World Leaders Expressed Condolences on Death of the late UAE’s President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan .

MIDDLE EAST (May 13, 2022)– France President Emmanuel Macron  tweeted “The sad news of the death of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates. I express my sympathy to his brother, the Crown Prince, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, his family and the people of the Emirates.”

 

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In a second tweet, Macon tweeted “The disappearance of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan mourns Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates. My thoughts go out to his brother the Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Zayed , his entire family and the people of the UAE.”

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Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan tweeted “I received with great sadness and sorrow the news of the death of the President of the United Arab Emirates and the Ruler of Abu Dhabi, my dear brother Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. I ask God to have mercy on him, and I offer my sincere condolences to the people of the sisterly United Arab Emirates.”

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Sheikh Khalifa oversaw much of the country’s blistering economic growth and his name was immortalized on the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, after bailing out debt-crippled Dubai during its financial crisis over a decade ago.

However, after suffering a stroke and undergoing emergency surgery in 2014, a decade after becoming president, he ceased having any involvement in the day-to-day affairs of ruling the country.

The last several years of his life saw his half-brother Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed rise to become the de-factor ruler and decision-maker of major foreign policy decisions, such as joining a Saudi-led war in Yemen and spearheading an embargo on neighboring Oatar in recent years. The crown prince, also the deputy supreme commander of the armed forces, shepherded the UAE’s budding ties with Israel after the two normalized relations in 2020.

The UAE announced a 40-day period of mourning and a three-day suspension of work across the government and private sector, including flags to be flown at half-staff.

“The UAE has lost a loyal son, and the leader of its blessed empowerment journey,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed wrote on Twitter after his brother’s death was officially announced on state media. “Khalifa bin Zayed, my brother, supporter and mentor, may Allah Almighty grant you eternal peace.”

In a statement, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken described Sheikh Khalifa “as a true friend of the United States,” adding that the U.S. remains committed to its steadfast friendship and cooperation with the UAE. Vice President Kamala Harris also expressed her condolences.

Ties have been strained between the Biden administration and the leaders of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which have not joined U.S. efforts in isolating Russia amid its war in Ukraine.

Messages of condolences also poured in from around the region and the world, foremost from leaders of Arab countries supported by Abu Dhabi.

Sheikh Khalifa was the eldest son of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, widely revered by Emiratis as the country’s founding father. The federation recently marked its 50th anniversary.

Though he had been out of public sight since his stroke, Sheikh Khalifa’s image was ubiquitous, gracing every hotel lobby and major government office across the country. On occasion, Emirati state media published rare photographs and videos of Sheikh Khalifa.

The president holds the most powerful position among the seven semi-autonomous city-states of the UAE, which stretches along the shores of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. Historically, the president is from Abu Dhabi, the largest and richest of the seven emirates. The vice president and prime minister is from Dubai, titles currently held by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson issued a statement “I am deeply saddened to hear of the death of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Abu Dhabi.”

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Source: AP News contributed to the article.

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