Qatari Royal Says UAE Prince Is Holding Him 'Against His Will'

Traffic built up on Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Zayed Street this morning. Mona Al Marzooqi  The National

Traffic built up on Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Zayed Street this morning. Mona Al Marzooqi The National

The UAE General Civil Aviation Authority said two Emirati airliners, carrying 277 passengers, had encountered the jets from Qatar, which lies between the UAE and Bahrain, while en route to Bahrain, according to WAM.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali al-Thani - who played a role in negotiating with Saudi Arabia during the Qatar diplomatic crisis past year - made the claims in a YouTube video released on Sunday.

"Moreover, the crews and passengers saw the incidents with their naked eyes, which proves that the interception posed a present and clear threat to the lives of innocent civilians", he said.

Spokesperson of Qatar's Foreign Ministry Lulwah al Khater said Qatar is now monitoring the situation, as a video released by Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali al Thani on Sunday said he is not free to leave Abu Dhabi, in the UAE, Xinhua news agency reported on Monday, quoting Qatar News Agency (QNA).

FlyDubai, a low-priced carrier owned by Dubai's government, said its aircraft were not involved in the incidents.

The video could not be immediately authenticated, while Emirati officials were not immediately available for comment.

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The U.S., which has some 10,000 troops stationed at Qatar's sprawling al-Udeid Air Base as part of its campaign against the Islamic State group and the war in Afghanistan, has sought to end the crisis. However, Pickart cautioned that US forces don't routinely monitor the flights and operations of the Qatari air force.

Sheikh Abdullah is one of several Qatari exiles to emerge amid the diplomatic crisis, which began on June 5 when Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE cut off Doha's land, sea and air routes over its alleged support of extremists and close ties to Iran.

Qatar has vehemently denied the allegations and demands.

The crisis has hurt Qatar Airways, Doha's long-haul carrier that competes with Emirates and Etihad.

It was further stated that this was an act that threatens the security of civil aviation and overlooks worldwide law and agreements. Moreover, Doha, also alleged on Saturday that a second Emirati warplane violated Qatari airspace as it was traveling from the UAE to Bahrain on January 3, "without prior authorization". At a meeting of the Arab League in September, Qatar's minister of foreign affairs alleged that Saudi Arabia was looking to depose Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and install Sheikh Abdullah in his place.

Al Suwaidi said that the Qatari side had neither shown prior objection to the use of the aircraft's path nor issued a warning after the use of the path.

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