Skip to content

The President of the United Arab Emirates is dead

Over the past two decades, he had accompanied his country’s meteoric rise on the international scene. The President of the United Arab Emirates, Khalifa Ben Zayed Al Nahyan, has died at the age of 73, local authorities announced on Friday May 13.

The government of this Gulf country has decreed “an official mourning and the flags lowered” for forty days, reports the official WAM news agency. The next three days from Friday will also be non-working. The portrait of the late president was immediately displayed everywhere in the streets, institutions and even hotels of the emirate. Local media have also interrupted their programs to broadcast images and articles paying tribute to him.

Rarely seen in public since the stroke he suffered in January 2014, Khalifa Ben Zayed should be replaced shortly by his half-brother, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed Ben Zayed, known as “MBZ”, already considered as the de facto ruler of the country.

“Khalifa Ben Zayed, my brother, my mentor and my teacher, may God have mercy on you”, said on Twitter Mohammad Bin Zayed. “His positions, his achievements, his wisdom, his generosity and his initiatives are found in every corner of the country”, he added.

Biden salutes a “friend” of the United States

US President Joe Biden hailed Khalifa Bin Zayed as a “true partner and friend of the United States”. Other great allies of the Emirates, King Salman of Saudi Arabia and the Crown Prince, Mohammed Ben Salman, have expressed their “great sadness” in a joint statement.

France presented its condolences to the Emirati people on Friday, paying tribute to “a leader respected by all”. “We salute his deep commitment to stability and peace in the region and in the world. Its efforts to provide sustainable responses to global challenges have been constant”the foreign ministry said in a statement, praising Khalifa Bin Zayed’s role in the “France-Emirati strategic partnership”.

The President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, and the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, offered their condolences. The Emir of Qatar, Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, also paid tribute to him. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, whose country normalized relations with the Emirates in 2020, offered his condolences.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas also presented his “sincere condolences” to the people ” brother “ of the Emirates, despite icy relations since the normalization between the Emirates and Israel. Morocco, Iran, Sudan, Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan and India in particular, also offered their condolences.

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers “MBZ”, the true strongman of the Gulf

Economic boom

Born in September 1948, Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan succeeded his father, Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, in 2004, president and founding father of the United Arab Emirates, a rich Gulf state comprising seven emirates, including Dubai and the capital, Abu Dhabi.

After the establishment of the federation in 1971, Khalifa Ben Zayed was appointed deputy prime minister, and then chaired the Superior Petroleum Council, a body endowed with broad powers in the energy field.

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers Dubai projects itself into the future with a jewel museum

Under the mandate of Khalifa Bin Zayed, the Emirates have experienced rapid economic growth, driven by the oil wealth of Abu Dhabi, which concentrates 90% of the federation’s reserves, and the affirmation of Dubai as a center of finance, a luxurious destination tourism or air transport crossroads. But, like its president, the Emirates have remained relatively discreet on the international scene, generally standing behind its great ally, Saudi Arabia, juggernaut of the Gulf and the Arab world, of which it remains the leading economy.

According to observers, it was under the impetus of Prince Mohammed Ben Zayed that the country gradually emerged from its usual discretion, particularly since the 2010s, and gained growing influence in the Middle East and Africa. Abu Dhabi even participates in military interventions against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, then in Yemen, alongside the Saudis, to fight the Houthi rebels, close to Iran.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers The ordeal of Ahmed Mansour, dissident in the United Arab Emirates

The world

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.