Euronews launches in Arabic

MUMBAI: Euronews, which covers world affairs from a European perspective, has started broadcasting in its eighth language, Arabic, from 12 July. The other languages of broadcast are: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian.

Euronews Arabic will use the existing distribution network globally. The channel has been carried on two new satellites of the Arabsat fleet, since 1 July, via digital transmission to extend its reach to a potential audience of nearly 32 million households in the Middle East, says a company release.

Euronews claims that with these two satellites, the channel is now available in 248 million households in 135 countries worldwide.

For the new channel, Euronews has recruited a 17-member team of Arabic-speaking journalists. The team is headed by Mohamed Abdel Azim, who participated in the original launch of Euronews in 1993, and is made up of journalists from eight different countries: Algeria (6), Bahrain (1), Egypt(1 + the head of the Arabic team), Lebanon (3), Morocco (1), Palestinian territories (1), Syria (1) and Tunisia (2).

"We must build an intellectual and cultural bridge over the Mediterranean; a bridge founded on mutual understanding and shared values. Increased cooperation in the Euro-Mediterranean region is of vital and strategic importance for all partners in political, economic and cultural terms. Euronews in Arabic will contribute to the exchange of cultures between the European Union and the peoples of other parts of the world, in particular from the other side of the Mediterranean and the Middle East," said European Parliament president Hans-Gert Pöttering.

Adding further, Euronews chairman and CEO Philippe Cayla said, "Our Arabic version will help Arabic-speakers to better understand the framework and issues around European policies. Euronews Arabic will also enhance the channel’s position as an international reference for global news.”

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