Huffington Post shuts down its Arabic services

No reason given for sudden closure three years after launch

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 17:  A printout of the Huffington Post's online front page lies on the table during a meeting in the Huffington Post 'News Room' at Kensington Palace on February 17, 2016 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge is supporting the launch of the Huffington Post UK's initiative 'Young Minds Matter' by guest editing the Huffington Post UK today from Kensington Palace.  (Photo by Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
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Huffington Post has closed its Arabic edition after three years of operation.

It said HuffPost Arabi "will no longer be publishing content as of March 30", but gave no reasons for the termination.

“This was a mutual decision by HuffPost and our partners, Integral Media Strategies, as both organisations continue to reassess and evaluate how and where each can best serve audiences in the region,” said Louise Roug, HuffPost’s international director.

Wadah Khanfar, the head of HuffPost Arabi, has already announced the launch of a platform led by Integral Media called Arabi Post, an online publication that resembles HuffPost Arabi's editorial line.

Before joining HuffPost Arabi, Mr Khanfar headed the Qatari news channel Al Jazeera, which is accused by the quartet of countries boycotting Doha of providing a platform for extremist groups including the Muslim Brotherhood.

HuffPost Arabi was blocked in Egypt, a member of the quartet along with Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain.

The Huffington Post's French-language Maghreb edition, which covers Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria, will continue operating, Ms Roug said.

"We believe we can continue to best serve readers there through our global newsroom, the Opinion vertical and our Maghreb edition," she said.


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