Tue, Jul 17, 2018 - Page 7 News List

Emirati prince escapes to Qatar, criticizes Abu Dhabi

AFP, LONDON

An Emirati prince is seeking asylum in Qatar after fleeing the United Arab Emirates (UAE), saying that he feared for his life because of a dispute with the rulers of oil-rich Abu Dhabi, the New York Times reported on Sunday.

Sheikh Rashid bin Hamad Al Sharqi, 31, is the second son of the emir of Fujairah, one of the seven monarchies making up the UAE.

He arrived in Doha on May 16, the report said.

Abu Dhabi is the UAE’s capital and richest emirate.

Speaking to the New York Times, Sheikh Rashid accused Emirati rulers of blackmail and money laundering, but did not offer evidence to back up his claims.

He also spoke of tensions within Emirati elites over the UAE’s commitment of troops in the war in Yemen.

There had been more UAE war deaths than the 100 that have been reported publicly, Sheikh Rashid said, adding that “there have been more deaths from Fujairah than anywhere else.”

An Emirati official declined to comment, but Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash made a veiled reference on Twitter to “conspiracy against this or that ruling family by those who lack courage and instead resort to leaks and interviews.”

Along with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain, the UAE cut all ties with Qatar in June last year, accusing Doha of supporting Islamist groups and being too close to Gulf archrival Iran.

Qatar, the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, denies the accusations.

Sheikh Rashid’s interview appeared to be the first time in the UAE’s nearly 47-year history that a member of one of its seven royal families had publicly criticized its rulers, the New York Times report said.

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