Qatar’s Sheikh Abdullah says assets frozen over Gulf crisis

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A handout picture provided by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) shows Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (R) meeting with Qatari envoy Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali bin Jassim al-Thani in Jeddah on August 16, 2017. King Salman has ordered the reopening of the border with Qatar to hajj pilgrims, state media said, in an apparent effort to depoliticise the annual pilgrimage as a major diplomatic crisis roils the region. / AFP PHOTO / SPA / Handout / === RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / HO / SPA" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS === / “The erroneous mention appearing in the metadata of this photo by Handout has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman instead of Saudi King Salman . Please immediately remove the erroneous mention from all your online services and delete it from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention and prompt action. We are sorry for the inconvenience this notification may cause and remain at your disposal for any further information you may require.”

Gulf media reports have speculated over possible formation of Qatari government in exile headed by Sheikh Abdullah

A controversial member of Qatar’s royal family said on Saturday that Qatari authorities have frozen his bank accounts over his role in Doha’s crisis with its neighbours.

“The Qatari regime has honoured me by freezing all my bank accounts,” Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al Thani tweeted.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed ties with Qatar on 5 June over its alleged support of extremism, charges Doha denies.

Gulf media reports have speculated over the possible formation of a Qatari government in exile headed by Sheikh Abdullah.

Qatari exiles, some with Saudi business interests, are set to declare the formation of a Qatari government-in-exile to push for regime change in Doha, a source briefed on the declaration told Middle East Eye earlier this week.

The source, who wished to remain anonymous, said a number of exiled Qataris, already known publicly as opponents of the ruling Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, were preparing to announce the establishment of an opposition government.

MEE understands that Abdullah, a dissident Qatari royal who has been publicly highly critical of the current administration is a leading figure in the initiative.

In August, Sheikh Abdullah met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to mediate on reopening a land border to allow Qatari pilgrims to perform the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca.

It was the first public high-level encounter between the nations since the diplomatic crisis erupted.

Doha was quick to point out that he was in Saudi Arabia on a “personal” mission, not for the government.

Sheikh Abdullah belongs to a branch of the Al Thani royal family that has seen its power eroded but is still well-connected.

“I wish Qatar … to return to its Gulf brothers as there is no one else to count on,” he tweeted on Saturday.

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