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Saudi Arabia closes Qatar TV offices Al-JazeeraSource: Reuters
Logo of the Qatar Al-Jazeera channel

Saudi Arabia has closed the offices of the Qatari TV station Al Jazeera, a few hours after the breakup by the kingdom and four allies of their ties with Qatar, according to the official agency Spa.

“The Ministry of Information has closed the offices of Al Jazeera and has withdrawn its license,” the Saudi press agency said on 5 June in the afternoon. The decision comes as Riyad earlier announced on the same day that it was breaking diplomatic relations with Doha .

Founded 20 years ago by Doha, the Al-Jazeera television station, which is broadcast all over the world and broadcast in several languages, is regularly criticized for its controversial editorial line. It is a sounding board for the Arab Spring, and is subject to a suspicion of complacency with regard to Islamism, despite its rapid development – it now has nearly 80 offices worldwide.

In 2014, Egypt sentenced three of its journalists to heavy prison sentences for producing false information in support of the supporters of President Mohamed Morsi – the Muslim Brotherhood, backed by Qatar. In April 2016, the Iraqi authorities also closed the Al-Jazeera office in Baghdad. They accused the chain of covering the advances of the Islamic state with a certain benevolence, as well as being hostile to the majority Shiite of the country.

In the past, the channel had already been in trouble with the Arab regimes, which it irritated by its coverage, often considered impertinent or oriented, and Washington had presented it as a spokesman for extremist groups. Especially since the former leader of Al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, reserved for him the bulk of his messages.

On 5 June, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Barhein, and the United Arab Emirates all announced that they were breaking diplomatic relations with Qatar, including suspicions of support for Islamist movements practicing terrorism.