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Messages of sympathy pour in from around the globe

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was one of many world leaders to express their condolences Thomson/Reuters
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was one of many world leaders to express their condolences

Leaders from the Gulf, the wider Middle East and around the world have offered their heartfelt condolences after the death of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Abu Dhabi. Here are some of the messages of sympathy

The UN offices in the UAE said: “In this moment of grief, our thoughts are with the people of UAE. The UN offices are now in official mourning and the flags are flown at half-mast on all UAE lands.”

GCC Secretary General Nayef Al Hajraf said Sheikh Khalifa died after “a life full of giving, and giving in the service of his people, his homeland and the Arab and Islamic nation.”

Middle East leaders express their sympathy 

King Hamad of Bahrain, which is holding three days of mourning, said Sheikh Khalifa died “after a life full of giving and achievements in the service of his people and the Arab and Islamic nation and in support of its causes.”

Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim ordered three days of mourning and lamented the loss of “a great leader who was wise and moderate.” 

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi said Sheikh Khalifa “has given a lot to his country and nation so that the UAE has become a model for development and modernity in our region and the world.”

Jordan’s King Abdullah II, who ordered 40 days of mourning, said: “We have lost a dear brother and an outstanding leader who inherited wisdom from his late, great father Sheikh Zayed and dedicated his life to serving his country and the Arab and Islamic nations.”

Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said: “The legacy and great deeds of Sheikh Khalifa were much appreciated in Israel. The state of Israel stands alongside the United Arab Emirates and with it at this difficult time.” 

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi said: “We are confident that the pioneering path that the late great man took will continue with the efforts of his country’s leadership and people.”

President Michael Aoun of Lebanon, which declared nationwide mourning for Sheikh Khalifa, with flags to be flown at half-staff for three days, said Lebanon would “miss a president who defends just Arab causes, a sincere brother who loved Lebanon and the Lebanese who gave love and loyalty to him”.

World leaders respond

US President Joe Biden said: “Sheikh Khalifa was a true partner and 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 longstanding ties between the governments and people of the United States and the United Arab Emirates.”

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “I am deeply saddened to hear of the death of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Abu Dhabi. He was a wise and respected leader who will be missed enormously.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Sheikh Khalifa 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.” 

Indian Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal said of Sheikh Khalifa: “A strong and visionary leader, he steered the UAE through path-breaking reforms making it an oasis of prosperity. His contribution in fostering deeper India-UAE ties cannot be overstated.”

The embassy of Pakistan said: “He was well-wisher and a sincere friend of Pakistan. In this hour of extreme grief, the Pakistani community in the UAE stands with their UAE brethren.

“May Almighty Allah rest his soul in eternal peace and give the bereaved leadership and people of the UAE the courage to bear this irreparable loss with fortitude.”

European Council President Charles Michel said: “The EU honours his legacy and leadership under which the UAE became frontrunner of sustainable development and economic diversification.”