×

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

  • Another-Life-Netflix

    TV Review: 'Another Life'

    Netflix’s new series “Another Life” brings Katee Sackhoff back into space, a decade after the conclusion of “Battlestar Galactica,” the beloved series on which she starred. But her new series looks more like the rest of the fare on the SyFy network — it’s inelegantly made and operates less in the realm of ideas than [...]

  • Vince McMahon WWE

    Vince McMahon Out of Excuses for WWE Woes

    When World Wrestling Entertainment reported its sluggish first-quarter performance in April, CEO Vince McMahon blamed it on “superstar absences,” the temporary sidelining of many of his star grapplers due to injuries accumulated in 2018 and early 2019. But now that WWE is on the verge of releasing its second-quarter numbers on July 25, McMahon is [...]

  • How Cooking-Travel Shows Are Changing TV

    How Cooking-Travel Shows Are Changing TV

    Toyo hunches over his street food stove, cooking tuna with a blow torch, stopping to light his cigarette with it and produce a cheeky grin. The Japanese chef, who owns a roadside stand in the city of Osaka, is one of many highlighted in the Netflix series “Street Food.” Over the course of 30 minutes, [...]

  • SAG-AFTRA HQ

    SAG-AFTRA Leaders Approve Proposal for New Film-TV Contract

    The SAG-AFTRA national board has approved proposals for a successor deal to its master contract covering feature film and primetime television — a key step in the upcoming negotiations cycle with companies. The board approved the package Saturday with the performers union declining to reveal any specifics — its usual policy. The board established the wages [...]

  • Shannen Doherty'Jennie Garth: A Little Bit

    Shannen Doherty Joins 'Riverdale' Season 4 in Luke Perry Tribute

    “Riverdale” is planning to make a special tribute to Luke Perry. The show’s executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa announced at Comic-Con that Shannen Doherty, Perry’s longtime friend and “Beverly Hills 90210” co-star, will guest star in the season 4 premiere. The tribute episode will “reflect Perry’s enduring legacy and the indelible imprint his character” Fred Andrews [...]

  • Supernatural CW

    'Supernatural' Team Gets Emotional Final Season Sendoff at Comic-Con

    The cast and creative team of “Supernatural” bid a fond farewell to the attendees of San Diego Comic-Con on Sunday. At the show’s final panel in the gargantuan Hall H, the team thanked the fans for all of their support over the years as the series prepares to enter its final season. “I’m trying not [...]

  • Alicia Rodis photographed by Alicia Rodis

    SAG-AFTRA Moves to Standardize Guidelines for Intimacy Coordinators

    SAG-AFTRA is moving to standardize guidelines for intimacy coordinators as part of an effort to establish policies for union members when their work involves nudity and simulated sex. “Our goal is to normalize and promote the use of intimacy coordinators within our industry,” said SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris. “Intimacy coordinators provide an important safety net for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content