World leaders pay their respects in the UAE following the death of the pro-Western president

World leaders arrived in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday to offer their condolences to the new leader, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, on the death of his half-brother, President Khalifa bin Zayed, in a show of support for an actor. key region.

Sheikh Mohammed, now ruler of the wealthy emirate of Abu Dhabi, ran the western-allied Gulf state, an OPEC oil producer and regional trade hub, for years before being appointed the third president of the United Arab Emirates by a federal supreme council on Saturday.

French President Emmanuel Macron, whose country has lucrative business and military ties with the United Arab Emirates, told Sheikh Mohammed in Abu Dhabi that the United Arab Emirates could “count on the friendship of France” and discussed the Ukraine conflict, the Elysium.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog said before addressing the Emirati capital that the establishment of ties between the UAE and Israel two years ago was an asset for the entire region built by “bold and innovative leaders,” including Khalifa.

READ | Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed becomes president of the United Arab Emirates after the death of his brother

The United Arab Emirates, along with Bahrain, upended decades of Arab consensus by forging relations with Israel, creating a new anti-Iran axis in the region, and provoking Palestinian anger.

The Palestinian president was also due to be in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, as was the British prime minister.

US President Joe Biden, whose administration has had strained ties with the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, will be represented by Vice President Kamala Harris, who will pay a visit on Monday.

Several Arab leaders paid their respects on Saturday. Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, whose father King Salman was admitted to hospital a week ago, sent a delegation.

Sheikh Mohammed, known as MbZ, has been a driving force in Middle East politics, defending Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the West as he rose to power and combating political Islam, seen as a threat to dynastic rule in the Gulf. , throughout the region.

READ | The president of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, dies – WAM Agency

MbZ deepened ties with Russia and China as Gulf states increasingly questioned the regional commitment of the traditional US security guarantor. Strains in ties between the United States and the United Arab Emirates were highlighted in the Ukraine conflict, as Gulf states refused to side with Western allies in isolating Russia.

A view of a street as the UAE observes 40 days of mourning, during which flags will fly at half-staff while work will be suspended in the public and private sectors for three days, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on 14 of May. 2022.

After years of enmity, Abu Dhabi has also moved to engage with Iran and Turkey as the United Arab Emirates doubles down on economic growth amid growing regional competition and a global move away from hydrocarbons, the lifeblood of the world’s economies. Gulf. (Additional reporting by Tassilo Hummel, Jeffrey Heller, and Steven Scheer; Writing by Ghaida Ghantous; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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