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Britain Just Two Days Away From Crashing Out Of The E.U., One Day After Israeli Elections; AG Setting The Stage For A Showdown With House Democrats Over The Release Of The Entire Mueller Report; Pakistan And India Clash Escalate Over Disputed Kashmir Region. Aired: 8-9a ET

Aired April 10, 2019 - 08:00   ET


MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello and welcome, I'm Max Foster, outside the Houses of Parliament in the U.K. with Britain just two days

away from crashing out of the E.U. and the ball is once again in Theresa May's court. She will be heading to Brussels shortly to seek another

Brexit delay. Just how long will that delay be though and the conditions around it? They're all big questions. We will break it down this hour.

Becky, we're betting in.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: What an absolute slog, Max. You should buy a house on that green, mate. Democracy doesn't seem to take

quite as long out here in Israel. Let me tell you the first day after the elections and it seems that the Prime Minister has a path at least to

button this up for himself.

Mr. Netanyahu in many ways it seems like he has good -- well, what will happen next will shape this city and this region in very monumental ways.

With 97 percent of the vote counted, the top two parties led by the Prime Minister and the challenger, Benny Gantz are projected to win an equal

number of seats in the Knesset. But due to the intricacies of Israeli politics, right now it appears, Mr. Netanyahu has the clearer path to


Based on the latest tallies, the Prime Minister's Likud Party has secured about a third of the percentage points, more votes than the Blue and White

led by Gantz that translates to 35 seats each, according to Israeli news outlets. But a Likud-led coalition can secure 65 seats by combining the

two seats won by the two ultra-orthodox religious parties. A center-left bloc led by Gantz and supported by Arab parties would only muster 55.

So the magic number for a majority in the Knesset, of course, is 61. Gantz has admitted in a note to his Party that the odds are not in his favor.

But he insists that the results so far tell an unfinished story that is despite his positive tone earlier.


BENNY GANTZ, BLUE AND WHITE PARTY LEADER (Through a translator): As he said, the biggest party is the one which will be forming the government.

In elections, there are losers and winners, and we are the winners.


ANDERSON: Well, incumbent Prime Minister Netanyahu on track then for a fifth term, knows he has the advantage, he too declared victory earlier.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (Through a translator): I want to clarify that this will be a right-wing government. That I will be the

Prime Minister of all Israeli citizens, Jewish and non-Jewish, left or right -- all citizens and I would take care of all of them.


ANDERSON: Well, none other than CNN's Oren Liebermann with us outside Jaffa Gate here in Jerusalem, a powerhouse of all information on all things

Israeli politics and beyond. We're not calling this, but the odds are in favor of a Netanyahu win. If this was a referendum on the man himself, how

did nail it?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A resounding success, it looks like it is shaping up to be for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Yes, I was in

Likud headquarters. There were some nervous jitters before the exit polls came out and in the time after the exit polls, crucially when Gantz had

claimed victory, but as the results started coming in, first, it became obvious that they were horribly inaccurate, and that's something we've kind

of gotten used to in this country. Every Israeli kind of rolls their eyes when they see the exit polls.

As more and more results came in, 40 percent, 80 percent and now more than 95 percent at this point, Netanyahu, though very close to Gantz in terms of

the actual vote, perhaps less than one percent, it looks like he has secured that clear path to victory.

His right-wing party, his right-wing bloc barely suffering a dent from Gantz's combination of parties meant to take him down.

ANDERSON: So what would this result mean for his ability to fight these corruption charges that hang over him?

LIEBERMANN: So there still are 200,000 votes or so to count and they could shift the balance here. Crucially, they may shift the balance even more in

Netanyahu's favor. It's very possible that Netanyahu will have 61 seats in his favor, perhaps even more that will stand by him even if he is indicted,

which was not the case in the previous coalition.

These numbers look to be so much in his favor. Even if an indictment is handed down sometime this summer, he may be able to stay in power.

ANDERSON: So a more right-wing Israeli Government going forward which is likely, means what for this country?

[08:05:10] LIEBERMANN: It means the continuation of the policies and the direction that Netanyahu has laid down. It's interesting, and we'll see

how he negotiates this coalition. He could, for example, negotiate some partial more than that annexation of the West Bank in exchange for

protection from the indictment charges, the potential indictments he faces and corruption investigations. That's the direction, he could take it.

What is important to point out, though, that based on the numbers we're seeing now, he has had such a major victory that he has all the leverage.

In 2015, and the coalition we've seen since then, it was very difficult for him and some of those other smaller red-wing parties had leverage on him.

They can make demands. Now it looks like it's Netanyahu with the leverage. He will be deciding where this goes, and no one looks set to really

challenge him on that.

ANDERSON: The U.S. Secretary of State unwilling to comment on how the U.S. would respond if Benjamin Netanyahu were to build a coalition here, and

come good on his pledge to annex these settlements in the West Bank, the heart of a future Palestinian nation, as far as the Arabs are concerned

here. Is that telling?

LIEBERMANN: Perhaps it very much is and we'll see where this goes. We are expecting Trump's peace plan sometime perhaps in the next few weeks. But

we very much expect because of the administration, because of the statements from them that have been so obviously pro-Israel that anything

they lay forward will at the very least, include annexation of the settlement blocs.

This very much as Netanyahu is golden age with President Donald Trump, especially in the White House basically backing Israel on a number of

different policies, including, for example, two weeks ago, U.S. recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights. It seems if Netanyahu wants

to move in that direction, he may very well have Washington's backing in doing so. The question is, does he wait for the peace plan or does he just

do it now?

ANDERSON: Like him or loathe him, it is likely now that he will be crowned King Bibi and will go on to be the longest serving Prime Minister in

Israel's history. Oren, thank you. We are here outside Jaffa Gate. Max is outside the Houses of Parliament for you -- Max.

FOSTER: Another key day in Brexit. You've heard it before, but it really is. Theresa May has been answering questions from British lawmakers before

she heads to Brussels for an emergency Brexit Summit.

Prime Minister is asking E.U. leaders for another Brexit delay, this time until June the 30th, but European Council leader, Donald Tusk prefers a

flexible extension of up to a year whilst France is pushing for strict limits on Britain's influence within the E.U.

We begin at headquarters in Brussels with our Melissa Bell. So what does this extension look like, Melissa?

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the extension is what's going to get discussed when the 27 leaders arrive here later today. Theresa May, of

course, also will be here. Already, as you say the French position looking likely to be crucial, and what they've made clear is that whilst they are

favor of looking at the possibility of an extension, they are not in favor of an extension that went beyond the 31st of December.

Another key factor in that French position which has always been. In the last few weeks, the most hard line of the 27 on the question of what needed

to be extracted from the U.K. is for it to leave the European Union, Max, will be the conditions that are attached to that acceptance of an


And what the French are going to be looking at, in particular, one of the questions are going to be raising beyond the question of how -- what sort

of agreement the U.K. might sign to say that it will not be seeking to trouble or getting the way of ordinary E.U. business because if it's going

to remain a member state for longer than it had been going to, clearly, the question of what sort of rights it will have within the E.U. raises itself.

One of the things an E.U. official has just confirmed to us, an E.U. source is that France will be raising the question of the U.K. possibly using its

Commissioner. You know that at the top for the time being within the Commission, all of the 28 states have a Commissioner. It is how it works,

but there is a clause within the Lisbon Treaty, Max, that would allow for the number of commissioners to be taken away from that crucial 28 number.

Now, will all the countries go for that? It is, for the time being, unclear. France though is going to be looking at the question, the

possibility of bringing Britain being stripped of its Commissioner as it looks at the conditions that it might extract from Theresa May in order to

grant her an extension -- Max.

FOSTER: If there is no extension, granted Britain leaves in two days' time, presumably there's no appetite for that. In Brussels, is some sort

of deal that is guaranteed?

BELL: It's looking extremely likely. Look the E.U. ambassadors gathered here yesterday, they laid out the conclusions that have yet to be agreed,

leaving a blank space for the length of the extension, but agreeing in principle to the idea of an extension.

[08:10:03] BELL: And again, the E.U.'s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier made it very clear speaking in Luxembourg yesterday, the E.U. --

none of the E.U. States wants to be held responsible in a sentence for pushing Britain off that Brexit cliff.

But here we are, again, two days from that cliff edge and one thing is certain, the 27 are absolutely in agreement that they do not want to find

themselves being brought here, week after week, because the British Parliament has simply failed to find a way out of the crisis. And I think

that, behind all this -- the strategy, the calculation on the part of the Europeans beyond the fact that none of them wants to see Britain go without

a deal -- is also that if by accepting a longer extension, one that drags into month rather than simply the weeks that Theresa May is looking for,

the pressure will then be on her and in particular from the Brexiteers, who -- and this is the view from Europe -- have essentially fed off this

continuing cliff edge bringing everyone back to Brussels.

By taking the extension to the 31st of December, but even beyond that giving a whole year to Britain really puts the ball in Westminster's court

-- Max.

FOSTER: Melissa, thank you. Back with you as you get those results, we should get some sort of announcement tonight on an extension - a longer

extension that Theresa May has been asking for.

Wera Hobhouse is a member of the Liberal Democratic Party here who has voted against every one of the Prime Minister's meaningful votes.



HOBHOUSE: I have also voted --

FOSTER: This is the second referendum.

HOBHOUSE Indeed. So we, as a party, have been asking for a long time. It was quite niche, but it has obviously gathered a lot of momentum. We had

over a million people in the streets of London. We are seeing more and more parliamentarians actually coming behind the idea.

So we need to put it back to the people, and the reason why we need to do that actually is because in 2016, we didn't know what Brexit would look

like. And indeed, the whole problem was that it was a very diffused proposal. And the Tories, amongst themselves can't agree with Brexit

actually means.

FOSTER: And this was one of the options moving forward, wasn't it? Actually, as part of those votes -- the indicative votes here -- the most

amount of support was for the Customs Union.

HOBHOUSE: It as for the people's vote.

FOSTER: So that's --

HOBHOUSE: The smallest differential was for the Customs Union, but the biggest number of votes came for the people's vote, 280 votes for people's


FOSTER: But the likely to go through at this point is this idea around the Customs Union, which she's working on with Labour potentially.

HOBHOUSE: Indeed, but what we really need to look at and people haven't quite understood. The indicative vote process was actually stopped last

week and when Oliver Letwin didn't put into the next business motion the next set of indicative votes, and what should have come the following week,

let's say, just this Monday gone, was composite motions where we would have actually combined a proposal like, let's say the Prime Minister's deal with

people's vote, and that could have actually gained a majority.

But because there's still too many people within the Tory Party who don't want to put it back to the people that have been deliberately stopped as I

think it has been deliberately done.

FOSTER: Just a quick thought on the length of the delay, a long one, almost certain they say it's up to a year, but it's going to end up being a

year, isn't it? Are you comfortable with that or would you like a shorter one?

HOBHOUSE: No, I believe we do need a long extension to sort that out. Indeed, if it comes to a proposal with a people's vote, and the people's

vote process in itself would probably take 22 weeks. I always believe democracy should have been given time. In fact, the rush of the whole

process, the triggering of Article 50 and then having a referendum within six months was probably also part of the problem.

This is one of the most fundamental decisions that we need to make as a country. After two and a half years, the Prime Minister has obviously

blocked a lot of real free discussion, we are still nowhere. We need to give it time, a long extension is the right thing to do.

FOSTER: Thank you, Wera. Thank you very much indeed. And it's a formality isn't it that this extension will be agreed by Parliament.

HOBHOUSE: It should be.

FOSTER: We shouldn't be leaving at the end of the week, crashing out, some call it. Still to come though, Benjamin Netanyahu appears to be on the

cusp of securing a record fifth term as Israel's Prime Minister. Becky is live from Jerusalem for you next.


[08:16:12] ANDERSON: Well, you're with us in Jerusalem as we follow the high stakes election in Israel. The Prime Minister's Likud Party has

secured about a third of a percentage more votes than the Blue and White Party led by Gantz. That's about 35 seats each according to Israeli news


Likud-led coalition could secure more with an alliance, a center-left bloc supported by Arab parties would only muster about 55 seats. Magic number

of course here for a majority is 61. Let's bring in Amotz Asa-El. He is a fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute here in Jerusalem.

Some will say this was or is a Houdini-like escape from the claws of defeat for Bibi Netanyahu. This was a referendum on the man himself, how did he

pull it off?

AMOTZ ASA-EL, FELLOW, SHALOM HARTMAN INSTITUTE, JERUSALEM: Well, the first thing to understand is that Netanyahu's electorate feels that he's been

successful on almost any plane. First of all, militarily, they feel all Israelis feel more secure today than they felt last decade. Then

economically, unemployment is almost a negligible 4 percent. Inflation is just about zero percent. Israel's national debt is among the lowest in the

world, as well as growth rates are among the world's fastest.

ANDERSON: So what was this -- it's closely fought.

ASA-EL: One second, Becky.


ASA-EL: Among the fastest this century. The shekel is among the world's strongest currency. So economically, things are also happening.

Diplomatically, people feel in Israel, certainly Netanyahu's voters that he command today a kind of sway no previous Israeli leader ever commanded.

That's why they're happy.

Then there is a legal situation, they don't buy. They don't buy the allegations that he faces, rightly or wrongly, this is what we learned


ANDERSON: But we know that he was in the political fight of his life. So given everything you've just said, how did it get to that point?

ASA-EL: Evidently he arrived at this showdown fueled. He displayed the kind of bellicosity that few people realize he actually possessed and many

voters appreciated that in itself.

ANDERSON: What happens next?

ASA-EL: I think that first of all, his government is almost fully assembled already now as we're talking. It will be formally set within two

or so weeks, then we will learn that Israel in this election has restored its two-party system, which splintered already towards the end of last

century under other circumstances.

I say it's been restored because both of these figures, Netanyahu's 35 seats and Gantz's 35 seats means that between them, they command a combined

55 or so percent of the Parliament.

ANDERSON: Which you might suggest should mean a national unity government going forward. This is the first time that two parties have had that many


ASA-EL: Only in this century.

ANDERSON: Since 1992.

ASA-EL: Setting aside the fact that Gantz's specific Party is new, but you're right.

ANDERSON: The chance of a national unity government.

ASA-EL: That the government and the main opposition party combined have such a following is indeed new for this century and indeed raises the

prospect of a unity government down the road, but that can only happen if and after Netanyahu was indicted, not before it.

So until then, you'll have a compact, solid and very obedient conservative coalition of the sort that Netanyahu commanded. Until now, only one within

which he will be even more powerful than it previously was.

ANDERSON: Which means what for the Palestinians.

[08:20:06] ASA-EL: It means before we take the Palestinians for the Israelis, it means that Netanyahu this time around will not give to any

coalition partners key ministries, namely Defense, Foreign Affairs, Treasury, Education -- all these he will clutch in his bosom and

parenthetically, by the way, we can say that he feels so secure now that he is expected to appoint for the first time in Israel's history, a gay

minister in his Cabinet that will sit in one Cabinet with the ultra- orthodox rabbis. That's interesting, but anecdotal.

Palestinians-wise, as you're asking, I didn't think we can expect any change anytime soon. Certainly, not as long as the Palestinians are led by

Mahmoud Abbas, on the one hand who has created such a rivalry with Netanyahu and at the same time with them being as split as they are between

the West Bank pragmatists and Gaza's fundamentalists.

ANDERSON: So further finally then of Israeli sovereignty across areas that the Palestinians would otherwise want as their own?

ASA-EL: I don't think Netanyahu is going to deliver on this promise of his anytime soon. Certainly, not before his legal situation matures. If

somehow, he emerges as he says he will, from this legal situation unscathed and unindicted, then maybe he will feel so confident that he will also move

ahead on this one. I don't think we can see anything like that before then.

ANDERSON: Thank you, sir.

ASA-EL: Thank you, Becky.

ANDERSON: Fascinating insights for myself with Amotz in the house here to Max who is outside the Houses of Parliament. Max, from the would-be Prime

Minister in Israel to the can-she-can't-she Prime Minister with you, right?

FOSTER: Yes, people calling out behind us, "Brexit, what's it all about?" We're trying to work it out. We'll get there eventually. We're not going

to leave on Friday. We do think there will be a delay. We don't know for how long. We are going to get more on that throughout the day.

But we also want to take people to the U.S. where the Attorney General is setting the stage for a showdown with House Democrats over the release of

the entire Mueller report.

In this first testimony since the end of the Special Counsel's investigation, William Barr said he expects to release a redacted form of

the report within a week, but so far he has no plans to allow anyone in Congress to see the full report. Our Sunlen Serfaty has the latest.


SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Attorney General William Barr says the wait is almost over.


WILLIAM BARR, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Within a week, I will be in a position to release the report to the public.


SERFATY (voice over): But not the version of Robert Mueller's report Democrats want.


BARR: I don't intend this -- at this stage to send the full, unredacted report to the Committee.


SERFATY (voice over: Instead, Barr says, with help from Mueller's team, he'll provide a redacted version using color-coded explanations to extract

grand jury material, classified information and other private details. House Democrats say that's not good enough.


REP. ED CASE (D-HI): This is what drives the public crazy when they see something like this. This is what we have to try to avoid.


SERFATY (voice over): House Dems have already authorized a subpoena to get the full report.


REP. JERROLD NADLER (D-NY): If we don't get everything, we will issue the subpoena and go to court.


SERFATY (voice over): Barr defended his four-page summary on Mueller's nearly 400- page report, saying Mueller could not establish conspiracy

between Trump's campaign and Russia, or make a final determination about obstruction of justice.


REP. TOM GRAVES (R-GA): No collusion. There's no obstruction. It's over; it's done. It's over.

BARR: Well, the letter speaks for itself.

GRAVES: I thought it did, too.


SERFATY (voice over: Barr's letter released only two days after Mueller submitted his findings on the nearly two-year-long investigation. The AG

revealed the White House was notified before his memo went to Capitol Hill last month, but he refused to say if the White House has already seen the



REP. NITA LOWEY (D-NY): Did the White House see the report before you released your summarizing letter? Has the White House seen it since then?

BARR: I've said what I'm going to say about the report today.


FOSTER: Now, U.S. official says Mr. Barr has assembled a team in the Justice Department to look into the origins of the FBI's Russia probe back

in 2016. Barr's review is separate from the ongoing work being conducted by the Justice Department's Inspector General. He could address the issue

further during a Senate hearing later today. We will bring you details.

Russia's President breaking his silence on the Mueller investigation for the first time since it wrapped up. Matthew Chance reports now on Vladimir

Putin's reaction to the report strikingly similar to Donald Trump's.



MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the first time Vladimir Putin has even mentioned the Mueller report in

public since the Russian probe was brought to its anticlimactic end. Not surprisingly, the Russian President was scathing in his condemnation.

"The investigation was a dark page in American history," he told a televised panel discussion in St. Petersburg. He also reminded the

audience it found none of the collusion, as he put it, Mueller was trying to find.

[08:25:11] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The collusion disillusion is over.


CHANCE (voice-over): It's not the first time Moscow has seemed in lockstep with the White House.

CHANCE (on camera): Are you concerned that the investigations into Russia are going to turn up more secret meetings?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please, stop this spreading lies and false news.

CHANCE (voice-over): Frank similarities in messaging, even language probably helped fuel collusion suspicions in the first place.

But the allegations of Russian interference in U.S. politics remain, like this secretive troll factory in St. Petersburg, where online attempts were

made to amplify social discord in America.

And the Democratic Party e-mail hacks, allegedly carried out by Russian military intelligence and released by WikiLeaks in a bid to influence the

2016 presidential election campaign.

But the U.S. attorney general's recent summary of the Mueller report, in which he said it didn't find evidence of a criminal conspiracy between the

U.S. President and the Kremlin, has left both Trump and Moscow feeling vindicated. And like the U.S. President, the Kremlin is on the offensive

against Trump's enemies.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (Through a translator): See, what is happening is that those groups that attacked the legitimately elected

President do not agree with the choice of the American people. We have never seen this in the history of the U.S.

TRUMP: Wouldn't it be great if we actually got along with Russia? Am I wrong in saying that?


CHANCE (voice-over): Russia has already been sanctioned by the United States for its election interference and could face more in the weeks

ahead. But it continues to cast itself and President Trump as victims of the same political foes -- Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow.


FOSTER: And still ahead, more from Israel and the elections there. Also, Britain's Prime Minister looking to the European Union for another Brexit

extension. There is a chance she will get more than she bargained for more. More on that after the break.


FOSTER: Welcome back, I'm Max Foster outside the Houses of Parliament in London.

ANDERSON: And I'm Becky Anderson at Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem for you. Well, after this very close election here, it appears the Israeli Prime

Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu is on the cusp of a historic fifth term in office and he is looking to form a right-wing and ultra-orthodox parties to

help him govern.

[08:30:02] ANDERSON: Over the weekend, he made a last minute campaign pledge seen as a bid to win their support promising to annex West Bank

settlements if reelected. Now Palestinians slammed at the move, but many don't see a viable piece partner in former military chief Gantz either.


SAEB EREKAT, CHIEF PALESTINIAN NEGOTIATOR: I think we have just witnessed a clear cut vote by the Israelis to maintain the status quo, as far as we,

Palestinians are concerned. This was a vote to maintain the status quo to maintain apartheid.

I think in the new elections from the exit polls, I think there are only 18 seats in the 120 seats Knesset that support the two-state solution on the

1967 lines. That means 102 seats in the Knesset don't support the two- state solution on the 1967 lines.


ANDERSON: Well, an overwhelmingly xenophobic and anti-Palestinian Parliament that will entrench an expand apartheid is the Palestinian

position. Oren Liebermann is with me. Is there merit in that position from the Palestinians?

LIEBERMANN: If you put yourself in the shoes of a Palestinian looking at Israel's election, looking at the campaign of Prime Minister Benjamin

Netanyahu, which, let's be honest, had a certain anti-Arab element to it, and Netanyahu's years in office. Thousands upon thousands of settlement

homes approved, a new settlement approved for the first time in decades. Meanwhile, no indication that there's going to be any change in the status

of Palestinians under Israel's military occupation of the West Bank. That's the conclusion you can come to.

ANDERSON: Previous U.S. administrations would not have supported the annexation of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Certainly, not while

this process for peace has been underway now over the last near three decades. How is the U.S. responding on this occasion?

LIEBERMANN: Well, President Donald Trump has not yet weighed in, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who let's remember visited the old city,

the Western Wall, right here with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu just a couple of weeks ago, which was unprecedented, not really condemning the

idea, basically avoiding answering the question of would he come out -- would the U.S. come out for or against Israeli annexation of the West Bank?

What he would say, is this -- and the answer to does their peace plan that may be released sometime soon care for Palestinians? Listen to Pompeo



MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Yes, of course, our proposal will absolutely have this. One of its core undertaking is making life better

for the people that live in the Gaza and in the West Bank.


LIEBERMANN: One would hope a peace plan for Israelis and Palestinians would take care of human rights for Palestinians. The fact that it has to

be enumerated and is even a question here gives you an idea of how firmly the Trump administration is when it comes to being pro-Israel here. And

that of course has the Palestinians incredibly worried.

ANDERSON: Oren Liebermann in the house. Max says no delay in the politicking around here unlike well, somewhere else we know.

FOSTER: We will have more from Becky in Jerusalem and/or in in the coming hours, of course, as that election result take shape. For now, in the

U.K., Britain's Prime Minister are looking to Brussels for another Brexit delay. Theresa May running out of time though with Friday's deadline of

crashing out of the E.U. without a deal very quickly approaching.

She's asking for the date to be moved to June 30th, but European Council President, Donald Tusk is set to propose a flexible extension for up to a

year, that's not sitting well with some leaders. They want tougher rules so others seem inclined to go along.


STEF BLOK, DUTCH FOREIGN MINISTER: It's in the Dutch interest to avoid a hard Brexit and if more time is needed to avoid a hard Brexit, we should

provide more time.

AMELIE DE MONTCHALIN, FRENCH MINISTER FOR EUROPEAN AFFAIRS: We want to understand what the U.K. need this extension for and what is the political

surroundings around Theresa May to have this extension and then comes the question of the conditions of what role wants the U.K. to play during this

extension time? How does it want to decide and what on what type of decisions it wants to play a role?

SIMON COVENEY, IRISH FOREIGN MINISTER: Now, I think that that the E.U. leaders this week are open to an extension, but they certainly want to see

a plan to go with that extension.


FOSTER: But Germany's finance minister says, he is still confident that the British Parliament will agree on a on a Brexit deal. Let's bring in

CNN's Atika Shubert live from Berlin. So we can assume there will be an extension. It will be quite long - longer than the one that Theresa May

wants, but what will be the conditions?

ATIKA SHUBERT CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Germany's Chancellor, Angela Merkel has just finished answering questions in

Parliament about Brexit and you're absolutely right. She has said Germany supports a longer extension.

[08:35:08] SHUBERT: It's not clear just how long that is and from speaking to German officials, we've heard a variety of dates. It could be end of

this year, March next year, or possibly some saying even longer. That'll all be tussled out later today in Brussels.

But you're right, the key is the conditions. What will the conditions be? And really what the E.U. is looking for is assurances from Britain that

it's not going to just keep kicking the can down the road and every two weeks, there's another delay, another delay, and another delay.

So the advantage of a longer extension, which mean you cut out some of that drama. There's not that cliffhanger being repeated over and over. It also

gives more time for the British Parliament to resolve their differences over the withdrawal deal and if they do not resolve their differences, to

have the U.K. go back to the drawing table on this one and of course, the option to revoke Article 50 still remains out there.

The problem with a longer extension is that it means the U.K. is sort of half in and half out of the E.U., so would have to participate in E.U.

elections in May. But there are some countries -- France in particular -- which are concerned that the U.K. could play an obstructionist role. So

there could be some conditions attached to the U.K.'s participation in the E.U. if it still wants to exit the E.U.

So it could be quite a heated debate today in Brussels. But it appears that the German Chancellor very calmly is going to wade into this as she

usually does, and see if she can resolve some of those problems.

FOSTER: There are some key differences, aren't there, between Merkel and Macron's positions, so is Brexit coming between them?

SHUBERT: I think we are seeing some differences, but actually Merkel address that in the questions. One of the parliamentarians said to her,

are we seeing too many -- too much of a difference between France and Germany and she said, "Listen, whatever happens tonight, it's not going to

be -- it's not going to fail because of French and German differences on this, we will work together to find a solution."

I think France has been advocating for a much tougher line, shorter extension with much tougher conditions on the U.K. Germany has said,

"Listen, let us give the British parties more time to resolve differences. Let's look at a much longer extension, which gives them more alternatives

and ways to find a resolution around this."

But the one thing both countries agree on is that the withdrawal agreement will not be reopened. This is a very strong line across all E.U. members.

The withdrawal agreement is as it stands, it's up to British Parliament to pass it.

FOSTER: Okay, Atika. We will wait to see. We'll expect the result on this delay later today and we'll bring it to you of course, as soon as we

have it. We will be back in just a moment.


FOSTER: Welcome back to Westminster. Talking politics here, but also in India where the Prime Minister Narendra Modi is projecting himself as the

only leader capable of standing up to Pakistan. This comes as tensions between the two countries recently escalated over the disputed Kashmir

region and as locals begin heading to the polls this week. As Nikhil Kumar reports violence remains a reality of everyday life in that region.

[08:40:09] (BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

NIKHIL KUMAR, CNN NEW DELHI BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): In the shadow of the line of control, the de facto border that divides the disputed Kashmir

region between India and Pakistan, a protest.

These locals in Indian controlled Kashmir want bunkers to protect them, as the two nuclear powers continue to fire artillery shells at each other.

Just weeks after an aerial dogfight, the first such confrontation in almost five decades threatened all-out war.

KUMAR (on camera): The driving impulse behind these protesters, kilometers from the de facto border, it's fear -- fear of cross-border shelling that's

already maimed or killed innocent civilians.

KUMAR (voice-over): Innocents like the 32-year-old Mohammad Riyad. His voice cracking, he tells me a shell struck his border home in late

February. Shrapnel ripped open his abdomen, his intestines spilled out.

And 16-year-old Mohammad Ansar, the fear in his eyes, this black head wound the result of shelling in mid-March. His brothers, both 10, and his mother

were also injured.

KUMAR (on camera): Are you still scared?

KUMAR (voice over): "We're still very scared," he says. "Every time I hear a loud noise, I panic."

India and Pakistan have already fought multiple wars over Kashmir and now, as India prepares for general elections, the renewed conflict here has

become a major campaign issue.




KUMAR (voice-over): India's nationalist Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, is holding up the recent air skirmishes as proof that he is strong on defense.

The tensions were sparked by a February car bomb attack on Indian forces in which India says Pakistan had a, quote, "direct hand." Pakistan rubbishes

India's claim.

As politicians grandstand, fear stalks ordinary Kashmiris.

KUMAR (on camera): For people here, violence is nothing new. The line of control, the site of so many armed showdowns between India and Pakistan is

right there, nestled in those mountains. But residents say the shelling hasn't been this bad for several years.

KUMAR (voice-over): Babarali and his family fled the border village earlier this month. A hail of shells drove them out. Huddled together in

temporary housing in the biting Kashmiri cold, they tell me they don't know when they can return home.

"We were having lunch when the shelling started. The children were terrified. We had to flee," he says. "We had to leave our home, our

possessions, everything. We had no choice."

With Kashmir still tense, they have become refugees in their own land -- Nikhil Kumar, CNN, Indian-controlled Kashmir.


FOSTER: Before we go, the British Prime Minister Theresa May heading to Brussels for an emergency Summit to ask for another Brexit delay. She

wants the delay to last until June 30th. But European Council leader, Donald Tusk prefers a flexible extension of up to a year whilst France

pushing for strict limits on Britain's influence in the E.U.

We will keep you updated on CNN as events in Brussels develop over the course of the day. Julia is here at the top of the hour. Thanks for

watching. Don't go anywhere. "World Sport" with Christina is up next.