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Sheikh Khalifa passes away: Tributes pour in from world leaders

They express their condolences on the loss of a visionary leader



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File photos
by

Nandini Sircar

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Nasreen Abdulla

Published: Fri 13 May 2022, 3:55 PM

Last updated: Sun 15 May 2022, 8:01 PM

World leaders are mourning the passing away of President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The Ministry of Presidential Affairs announced death of the Abu Dhabi Ruler on Friday, May 13.

Since then, tributes have started pouring in from different parts of the world.

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth

In a statement released by the Buckingham Palace, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth paid her condolences to the late leader.

“I am saddened to hear of the death of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Our distinguished brother devoted his life to serving the people of the United Arab Emirates and his relationship with its allies and friends.”

“He will be long remembered by all who work for regional stability, understanding between nations and between faiths, and for the conservation cause. I offer Your Highness my sincere condolences and I extend my sympathy to the people of the United Arab Emirates.”

His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Qatar

His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, has mourned the late President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

In a statement issued by the Qatari Emiri Court, Sheikh Tamim said that Sheikh Khalifa was a great leader characterized by wisdom and moderation and dedicated his life to serving his country and nation.

The Emir of Qatar prayed to Allah Almighty to have mercy on his soul and grant him peace in Paradise, and patience and solace to the Al Nahyan family, the government, and the people of UAE.

Dr Nayef Falah Mubarak Al Hajraf, GCC

Dr Nayef Falah Mubarak Al Hajraf, Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in a statement, expressed his heartfelt condolences to the UAE leadership and people on this sad news. He prayed to Allah Almighty to rest his soul in eternal peace and grant the Al Nahyan family and the UAE people patience and solace.

Ursula von Der Lyon, EU

Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, tweeted her condolences:

"I offer my condolences to the people of the UAE on the passing of Sheikh Khalifa. 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."

Prime Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida

Fumio Kishida, Prime Minister of Japan, has expressed his condolences to the people of UAE and said: "On behalf of the government of Japan and its people, I extend my heartfelt condolences to the UAE leadership, government and people on this great loss that not only affected the UAE, but the international community as a whole.

"Since he visited Japan in his capacity as Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi at the Expo '70 in Osaka, 1970, he attached great importance to strengthening his country's relations with Japan, especially in the field of energy."

Halimah Yacob and Lee Hsien Loong, Singapore

Singapore's President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong have mourned the passing of Sheikh Khalifa in their letters to President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

President Yacob said in her letter, "As the second President of the UAE, Sheikh Khalifa built upon the strong foundations laid by late Sheikh Zayed to strengthen the unity of the UAE and enhance its development. Throughout his life, he was dedicated to serving the people of the UAE and to bring prosperity to the country. He will always be remembered for his love and care for the people."

She added, "Our thoughts and prayers are with Your Highness and the people of the UAE during this time of bereavement."

Prime Minister Lee wrote, "Sheikh Khalifa dedicated his life in service of the people of Abu Dhabi as well as the UAE. He played a key role in strengthening the unity of the federation and improving the lives of his people. During his reign, relations between Singapore and the UAE were strengthened with the establishment of the Singapore Embassy in Abu Dhabi in 2007."

He added, "His leadership laid a strong foundation for bilateral relations, which have since been elevated with the Singapore-UAE Comprehensive Partnership (SUCP) signed in 2019."

US President Joe Biden

Hailing Sheikh Khalifa as a “true partner”, the US President Joe Biden, on the passing of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, added, “Sheikh Khalifa was a friend of the United States throughout his decades-long tenure as President of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, and in his earlier role as Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. On behalf of the American people, I offer my condolences to Sheikh Khalifa’s family and all Emiratis as they mourn this great loss. We will honour his memory by continuing to strengthen the long-standing ties between the governments and people of the United States and the United Arab Emirates.”

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian sent a cable offering his condolences to his Emirati counterpart, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed.

In his message, Amir-Abdollahian condoled with Sheikh Abdullah on demise of Sheikh Khalifa, and expressed sympathy with UAE's nation and government.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan extended his condolences to the people of the UAE.

"I received with great sadness and sorrow the news of the death of my dear brother Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan," he wrote on Twitter in Turkish and Arabic.

Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa

President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa extended his deepest condolences to the government and people of the United Arab Emirates.

He said: "[He] will be remembered for his tireless efforts in enhancing bilateral relations between democratic South Africa and the UAE and promoting the interests of the South African government and people."

India's PM Narendra Modi

From India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his deepest sympathies today. “I am deeply saddened to know about the passing away of Khalifa bin Zayed. He was a great statesman and visionary 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,” he said.

UK PM Boris Johnson

The Prime Minister of UK Boris Johnson paid tribute to the “wise and respected leader”.

"I am deeply saddened to hear of the death of Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. He was a wise and respected leader who will be missed enormously. Through his work as President and Sheikh he has made a personal contribution to regional stability and conservation which will long be remembered. I know that the long and deep ties, which unite our countries, will continue and through our cooperation and friendship, we can ensure peace, prosperity and justice in the world.

I would like to offer my sincere condolences to the people of the United Arab Emirates."

Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif extended his condolences to the people of the UAE.

“Deeply grieved to hear about the passing of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. UAE has lost a visionary leader & Pakistan a great friend. We send our heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the government and people of the UAE. May Allah rest his soul in peace,” he tweeted.

Iraqi PM Mustafa Al Kadhimi

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi offered his condolences on Friday. The Iraqi news agency said, “With much sadness and great sorrow, we received the news of the departure of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the sisterly United Arab Emirates."

He added, "We extend our deepest condolences and sympathy to the leadership of the UAE and its honourable people, and we are confident that the pioneering path that the late great man drew will continue with the efforts of the country's leadership and people."

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Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman al-Burhan, Sudan

Sudan's Sovereign Council Chairman Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman al-Burhan said in an obituary that the Arab and Islamic nation has lost a wise leader who dedicated his life to serving his nation and contributed to achieving world peace.

Israeli PM Naftali Bennett

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett tweeted: “On behalf of the government and people of Israel, I extend my sincere condolences to the government and people of the United Arab Emirates on the death of His Excellency the President of the State, Sheikh #Khalifa Benzaid Al-Nahyan. I also extend my condolences to my friend Sheikh @MohamedBinZayed."

WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization extended his deepest condolences, “My heartfelt condolences to the people of the UAE for the death of Sheikh Khalifa. May his soul rest in peace.”

Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said, Oman

In a statement issued by the Diwan of Royal Court of Oman, Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said expressed his heartfelt condolences to the UAE leadership and people on this sad news and prayed to Allah Almighty to grant him peace in Paradise.

The Diwan of Royal Court of Oman announced that the Sultanate will observe a three-day mourning with flags to be flown at half-mast across public and private sector entities, from Friday, 13th May to Sunday, 15th May.

António Guterres, UN Secretary General

The UN Secretary-General António Guterres extended his profound condolences to the leadership, government, and people of the United Arab Emirates.

In an official statement, the Secretary-General reiterated the commitment of the United Nations to its close cooperation with the United Arab Emirates, including on humanitarian issues and interfaith dialogue, as well as on regional and global peace, security and sustainable development.

Alberto Fernándezk, Argentina

President of Argentina, Alberto Fernándezk, offered his condolences to the people of the UAE. He tweeted: "My sympathy goes out to those who are going through this difficult moment today."

Arab world leaders

Jordanian King Abdullah II, Syrian President Bashar Al Assad, Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi also offered their condolences via Twitter.


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