World leaders pay tribute in UAE after death of pro-Western president

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan after his death at Mushrif Palace in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, May 14, 2022, in Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan received mourners. U

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DUBAI (Reuters) – World leaders arrived in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday to congratulate new leader Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed on the death of his half-brother, President Khalifa bin Zayed. Yed Al Nahyan offered his condolences in a show of support for a key regional player. .

Sheikh Mohammed, now the ruler of the wealthy emirate of Abu Dhabi, led the West-aligned Gulf state, OPEC oil producer and region before being named the UAE’s third president by the Federal Supreme Council on Saturday. business center for many years.

French President Emmanuel Macron’s country has lucrative commercial and military ties with the UAE, the Elysee Palace said, telling Sheikh Mohammed in Abu Dhabi that the UAE could “count on French friendship” And discussed the Ukraine conflict.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog said before heading to the UAE capital that the UAE-Israel relationship two years ago was built by “bold and pioneering leaders” including Khalifa across the region asset.

The UAE and Bahrain have upended decades of Arab consensus by forging ties with Israel, creating a new anti-Iran axis in the region and drawing Palestinian anger.

The Palestinian president and the British prime minister will also arrive in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration has strained relations with the UAE and Saudi Arabia, with Vice President Kamala Harris due to visit on Monday.

Several Arab leaders paid their respects on Saturday. A week ago, the Saudi crown prince, whose father King Salman was hospitalized, sent a delegation.

Sheikh Mohammed, known as MbZ, has been a driving force in Middle East politics, backing Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the West after he came to power and fighting in the region with political Islamism seen as a threat to Gulf dynasty rule Teach to fight.

MbZ deepened ties with Russia and China as Gulf states increasingly question the regional commitments of the United States, traditional security guarantor. The Ukrainian conflict underscored tensions in U.S.-UAE relations as the Gulf state refuses to side with Western allies in isolating Russia.

After years of hostility, Abu Dhabi has also begun engaging with Iran and Turkey, as the UAE doubles its economic growth amid heightened regional competition and a global push for hydrocarbons away from the lifeblood of the Gulf economies.

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