ADDIS ABABA – President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has died at the age of 73.
UAE’s Minister of Presidential Affairs announced the death of Sheikh Khalifa on Friday. It has also declared a 40-day mourning period for the President, who led the UAE following the passing of the Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, in 2004.
In the first decade of his rule, he presided over a major restructuring of both the federal government and that of Abu Dhabi.
But after his stroke, he was rarely seen in public, although he continued to issue rulings.
In a message on twitter, Prime Minister of Ethiopia Abiy Ahmed has extended condolences on the passing away of President Sheikh Khalifa.
“My deepest condolences to my brother Mohamed Bin Zayed as well as to the entire leadership and people of the UAE on the passing of President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. May he rest in eternal peace,” Abiy said.
Under the UAE’s constitution, the vice-president Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, will act as interim president.
Featured Image Caption: President Sheikh Khalifa has died. [Photo: the national/Ian Jones]