14/11/2011 GMT with George Alagiah


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Months of protests, thousands dead and growing international pressure.


Still, Syria's Foreign Minister reacts defiantly to the decision to


suspend his country from the Arab League. If the Arab League's


decision to suspend Syria's membership is a seriously dangerous


Welcome to GMT, I'm Naga Munchetty. Also in the programme: They are


appointed, not elected, but Italy and Greece hope the new technocrat


leaders will put their economies back on-track.


If in Norway, Anders Behring Breivik, the man who confessed to


killing 77 people in July, has made his first court appearance.


Hello, it is 12:30pm here in London, 1:30pm in Brussels and it is early


afternoon in Damascus which is where international pressure is


mounting on Syria to end months of repression that began in March and


has left thousands of people dead. European foreign ministers are


meeting in Brussels to tighten sanctions against President Bashar


al-Assad's regime. The Arab League voted to suspend Syria's membership.


Still, Syria remains defiant. The country's Foreign Minister, Walid


Al-Moualem, has condemned the move and said Syria will not be treated


as another live via -- Libya. From the Syrian government, some


grand Theatre. A series of pro- government demonstrations


encouraged and choreographed by the authorities. It is all designed to


stress Syria's anger and defiance at being suspended from the Arab


League. Many of these Syrians genuinely support President Assad.


Many others have been pushed to attend. The government has not lost


its centre of self-righteousness. TRANSLATION: That Arab League


decision has not been issued by a unanimous vote. It is illegal. It


does not rely on the legality of the Charter of the league. We have


said in the past and we would like to stress again, that Syria has


dealt and is dealing with the fires of reforms and dialogue and for


halting blood spilling of the citizens. The the Foreign Minister


did apologise to these attacks at the weekend on the embassies of the


countries which have been toughest on Syria, including Qatar, Saudi


Arabia and Turkey. It seems Syria now regrets a move which just


antagonised its opponents and made any compromise with the Arab League


any less likely. Already, ministers from the European Union are meeting


to discuss further sanctions on Syria, with new pressure also for


action at the UN Security Council. We have taken very strong measures


in the European Union, as I said, we can add to those. I don't see


any other, the most specific proposition that we can react to.


We will discuss things further at the United Nations Security Council.


Sanctions are already biting, although these queues for gas at


the city of Homs, could have been caused by the government trying to


starve out the opposition who are strong there. A ban on the sale of


Syrian oil to Europe is hitting a vital source of currency for


President Assad's government. Opposition supporters have been


celebrating the Arab League decision but already calling for


more. They want a no-fly zone and military intervention but for the


moment, those are not on the agenda. In men, we will talk to our


correspondent Matthew Price in Brussels -- in a moment. First of


all, we can speak to Jonathan Head in Istanbul. I do not think Turkey


could have made its position any more clear? I think now the Turks


are making it absolutely clear that they have given up on President


Assad, a man with whom they have built the strongest relationship


with any government. Turkey says it will now back the justified demands


of the Syrian people by campaigning against the Syrian government. They


are angry about the attacks on its embassies but they also angry at


the failure of President Assad for the promises he made earlier this


year. It does not want to go out on its own taking international action


against Syria, it wants action from the United Nations, China and


Russia. That could change if the Arab League stands by its


suspension. Turkey is talking about imposing more sanctions and as one


of Syria's biggest trading partners, they could have a big impact,


especially if it targets banking or the oil industry. A lot of Turkish


businesses would lose out. It has not yet formally recognised the


Syrian National Council as a representative of the Syrian people.


The big steps from Turkey is yet to come but the language is very


hostile against the Syrian government. Jonathan, thank you.


Matthew, in Brussels, leaders' meeting today, what is expected to


come out of this meeting? I have been led to believe there what will


happen is there will be a tightening, if you like, of the


sanctions -- sanctions. Further sanctions against the individuals


who EU foreign ministers believe are connected with the repression


in Syria. Also trying to cut off even more the financial flows to


Damascus. It is expected the investment bank will cease


disbursing its loans to Syria. That is all part of a strategy from the


European Union to further isolate Damascus. What Jonathan has been


talking about also feeds into that strategy. As Jonathan said, they


need the Arab League countries to be applying pressure. And then that


other thread of this, if you like, the sanctions on one hand out of


Europe, the pressure from the Arab League but the third important


thing coming from the UN, trying to brush countries like Britain,


Germany, France and others, trying to push for a very strongly worded


Security Council resolution condemning what has been going on


in Syria. At the moment it looks like the Chinese are starting to


come more on to that side. The big hold out in the Security Council as


of are the Russians. The foreign policy chief for the European Union,


Catherine Ashton, is going to Moscow on Friday for talks with the


Russian Foreign Minister. One source has told me that although


they do not hold out great hopes that it might yield anything, she


will be trying to put as much pressure as possible on the


Russians to change their approach against Syria. There is not much


hope that at this stage they are likely to do that. Thank you.


The King of Jordan has called on the Syrian President to step down.


In an exclusive interview with the BBC's Lyse Doucet, King Abdullah


said he feared more violence. would believe that if I was in his


shoes, I would step down. However, if I was in his position, if it was


me, I would step down and make sure that whoever comes behind Make has


the ability to change the status quo of what we are seeing. I don't


think the system allows for that. If President Bashar al-Assad has


the interests of his country, he would step down but he would also


create a new phase of political life. Interesting comments. Lyse


Doucet is with me now. He has not said anything like this before, has


the? No, but we have not seen this action from the Arab League before.


It comes after a very long time of getting promises from President


Bashar al-Assad and those promises not been capped. What the king was


very adamant about was it was not a question of one individual. He was


very careful to say it is a system, it is not just one man. I think the


worry in the region and beyond that if one leader steps down, what


would come next? What instability would there be? The Arab League


have said they will meet some members of the Syrian opposition


later this week that is the Syrian opposition ready to take over? His


comments will represent a turning point in how Arab leaders will deal


with President Assad. Do you think he was aware of this? Is this a


move to intensify the pressure as we are seeing? Eight was very


interesting because he is a cautious King. It took him a long


time to say, if I was in his place. He said it with some regret. Don't


forget, these two leaders took power from their fathers at the


same time, a little over a decade ago. He mentioned how President


Assad had the soul of reform so he was frustrated that he had not been


able to move forward. We can now speak to the director of the Middle


East Centre at the London School of Economics. I'm not sure if you


heard what Lyse Doucet was saying, what do you make of these latest


comments from King Abdullah? If it tells you a great deal that even


the Arab states have come to the conclusion that President Assad's


position is extremely untenable. The Americans have made similar


remarks a few days ago. One of the major officials on the Middle East


said he has heard many Arab leaders saying President Assad's days are


numbered. What you have now is what I call the convergence between


international pressure from the international community,


particularly from the United States and Western Europe, and this is a


point want to make that the United States is waging a war against


Syria by other means, it is an economic war, the media war and a


psychological war. Now Turkey has joined. Now you have the Arab


League. Remember, what the Arab League has said, this is the first


step. On Wednesday, the Arab League will be meeting with the Syrian


opposition. It has threatened to pull out ambassadors from Damascus,


impose economic and political sanctions and even more importantly,


it has threatened to basically recognise the Syrian opposition. If


I was sitting in Damascus today, I would be extremely anxious. Syria's


response in the last few days, first they dismiss the Arab League


as worthless, they said it was an extension of the western American


conspiracy. Then they called for a meeting for the heads of the Arab


states and now you have Walid Al- Moualem, the Syrian Foreign


Minister St this is a very dangerous step. He said I hope our


Chinese and Russian friends would continue to lose the United Nations


council. -- to oppose. He said the Arab League might go to the


Security Council and ask for protection of Syrian civilians. It


seems to made the Libyan scenario all over again. You have the Arab


League taking the step by going to the United Nations Security Council.


This tells you that the game is changing. The crisis in Syria is


reaching a climax. The opposition and Syria does not appreciate the


gravity of the crisis. It is interesting that you say the Libyan


scenario all over again but I asked King Abdullah about the possibility


of military intervention and he says no one is calling for that.


Now I think there is some concern about whether that is desirable and


whether that is possible. He said he believes that the Syrian


leadership believes it is still in a comfortable place, in other words,


that the end is not in sight. I say the Libyan scenario, I do not


mean about NATO's military intervention in Syria. Both the


United States and European Community have made it clear that


there is no military option a long Libyan lines. Let me give you a


scenario whereby if you have military escalation, if you have


10,000 people killed and the next few weeks, you might have a very


different response by Washington and Europe and also by regional and


Arab states. You might have a no- fly zone, has a fare in Turkey, you


might have an escalation of tensions in Syria -- you might have


a safe haven in Turkey. Or the Arab League said was specifically it


called on the Syrian army to disobey the orders of the Syrian


government and not fire on civilians. What you might have, the


question of legitimacy legitimising the opposition, you might have more


and more security forces and Syrian army troops defecting to the


opposition and you might have the strategic situation change among


the ground in Syria as a result of Arab regional and international


actions on the ground. It is very good to get your opinion and


thoughts today. Thank you for joining me from the London School


of Economics and Lyse Doucet, thank you and to reiterate you have


interviewed the King of Jordan and he has called on the Syrian


President to step down. He said if he was in his shoes he would step


Let's take a look at some of the other stories making headlines


around the world today. Anders Behring Breivik, the man


who's confessed to killing 77 people in July, has been appearing


in court in Oslo. Hundreds of journalists, as well as family and


friends of those who were killed were waiting for him when he


arrived at court this morning. It's Brievik's first open court


appearance since he was taken into custody. He has said he wants to


explain why he carried out the attacks on Norway's government


offices in Oslo, and the nearby island of Utoeya.


With me now via webcam from Norway is Norwegian journalist, Ketil


Stensru. Just described to me the mood, not only outside the court,


it is understandable the family and friends of victims are there, but


what about Norway? This was a country shattered by these events?


Today marked a special and strange occasion when Anders Behring


Breivik was able to meet people for the first time. When the same


applies for the victims' relatives when they were able to meet Anders


Behring Breivik in person and get some sense of what he felt like.


What is expected to be heard? He said he is going to explain why he


did what he did, what answers do people want? They want to get some


justification. How could he resonate himself to carrying out


these attacks and at what sort of ideological grounds can he justify


killing his own people? And I think it is incomprehensible what has


happened, so people have a great need to see him and see what kind


of frame of mind he is in. As he is brought to trial, is there any


expectation of what may be the outcome of this trial. Obviously,


today was another hearing were the state applied for solitary


confinement. The state wanted an extension of 12 weeks. I think they


got that. For him, he again pleaded not guilty to the charges. And for


him, it is another chance to be in the limelight for the first time


and a chance for him to spread his ideology and explain himself.


will keep a close eye on events. Thanks for speaking to me today.


They're the unelected leaders, the technocrats, whose job it now is to


guide their countries through economic crisis. Italy's Prime


Minister designate, Mario Monti, and Greece's Prime Minister, Lucas


Papademos, have been put in place to implement tough austerity


measures needed to balance the countries' books. It's an unusual


position for both democracies to be in - as Humphrey Hawksley reports.


We can speak to our correspondent in Rome. David, it is an


interesting day for Mario Monti to begin this process. Is there much


faith in him being successful? has the goodwill of a lot of


Italians. They feel more com -- comfortable he is qualified to do


with this crisis. He has to choose his cabinet very carefully among


possible candidates, technocrats, in other words civil servants to


have given good service to their country and could be Government


ministers in the months to come. But I don't think we are going to


get a cabinet line-up until tomorrow some time. At which point,


he will be sworn in as Prime Minister, together with members of


his Cabinet. More importantly, later in the week he will have to


go before Parliament and get a confidence vote. This is I think it


a foregone conclusion also. However, it is important to see that Mr


Berlusconi, who has resigned during the weekend as Prime Minister, has


been leading the country for 17 years on and off. He has made it


clear he doesn't intend to retire from politics. He is going to


monitor, he says, the performance of Mario Monti and has made a


veiled threat, as he put it, to pull the plug on Mario Monti, if he


considers his performance is not up to scratch. Mr Berlusconi still has


a majority, a Parliamentary majority in one of the houses of


Parliament. He lost his majority in the Chamber of Deputies, he could


still muster a winning majority in the Senate, the Upper House.


Basically, he makes no secret of the fact he wants to see the Mario


Monti administration, if and when it is formed to have a very limited


shelf-life. Thanks for your thoughts.


Still to come: Digging up the dirt at all reinvestigate mining


corruption in the poorest paradise of Goa.


Now time to get the business news. Is it paradise for Italy yet? 7.48


% and that it was the bonds yield? It has come down a little?


focus is the market reaction. The whole reason the Italians pushed


through the placement of Mario Monti, so everything would be in


place when the markets open this morning, Monday morning there would


be credibility. Some cautious optimism, they were higher, but if


you blinked you missed it because the markets have returned to having


a sour taste in their mouth. The market's love the fact there is a


technocrat, a respectable, highly credible technocrat in charge of


Italy but they want to see what Mario Monti is going to do about


the two trillion worth of debt it elicits on. What we do about the


poor business interests that has crippled Italy's growth. Let's have


a listen to the boss of the German exporters Association, what he has


to say about Italy and Mario Monti. We are fighting very hard for the


Euro but not at any price. The problem is here in Italy and the


Italians have to understand it is up to them to prevent us going into


a recession and going into a worldwide depression. Italy


borrowed 3 billion euros from the markets today. They got all they


wanted but they have to say 6.3% interest, very expensive. Not cheap.


Europe has been S -- asking China for help with limited success?


this whole crisis rumbles on, the pressure has been on the bigger


emerging economies. We know what the Europeans want from Beijing.


The focus over the weekend was on India. The World economic Forum was


taking place in Mumbai. Encouraging wells from India. I will quote the


commerce minister in India, he says India will be part of the


stabilisation process when it comes to what is happening in Europe.


Strong words. It doesn't mean India is going to put its hand in its


pocket and contribute to any form a bail-out. This isn't necessarily


about the money, it is about making sure a country like India and


emerging economy being looked at by the world is their bodies be parts


of the world that are struggling and keeping the trade routes


opening and keeping a sense of nurturing and fostering relations.


Many Indian companies have relied on areas like the eurozone to grow


and succeed over the past decade. So India is looking at this as, we


are here to help and open for business. Open for business but no


money at the moment. For more on Italy's new Prime


Minister designate, head to our website. There is a profile of


Mario Monti and plenty more information and analysis.


The headlines: The Syrian foreign minister has spoken defiantly


following international condemnation of the country's


suppression of anti-government protests.


The new unelected leaders of Italy and Greece begin putting together


of the Government and policies they hope will put their economies back


on track. Another huge corruption scandal is


looming in India, this time over its mining industry. Exports of


iron ore have been stopped in the state of Karnataka amid allegations


corrupt officials allow widespread, illegal mining. Government inquiry


is looking into more serious violations by iron ore producers in


Goa. This is the view of Goa tourists


never see. A landscape scarred by a new kind of gold rush. For iron ore,


and almost all of it is going to China. That, says critics has led


to over mining, corruption and environmental disrupt --


destruction and they are calling for the industry to be closed down.


More and more going to China, a superpower. It is making its strong


at the cost of the destruction of Goa. The constant flow of trucks


carrying iron ore from the minds leave a constant cloud of dust.


There is no escape from it for this spot primary school. The uniform is


paid for by the mining industry. The dust causes them breathing


problems and teachers say it is something the industry disputes.


Next stop on the Road to China, the iron ore is loaded on to barges.


But mining companies are worried that a Government inquiry into


illegal mining and corruption will smother them all. Everyone in Goa


has benefited from the iron ore bonanza they say, making it one of


India's richer states. There have been violations the Chief Mining


spokesman admits, but don't risk everything to read them out.


have free health care, free education and we have negligible


poverty. You cannot fight in legality, you have to address it.


The hardest part is to say, how do we address it without destroying an


economy. The next stage for Goa's iron ore? The slow boat to China.


Globalisation in action and some in India are reaping the benefits, but


with such huge needs for steel itself, they may be short-lived.


All this iron ore heading to China have made some people rich. India


is obsessed with the question of whether it was taken out of the


ground illegally. Very few people asking whether it should be taken


out of India at all. The simple answer is that India doesn't have


the technology to use this kind of iron ore. But China does, allowing


it to keep sailing ahead. We are coming to the end of the


programme, but let me remind you of the main story?


The BBC has interviewed King Abdullah of Jordan. He said if he


were in the shoes of the Syrian President, he would consider


International news and intelligent analysis going live to the heart of the day's top global story with Naga Munchetty.

Featuring exclusive reports from BBC World News correspondents based around the world, plus up-to-the-minute global business news.

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