France 24 has issued a stout defence of its operations following the statement from the French President Nicolas Sarkozy that French international broadcasting should be in the French language alone. It says that while the channel is not against integration with RFI and TV5, it opposes the abandonment of the project the created the channel, with the purpose of providing a French perspective on international events.
“The elected representative body of France 24, the French international news channel, wish to hereby state in the firmest and most unequivocal manner their opposition to the French President’s project to close down the English and Arabic channels of France 24. We fully protest his plans of replacing France 24 with a French-speaking-only channel. This is in total contradiction with the agenda set by the President himself on the matter,” the channel said in a statement.
Underlining the international nature of its broadcast the statement was issued in French, English and Arabic, the three languages used by the year old news channel.
The statement goes onto say that France 24 has become the leading news channel in many African countries and has the most internationally visited website of the TV news providers.