A number of leaders, Arab and Western countries offered their condolences to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after it announced the death of the President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the age of 73 on Friday.
Televisions of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries cut off the main broadcast of their programs, and broadcast a recitation of the Holy Quran, with the announcement of official mourning following the death of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed.
The Saudi Royal Court issued a statement saying that Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz and his Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman consoled “the government of the United Arab Emirates, the honorable Al Nahyan family, the brotherly Emirati people and the two Arab and Islamic nations on the death of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.”
The statement described the late UAE president as “a leader who gave a lot to his people, his nation, and the world,” asking God Almighty to inspire everyone’s patience and solace in this great calamity.
As per the directions of King Salman, prayer in absentia was performed for Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, after the evening prayer in the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque.
King Salman bin Abdulaziz in a tweet on his personal account on the Twitter platform said, “Today we lost my dear brother, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan,” noting that the late Khalifa “dedicated his life to serving his people and advancing his state.”
The Saudi Crown Prince called Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed and Emirati National Security Adviser Tahnoun bin Zayed, offering his condolences and sympathy on the death of the late Emirati president.
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said in a tweet via Twitter “Sincere condolences to the leadership, government, and people of the UAE and to Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed on the death of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed.”
For his part, the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, said, “With great sadness, we received the news of the death of my brother, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and I express to his honorable family and the brotherly people of the Emirates my deepest condolences and sympathy.”
“I pray to the Almighty God to accept him with his mercy and forgiveness and to dwell in his vast gardens. We belong to God and to Him we shall return,” he added.
Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani ordered the declaration of mourning in the State of Qatar for a period of three days and the flags at half-mast.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani, also expressed his “deepest condolences to the brotherly United Arab Emirates, the leadership and people, on the death of the late Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the State, and we ask God to bless him with His mercy.”
The Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, sent condolences to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, expressing his deep sadness and affection for the death of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
He also expressed his “sincere condolences and sincere sympathy on behalf of the Kuwaiti government and people to their Highnesses, their honorable families, and the brotherly Emirati people.”
In solidarity and sympathy with the UAE and its people, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad ordered the declaration of 40 days of official mourning, the flags at half-mast, and the suspension of official departments for a period of three days, starting from Friday.
Kuwaiti National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim offered “sincere and sincere condolences to our people in the brotherly Emirates, leadership and people, on the passing of the late President of the United Arab Emirates, God willing, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.”
In the same context, the absentee prayers were held for Sheikh Khalifa after Friday evening prayers in all the mosques of the Gulf state.
BAPS Hindu temple, Abu Dhabi
“In this moment of great grief, we offer our deepest prayers for the Royal family, the people of the UAE, and the world on the passing away of our beloved ruler His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan,” the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha said in a statement.
“His leadership has inspired this nation to become a home of peace and prosperity and a beacon of harmony and tolerance. For the coming days special prayers will be offered at the BAPS Hindu Mandir and the homes of all devotees,” the statement added.
Oman’s Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik also mourned the passing of the late President. “Sheikh Khalifa was one of the Arab leaders who worked to serve Arab and Islamic nations and led the United Arab Emirates with determination and perseverance until it became a landmark referred to in all fields,” the statement by Oman News Agency said.
Oman declared three days of mourning following the passing of Shiekh Khalifa.
In a statement issued, Oman News Agency (ONA) quoting Diwan of Royal Court said three days of official mourning will be observed starting from Friday, May 13 until Sunday, May 15 as a mark of respect. Flags will fly at half-mast during the three days.
In turn, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Oman, Badr Al-Busaidi, said on Twitter, “We share with our people and brothers in the UAE the feelings of sadness and sorrow for the affliction of everyone, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, may God have mercy on him, and accept him with the mercy and forgiveness in the gardens of bliss. We belong to God and to Him, we shall return.”
For his part, Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa mourned the late Emirati president, “after a life full of giving and achievements in serving his people and the Arab and Islamic nation and championing its causes.”
He ordered the declaration of official mourning and flags at half-mast in the Kingdom of Bahrain for a period of three days.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi mourned the late, and said in a statement: “I mourn with sincere sadness and sorrow one of the most precious men and one of the greatest leaders, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE.”
He added that the late “passed away after a long journey of giving, in which he gave a lot to his country and his nation until the Emirates became a model for development and modernity in our region and the world.”
Egypt has declared a three-day mourning period nationwide after the death of UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Jordan’s King Abdullah II also offered condolences to the UAE on the death of its president. He said on his Twitter account, “May God have mercy on Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, we have lost a dear brother and an outstanding leader who inherited wisdom from his late great father, Sheikh Zayed.”
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas mourned the death of UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, declaring a state of mourning and flags at half-mast in his country for one day.
Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati announced, in a statement, official mourning for the late Arab nation and the Islamic world and friend of Lebanon, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed.
Mikati referred to flags at half-mast for a period of three days, from today until next Sunday, instructing “administrations, official institutions and municipalities to modify regular programs on radio and television stations in line with this painful occasion.”
Israeli President Isaac Herzog said, “The bold leadership of Sheikh Khalifa contributed a lot to the progress of the UAE and its people and to the growing partnership between our two countries, which is a great legacy for his successor.”
Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said: “Sheikh Khalifa’s legacy and tremendous deeds are greatly admired in Israel. The State of Israel stands alongside the United Arab Emirates at this difficult time.”
In turn, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that he would visit the United Arab Emirates; To offer condolences on the death of its president, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
“I will pay a visit to offer my condolences, God willing,” President Erdogan said in a press statement after performing Friday prayers in a mosque in Istanbul.
Erdogan also expressed his condolences on the death of Sheikh Khalifa via a tweet on Twitter.
He said, “I received with great sadness and sorrow the news of the death of the President of the United Arab Emirates and the ruler of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, my dear brother, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. I ask God for mercy, and I offer my sincere condolences to the people of the sister Emirates.”
Iraqi President Salih said in a tweet, “With great sadness and sorrow, we received the news of the death of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, who was known for his wisdom and generosity for the sake of his homeland and the Arab and Islamic nation.”
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi offered condolences on the passing of Sheikh Khalifa.
“We extend our deepest condolences and sympathy to the leadership of the UAE and its honorable people, and we are confident that the pioneering path of the great late will continue with the efforts of the country’s leadership and people,” Al Kadhimi tweeted.
In turn, Nayef Al-Hajraf, Secretary-General of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, expressed his sincere condolences and sincere sympathy to the ruling family of the United Arab Emirates, the government and the Emirati people on the death of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed.
Al-Hajraf offered condolences “In his name and on behalf of all employees of the General Secretariat of the Cooperation Council, its offices and missions, to their Majesties and Highnesses, the leaders of the GCC states, and to the honorable Al Nahyan family, the Emirati people and the people of all the countries of the Cooperation Council for this great loss.”
The Secretary-General recalled “the great role of the late deceased and his contributions in supporting and consolidating the march of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, as we lost, with his passing, a Gulf, Arab and international leader, and pioneer.”
UN office in UAE offers condolences
“The UN in UAE offers its heartfelt condolences on the profound loss of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. In this moment of grief, our thoughts are with the people of UAE. The UN offices are now in official mourning & the UN flags are flown at half-mast on all UAE lands,” it tweeted.
For his part, US President Joe Biden mourned Sheikh Khalifa, saying: “He has been a true partner and friend of the United States throughout decades of his presidency of the UAE.”
Biden offered his condolences to Sheikh Khalifa’s family and “all Emiratis mourning this great loss.”
He stressed that Washington “will honor his memory by continuing to strengthen the long-term relations between the governments and peoples of the United States and the United Arab Emirates.”
The Indian government announced a day of mourning on Saturday.
“As a mark of respect to the departed dignitary, the government of India has decided that there will be one day’s state mourning tomorrow throughout India,” the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs said in a statement.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted he was “deeply saddened” by the news, saying Sheikh Khalifa “was a great statesman and visionary leader under whom India-UAE relations prospered.”
The Government of Pakistan has announced three-day national mourning from Friday till Sunday in solidarity with the brotherly people of the UAE over the “sad demise of President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.”
A statement issued on Friday said that the National Flag shall also fly at half-mast during the mourning period.
Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif extended his condolences and said the UAE has lost a visionary leader and Pakistan a great friend.
“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!,” Shehbaz Sharif, Prime Minister of Pakistan, said in a tweet.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “saddened” to learn of Sheikh Khalifa’s passing. “He was a wise and respected leader who will be missed enormously. Through his work as president and sheikh he has made a personal contribution to regional stability and conservation which will long be remembered.
Sheikh Khalifa, born in January 1948, succeeded his father, Sheikh Zayed, the founder of the Emirates, in 2004, in the positions of the ruler of Abu Dhabi and president of the wealthy Gulf state.