July 15, 2018

TELLING YOUR ALLIES FROM YOUR ENEMIES:

Emirati Prince Flees to Qatar, Exposing Tensions in U.A.E. (David D. Kirkpatrick, July 14, 2018, NY Times)

Sheikh Rashid's flight to Doha appears to be the first time in the nearly 47-year history of the U.A.E. that a member of one of its seven royal families has publicly criticized its rulers, according to scholars of the region. In an interview with The New York Times, Sheikh Rashid accused Emirati rulers of blackmail and money laundering, though he provided no evidence to support his claim.

He also spoke publicly about tensions among the Emirates that were previously discussed only in whispers -- notably resentments over Abu Dhabi's leadership of the U.A.E.'s military intervention in Yemen.

The rulers of Abu Dhabi, he charged, did not consult the emirs of the other six Emirates before committing their troops to the war, now three years old, against an Iranian-allied faction in Yemen. But soldiers from smaller emirates, such as Fujairah, have filled the front lines and accounted for most of the war deaths, which Emirati news reports have put at a little more than 100.

"There have been more deaths from Fujairah than anywhere else," Sheikh Rashid said, and he accused Abu Dhabi of hiding the full death toll.

He said he decided to give the interview in the hope that public attention to his case would protect his family in Fujairah from pressure by Abu Dhabi, and he appeared to hope that threatening further disclosures might give him leverage against Abu Dhabi as well. "I am the first in a royal family going out of the U.A.E. and telling everything about them," he said.

But his arrival in Doha has also posed a dilemma for Qatar, in part because of uncertainty surrounding Sheikh Rashid's dispute with Abu Dhabi.

The U.A.E. and Saudi Arabia have led a campaign to isolate Qatar, cutting off all diplomatic and trade relations in an effort to pressure the tiny petroleum-rich monarchy to adhere to a common foreign policy and join their crackdown on political Islam. Adding to the pressure, Abu Dhabi has played host to a handful of exiled members of the Qatari royal family, playing up their criticism of the current emir and promoting them as alternative leaders.

Posted by at July 15, 2018 7:02 AM

  

« THE rIGHT VS rEALITY: | Main | THANKS, BOB: »