DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A string of presidents and prime ministers from around the world continued to travel to the United Arab Emirates on Sunday to pay their respects to the federation’s late ruler. They also praised his successor, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan – a vivid demonstration of Abu Dhabi’s influence in Western and Arab capitals.
The first Western leader to fly to the oil-rich capital Abu Dhabi was French President Emmanuel Macron.He met Sheikh Mohammed on Sunday Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyanthe country’s long-sick ruler died on Friday at the age of 73.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to arrive later on Sunday and join other leaders including Israeli President Isaac Herzog to offer condolences after the two countries established official relations in 2020.
A U.S. delegation led by Vice President Kamala Harris will visit the UAE on Monday to show support after recent tensions between the two countries.
Arab heads of state, including close allies Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Jordan’s King Abdullah II, travelled to the UAE on Saturday.
“He is respected by all for the values he embodies peace, openness and dialogue,” Macron wrote on Sheikh Khalifa’s Twitter, adding his “full support” to his half-brother Xie The ascension of Hemuhammad after the federal rulers. unanimously named him president.
As Abu Dhabi’s crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed has been the country’s de facto leader since Sheikh Khalifa suffered a stroke in 2014. He turned the small country, the UAE, into one of the most influential nations with enormous military and commercial power in the Middle East and Africa.
The country has positioned itself as a shrewd and reliable partner in the Western capital despite its involvement in Yemen’s bloody years-long conflict and Libya’s chaotic proxy war.
Paris and Abu Dhabi have become increasingly aligned in recent years with a deep mistrust of Islamist movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood in the wider region, including Turkey and Libya.
France has opened a major overseas naval base in Abu Dhabi. French warplanes and personnel are also stationed at a major facility outside the UAE capital. The two governments have jointly built the gleaming Louvre Museum in the emirate.
During Macron’s visit to Dubai in December last year, France gets largest overseas order U.S. plans to sell advanced F-35 fighter jets to the UAE in an $18 billion deal have stalled in part due to U.S. concerns over the UAE’s relationship with China.
Sheikh Mohammed’s hard-line foreign policy was on stark display as leaders of the Arab allies rushed to the capital to express their grief over Sheikh Khalifa’s death and to congratulate him on his official rise to power. The first is Egyptian general el-Sissi, who in 2013 toppled an elected but divided Islamic government with the support of Gulf Arab states.
UAE-backed Tunisian President Keith Saeed, who has amassed near-absolute power in the country since dismissing the prime minister last year, also flew in with the Iraqi president and prime minister to pay their respects.
Abdel-Fattah Burhan of Sudan the general who led the coup In the strategic East African country last year, he made frequent visits to key supporter Sheikh Mohammed. On Saturday, he posted a video on social media of him rushing up the stairs to board a plane to Abu Dhabi to pay tribute to the late president.