Al Arabiya TV closes Beirut office amid Saudi tensions with Lebanon

Saudi Arabia has already cut $3 billion in military aid to Lebanon after the Lebanese government failed to condemn an attack on the Saudi embassy in Tehran in January.

By REUTERS
April 1, 2016 14:32
1 minute read.
Nasrallah speaking

Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah addresses his supporters through a giant screen during a rally commemorating the annual Hezbollah Martyrs' Leader Day in Beirut's southern suburbs, Lebanon February 16, 2016. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

 The Saudi-owned television news channel Al Arabiya has shut its offices in Lebanon and dismissed 27 employees, two of its journalists said on Friday, in a sudden move that comes amid political tensions between Riyadh and Beirut.

Saudi Arabia has already cut $3 billion in military aid to Lebanon after the Lebanese government failed to condemn an attack on the Saudi embassy in Tehran in January.


Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The Sunni Gulf monarchy interpreted Lebanon's lack of public solidarity as a sign that it had become beholden to the Lebanese Shi'ite group Hezbollah, which is backed by Saudi Arabia's main regional ally Iran.


"We were informed that the offices have been shut and that 27 employees have been fired," one Al Arabiya journalist said.


A statement from the channel confirmed that its Beirut office had been shut, describing the move as a restructuring brought about by "challenges on the ground" and citing its concern for the safety of its employees.


Lebanon's Minister of Information Ramzi Greige dismissed the suggestion of security concerns, however.


"Of course there are no security grounds for closing the Al Arabiya office in Beirut. There may be political reasons for taking this step, but I don't know until I seek clarification from them," Greige told Reuters.




Al Arabiya, one of the main Arabic language broadcasters in the Middle East, is part of the Saudi-owned Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC).

Related Content

August 19, 2018
Report: U.S. forces to stay in Iraq 'as long as needed'

By REUTERS