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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia Today Plans Arabic Edition

Russia Today, a 24-hour English-language satellite news channel, is planning to launch an Arabic-language service by the end of the year, general director Sergei Frolov said Friday.

The station has hired Akram Khuzam, former Moscow bureau chief for the Al-Jazeera satellite channel, to head the service. Khuzam was in charge of the bureau from its opening in 1996 until September 2005, when he left amid calls for his dismissal from Islamic Committee of Russia head Geidar Zhemal, who claimed Khuzam had insulted Muslims.

Khuzam, reached by telephone, confirmed he had been hired by Russia Today but declined to elaborate.

A spokeswoman for the channel said discussions were also under way about a Spanish-language version.

Russia Today, a Kremlin-funded project aimed at promoting Russia abroad, went on the air in December.