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Qatar's Sheikh Abdullah says assets frozen over Gulf crisis

Gulf media reports have speculated over possible formation of Qatari government in exile headed by Sheikh Abdullah
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, right, meeting with Qatari Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali al-Thani in Jeddah last month (AFP)

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.

Qatari opposition figures to announce 'government-in-exile': Report
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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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