Al Jazeera in hot water during Arab Information Ministers meeting



Wed, 12 Jul 2017 - 02:14 GMT


Wed, 12 Jul 2017 - 02:14 GMT

the 48th session of the Council of Arab Information Ministers  - File photo

the 48th session of the Council of Arab Information Ministers - File photo

CAIRO – 12 July 2017: Arab Information Ministers has criticized number of the Arab media channels and outlets, especially the Qatari owned - Al Jazeera and some of the Iranian television channels saying that it all aims to destabilize the region security and stability.

During the opening of the 48th session of the Council of Arab Information Ministers held in the Arab league in Cairo, Bahraini Minister of Information Affairs Ali bin Mohammed al-Rumaihi said during his speech that Qatar is taking the terrorism side in a regular base, and that it is not following any of the media ethics.

“They are insisting on broadcasting roamers and lies. The Arab security demands us to be firm regarding what is broadcasted in our channels, there is no such a thing called ultimate freedom in anywhere around the world.” Rumaihi said, adding that “Al Jazeera made no exceptions. They insulted everyone, the Arab armies, countries and even the Arab league. This is not freedom.”

Saudi information Minister Awad Al Awad said in his speech that the Arab countries efforts confronting terrorism could never succeed with the existence of some media outlets who adopt and support the opposite approach. “Qatar is claiming that Al Jazeera is a ‘free channel’ that defends freedoms and rights; however it never criticized one Qatari governmental decision, they only interfere in other countries internal affairs and attack them, their governments and polices,” he added.

From his side, Makram Mohammed Ahmed, Chairman of the Egyptian Supreme Council for Media Regulation said that he considers Qatar and terrorist entities as “two sides of the same coin.” He expected that the Qatari – Gulf diplomatic crises is not going to end soon. “Political and economic sanctions against Qatar are expected to be raised with its stubbornness regarding supporting terrorism,” he added.

“We suffered too much from terrorism and the countries that back it, so we can’t allow other Arab countries to support and fund it,” Makram said
According to presidency statement, the Arab Information Ministers met earlier with President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi who stressed on the importance of media, and the important role it plays forming the world’s awareness, especially during this very critic period that the Arab region is facing.

Qatar’s relations with several Arab and Gulf states have been strained since May 24, when the Qatari state-run news agency reported Sheikh Tamim bin Hammad Al-Thani’s statements regarding Gulf foreign policy with Iran as “unwise.”

On June 5, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Libya and Yemen decided to cut all diplomatic ties with Qatar, hurling allegations that the state supports terrorism. Ports and airspace were cut off to Qatari vessels.

On June 6, Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Ahmad Al-Sabah started a tour that included Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar in an attempt to mediate between the three countries.
A list of 13-demands was given to Doha’s government by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain for reconciliation which includes the closing of Al Jazeera broadcasting; however, Qatar’s response was described as “negative” by the four countries’ foreign ministers in a joint statement released after holding a summit in Cairo July 5.

Friday July 7, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain said in another joint statement that the ultimatum that had been given to Qatar is now void, leading to further legal, political and economic measures against the government of Qatar.

“The Qatari government has purposely thwarted all diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis and has rejected any settlements, reflecting its intention to continue with its destabilizing policies against the interests of the Qatari people,” the Arab quartet said in the statement.

They also condemned Qatar’s “lack of tact and respect” towards the Kuwaiti mediation, as it leaked the list of demands in an attempt to condemn the initiative to failure.



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