By Larbi Arbaoui
By Larbi Arbaoui
Morocco World News
Taroudant, Nov 3, 2012
Al Jazeera is believed to reopen its office in Morocco, which was closed by a government decision on October 29, 2008.
The office will resume its coverage of news in the Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Mauritania).
According to Moroccan media sources, Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassem bin Mohamed Al Thani, director of Al-Jazeera, who is part of the ruling family in Qatar, has sent a letter in this regard to Mustapha El Khalfi, the minister of communication and government spokesman.
The director of Al-Jazeera confirmed in a statement to the Moroccan daily “ Assabah” that negotiations are underway with the Moroccan authorities for the reopening of the Al Jazeera office in Rabat, ,adding that it depends on the answers to some questions and how these will be addressed by the Qatari channel.
During his speech at the opening of the regional seminar of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization «ISESCO», organized in the headquarters of the organization on Monday, Oct 22, 2012, Mustapha El Khalfi stated that it is time for the development of the profession in terms of competencies and means, as stipulated in the recent constitutional revision.
This past October 29th marked four years for the ban of the Qatari channel in Morocco.
The ban was due to the Network’s alleged dissemination of false information regarding clashes between security forces and demonstrators in the southern port of Sidi Ifni. Demonstrators were voicing their grievances over the lack of job opportunities and rising unemployment especially among the youth.
According to the then Moroccan Communications Minister Khaled Naciri, the editorial policy of the Doha-based channel was perceived as “biased and unfair” toward Moroccan national issues.
“Al Jazeera network breached the legal boundaries within which foreign media conduct their work when covering stories, notably those that deal with Morocco’s number one issue, the Sahara, by favoring one side over the other,” Naciri told reporters after the closure of Al Jazeera office in Rabat, in an implicit indication that the network was siding with the Polisario Front.