Inside Story

What’s behind the demand to shut down Al Jazeera?

The Saudi-led group appears to be backing down on its demand to shut down Al Jazeera.

The Saudi-led group that has imposed a political and economic blockade on Qatar appears to be backing down from its demand to shut down Al Jazeera Media Network.

It has been more than 40 days since Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut off ties with Qatar.

Noura Al Kaabi, the UAE minister for the federal national council, said the Emirates sought “fundamental change and restructuring” of Al Jazeera rather than to shut it.

Al Jazeera calls it another attempt to “throttle” its independence and rejects any external intervention in its work.

But what does this apparent concession mean for the larger dispute that has entered its second month?

Presenter: Richelle Carey


Catherine Philp – Diplomatic correspondent of the Times of London

Andreas Krieg – Assistant professor of Defence Studies Department at King’s College London

Barbara Trionfi – Executive director of International Press Institute