because indeed that precise sentiment has been raised by many today. But what do you do when
the head of this party says that their mission is to hound Angela Merkel, take our country back, that same kind of populist language that led to
Brexit, led to the election of President Trump? This idea of taking back something.
MCALLISTER: The language of the (inaudible) in our election campaign was appalling. Also, on the election night you just named a few examples and
the ultimate (inaudible) shouldn't succeed in changing the turn of a political debate in our country. That's why all the parties must stand
firm against this kind of anti-democratic rhetoric and hate speech coming from the (inaudible).
But once again we have to take the concerns of AfD voters seriously and we have to make clear that the (inaudible) is a single issue party. They're
playing on people's fears and they're giving very, very simple answers to complex questions.
AMANPOUR: So, that is - that is true but if you look at the analysis and all the graphs that people came up with after their surprise gains it
wasn't just about fear and immigration. It was also about feeling left behind. The areas where they won, were areas where they felt that they
hadn't been doing as well economically as others.
So, what kind of pressure does that put on Chancellor Merkel now because is she going to under pressure to spend a lot more money as some of her
coalition partners want and is that the answer?
MCALLISTER: The best instrument against right wing or even left right populism is to deliver concrete political results. And, my political party
the CVU has a responsibility to form a new government in Berlin. And, that's where Angela Merkel has started coalition negotiations with the
Green party and the liberals and hopefully we will have a new government before Christmas.
And, if you look at the (inaudible) in the regional parliaments in Germany but also here in the European Parliament. They're not interested in
playing a constructive role. They're not interesting in doing concrete, constructive, political work. What they're doing is throwing on their
propaganda machine, and we have to make clear to German citizens that this cannot be the solution for the enormous challenges Germany and Europe are
AMANPOUR: So let me ask you to look wider then because clearly there's something going on. It's some kind of a backlash this nationalism.
Various writers and authors are saying that this is - this White Nationalist backlash is going to significantly harm Western democracies
bringing in illiberal policies. What do you say, for instance, to a Macron who his own people say if he doesn't deliver, the populists allying in
ambush, and they will trounce him next time around. That surely applies to all of you.
MCALLISTER: Well the right wing populists got a few defeats in recent elections throughout Europe, in France at the presidential elections, and
at the national elections in the Netherlands, at the parliamentary elections, or also at the Austrian Presidential elections, and the polls
show that even though a minority of voters is in favor of nationalism and populism, a large majority of European citizens know that in the 21st
century all European are small countries. In a globalized world, Europeans could only be strong together, and that's why we have to explain to our
citizens why it is so important to continue our policy of European integration, and this is exactly what President Macron is doing. This is
exactly what Angela Merkel is doing. This is exactly what other European - responsible European heads of government are doing, and that is the path we
have to continue.
Once again, I do believe we have to take the concerns of auesentiva for doge Vertis (ph) seriously. People feel left behind in these troubled
times of globalization, and we have to provide them with a feeling of security and that we exactly know what we are doing to tackle all these
enormous challenges we are facing.
AMANPOUR: Let me put you a provocative point. As you know, populism won in Brexit. It won in the United States with the election of Donald Trump.
And here we have a recent article which suggests that White Nationalism - and as a preamble, they did play on fears of foreigners, fears of
immigrants - White Nationalism is in many ways a mirror image of radical Islamism. Both share a nostalgic obsession with the purest form of
identity. For one, a medieval Islamic state. For the other, a White nation unpolluted by immigrant blood. Their rise threatens to transform
countries that we once thought of as icons of liberalism into democracies only in name.
MCALLISTER: I'm at the catering (ph) for an open intolerant society in Germany, and an open intolerant society means that we are open for people
from other countries, from other parts of the world to immigrate to our country, and our economy is dependent on skilled workers coming because our
unemployment rate is at a record low. But being open, being in favor of moderate legal migration doesn't mean that you're in favor of Islamists
coming to our country.
And that's why I don't agree with this comparison. We have to make our citizens clear that those who come to Germany are welcome, but we want them
to be integrated well. We want those people who come to Germany, if ever entitled to stay, to eventually become German citizens, identify with our
country, and contribute to our democratic success and to our economic wealth. And we also have to make sure that nationalism has never been the
right answer. Look at the history of Europe. Nationalism is the most dangerous poison Europeans have invented, and twice nationalism has led to
the worst war ever seen in mankind.
AMANPOUR: David McAllister, MEP, thanks for joining us from Strasburg tonight. And when we come back the billionaire turned mayor turned
philanthropist, Michael Bloomberg, open his gleaming new London headquarters. Imagine building the world's most sustainable edifice.
And finally, tonight, imagine a world where one of the richest men on the planet uses his fortune to try and save it. Billionaire businessman and
former mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, has been putting his money where his mouth is for decades, especially when it comes to the
So, it stands to reason that he's unveiling his new one-billion-pound sustainable London headquarters in style. And that is where he joined me
Mayor Bloomberg, welcome to the program.
BLOOMBERG: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: So, here we are, seeing you in your brand-new Bloomberg London headquarters. And it stands out because of your devotion to the
environment and to sustainability. It's got one of the highest ratings on that scale. Is this the building of the future?
BLOOMBERG: ... it's got the highest, they told me this would -- they told me this morning, it's the highest-rated building in the world. So I'll go
with that, thank you.
AMANPOUR: Well, very good.
BLOOMBERG: I think it is -- all kidding aside -- I think it is the future, yes.
AMANPOUR: So, tell me. Tell me what, what about it makes it the future?
BLOOMBERG: Well, number one, I wanted to build a building in London that said, "We're guests in your country and in your city, and thank you." They
let us do business here, and I think we owe them something back.
And so we worked hard to restore a Roman temple here, and to use all- British material. I think 90 percent of all of the material in this building has come from the United Kingdom. Because that's what they need.
And we've employed 13,000 construction workers over the years, that's jobs this city needs.
So it's a ways to say thank you, and then, of course, we're a for-profit company and we hope to do a lot of business here. We wanted a building
that we'd be proud to take customers in, that our employees would be proud to go and to work in every day. And we employed a local architect, a very
famous guy, Lord Norman Foster.
We have a lot of art included in the building because, I think, culture attracts capital much more than capital attracts culture.
AMANPOUR: That's a very upbeat and optimistic assessment, but let's not forget that you started preparations for this before Brexit. I know that
you and many, many business leaders think Brexit is -- is harmful to business in Britain. And, in fact, you just called it the single stupidest
thing any country has ever done, until we Trumped it.
Do you think you would have done this, had Brexit -- had the vote...
BLOOMBERG: Did I -- did I say that?
AMANPOUR: You did, I'm afraid. You said it just now, when you were in Paris.
BLOOMBERG: Look. I think Brexit is not good for the U.K.; I think our administration in the United States pulling away from global trade is not
good. The people that voted for breakfast (sic) Brexit and the people that voted in the United States for a -- a nonexpansionist policy, they're the
ones that gonna -- are gonna get hurt.
In this day and age, you have to have global trade. It's the people from around the world that are gonna buy your products, it's the people from
around the world that are gonna make the things that you wanna buy, it's the people from around the world that are gonna come to your country -- our
country, to this country and create jobs.
And, unfortunately, some people have tried to sell that immigration and global trade is bad. The fact of the matter is, you can say whatever you
want but the truth of the matter is that it is good for jobs.
AMANPOUR: Would you have actually started the preparation for this building after the Brexit vote, had you known what Britain was -- was about
to embark on?
BLOOMBERG: Yes, I would. Because I still think that the financial centers of the world will be London and New York.
AMANPOUR: You have been quite critical of President Trump over, you know, his climate decisions, over the divisiveness of the debate in the United
States. I wonder whether you would react to what Senator Bob Corker, a Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has said
today to CNN about President Trump and how he's being perceived around the world. Just listen to this.
CORKER: I think world leaders are very aware that much of what he says is untrue. When his term is over, I think the debasing of our nation, the
constant non-truth-telling, just the -- the name-calling, the things like (ph) I think the debasement of our nation will be what he'll be remembered
most for and that's regretful.
AMANPOUR: What's your reaction to that?
BLOOMBERG: Well, I think I'm disappointed. I had hoped that the president, when he got into office and consulted with experts, would
understand that an awful lot of the things he campaigned against were really built, over the years, because they're good for America.
And I'd hoped that he would come around and understand what reputable scientists are saying about the damage we're doing to our planet. But the
damage we're doing to our long-term economy -- if you (ph) talk to some of the economists. And so far, either he hasn't consulted or he hasn't been
able to understand or doesn't agree with what they've said.
But, you know, there's an awful lot of history built up over generations, an awful lot of knowledge that we've gained through experience -- some good
experiences and some tragic experiences that we've had to go through. And my hope is that the president will look around, listen to people, and say,
"You know, maybe I was wrong, I'm a big-enough person to, if I was wrong, show me why I'm wrong. And if you can convince me you're right, then I'll
do what you think is correct even if I, before, said it wasn't."
That's what smart, intelligent people do. They learn from experience, hopefully others. They evolve as they get more knowledge. And I would
hope that this administration does exactly that.
AMANPOUR: And -- and the odds that you're putting on that happening?
BLOOMBERG: Ah, I'm not a bookie, I can't -- can't do that for you. But, you know. Let's (ph) say (ph) we have to be aspirational, we have to hope
for the best and I -- we just can't go back to the dark ages, when people debased science and threw away culture that was generated millenniums.
AMANPOUR: Mayor Bloomberg, at your new most-globally-sustainable headquarters building. Thank you very much for joining us.
BLOOMBERG: All the best. Thank you for having me.
AMANPOUR: Thank you.
And that is it for our program tonight. Remember, you can always listen to our podcasts, see us online at Amanpour.com, and follow me on Facebook and
Twitter. Thanks for watching and goodbye from London.