UAE Prez a ‘great visionary’, was a friend of India and Keralites: Vijayan

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday described the demise of the UAE President, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, as a big loss for India and the southern state.

Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed (73) breathed his last on Friday, the UAE’s Ministry of Presidential Affairs announced.

The ministry also confirmed that there will be 40 days of official mourning with flags across the UAE drawn at half-mast, and the work of all UAE ministries at the federal and local levels, as well as those of the private sector, will be suspended for three days, beginning Friday.

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Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed was a great visionary and was largely responsible for the modernisation of UAE as he always thought ahead of his time, Vijayan said.

“He was a great friend of India in general and Kerala in particular, and was also ready to help Indians and Keralites. He was loved and admired by all for his warmth. He will be missed,” the Chief Minister added.

“The help that he extended when Kerala faced the worst-ever floods in a century in 2018 will always be remembered,” he added.

Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly, V.D. Satheesan, said he was deeply saddened to know about the demise of the UAE President.

“He modernised the Emirates and contributed significantly to build a better world. His contributions will be always cherished,” he said.

Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed served as the UAE President and the Emir of Abu Dhabi since November 3, 2004.

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