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News ID: 102521
Publish Date : 14 May 2022 - 22:03
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ABU DHABI (AFP) – The UAE’s long-time de facto ruler Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan was elected as president on Saturday, official media said, a day after the death of former leader Sheikh Khalifa.
The 61-year-old was unanimously elected by the Federal Supreme Council, WAM news agency said, becoming the ruler of the oil-rich country founded by his father in 1971.
Sheikh Mohamed, often known as ‘MBZ’, met members of the Federal Supreme Council, made up of rulers of the UAE’s seven emirates, as the country enters a period of mourning for his half-brother Sheikh Khalifa.
Sheikh Mohamed’s ascension, which was widely expected, formalizes his position as leader of the desert state of 10 million after years of calling the shots while Sheikh Khalifa was sidelined by poor health.
Closely allied with Saudi Arabia, it has emerged as a leader of a reshaped Middle East since the retreat of traditional Arab powers and the reduced involvement of the United States, forging ties with the Zionist regime and launching a war by the Saudi-led coalition on Yemen.
Official media had already named Sheikh Mohamed as the ruler of Abu Dhabi, the UAE’s richest emirate, on Friday, inheriting one of the main titles held by Sheikh Khalifa who died at 73.
Sheikh Khalifa was born in 1948. He took over as the UAE’s second president in November 2004, succeeding his father as the 16th ruler of Abu Dhabi, the federation’s richest emirate. He was expected to be succeeded as the ruler of Abu Dhabi by his half-brother Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who suffered a stroke in 2014, following which he has rarely been seen in public, although he has continued to issue rulings.

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