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UAE President dies, 40 days mourning declared

UAE's Ministry of Presidential Affairs declared official national mourning for the death of the president for 40 days from Friday.

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UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has died at the age of 73 after battling illness for several years. Emirates news agency WAM reported the sad news on Friday.

“The Ministry of Presidential Affairs condoles the people of the UAE, the Arab and Islamic nation and the world over the demise of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the president of the UAE,” a WAM statement read.

According to details, the Ministry of Presidential Affairs declared official national mourning for the death of the president for 40 days from Friday. UAE flags will fly half-mast during this period. Moreover, all government and private sectors will halt all operations for three days.

Read more: PM Shehbaz, UAE Crown Prince agree for strong cooperation

Under the constitution, vice president and premier Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, will act as president. He will take charge until the federal council, which groups the rulers of the seven emirates, meets within 30 days to elect a new president.

Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan served as the president of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi since November 3, 2004. Born in 1948, Sheikh Khalifa was the second President of the UAE and the 16th Ruler of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Under his strong leadership, UAE progressed leaps and bounds. He steered the development of the oil and gas sector and the downstream industries. Such initiatives contributed successfully to the UAE’s economic diversification.

Pakistan condoles death of UAE President

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said he was deeply grieved to hear about Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed’s death.

“UAE has lost a visionary leader & Pakistan a great friend. We send our heartfelt condolences & sympathies to the government & people of the UAE. May Allah rest his soul in peace!” he tweeted.

Earlier, PM Shehbaz held meetings with meeting with President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and other top officials. His visit to UAE came as part of his Gulf tour.

PM Shehbaz also held a meeting with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (MBZ). In the meeting, the premier requested the emirates senior officials to explore investment opportunities in Pakistan.