Dubai: Rich tributes poured in from around the world on Friday after the United Arab Emirates announced the death of its president, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. He was 73.
Sheikh Khalifa was the second President of the UAE and the 16th Ruler of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
President Joe Biden paid tribute to Shaikh Khalifa saying he “was a true partner and friend of the United States.”
“We will honour his memory by continuing to strengthen the longstanding ties between the governments and people of the United States and the United Arab Emirates,” Biden said.
“The United States expresses its deep condolences to the UAE’s President H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed’s family and the people of the UAE. He was a true friend of the United States,” the US Embassy and Consulate in the United Arab Emirates said in a post on his official page on social media.
President of European Commission, said: "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," Ursula von der Leyen.
European Council President Charles Michel said it was “with sadness” that he had learned of Sheikh Khalifa’s death. “The EU honours his legacy & leadership under which the UAE became frontrunner of sustainable development & economic diversification.”
Mario Abdo Benitez, President of Paraguay, has condoled the UAE leadership and people on the death of the President. In a tweet on his official Twitter account, President of Paraguay said, "We extend our condolences to Their Highnesses, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and to the Emirati people, upon the passing of the President of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan."
A loyal friend, says Al Sissi
Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Al Sissi mourned the death of Sheikh Khalifa, saying he “sincerely loved Egypt and was a loyal friend in all circumstances.”
“I mourn with deep sorrow and grief one of the most precious men and one of the greatest leaders, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the president of the UAE, who passed away after a long journey of giving,” the Egyptian president wrote on his social media accounts Friday.
Al Sissi added that the UAE’s late president “gave much to his country and his nation until the Emirates became an icon for development and modernity in our region and the world.”
“In my name and the name of the Egyptian people, I offer my condolences to the Emirati leadership, state and people in this great loss.”
“I pray to Allah Almighty to extend his mercy and forgiveness to the late UAE president and to maintain the UAE’s progress and pride,” added Al Sissi.
Jordan's deepest sympathies
Jordan expressed the “deepest sympathies of King Abdullah and the people of Jordan, as they stand with the people of the UAE in these difficult times”.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett offered “his sincerest condolences to the UAE government and its people”.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he “mourns” for the UAE.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted he was “deeply saddened” over the news, saying Sheikh Khalifa “was a great statesman and visionary leader under whom India-UAE relations prospered”.
Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif tweeted he was “grieved to hear about the passing” of Sheikh Khalifa, adding: “UAE has lost a visionary leader & Pakistan a great friend.”