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Iraqi Prime Minister: ISIS advance ‘is being reversed’

January 22nd, 2015
06:17 PM ET

By Madalena Araujo, CNN

The extreme Islamist group ISIS is being pushed back, the Iraqi Prime Minister told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday.

Haider al-Abadi referred to ISIS as "Daish", the Arabic acronym used for the group.

He said “the onslaught of Daish has been reversed, not fully but is being reversed, it’s in the opposite direction now, I think that’s very important.”

Representatives from member countries of the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS gathered in London on Thursday to discuss their coordinated effort against the terrorist group, which has claimed large swathes of Syria and Iraq.

Haider al-Abadi said that with continued support from the alliance, ISIS could be forced out of Iraq in a matter of months.

“If we’re talking about eliminating Daish from the face of the Earth, I think that will take a long time, but If we are talking about pushing Daish out of Iraq, that can take months. I think we have the capability now, with enough support from the international coalition - I have to be very blunt about this, we need this support, the support is essential.”


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Iraq • Latest Episode

Rebutting controversy, EU foreign policy chief says Europe is united on Russia

January 22nd, 2015
10:46 AM ET

By Madalena Araujo, CNN

The EU will stand united in keeping up its pressure on Moscow, the EU Foreign Affairs Chief Federica Mogherini told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday.

“The main point that is surprising and probably also affecting the Russian leadership is our unity, the impossibility to divide us, and I count on us to stay united.”

Mogherini told Amanpour that while “it would be naive and probably stupid to say that there are no differences among Europeans,” they’ve “managed, over the last year, to keep united and take all our decisions by unanimity, because we know that our decisions are not linked to single member states' interests, but they are linked to a principle that we cannot accept the violation of international rules. This is the basic core principle of the European Union.”

Mogherini, who took up the lead role in November, came under fire this week after a paper she circulated was widely seen as a suggestion to ease sanctions on Russia.


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • European Union • Eurozone • Latest Episode • Russia • Ukraine

Surviving Charlie Hebdo cartoonist pledges not to give in to 'gang of killers'

January 21st, 2015
02:12 PM ET

By Madalena Araujo, CNN

Just two weeks after an attack that left him wounded and his colleagues dead, one of the survivors of the Charlie Hebdo massacre talked to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday.

Laurent Sourisseau, who goes by the name Riss and is now head of publication for the magazine, recounted what it was like to witness and survive the massacre on January 7, which left 12 dead.

“I was in the room where the killers burst into the room, opened the door. They appeared with submachine guns and a colleague who was in front of me was in front of him. As soon as I saw this scene, they started to shoot,” he told Amanpour.

“Then I lay down on the floor with my face on the ground. And then I just heard the sounds of gunfire. I could just hear the gunfire. I didn't even hear any shouting, any screaming. All I could hear was the gunfire and I had my face to the ground. At one time I heard - felt something in my shoulder and that's how it happened.”


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • France • Journalism • Latest Episode

Paris Mayor: We have to work on inequality

January 21st, 2015
11:19 AM ET

By Madalena Araujo, CNN

Paris needs to tackle inequality, city mayor Anne Hidalgo told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday, almost two weeks after the worst terrorist attacks in a generation shook France.

“The youth of today, they need to have possibilities and we have to think about this. Paris is a city where there are inequalities but where we are working to manage them. We have to work on this seriously.”

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Tuesday that the country must address what has become "a geographic, social, ethnic apartheid.”

“Valls used very strong words,” Hildalgo said, “but it's true that there are a set number of towns, a set number of estates which are in a very precarious situation.”


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • France • Latest Episode

Belgium PM: We are trying our best to fight terrorism, ‘but it’s not enough’

January 20th, 2015
03:03 PM ET

By Madalena Araujo, CNN

The Belgian Prime Minister told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday that more needs to be done in the fight against extremism as Europe remains on high alert.

“I think that today we are trying to do our best. But it's not enough. It's a new threat against the democracy, against currency, against our values. And we have to fight. And I am determined to fight. I'm convinced that we have to do more against radical terrorists,” Charles Michel said.

Belgium deployed hundreds of security forces in Brussels and Antwerp on Saturday after an anti-terror raid on Thursday that police say foiled an imminent attack and left two suspects dead. Authorities are still on the hunt for the terror cell’s ringleader.

The Prime Minister told Amanpour “the attacks were imminent” and “planned for the next hours.”


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Latest Episode

Paris mayor: We intend to sue Fox News

January 20th, 2015
12:24 PM ET

By Gregory Wallace and Brian Stelter, CNN

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo told CNN Tuesday she intends to sue Fox News in the wake of the channel's coverage of supposed "no go" zones for non-Muslims.

She said the channel "insulted" her city.


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • France

Pakistan pledges fight against ‘all terrorists without any discrimination of hue and color’

January 20th, 2015
09:50 AM ET

By Madalena Araujo, CNN

Pakistan is fighting against all types of terrorists and their respective accomplices, the country’s Army spokesman told Christiane Amanpour in an interview that aired Monday.

“Now coming to now, Pakistan is very clear, very determined. There are no good terrorists. There is no collusion. We are absolutely clear, no confusion in our mind. We are going against all terrorists without any discrimination of hue and color,” Major General Asim Bajwa said.

“So I think there is no confusion in our mind that we have to go against the phenomenon of terrorism, against all terrorists, and their abettors.”

Major General Bajwa admitted there “was a time who all raised, fed, trained and used these people,” when Amanpour questioned him over Pakistan’s years long support for militant groups allegedly based on political and strategic reasons.


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Latest Episode • Pakistan

Yemen Minister: Government control 'almost non-existent'

January 19th, 2015
03:52 PM ET

By Madalena Araujo, CNN

Government control in Yemen is “almost non-existent,” the Yemeni Information Minister told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday after a day of heavy violence rocked the country’s capital, Sanaa.

Nadia Al-Sakkaf also said that Prime Minister Khaled Bahah, who went into hiding when attackers shot at him earlier on Monday, had been surrounded in his home later in the evening by armed Shiite Houthi militias.

“He is at his place, but currently he has been surrounded by Houthi militias around his place, and they have stationed themselves at rooftops of neighboring buildings. He is worried that the situation might escalate.”

Yemen’s Information Minister said the Prime Minister does have a proper security force “and he is saying that if he needs he will use it.”

“I just spoke to him on the phone and he’s worried because he said ‘I’m not going to remain a prisoner.’”


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Latest Episode • Yemen

Khodorkovsky: ‘I do want regime change in Russia,’ but not a revolution

January 16th, 2015
10:34 AM ET

By Madalena Araujo, CNN

Putin critic and former Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky wants regime change in his home country but not through a revolution, he told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in an interview that aired Thursday.

“Without a doubt, I do want a regime change in Russia. I think that my country doesn't deserve a new era of authoritarianism. But at the same time, I don't want a revolution.”

The former Yukos oil tycoon added that, if he could, he "would of course do everything to ensure that the regime change take place as softly as possible, because I consider that it's not worth wasting human lives on what should in fact be a normal procedure of replacing one regime with another in the country.”

“Of course we do understand perfectly well that at some point the situation may explode and then, of course, nobody physically would be able to give anybody any kind of guarantees.”


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Latest Episode • Russia • Ukraine

We have never considered that any portion of Nigeria is under Boko Haram’s control, says military

January 15th, 2015
04:49 PM ET

By Madalena Araujo, CNN

Boko Haram is not considered to be in control of any part of Nigeria, the country’s top military spokesman told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday in the wake of what has been described by Amnesty International as the terror group’s “deadliest attack” to date.

“Yes, the activities of terrorism - they are prevalent in certain isolated communities, here and there. It is part of the reality of the moment, we recognize such as a thing to be addressed, but we have never considered that any portion of Nigeria is under their control,” Major General Chris Olukolade said.

He said that while the extremists’ “activities may be prevalent in such places, we have in plan the appropriate measures to reverse any of their activities now and ensure minimum effect on property and civilians, and ensure that in the process of flushing them out of the areas where they operate now we don’t cause collateral damage to our individuals.”


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Latest Episode • Nigeria
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