Deutsche Welle denies media allegations of 'hostility' against Egypt

Ahram Online , Thursday 23 Mar 2017

German public international broadcaster Deutsche Welle has denied allegations by some Egyptian media outlets that the company is "hostile" against Egypt.

Several Egyptian media outlets have accused Deutsche Welle of disproportionately giving voice to opposition views within Egypt, as well as overhyping "negative" news stories in the country.

In response, Deutsche Welle's director-general Peter Limbourg said in a statement on Wednesday that "Deutsche Welle is proud of its reputation in the Arab world for presenting balanced news coverage and allowing both the government and opposition representatives alike to express their views."

Earlier this week, prominent Egyptian TV anchor Ahmed Moussa accused the board members of the company's Arabic arm of belonging to the banned Muslim Brotherhood or supporting Gaza's Hamas and Lebanon's Hezbollah – which authorities accuse of training Egyptian Islamists and carrying out militant attacks in the country.

Moussa, known for his close ties with the Egyptian regime and staunch opposition to the 2011 popular uprising, accused the channel of allocating 250 million euros to impose influence on Egyptian media organisations.

Limbourg said in his statement that "this is not true. The total 2017 budget of all the foundation's sectors amounted to 326 million euros allocated for financing [content in] 30 languages as well as four television channels."

Egyptian newspaper Youm 7 published a report earlier this week accusing Deutsche Welle of using "Nazi tactics" of "spreading strife" within countries targeted for future attack.

Limbourg slammed this Nazi analogy as "stupid" and "absurd."

"Deutsche Welle operates independently and enjoys great credibility worldwide. Our Arabic section works for its readers and viewers in Egypt and is certainly not [operating] against this country. "

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