Western countries are pressuring Abu Dhabi to release Egyptian presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq after he announced that he will be running for presidency next year, the New Khaleej reported.
“After the uproar caused by Shafiq’s statements yesterday about his intention to run for president and the subsequent disclosure of a hindrance to prevent him from leaving the UAE, things have gotten worse,” the source told the news site.
“A senior official at the Abu Dhabi Governing Palace called Shafiq and told him that if he insisted on leaving, he could only go to one lease, Egypt, as that’s where he came from. He would not be allowed to travel anywhere else, claiming that he entered the UAE in 2012 without a visa.”
Shafiq told Al Jazeera that the UAE stopped him from travelling to Egypt, as it is opposed to him running against President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in 2018 presidential elections.
A former presidential candidate, Shafiq was the commander of the Egyptian air force. He last held the post prime minister in 2011.
Egypt and the UAE have had an increase in relations since Al-Sisi took control of the country in a military coup ousting the first freely-elected President, Mohamed Morsi, in 2013.