Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has touched down in the United Arab Emirates to offer condolences over the death of its former president Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The prime minister made a brief detour to the wealthy Gulf nation on his way back from the United Kingdom after its ailing president passed away on Friday. The late Sheikh Khalifa’s brother, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, was elected yesterday to succeed him.
According to PTV, PM Shehbaz will today offer condolences to the newly elected President of the UAE, Sheikh Mohamed on the death of the late president.
On Saturday, the Foreign Office released a statement which said the Prime Minister will convey the “profound sympathies and condolences of the leadership, Government and people of Pakistan”.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif arrives in UAE to offer condolences on the sad demise of UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has arrived in the United Arab Emirates on his return from London.
— Prime Minister’s Office (@PakPMO) May 15, 2022
Describing the Pakistan-UAE ties as a “close fraternal relationship”, the Foreign Office said under the leadership of Sheikh Khalifa, the relationship between Pakistan and the UAE “scaled new heights”.
“He was a sincere friend of Pakistan,” the statement said. “His invaluable contributions will be long remembered by the Government and the people of Pakistan.”
In solidarity with the brotherly people of UAE, the Pakistan announced a three-day national mourning period from May 13-15, with the national flag at half-mast.
Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed died on Friday, the UAE’s Ministry of Presidential Affairs announced. He was also ruler of Abu Dhabi emirate.
“The Ministry of Presidential Affairs mourns to the UAE people, Arab and Islamic nations and the world the death of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who passed away on Friday,” the ministry had said in a statement on state media without giving further details.
Khalifa, born in 1948, had rarely been seen in public since suffering a stroke in 2014 and his half-brother Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed, known as MBZ, has been the de facto ruler of the US-allied UAE, an Opec oil producer.
“The UAE has lost its righteous son and leader of the ’empowerment phase’ and guardian of its blessed journey,” MbZ had said on Twitter, praising Khalifa’s wisdom and generosity.