Sheikh Hamad Bin Thamer Al Thani, chairman of the board of directors of the Aljazeera Satellite Network, announced Khanfar's appointment on Thursday.

The step was described by the network as designed "to promote the institutional structure of the network and improve integration."

The Aljazeera Satellite Network is made up of a number of channels and websites, including the existing Arabic language channel, sports and documentary channels, the Arabic and English news websites, and the soon-to-be-launched English language Aljazeera International channel.

In an interview to Aljazeera.net on Friday after his appointment to the new post, Khanfar denied allegations that the launch of Aljazeera International was directed at allaying supposed US pressure on the network in the form of an English-language television channel with a "softer" editorial line.

Khanfar has said the launch of the new channel is a natural progression of the network's increasingly global reach and technological growth.

The network would seek to contribute to the global information revolution, and to play a pioneering role in the developing world in addition to the Arab world, he added.

Khanfar will continue in his post of managing director of the Aljazeera Arabic channel, a post to which he was assigned in October 2003.