Al-Jazeera chief calls for global editorial ‘code of conduct’ amidst deepening Gulf Crisis

Al-Jazeera chief calls for global editorial ‘code of conduct’ amidst deepening Gulf Crisis

Al-Jazeera’s Arabic language chief Yaser Abuhilala has called on the broadcaster to enter into a discussion about its editorial policy amidst a deepening political crisis in the region between Qatar and rival Gulf states.

Vowing to remain a professional and independent voice in the Arab world ‘until the very last moment’ Abuhilala appeared to acknowledge that the broadcaster could be taken off-air if a resolution to the impasse cannot be found.

Speaking to the Guardian, Abuhilala said: “I think that Qatar, in the last 20 years, has paid a high price for Al-Jazeera not just founding and funding it but a political cost. Qatar has always been a target because of Al-Jazeera. As an Arab viewer first of all and as one of the employees of Al-Jazeera I am indebted to Qatar because it has paid this price in the service of its Arab viewers.

“I am calling for a discussion with Al-Jazeera, I call for Al-Jazeera to be held accountable and all other media. We need, on a world-wide scale, a code of conduct and reference for a lot of cases, among them terrorism.

“We, as Al-Jazeera employees, will continue to work with professionalism, until the very last moment. I am optimistic that we will overcome this crisis as we overcame previous crises and I think the world will not allow this interruption or this backwardness.”

Bahrain, Egypt,Saudi Arabia and the UAE accuse Qatar of supporting terrorism, something the oil-rich kingdom strenuously denies.

Al-Jazeera was forced to close down its US operations last year after struggling to gain audience share.

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