UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed passes away

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PM, COAS, FM extend condolences on sad demise

His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the president of the United Arab Emirates and the ruler of Abu Dhabi, passed away on Friday according to a statement by the Ministry of Presidential Affairs.

A statement released by the Emirates News Agency read, “The Ministry of Presidential Affairs condoles the people of the UAE, the Arab and Islamic nation and the world over the demise of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the president of the UAE.”

Following the news of the 73-year-old leader’s demise, the Ministry of Presidential Affairs announced 40 days of mourning. Flags within the country are to be flown at half-mast as federal and local offices are to suspend services.

Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan began his tenure in office on November 3, 2004, as he was elected to succeed his father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who previously served as the country’s first president.

Sheikh Khalifa’s rule was synonymous for a major restructuring of the federal government as well as the government of Abu Dhabi. The country witnessed accelerated development under his rule as he launched the first strategic plan for the UAE government to achieve

balanced and sustainable development.

As a ruler, Sheikh Khalifa was determined to continue his father’s legacy, “[it] will continue to be the beacon guiding us into the future, a prosperous future where security and stability will reign,” he had stated. Moreover, the president was also responsible for steering the development of the country’s oil and gas sector including downstream industries which contributed to economic diversification.

The ruler also initiated the process of direct elections in the UAE as he established a mechanism to evolve the nomination system for members of the Federal National Council.

His reign saw development within the northern emirates as he undertook tours within the region for the development of building projects related to housing, education and social services.

At the news of Sheikh Khalifa’s passing, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif took to his official Twitter account to express his condolences.

“Deeply grieved to hear about the passing of HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, President of UAE. UAE has lost a visionary leader & Pakistan a great friend. We send our heartfelt condolences & sympathies to the government & people of the UAE. May Allah rest his soul in peace!” the Tweet read. Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa too offered his condolences.

“Pak has lost a great friend. May Allah Almighty bless his soul & give strength to bereaved family to bear this irreparable loss,” the army chief said.

“Heartfelt and deepest condolences on the sad demise of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Royal family and the people of the UAE,” Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari tweeted.

Abu Dhabi, which holds most of the Gulf state’s oil wealth, has held the presidency since the founding of the UAE federation by Khalifa’s father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan, in 1971.

 

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