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Hardtalk

BBC

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Hardtalk interviews newsmakers and personalities from across the globe.
470 Episodes Play All Episodes
French+Minister+for+Economy+%26+Finance+Bruno+Le+Maire%3A+EU+faces+%27gravest+crisis%27
access_time4 days ago
When faced with the Covid-19 pandemic, the European Union struggled to respond with collective action. The countries first and worst affected, Italy and Spain, complained of a lack of solidarity. Is that changing? The leaders of France and Germany are backing a plan to inject at least 500 billion euros into an economic recovery programme. HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire. Is the pandemic taking the EU in a new direction?
Is+Sweden+the+best+model+for+coronavirus+response%3F
access_time8 days ago
Much of the world responded to the Covid-19 pandemic with a lockdown strategy. Now there's much focus on finding a sustainable post lockdown strategy that doesn’t prompt a second wave of infection. Could Sweden be the model? HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to Sweden’s chief epidemiologist Anders Tegnell, the architect of a controversial no lockdown strategy that continues to stir interest across the world. Has it worked?
David+Miliband%3A+President%2C+International+Rescue+Committee
access_time11 days ago
It may be a global pandemic but Covid-19 has hardly united the world around a collective response. We’ve seen world leaders focus on national self-interest rather than international collaboration. That could spell disaster for those countries least able to cope with a protracted public health crisis. HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to David Miliband, president of the international charity the International Rescue Committee and a former UK Foreign Secretary. What kind of world will emerge from this pandemic?
Luiz+Henrique+Mandetta%3A+Brazil%27s+sacked+Health+Minister+speaks+out
access_time15 days ago
While some countries are claiming success in their effort to curb Covid-19, Brazil is increasingly looking like an outlier. The rate of new infections is still increasing, the death toll is mounting, and all the while President Jair Bolsonaro focuses on easing social distancing and reopening the Brazilian economy. HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to Brazil’s former Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta who was fired by Mr Bolsonaro after a series of disagreements. Is President Bolsonaro putting his nation at risk?
US+Democratic+Senate+Candidate+Jaime+Harrison%3A+Joe+Biden+%27bringing+calm+to+the+storm+we%27re+in%27
access_time18 days ago
The Covid-19 death toll in the US has gone beyond 70,000 and scientists now expect it to go far beyond 100,000 within the next month. At the same time President Trump is doubling down on his calls for American states to relax the lockdown and get back to work. In this presidential election year dealing with the pandemic is now the dominant political issue. HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to senior Democratic party official and candidate for the US Senate Jaime Harrison. Has Covid-19 changed America’s political landscape?
Dutch+MEP+Sophie+in%27t+Veld%3A+%27decline+of+the+EU+is+possible+but+it%27s+in+our+own+hands%27
access_time22 days ago
The coronavirus pandemic has presented Europe with a massive challenge – and so far the EU’s response has been found wanting in several key respects. As the death toll has mounted and the economic damage worsened, European solidarity and coordinated action has been questioned by member states like Italy and Spain. HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to the influential Dutch MEP Sophie in 't Veld. Has Covid-19 exposed the weakness at the heart of the European project?
Liu+Xiaoming%3A+Is+China+a+victim+of+Covid+-19+or+the+source+of+the+problem%3F
access_time25 days ago
As the global effort to control Covid-19 continues so arguments about culpability for the spread of the pandemic intensify. At the centre of the story is China, where the outbreak began. Did the Chinese government’s impulse to cover up the truth cost the world dear? Or did China respond with admirable determination? Stephen Sackur speaks to the veteran Chinese Ambassador in London Liu Xiaoming. Is China the villain or the hero of this pandemic?

(Photo: Chinese Ambassador in London Liu Xiaoming. on the Andrew Marr show, 9 February, 2020. Credit: Reuters)
Jens+Stoltenberg%3A+Has+Nato+risen+to+the+challenge+of+Covid-19%3F
access_time26 days ago
The coronavirus pandemic is a multi-layered global crisis. It starts with public health, but it reaches deep into the world economy and the global security system too. Could Covid-19 fears be used for malign purposes? Will it enhance or undermine multi-lateral institutions? Stephen Sackur speaks to Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary general of Nato. Has his organisation risen to this massive challenge?

(Photo: Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary general of Nato)
Yuval+Noah+Harari%3A+Covid-19+-+a+new+regime+of+surveillance%3F
access_time29 days ago
The coronavirus pandemic has presented humanity with an almighty shock. Here we are, with our evermore interconnected, technologically-advanced societies, living in lockdown and fearful for our health and economic futures - thanks to an invisible virus. Stephen Sackur interviews Israeli historian and best-selling author Yuval Noah Harari. What 21st century lesson can we draw from the spread of COVID-19?
Brian+Cox%3A+From+poverty+to+Succession
access_time29 days ago
Brian Cox, star of the global hit HBO drama Succession, is currently in New York, the US city worst affected by the virus. His long career has taken in everything from King Lear to the ruthless, media mogul Logan Roy in the HBO drama Succession. He defied childhood poverty and tragedy to make it; where does his fierce passion for acting come from?
David+Nabarro%3A+Is+the+WHO+failing+its+greatest+test%3F
access_time1 month ago
With nation states across the world struggling to contain the coronavirus pandemic, there’s an urgent need for an internationally coordinated response. That’s where the UN agency the World Health Organisation should have a vital role to play; but right now, the WHO is at the centre of a political storm. Donald Trump has withdrawn US funding, accusing the agency of being China-centric. Stephen Sackur speaks to David Nabarro, the WHO special envoy for Covid-19. Is the organisation failing its greatest test?
Zoltan+Kovacs
access_time1 month ago
The coronavirus pandemic has prompted governments around the world to take emergency measures. Liberties have been restricted in the name of safeguarding public health, but no European nation has gone further than Hungary in the embrace of authoritarianism. In Hungary, democracy has in effect been suspended indefinitely. Stephen Sackur interviews the country’s State Secretary for International Communication, Zoltan Kovacs - has COVID-19 ushered in the EU’s first de facto dictatorship?
Ola+K%C3%A4llenius%2C+CEO+of+Daimler
access_time2 months ago
Every day, the havoc wrought by the coronavirus pandemic on public health and on the global economy, worsens. Economic activity beyond the barest of essentials has been frozen in much of the world. What on earth will the economic landscape look like when this is over? Stephen Sackur interviews Ola Källenius, the CEO of Daimler, one Europe's biggest vehicle manufacturers. What will it take to survive the greatest economic shock in most of our lifetimes?
Antonio+Guterres%3A+How+should+the+UN+fight+Covid-19%3F
access_time2 months ago
Zainab Bedawi talks to the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, who has described the Covid-19 crisis as "a threat to the whole of humanity". How can the UN help countries fight the coronavirus?
Margaret+Heffernan%3A+Is+it+time+to+embrace+uncertainty%3F
access_time2 months ago
The worldwide spread of coronavirus and its significant negative impact on the global economy represents a powerful illustration of the perils of forecasting. Countries in lockdown, financial markets in turmoil; this isn’t the way 2020 was supposed to pan out. HARDtalk's Stephen Sackur interviews acclaimed writer and businesswoman Margaret Heffernan, who has just published a book on the fallacies of forecasting.
Laurence+Boone%3A+Is+enough+being+done+to+prevent+a+recession%3F
access_time2 months ago
HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to Laurence Boone, chief economist at the global economic forum, the OECD. Leaders around the world have adopted the language of war to capture the scale of the threat posed by coronavirus. But are they deploying the right weaponry, not just to protect public health, but to prevent a worldwide economic depression? Will we get the dramatic, coordinated, emergency intervention needed to stave off economic disaster?
Eoin+%C3%93+Broin%3A+Will+Sinn+Fein+be+part+of+Ireland%27s+government%3F
access_time2 months ago
HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to Sinn Fein’s Eoin Ó Broin. Coronavirus is first and foremost a global health crisis. But its impacts go so much further. The economic damage is deep and worldwide, and political systems face profound challenges too. Ireland is a telling case study. Last month’s election left the country without a stable government. Eoin Ó Broin is a leading figure in Sinn Fein, the party that won the most votes, but failed to form a government. Does political uncertainty now make Ireland especially vulnerable?
Mufaddal+Hamadeh%3A+Is+the+world+indifferent+to+Syria%27s+sufffering%3F
access_time2 months ago
Idlib, Syria’s sole remaining rebel province is on the verge of the biggest humanitarian crisis of the 21st century". So says the UN’s top official responsible for emergency relief. Almost a million civilians have fled their homes since December. Shaun Ley interviews Dr Mufaddal Hamadeh, president of the Syrian American Medical Society. He’s been to Idlib this year, and seen for himself the carnage of war, and how hospitals and clinics which should give sanctuary have been bombed. After nine years of war, have we become indifferent to Syria’s pain?
Ian+Goldin+-+A+professor+on+globalisation+who+predicted+that+the+next+financial+crash+would+be+caused+by+a+pandemic
access_time2 months ago
The COVID19 crisis is not only a threat to people's health and wellbeing, it is already having severe financial consequences which many fear will result in a crisis of the kind we saw over a decade ago. Zeinab Badawi interviews Ian Goldin, a professor on globalisation and development, who six years ago predicted that the next financial crash would be caused by a pandemic. Will his prophesy come to pass, or can this be averted?
Congressman+Anthony+Brown%3A+Is+Joe+Biden+really+the+best+the+Democrats+can+do%3F
access_time3 months ago
The US political landscape has shifted dramatically in the last few weeks. The Democratic Party’s search for the best candidate to beat Donald Trump in November now seems likely to end with the nomination of a 77-year-old establishment politician, written off as ‘past it’ just a month ago. Is Joe Biden really the best the Democrats can do? And could the coronavirus crisis change everything?

(Photo: Democrat Congressman Anthony Brown)
William+Kentridge%3A+The+unnaturalness+of+apartheid
access_time3 months ago
Zeinab Badawi is in Johannesburg, interviewing William Kentridge. He is considered one of the world’s greatest living artists. He is versatile, hard-hitting and his talent spans many different genres. How has South Africa’s difficult, violent and racist past influenced his work?

(Photo: William Kentridge, Rome, 2015 Credit: Stefano Montesi/Corbis/Getty Images)
Gabriel+Attal%3A+Has+the+magic+worn+off+France%27s+Emmanuel+Macron%3F
access_time3 months ago
President Emmanuel Macron’s bold promise to break the political mould in France has collided with reality. His reform plans, from tax to pensions, have stirred a backlash against what protesters call his neo-liberal elitism. And as his internal problems have mounted, so too have doubts about his ability to be the EU’s visionary leader. HARDtalk's Stephen Sackur interviews Gabriel Attal, Minister for Youth and a rising star in the President’s En Marche party.
David+Tait%3A+Speaking+out+about+sexual+abuse
access_time3 months ago
David Tait appeared to have a perfect life: all the trappings of a successful and highly lucrative career in the City of London, a wife and young family. But on the inside, he was in turmoil. He suffered sexual abuse as a child, which had catastrophic consequences into his adult life. After a breakdown that nearly cost him everything, he’s dedicated himself to increasing the awareness of abuse against children, and has climbed Everest five times to raise millions for charity. Has David Tait found a way to deal with the pain of the past?
Mmusi+Maimane%3A+Can+his+new+party+become+a+force+in+South+Africa%3F
access_time3 months ago
Hardtalk is in Cape Town to speak to Mmusi Maimane, who stood down last October as leader of the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance. In his first major interview to an international broadcaster since he left the DA, Zeinab Badawi asks Mmusi Maimane what his resignation says about the state of politics in South Africa and his ambitions for the new Movement for One South Africa which he hopes will become a new political force in the country
David+Heymann
access_time3 months ago
Get ready is the message from health experts fighting COVID-19, the corona virus. At least eighty thousand people are already infected in more than forty countries and that number is expected to rise. Is the World Health Organisation moving fast enough?
Dr+Yasser+Abu+Jamei%3A+Mental+health+in+Gaza
access_time3 months ago
HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to Dr Yasser Abu Jamei, director of Gaza’s biggest mental health program. The past few days have seen rising tension in Gaza – Islamist militants fired rockets into Israel; the Israelis responded with air strikes aimed at the Islamic Jihad group. Hardly unusual and certainly not the stuff of international headlines but that in itself is telling. In Gaza conflict is the norm, so too an economic blockade that has long choked the economy. What happens to a people living with trauma and collective despair?
Alan+Dershowitz%3A+Are+the+rich+above+the+law%3F
access_time3 months ago
In the United States all citizens are equal in the eyes of the law, but having money and power helps if you need legal difficulties to disappear. HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to lawyer Alan Dershowitz. He's one of America’s most high profile and outspoken lawyers – his long list of past clients includes Claus von Bulow, OJ Simpson, Jeffrey Epstein and, yes, Donald Trump. Prof Dershowitz joined the legal team arguing for acquittal in the recent Senate impeachment trial. He’s a skilled lawyer, has he used those skills wisely?

Photo: Alan Dershowitz (Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Tarana+Burke
access_time3 months ago
Tarana Burke first coined the phrase MeToo, long before the Harvey Weinstein case. She continues to reach out to marginalised women and girls – what difference has the MeToo movement made to the bigger picture?

(Photo: Tarana Burke at New York Fashion Week. Credit: Getty Images)
Halima+Aden+-+The+refugee+supermodel+who+challenges+stereotypes
access_time3 months ago
The designer catwalk and the glossy magazine cover are powerful cultural signifiers. Top models who occupy those spaces are deemed to have a look that attracts and sells. But how diverse is that look? How inclusive? Stephen Sackur interviews Halima Aden, a supermodel who challenged a host of stereotypes. She is a refugee from Somalia’s civil war; she’s Muslim and follows a modest dress code. Hers has been an extraordinary journey to international fame and fortune; how’s it changed her?
Agnes+Callamard%3A+Investigating+the+Khashoggi+and+Soleimani+killings
access_time3 months ago
There are international laws and norms designed to prohibit states from bumping off their enemies, internal or external. But look around the world, and its clear those laws are being violated, often with impunity. Stephen Sackur interviews Agnes Callamard, a renowned human rights investigator who serves as the UN Special Rapporteur on extra judicial killing. Given the scale of the problem, have her investigations become an exercise in futility?
Paul+Krugman%3A+Nobel+Prize-winning+economist+warns+of+threat+to+America%E2%80%99s+economic+future
access_time3 months ago
Remember the time when political discourse was founded on those quaint concepts - facts, evidence, and expertise? Now it seems partisanship infects every corner of the realm of ideas, according to Paul Krugman. Stephen Sackur interviews the Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist, whose latest book suggests America’s political and economic future is threatened by zombie ideas peddled largely by America’s conservative movement. Has he become addicted to the partisan warfare he professes to despise?
UK+Trade+Union+Leader+Len+McCluskey
access_time3 months ago
Like many of Europe’s long-established parties of the left, the UK Labour Party is in big trouble. In last December’s election, Labour wasn’t just beaten - it was humiliated - losing its grip on working-class heartlands in the midlands and the North. Stephen Sackur interviews Len McCluskey, who will have a big say in the choice of the party’s next leader. He leads the Unite Union, which is Labour’s biggest financial backer. Who can save Labour from a slow death?
John+Kani%3A+Art+and+activism
access_time4 months ago
For a generation of black South African artists who came of age in the apartheid era, art and activism were intertwined; the liberation struggle was their life force. Now, a quarter of a century after Mandela became president, things are more complicated. Stephen Sackur speaks to John Kani, a giant of South African theatre. His career spans five decades of acting and writing. He’s been in Hollywood blockbusters, and is currently starring in his own West End play. What drives his artistic vision?
Ian+Blackford+-+SNP+Westminster+leader
access_time4 months ago
Ian Blackford is the Scottish Nationalist MP for a vast tract of north-west Scotland, and the leader of the SNP’s 48-strong band of Westminster MPs. He is a prominent champion of the cause of Scottish independence, a cause which represents one of the biggest challenges facing prime minister Boris Johnson over the next five years. Back in 2014, Scotland voted by 55% to 45% to remain in the UK. At the time, it was billed as a ‘once in a lifetime’ decision. But since then, Britain has left the EU – against the wishes of a clear majority in Scotland – and the SNP now argues that this material change in circumstances gives Scots the right to another vote on independence. The SNP's grip on power in Scotland is currently unassailable, so a protracted political stand off between Edinburgh and London seems inevitable. The nationalists have plenty of passion, but do they have a winning strategy?

(Photo: SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford during Prime Ministers Questions 2019. Credit: PA)
Ai+Weiwei%3A+Huawei%2C+Hong+Kong+and+being+an+artist+in+exile
access_time4 months ago
China's rise to economic superpower status has not brought with it an opening up of politics or culture. Far from it. The Communist Party has intensified its efforts to suppress dissent of all kinds. Stephen Sackur speaks to China's most internationally-famous artist, Ai Weiwei, who now lives in the UK and not Beijing. He's a refugee and a migrant of sorts, so how has that affected his creative output?
Lauri+Love%3A+The+realities+of+cyber+security
access_time4 months ago
Stephen Sackur speaks to the accused computer hacker Lauri Love. For nations, corporations and all of us as individuals, the age of the internet has heightened vulnerability. Information and data - the most valuable of all commodities - are at risk from hackers, motivated by greed or national or ideological interest. Lauri Love was, from childhood, a gifted computer geek who joined a so-called hacktivist collective. He was charged with hacking secrets from the US military, and narrowly avoided extradition. What does his case tell us about the realities of cyber security?
Jean-Claude+Juncker%3A+What%27s+next+for+the+EU+and+Britain%3F
access_time4 months ago
Britain is at an historic fork in the road - taking the UK in a new direction, and maybe Europe too. Many on both sides didn't think it would come to this, even after Britain's Brexit vote in 2016. But here we are.

HARDtalk speaks to Jean Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission through the Brexit drama. What will Brexit mean for Britain and the European project?
Patrick+Suckling%3A+Is+Australia+becoming+a+climate+pariah%3F
access_time4 months ago
Since September 2019, bush fires in Australia have consumed 10 million hectares of land – an area almost the size of England. People have died, homes have been destroyed. The annual season of fires has begun earlier and lasted longer than ever before. Many see it as evidence of climate change, though the government says it’s not as simple as that. Condemned by its Pacific neighbours for inaction, does Australia’s former Ambassador for the Environment fear his nation is becoming a climate pariah?
Mindu+Hornick%3A+Don%27t+let+the+memories+erode
access_time4 months ago
It’s 75 years since allied troops entered the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz. The very word Auschwitz still stirs a unique level of horror. It was the place where Hitler’s genocide of European Jewry was industrialised with evil precision. Stephen Sackur speaks to Mindu Hornick, one of the remaining survivors. Now 90 years old, she continues to speak of the past in the hope that we will learn from her experience. That’s her challenge to us…to listen and to draw the right lessons.
Don+Bacon%3A+Will+Republicans+regret+their+loyalty+to+Trump%3F
access_time4 months ago
Perhaps it’s misleading to describe the unfolding events in the US Senate as the ‘impeachment trial’ of Donald Trump. After all, this is a process which may well avoid witness testimony, exclude key documents, and involves jurors who drew their conclusions long ago. Nonetheless, it remains an historic moment, likely to have a major impact on US politics. HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to Republican Congressman Don Bacon. Will Republicans come to regret their unwavering loyalty to Donald J Trump?
Alexander+Blackman%3A+How+should+crimes+on+the+battlefield+be+handled%3F
access_time4 months ago
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised to take steps to protect military personnel from what he describes as vexatious legal claims. It’s a controversial stance as armed conflicts, from Northern Ireland to Iraq, have thrown up serious allegations of criminal wrongdoing by soldiers. Former Royal Marine Alexander Blackman was convicted of murder while serving in Afghanistan in 2011. He served three years in prison and, after a long legal struggle, his conviction was reduced to manslaughter. What does his case tell us about morality and accountability on the frontline?
Tony+Garnett%3A+Making+TV+with+a+radical+purpose
access_time4 months ago
The British film and TV producer Tony Garnett died last week, aged 83. In 2016 Stephen Sackur spoke to him about his life and pioneering work which began in the 1960s. The subject matter he tackled included homelessness, illegal abortion and police corruption, and uncovered dark corners in British life. But how much of his motivation came from the dark corners in his own life?
Seth+Freedman%3A+Spying+for+Harvey+Weinstein
access_time4 months ago
Who polices the shadowy world of private intelligence? HARDtalk’s Sarah Montague speaks to Seth Freedman who was an investigator for Black Cube and gathered information for its client the disgraced media mogul Harvey Weinstein. Does he regret what he did?
Douglas+Silliman%3A+What+is+Donald+Trump%27s+strategy+in+Iraq%3F
access_time4 months ago
Though the fear of imminent war has receded, the Middle East has been profoundly destabilised by the American assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. The unfolding US-Iran conflict will impact the whole region, not least Iraq, where the Iranians are intent on hastening the end of America’s military presence. Stephen Sackur interviews Douglas Silliman, former US ambassador to Iraq until a year ago. Does Trump have a strategy - and if so, what is it?
Sir+Antony+Gormley%3A+Britain%27s+most+successful+sculptor
access_time4 months ago
Stephen Sackur is at the workshop of Britain’s most successful sculptor, Sir Antony Gormley. His monumental pieces, put in prominent positions in outdoor spaces, have become some of the world’s most famous examples of public art. His inspiration is the human body, in fact, his own body. So what does his work tell us about his relationship with the world around him?
Vali+Nasr%3A+Have+strategic+realities+in+the+Middle+East+changed%3F
access_time5 months ago
Who’s gained and who’s lost after the killing of Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani? HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to Vali Nasr, US foreign policy scholar and former adviser to the US State Department. Phase one of the fallout from America’s assassination of Iran's favourite General appears to be over. Washington and Tehran are both talking tough while taking a step back from the brink of all out war. For now. What might happen next?
Ayad+Allawi%3A+What+if+the+US+pulls+out+of+Iraq%3F
access_time5 months ago
America’s targeted killing of Iran’s top general, Qasem Soleimani, has spread new fears of war across the Middle East. The key protagonists are in Washington and Tehran, but the main stage for the conflict may well be Iraq, as Soleimani was assassinated in Baghdad. Iraq is now under intense pressure to pick sides. Stephen Sackur interviews Ayad Allawi, who was the country’s vice-president twice. Does the current crisis spell disaster for Iraq?
Malcolm+Gladwell%3A+Should+we+trust+strangers%3F
access_time5 months ago
Stephen Sackur speaks to Malcolm Gladwell, the Canadian author who has been described as America’s most famous intellectual. His latest book, Talking to Strangers, challenges the assumptions we make about trust and truth. But how far can we trust Malcolm Gladwell?
Andrew+Mitchell+MP%3A+What+will+Boris+Johnson+do+next%3F
access_time5 months ago
The scale of the Conservative Party triumph in last week's UK election promises to have seismic consequences. Boris Johnson can get Brexit done on terms and a timetable of his choosing, with Parliamentary approval guaranteed. Not since Margaret Thatcher has a Tory leader had such an opportunity to remake Britain.

Hardtalk speaks to Conservative MP and former cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell. Boris Johnson has been handed immense power - what will he do with it?

(Photo: Conservative MP and former cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell)
Staffan+de+Mistura%3A+Can+the+international+community+still+stop+wars%3F
access_time5 months ago
At the end of the second decade of the 21st century, does anyone still believe in the ability of the so-called ‘international community’ to stop wars, disarm dictators and protect civilians? One can decide by looking at the scale of suffering in Syria, the renewed unrest across the Middle East and the imminent American withdrawal from Afghanistan. Stephen Sackur interviews Staffan de Mistura, who has been a UN envoy in all of those places over the last decade. Is it time to acknowledge the irrelevance of the international peacemakers?

Photo: Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura Credit: AFP via Getty Images
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