Middle East and world leaders mourn death of UAE President Sheikh Khalifa, praise ‘life rich in achievements’

Throughout the day, Gulf leaders offered messages of condolence to Al-Nahyan family and the Emirati people. In a statement published by SPA, Saudi Arabia’s Royal Court said the news of Sheikh Khalifa’s passing had been “received with great sadness and sorrow.”

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DUBAI: Messages of condolence have poured in from around the Middle East and the world following news of the death of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the president of the UAE, at the age of 73 on Friday.

“The Emirates lost its righteous son, the leader of the ‘empowerment stage’ and the trustee of its blessed journey,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, said in a tweet. “His stances, achievements, wisdom, giving and initiatives in every corner of the country. May God have mercy on you with his vast mercy and enter you into his paradise.”

Throughout the day, Gulf leaders offered messages of condolence to Al-Nahyan family and the Emirati people. In a statement published by SPA, Saudi Arabia’s Royal Court said the news of Sheikh Khalifa’s passing had been “received with great sadness and sorrow.”

King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman “expressed their deepest condolences and sympathy to the government of the United Arab Emirates, the honorable Al-Nahyan family, the brotherly Emirati people, and to the Arab and Islamic nations on passing away of a leader who has given a lot to his people, nation and the world.”

Declaring three days of national mourning, Oman’s Sultan Haitham bin Tarik said: “The Sultanate shares the grief of the leadership, government and people of the brotherly United Arab Emirates in their great affliction.”

Also ordering three days of official mourning, Bahrain’s Royal Court “paid homage to the late UAE president who passed away after a life rich in achievements to serve the UAE people as well as the Arab and Islamic nations.”

In a statement issued by the Qatari Emiri Court, Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani said: “We have lost with his passing a great leader who was wise and moderate, who devoted his life and effort to serve his country and nation.”

Speaking for Kuwaitis, Emir Sheikh Nawaf said: “The Arab and Islamic nations have lost one of their leaders. The great man who devoted his life to serving his country and people and defending Arab and Islamic causes.”

Dr. Nayef Falah Mubarak Al-Hajraf, secretary-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), conveyed his heartfelt condolences, saying Sheikh Khalifa had lived “a life full of giving and giving in the service of his people, his homeland and the Arab and Islamic nation.”

Ahmed Aboul Gheit, secretary-general of the Arab League, issued a statement of condolences addressed to the UAE leadership, government and people, adding that the Arab League will observe three days of mourning with flags to be flown at half-mast.

Leaders across the wider Middle East and North Africa also paid their respects. “With sincere sadness and sorrow, I mourn one of the most precious men and one of the greatest leaders,” Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi tweeted on Friday.

“He gave a lot to his country and his nation, until the Emirates became a model for development and modernity in our region and the world.”

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