Following the death of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has been elected President of the United Arab Emirates by the UAE’s federal supreme council.
Elected on Saturday, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, colloquially called MBZ, has been recognised as the driving force behind the UAE's interventionist foreign policy and a supporter of Yemen's internationally recognized government backed by the Saudi-led coalition that intervened in Yemen, with the consent of the West, to drive out Iran-backed Houthi militants.
It is with great regret and sorrow that we learned of the passing of the President of the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. We join the Emirati nation in mourning over the great Leader and Visionary. pic.twitter.com/EVi9g4DwAS— PLinEmirates (@PLinEmirates) May 13, 2022
"The UAE has lost its righteous son and leader of the 'empowerment phase' and guardian of its blessed journey," MBZ said on Twitter, praising Khalifa's wisdom and generosity.
On the demise of the president of the state, HH sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland offers the deepest condolences to the nation and authorities of the United Arab Emirates 🇦🇪.— Ministry of Foreign Affairs 🇵🇱 (@PolandMFA) May 13, 2022
The heartfelt sympathy to the Family of the Deceased.
Born in 1948, Khalifa had rarely been seen in public since suffering a stroke in 2014. It is also then that MBZ took most of his half-brother's tasks on his shoulders as the de facto ruler of the UAE, an OPEC oil producer and a major trade and tourism hub which has moved to build its political influence in the region and abroad.
Jill and I were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan. Sheikh Khalifa was a true partner and friend of the United States, and we will honor his memory by continuing to strengthen ties with the government and people of the UAE. pic.twitter.com/omGVQ7DzFd— President Biden (@POTUS) May 13, 2022
The UAE announced a 40-day mourning period with flags flown at half-mast and suspended work at all public and private sector organizations for three days.
The Queen has sent a message of condolence following the passing of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Abu Dhabi:— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) May 13, 2022
Condolences came from several world figures, including President Joe Biden, Queen Elizabeth II, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistani PM Shehbaz Sharif. Poland’s MFA also extended its condolences.
I offer my condolences to the people of the UAE on the passing of Sheikh Khalifa.⁰— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) May 13, 2022
The Sheikh devoted his life to his country, working for the welfare and future of the Emirates.
With him, the UAE became prosperous, tolerant and open to the world. His legacy will live on.
Also, non-political personalities extended their heartfelt sympathies with the late ruler, including Hindu superstar guru, mystic and yogi Sadhguru.
I am deeply saddened to know about the passing away of HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed. He was a great statesman and visonary leader under whom India-UAE relations prospered. The heartfelt condolences of the people of India are with the people of UAE. May his soul rest in peace.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 13, 2022
Deepest condolences on the passing of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. His loving leadership, service and dedication to the United Arab Emirates and its people will forever be remembered. -Sghttps://t.co/CgttzU3vY5— Sadhguru (@SadhguruJV) May 13, 2022
He continued his education in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi and at Gordonstoun School, Scotland, until the age of 18. In 1979, he joined the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst where he received a comprehensive military course including flying and parachuting.
The princeling, as a young military officer, went on holiday in Tanzania in the 1980s, where he met the Masai people and saw their customs and the scope of poverty in the country. Following his return to the UAE, as Al Nahyan recounts himself, his father Sheikh Zayed asked him what he had done to help the people he had encountered. Having shrugged, Al Nahyan replied that he had done nothing as the people he met had not been Muslims. “He clutched my arm, and looked into my eyes very harshly. He said, ‘We are all God’s creatures’.”, Al Nahyan said.