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President of the United Arab Emirates dies at 73

Latest NewsPresident of the United Arab Emirates dies at 73

Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the second President of the Federation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), died this Friday at the age of 73 in his country, which he ruled for years through his half-brother and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. , Mohamed bin Zayed, allegedly due to his poor health.

The official UAE news agency, WAM, reported the death of Sheikh Khalifa this Friday, without knowing at this time the circumstances of the death of the head of state, who disappeared from the public stage after he suffered a stroke in 2014.

Born in 1948, Khalifa became the country’s president after the death in 2004 of his father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the man who unified the seven emirates that make up the UAE and managed to coordinate their transformation from a desert country to an oil-rich, stable and the most dynamic economy in the area.

Educated at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in the United Kingdom, Sheikh Zayed’s eldest son, Khalifa, was 20 years old when, in August 1969, he was appointed Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and head of the emirate’s Ministry of Defense, which would become the UAE Armed Forces.

In July 1971, when the founder of the UAE formed a federation, Sheikh Khalifa became president of Abu Dhabi’s first local council of ministers, in addition to the emirate’s defense and finance portfolios.

From 1971 until taking office as President on November 3, 2004, Sheikh Khalifa served as Ruler of Abu Dhabi and Minister of Defense and Finance of the emirate, Deputy Prime Minister and President of the Executive Council, which replaced the local government. this emirate. In addition, he was in charge of the day-to-day affairs of Abu Dhabi for several years before his father’s death due to the poor health that octogenarian Sheikh Zayed suffered before his death.

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Khalifa followed in his father’s footsteps and led numerous modernization and development projects in the country, in addition to investing billions of dollars, until he suffered a stroke in 2014 for which he underwent emergency surgery at a hospital in your country. Although WAM at the time assured him that his condition was “stable”, the sheikh disappeared from the political and international scene and made few public appearances, handing over the job to his half-brother Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi since 2004. , who in recent years has become the strongest figure in the UAE and the de facto leader of the country.

Despite this, Khalifa’s name was present almost daily, along with a single image in the Emirati media, as well as in mythical structures or buildings in the country such as the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, one of the tallest buildings in the world, baptized in his name for financial reasons. assistance to this emirate during the financial crisis that it experienced in 2008.

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Source: elpais.com

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