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BBC signs news-sharing agreement with Al Jazeera

LONDON - The BBC and Al Jazeera have signed a newsgathering agreement that will see the two broadcasters share material and on-the-ground facilities.

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Al Jazeera, the Qatar-based news network that broadcasts in Arabic, has made its name with exclusive recordings and footage of Osama bin Laden in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

It is now attempting to capitalise on the growing interest in Middle Eastern affairs -- especially with the threat of a second Gulf war -- by stepping up its global presence.

Adrian van Klaveren, head of newsgathering at BBC News, said: "Al Jazeera has established itself as a major international broadcaster. By working alongside it in our newsgathering activities, we will be able to provide more comprehensive service to the BBC's audiences in both the UK and around the world."

The agreement could see the BBC given access to Al Jazeera's uplink in Kabul, and other locations where it has equipment.

The BBC has similar agreements with other news organisations, including ABC in the US and NHK in Japan.

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