Doha-based Al Jazeera will stick to a policy of editorial independence amid a regional diplomatic crisis that has isolated Qatar, the news network’s acting director-general said on Thursday. Mostefa Souag dismissed accusations from some Gulf powers that the network was interfering in their affairs through its reports. “Al Jazeera’s editorial policy is going to continue the same regardless of what happens with this event,” Souag told Reuters at the network’s headquarters. He described the network’s policy as independent and professional.
Saudi Arabia had shut the local office of Qatar’s Al Jazeera on Monday after the Gulf states severed ties with the emirate. “The Ministry of Information closed the office of the Al-Jazeera channel and withdrew the licence it was granted,” the official Saudi Press Agency reported. Earlier on Monday, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) suspended ties with Qatar after accusing the nation of supporting ‘terrorism’ and Islamic groups.
Reporters Without Borders on Wednesday said Al-Jazeera was a “collateral victim of (the) diplomatic offensive against Qatar,” slamming Riyadh’s decision to close Al-Jazeera’s office and revoke its operating licence.
(With inputs from Reuters)