Closure of Geo, ARY coherent with foreign policy of UAE: MRA

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Dubai, Nov 18 (UNI) The closure of Dubai-based Pakistani TV channels Geo News and ARY OneWorld is in view of keeping with the country's ''neutral foreign policy'', UAE media regulatory authority has said.

Commenting on the closure of the TV channels by Dubai Media City, Director-General of National Media Council, Ibrahim Al Abed, yesterday said neutrality has been a key principle of UAE's foreign policy.

The UAE has been an advocate of international law and an active contributor to peace and stability in the region, he said, adding, ''In the light of the current sensitive state of affairs in Pakistan, the UAE can only assume its responsibility and maintain its neutrality.'' Executive Director of Dubai Media City, Amina Al Rostamani, said, ''As an entity within the UAE, Dubai Media City would also observe the broadcast principles of the country's foreign policy and prevent the telecast of news and material that would undermine those principles'', Gulf news reported.

Emphasising that Geo TV and ARY Digital had been respected business partners in Dubai Media City for several years, she pointed out that, ''We are in discussion with them with regard to the telecast of their news components and we are confident we will resolve this matter in the best way possible to protect their interests and those of the UAE.'' Geo TV and ARY One World were forced to close down altogether after being ordered to halt transmissions via the United Arab Emirates.

Both the channels have offices and studios in Dubai Media City, from where they broadcast news.

Geo TV's web site said the channel was shut down ''after President Pervez Musharraf put tremendous pressure to silence a media outlet, which had refused to bow down to his dictates''.

UNI

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