United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has died, the Minister of Foreign Affairs said on Friday. He was also the ruler of the Abu Dhabi emirate.
“The Minister of State for the Presidency mourns the people of the UAE, the Arab and Muslim nations and the world over the death of the late President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who passed away on Friday,” the office said in a statement. more info.
Under the constitution, vice-president and prime minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, governor of Dubai, will serve as president until a coalition of seven governing bodies convenes within 30 days to elect a new president.
Khalifa, who was born in 1948, has not been seen in public since he suffered a stroke in 2014 and his brother Abu Dhabi, Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, better known as MbZ, became the United States-allied UAE governor, Opec. oil producer.
“The UAE has lost its good son and leader of the ’empowerment level’ and the custodian of its blessed journey,” MbZ said on Twitter, praising the wisdom and generosity of the Caliph.
The UAE will monitor the 40-day fasting period flying half the mast from Friday and suspend operations at all public and private institutions for three days, the department said.
Compassion began to pour in from Arab leaders including the king of Bahrain, the president of Egypt and the prime minister of Iraq.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said he was “deeply saddened” by the news of the death of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed.
“The UAE has lost a visionary leader and Pakistan’s best friend. We send our heartfelt condolences and sympathy to the government and people of the UAE. May Allah rest his soul in peace!” he said in a tweet.
The Chief of Staff of the Army (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa also expressed his condolences.
“Pak has lost a great friend. May Allah Almighty bless his soul and empower the bereaved family 2 to bear this irreparable loss,” said the commander.
“Heartbreak and deep sympathy for the tragic destruction of His Majesty Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE. Our thoughts and prayers with the Royal family and the people of the UAE,” Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari tweeted.
Former prime minister Imran Khan said he was “deeply saddened” by the news of the death of the UAE president.
He paid tribute to Caliph, calling him the best friend of Pakistan and a visionary leader of his people.
Khalifa came to power in 2004 in the affluent Abu Dhabi area and became head of state. He is expected to be replaced as governor of Abu Dhabi by Prince Sheikh Mohammed.
Abu Dhabi, who holds most of the Gulf oil resources, has held the presidency since the establishment of the UAE by the caliph’s father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan, in 1971.