Libya Recalls Ambassador from Qatar over TV Program
Libyan leadership has decided to recall the head of its diplomatic mission in Doha following criticism of the North African Arab country in a popular program on satellite TV channel Al-Jazira, a Qatari newspaper said Monday.
Al-Raya daily said that Mabruk Maadani, head of the Libyan Brotherhood Office in Doha, the name Libya gives to its embassies in the Arab world, was to return to Tripoli for consultations on Tuesday despite Qatari efforts to reverse the decision.
The Qatari foreign ministry and the Libyan "people's bureau", contacted by AFP, both declined to comment on the report.
Participants in the Al-Jazira’s “Opposite Direction” program debated last week ministerial changes in Libya criticizing Tripoli’s “People's Committees” as a mere decoration needed for President Moamer Kadhafi. They claimed the leader solely runs the show in his country with marginal role left for the committees.
Al-Raya added that Maadani did not attend an official banquet held Saturday by Emir of Qatar Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, in honor of visiting Oman’s Sultan Qaboos bin Saeed.
Al-Jazira, launched in November 1996, has gained huge popularity among viewers in the Arab world, while annoying many governments for tackling political, social and sometimes sexual issues, previously regarded as taboos.
Kuwait banned Al-Jazira for a month in mid-1999 after an Iraqi viewer insulted the Kuwaiti emir on the air, while Jordan reopened the channel's office in Amman in March 1999 after a four-month closure for criticizing the kingdom – Albawaba.com
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