×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Demand for Al Jazeera Closure Dropped by Arab Nations That Cut Ties With Qatar

ROME – Demands that Al Jazeera be shuttered have been dropped by the four Arab nations engaged in a deep diplomatic dispute with Qatar, the home base of the pan-Arabic news network.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain, which broke off diplomatic ties with Qatar in early June, said Wednesday that they had revised the initial list of 13 demands they presented to Qatar in order to mend the rift. Among the dropped demands is the one concerning the closure of Al Jazeera, the most-watched news outlet in the Arab world, the Associated Press reported.

The four Arab nations had cut ties with Qatar accusing it of supporting Islamic terrorists and Iran. Qatar denies the allegations and has resisted its neighbors’ demands.

Speaking Wednesday at a news conference in New York, diplomats from the four countries urged Qatar to commit to six principles on fighting extremism and terrorism but refrained from mentioning any specific measures in what is widely considered a much softer stance and a diplomatic overture aimed at solving the standoff.

U.S. President Donald Trump has sided with Saudi Arabia and the UAE in the dispute, but Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson has reportedly been trying to mend fences.

“Al Jazeera Media Network rejects any external intervention pertaining to its  journalistic mission, or any other demand, and reiterates its independence and professional editorial stance,” the broadcaster said on Wednesday in a statement commenting the dropped demand.

“It’s clear that recent attempts by governments in the region and elsewhere to throttle the independence of the media are being met by condemnation by all leading international media institutions, with an urgent demand for an end to interference, intimidation, and threats,” the statement went on to note.

“Our obligation is to our loyal global audience and we assure to them, that we will continue to serve them with integrity and impartiality and  refuse to take orders from governments or anyone else pertaining to our editorial independence and the Network’s operation,” it said.

The diplomatic dispute in June caused Saudi Arabia to immediately shut down Al Jazeera’s bureau in Riyadh, revoking its broadcasting licence.

The Qatar-based satellite news network was subsequently banned in several neighboring countries, including the UAE, which also blacked out the sports channels of Al Jazeera’s closely affiliated beIN Media Group. This resulted in sports fans in the UAE being deprived of most premium content including soccer, NBA basketball and Formula One races.

It remains to be seen whether Al Jazeera and beIN will go back on air in the countries where their services have been pulled.

More TV

  • TV News Roundup: HBO Releases 'The

    TV News Roundup: HBO Drops Trailer for 'The Case Against Adnan Syed' (Watch)

    In today’s TV news roundup, HBO released the first official trailer for its upcoming docu-series “The Case Against Adnan Syed,” and Freeform announced three new cast members for its upcoming comedy series “Besties,” starring Jordin Sparks. DATES Netflix’s upcoming docu-series “Formula 1: Drive to Survive” is set to premiere March 8 on the streaming platform. [...]

  • Rory O'Malley A Legacy of Changing

    NBC Pilot 'Like Magic' Adds 'Hamilton's' Rory O'Malley

    Rory O’Malley, best known for his turn as King George in the Broadway run of “Hamilton” as well as the show’s first national tour, has been cast in the upcoming NBC single-camera comedy pilot “Like Magic.” He will play Michael V., the quieter partner in a two-man magic team with a character named Michael B. [...]

  • Zach Woods

    'Silicon Valley' Star Zach Woods Joins HBO Comedy Pilot 'Avenue 5'

    Zach Woods is staying in the HBO fold. The actor, who currently stars in the HBO comedy series “Silicon Valley,” has been cast in the comedy pilot “Avenue 5” currently in the works at the premium cabler. The project is described as a comedy set in the future, mostly in space. Woods will play Matt [...]

  • Jussie Smollett suspect

    Jussie Smollett Named a Suspect by Chicago Police for Filing False Report

    Chicago police have named “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett as a suspect in a criminal investigation, three weeks after he reported he was the victim of a hate crime. Detectives are presenting evidence to a grand jury, which is expected to determine whether to indict Smollett on a charge of filing a false police report. “Jussie [...]

  • Dua Lipa, Calvin Harris, the 1975

    Dua Lipa, Calvin Harris, the 1975 Win Big at Brit Awards

    Dua Lipa, Calvin Harris and the 1975 were big winners at Wednesday night’s Brit Awards, taking home the Best British Single (for Harris and Lipa’s “One Kiss”), Album of the Year (for The 1975’s “Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships”) as well as Best British Group (the 1975). While the show, livestreamed from London’s O2 Arena, [...]

  • SAG-AFTRA, Ad Industry Launching Contract Negotiations

    SAG-AFTRA, Ad Industry Quietly Launch Contract Negotiations

    SAG-AFTRA and the advertising industry are quietly launching commercial contract talks on Wednesday, six weeks before the current master contract expires on March 31. Both sides have declined to comment on the talks, which will take place in New York City, and have already agreed to a news blackout until there’s a deal in place. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content