Emirati Prince Reportedly Flees to Qatar, Accuses UAE Government of Blackmail

Qatar found itself isolated from most of its neighbors in 2017 after the latter accused Doha of funding terrorism and being on good terms with Iran, despite its rejection of the accusations.

Emirati Prince Sheikh Rashid bin Hamad al-Sharqi, 31, is seeking asylum in Qatar out of fear for his life, The New York Times has reported. According to the newspaper, the prince, who is the second son of the Emir of Fujairah, arrived in Doha on May 16 out of fear that his dispute with UAE leaders might pose a grave threat to him. Similar reports on the prince’s escape to Qatar were previously published by The Telegraph in June, 2018.

When speaking about the essence of the dispute with The New York Times, he accused the UAE elites of blackmail and money laundering, although he failed to provide any details or evidence of these accusations. He also revealed to the newspaper that the governing class of the country is conflicted about sending troops to Yemen as part of a commitment to the Saudi-led coalition. According to the prince, the UAE has lost far more people there than the 100 that have been officially reported.

Neither officials in Doha, nor Abu Dhabi have commented on reports of the whereabouts of Sheikh Rashid bin Hamad al-Sharqi and his accusations.

In June, 2017, several Arab countries, namely Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and the UAE, cut their ties with Qatar over its alleged ties to Iran and various Islamist groups, specifically the Muslim Brotherhood, which is considered to be a terrorist organization by the five Arab countries. They presented a list with 13 demands that Qatar had to comply with in order for relations to be restored. Qatar rejected all the allegations and its attempts to restore relations have so far failed.

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