Serbia has granted citizenship to a key political rival of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas after he pledged millions of dollars in investments from the Emirates, where he has lived in exile.

Serbia's Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said Sunday that former Fatah party strongman Mohammed Dahlan, whom Abbas fired in a power struggle, was given the citizenship in 2013. His wife, four children, a relative and five Palestinian supporters were also given Serbian passports.

The 53-year-old Dahlan, a former Abbas' aide and security chief, was once seen as Yasser Arafat's heir apparent. He was kicked out of Fatah in 2011 after Abbas accused him of corruption and hinted he may have been involved in Arafat's death.

Dahlan was sentenced in absentia to two years jail in 2014 on slander charges.