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UAE President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan passes away
By Tasso Konia
Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, died on Friday at the age of 73. He has been the President of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Abu Dhabi since November 3, 2004.
The Ministry of Presidential Affairs in the UAE has announced a 40-day period of mourning and a three-day suspension of work in all ministries and the private sector starting Friday, with flags flying at half-staff.
Sheikh Khalifa, who has rarely been seen in official photos or at public events for years, succeeded his father and the UAE's founder Sheikh Zayed in 2004. He suffered a stroke a decade later, keeping him largely out of public sight ever since.
He had long ceased having involvement in day-to-day affairs, with his brother, Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, seen as the de-facto ruler. There was no immediate announcement about the successor.
The Crown Prince of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in a tweet, mourned the loss of the President.
I am deeply saddened to know about the passing away of HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed. He was a great statesman and visonary leader under whom India-UAE relations prospered. The heartfelt condolences of the people of India are with the people of UAE. May his soul rest in peace.