Few hours after a Qatari royal announced he was detained in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates said Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al-Thani has left its territories.
Al-Thani appeared in a video recording on Sunday, saying that he was being held in Abu Dhabi against his will.
“I am now in Abu Dhabi as a guest of Sheikh Mohammed, but actually not in the position of a guest but rather as a detainee,” Abdullah said, apparently referring to Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan.
“I just want to inform you that if anything happens to me, don’t blame Qatar,” he added.
After a diplomatic crisis erupted between Doha and a Saudi-led quartet of Arab countries, Abdullah emerged as a potential opposition figure and sided with the anti-Qatar alliance in several Saudi and UAE television programs.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic ties with Doha in June 2017, accusing the kingdom of sponsoring terrorism and destabilizing the region. Qatar has rejected the claims while maintaining that it is paying the price for its independent foreign policy.
The UAE Foreign Ministry on Sunday denied the claim that Al-Thani was being held against his will, blaming Qatar.
The ministry said the Qatari figure had come to Abu Dhabi at his own request as a guest after the Doha government placed restrictions on him.
Al-Thani “is free to move about and has expressed his desire to leave the state, all procedures were facilitated for him without any obstruction,” the UAE state news agency WAM, quoted the official as saying. No details were, however, given about his destination.