A Saudi prince says Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, through close coordination with Jordanian King Abdullah II and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, facilitated the escape of the Dubai ruler’s wife from the United Arab Emirates.
An unnamed diplomatic source told Lebanon’s Arabic-language al-Akhbar newspaper on Thursday that the Saudi prince, whose identity was not immediately available, was fully aware of Princess Haya bint Al Hussein’s decision to flee the Persian Gulf kingdom with her son Zayed, 7, and 11-year-old daughter Al Jalila, abandon her 15-year marriage , and finally seek political asylum in Germany.
The source added that the Abu Dhabi strongman had coordinated the escape with the Jordanian monarch. Special operation forces, supervised by Saudi Crown Princes, then undertook the task.
The source further highlighted that King Abdullah II lately paid a visit to Abu Dhabi, where he held an hours-long meeting with Al Nahyan.
The Jordanian ruler, however, did not travel to the neighboring emirate of Dubai to visit the husband of her half sister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
The move has apparently raised eyebrows among regional political pundits and pointed to cracks in ties between Jordan and Dubai.
The source also asserted that Al Nahyan had assisted the Dubai ruler’s daughter Princess Latifa bint Mohammed Maktoum, 33, to escape last year before being captured on a boat off the Indian coast.
Human rights groups claim she is being held in captivity in Dubai.
“Whenever someone applies for political asylum, obviously, it is because their lives are in danger, and because they have suffered severe abuses and violations of their human rights,” Radha Stirling, chief executive of watchdog Detained in Dubai, said of Princess Haya’s case.
She added, “We already know that Princess Latifa, Sheikh Mohammed’s daughter, fled the UAE seeking asylum and alleging unspeakable abuse at the hands of her father.
“Now, it seems, Princess Haya, Sheikh Mohammed’s wife, has also fled the country and sought refuge in Germany.”
Stirling noted that there are now “serious questions” about what prompted Princess Haya to flee.
-Saudi Crown Princes