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Al Jazeera issue: UAE minister demands regularization rather than closure, management rejects conditions

--Courtesy "gulf-times"

Qatar: A condition imposed by Saudi Arabia and its allies to close down Al Jazeera has been withdrawn. It was disclosed by UAE Minister.

It may be mentioned that Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt had imposed a political and economic blockade on Qatar on 5th June. They had handed over a list of 13-point demands which included the closure of Al Jazeera Media Network.

However, on Wednesday, UAE Minister for Federal National Council, Noura Al-Kaabi in an interview published in The Times newspaper, said that Emirates want fundamental change and restructuring of Al Jazeera instead of shutting it down completely.

She said that Qatar can fund the TV channel but not the one which promotes extremist activities. She informed that the Saudi and its allies are prepared to negotiate with Qatar.

It may be mentioned that the group had earlier termed the list of demands as “non-negotiable” but now there seems to be a change in their stand.

Meanwhile, responding to her statement, the management of Al Jazeera Media Network rejected any intervention from outside agencies. It said that it wants to maintain its independence and professional editorial stance.

It further said that Al Jazeera would continue to stand by the journalists and media worldwide for the protection of their rights to report fearlessly and frankly without the fear or intimidation. The management of Al Jazeera reiterated that for the past 20 years, it did not bow down to any pressure.

Journalists, Human Rights Advocates and others throughout the world condemned the demand of Saudi and its allies to close down Al Jazeera.

According to Al Jazeera, Head of the Middle East and North Africa Desk at Reporters Without Borders, Alexandra El Khazen said, “We are really worried about the implication and consequences of such requirements if they will ever be implemented”.