UAE lifts ban on Qatari sports broadcaster

Telecoms operator Etisalat says the provision of the beIN Sports package will be subject to 'ongoing review'
By Staff writer
Sat 22 Jul 2017 06:45 PM

The UAE on Saturday lifted the ban on Qatar-based broadcaster beIN Sports, just hours after Qatar's emir said he was open to talks to resolve the ongoing Gulf crisis.

UAE-based telecoms operator Etisalat sent out a SMS to customers saying that the beIN ban was overturned with immediate effect.

It added that the provision of the beIN package would be subject to an "ongoing review".

The SMS read, in full: "Dear customer, we would like to advise that starting 22 July the beIN package will be available to customers and normal charges will apply. The provision of the beIN package will be subject to an ongoing review."

UAE authorities said in June that any shop found selling or renewing subscriptions for the sports network will be fined.

The move came a day after Saudi Arabia also called time out on new subscriptions to the satellite television network, a major broadcaster of international football across the region.

The measure was one of a number taken against Qatar, after the Gulf kingdom and its allies cut diplomatic ties with Doha.

Bahrain, which has also severed diplomatic ties with Qatar, took similar measures against the broadcaster. It is not known if Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have also lifted their bans.

beIn Sports is a subsidiary of the Al-Jazeera global news network.

Qatar's ruler said Friday that the Gulf emirate is ready for talks to resolve a diplomatic crisis with a Saudi-led bloc so long as his country's sovereignty is respected.

"We are open to dialogue to resolve the outstanding problems," so long as Qatar's "sovereignty is respected," Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani said in his first public comments since Saudi Arabia and its allies severed ties with the gas-rich emirate.

"Any settlement of the crisis must be based on two principles," he said in a televised speech.

On June 5, Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt cut ties with Qatar accusing it of backing extremism and fostering ties with their Shiite rival Iran. Doha denies the claim.

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