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Emirati prince flees to Qatar, criticizes Abu Dhabi: report

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    Agence France-Presse

London | Mon, July 16, 2018 | 12:52 pm
 Emirati prince flees to Qatar, criticizes Abu Dhabi: report A handout image made available by United Arab Emirates News Agency (WAM) on December 2, 2015 shows (from L-R) Moulay Rachid Prince of Morocco, Sheikh Hamad Al-Sharqi UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Fujairah, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, King Mohamed VI of Morocco, Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ajman, Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al-Khaimah and Saud bin Rashid Al-Mu'alla, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Umm Al Quwain attending the 44th UAE National Day celebrations at Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi. (AFP/HO)

An Emirati prince is seeking asylum in Qatar after fleeing the UAE saying 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 United Arab Emirates.

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

Abu Dhabi is the capital and richest emirate of the UAE.

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.

Sheikh Rashid said there had been more UAE war deaths than the 100 that have been reported publicly and said "there have been more deaths from Fujairah than anywhere else".

An Emirati official contacted by AFP declined to comment, but UAE minister 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 United Arab Emirates cut all ties with Qatar in June 2017, accusing Doha of supporting Islamist groups and being too close to Gulf archrival Iran. 

Qatar, the world's largest exporter of liquified natural gas, denies the accusations. 

The New York Times report said that Sheikh Rashid 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.

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