Abu Dhabi: Five ministers were retired after long years of service to the country.

They are Saeed Mohammad Al Raqabani, Shaikh Fahim Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Saeed Khalfan Al Gaith, Hamad Abdul Rahman Al Midfa and Rashid Abdullah Al Nuaimi.

Al Raqabani, who was minister of agriculture and fisheries since 1977, told Gulf News yesterday: "We took the responsibility for long years. Whatever we did we feel it fell short of what our beloved country deserves."

Shaikh Fahim, who was Minister of the Supreme Council and GCC Affairs, joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1975. He was appointed the country's permanent representative to the UN in 1976.

Shaikh Fahim worked as Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council from April 1993 to 1996. He was appointed Minister of Trade and Commerce in 1997.

Al Gaith, who was minister of state for cabinet affairs since 1975, had held the post of state minister for information affairs between 1973 and 1977.

Al Midfa was minister of health from 1979 to 1990. Then he took over as minister of education for seven years. He assumed the health portfolio again in 1997 until he was retired on Thursday.

Rashid Abdullah Al Nuaimi was the minister of foreign affairs since 1990.