BBC's Bowen returns to prepare for Gulf War

The BBC has confirmed plans to send extra foreign correspondents to key bureaux, as the US and Britain prepare for war with Iraq.

The reinforcements, as yet unnamed, will be posted to Washington and Jerusalem. Reporters will also be stationed with British soldiers in Kuwait.

The moves coincide with the return of Jeremy Bowen, veteran BBC News foreign correspondent turned breakfast show presenter, to the field.

Bowen will work as a roving reporter, after a two-year spell as co-presenter of the BBC1 Breakfast show with Sophie Raworth, and work on a book about the Middle East due out next month.

A BBC News spokeswoman said details of his duties and locations had still be worked out. Bowen’s return as a foreign correspondent follows reports that BBC world affairs editor John Simpson will not be going to Iraq.

Meanwhile. Sky News has also reshuffled some overseas reporters in the run up to war. Sky News’s Washington correspondent, Emma Hurd, will swap places with the channel’s Middle East reporter, Andrew Wilson, later on in the year, after two years at their current postings.

Hurd, who moved from London to Washington in February 2001 has also covered stories in Pakistan, El Salvador, Kosovo and Macedonia.

Having “come to the end of her tour of duty,” Hurd will be re-assigned to Jerusalem, possibly in June, according to a Sky News spokeswoman. She leaves fellow US correspondent Ian Woods in Washington.

Wilson has been posted in Jerusalem for two years, after moving from Moscow in January 2001.

By Wale Azeez

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