by Al Jazeera
A member of the Qatari royal family, who was allegedly held against his will in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has accused Saudi Arabia and the UAE of orchestrating a months-long Gulf crisis in order to seize Qatar’s wealth, and threatened to commit suicide.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al Thani has previously been portrayed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE as the main opposition figure to the Qatari government amid the major diplomatic dispute.
In an audio recording from January 15 obtained by Al Jazeera, Sheikh Abdullah said he was put under “tremendous pressures” which led him to decide to “put an end to his life”.
“The [Gulf] crisis is based on interests and the desire of both Mohammed bin Zayed and Mohammed bin Salman to usurp the wealth and riches of Qatar,” Al Thani said, referring to the Abu Dhabi and Saudi crown princes respectively.
“I urge my fellow Qataris to defend your position, beware of them,” he added. “They may lure you with money to destroy your own country.”
On January 14, Sheikh Abdullah released a video statement, saying he was a “prisoner” in the UAE, and that if anything happened to him, “Sheikh Mohammed” is responsible.
While he did not specify, Abdullah appeared to be referring to Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Sheikh Abdullah was transferred to a hospital shortly after his arrival in a wheelchair in Kuwait on Wednesday.
Abdullah’s brother, Sheikh Khalid, told Al Jazeera on Tuesday that his sibling’s health deteriorated due to exhaustion and pressure he was exposed to under Emirati authorities.
Sheikh Khalid had added that his brother was in stable condition and should be leaving the hospital soon.
In his audio message, threatening suicide, Sheikh Abdullah said: “Due to the pressures on me, my confinement, and inability to return home (Qatar) or join my family, namely my two daughters, I have decided to end my life with the aim of preventing any harm to others.”
After Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt imposed a land, sea and air blockade on Qatar in June, Sheikh Abdullah appeared frequently on Saudi and UAE television programmes expressing his views in support of the measures against Doha.
Sheikh Abdullah was residing in Saudi Arabia since the blockade began.