Abu Dhabi: His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan was on Tuesday re-elected President of the UAE for a second five-year term by Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates.
Shaikh Khalifa first rose to the Presidency in 2004 after the death of his father, Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who founded the UAE in 1971.
Senior officials paid rich tributes to Shaikh Khalifa, who committed himself to continuing in the footsteps of his father.
"The UAE continues to thrive and witness unabated growth in all areas, thanks to the visionary leadership of His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan," said Shaikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler's Representative in the Western Region and Chairman of Red Crescent Authority (RCA).
He said the country has weathered the global economic crisis due to the wise and visionary leadership of Shaikh Khalifa and the Supreme Council Members.
"The UAE is making rapid and enormous progress under the leadership of Shaikh Khalifa. The holistic development of all emirates simultaneously underlines Shaikh Khalifa's sincere determination to secure a decent life to both emiratis and other residents,'' Shaikh Hamdan said.
Two years after becoming President, Shaikh Khalifa organised the UAE's first elections, when electoral colleges chose half of the 40 members of the Federal National Council, while the other 20 were selected by the Rulers.
Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, said Shaikh Khalifa laid the stable foundations of the UAE's foreign policy, completing the steps taken by Shaikh Zayed.
The UAE, under the leadership of Shaikh Khalifa, is walking confidently on the path of progress in political, economic and social spheres, he added.
Hadef Bin Juan Al Daheri, Minister of Justice said Shaikh Khalifa helped move the UAE into a new era of empowerment, strategies and nation-building.
"Shaikh Khalifa contributed significantly to developing infrastructure across the UAE, improving services and is looking forward to a promising future through a steady increase in the budget's spending especially in education, health, economy and culture."