Proposals for an Arabic service, announced in October, are almost certain to come under the spotlight when The House of Lords select committee meets on Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss the World Service.
World Service director Nigel Chapman has been asked to attend on Tuesday, along with Richard Sambrook, director of the Global News Division. The following day the committee will hear from Mostefa Souag, editor-in-chief of the UK Bureau of al-Jazeera.
Also due to give evidence is Ian Richardson, former managing editor of BBC Arabic Television News - the BBC's previous venture in the region which failed after editorial clashes with its Saudi Arabian backers.
The World Service, which is funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to the tune of£239m a year, ran into controversy when it committed to launching a£19m-a-year Arabic language channel at the same time as closing 10 foreign language services.