Al Jazeera pulling out of Saudi Arabia?
BBC Monitoring has published a report, sourced from the Saudi Gazette, stating that Al Jazeera’s editorial office and facility in Saudi Arabia is to be closed.
The report says: “A local source at the channel said the decision to close down the Qatari satellite channel provider would be implemented within the next few days. The official said all the Saudi writers have been prevented from working for Qatari media.”
The report adds that the Saudi move is in response to a directive from the Kingdom’s Ministry of Culture and Information, and which asked for and Saudi journalists working for Qatari newspapers and news sources to “quit their jobs immediately”. The ruling also applies to those working for audio-visual and electronic media in Qatar.
Relations between Al Jazeera and Saudi Arabia have been strained for some time, but in recent weeks those tensions have risen as a result of political problems between Qatar and the other Gulf states.
Such a pull-out, if it happens, would not affect Al Jazeera’s satellite transmissions over the region.