Israeli leaders offer condolences to UAE on death of Sheikh Khalifa

The two countries established ties with the signing of the Abraham Accords in 2020

Israeli President Isaac Herzog shared his message of condolence to the UAE on Friday after the death of Sheikh Khalifa.

The UAE Ministry of Presidential Affairs announced the death of the President, Sheikh Khalifa, on Friday. He was 73.

The government has declared a 40-day mourning period for Sheikh Khalifa, who led the UAE after the death of the Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, in 2004.

Mr Herzog joined leaders from around the world in sharing his thoughts with the people and leadership of the UAE.

“On behalf of the people of Israel I send my deepest condolences to my friend Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed and his family on the death of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE,” Mr Herzog tweeted on Friday. “This is a great loss for our friends in the UAE and for the whole region.”

“I also express my condolences to my friend, Sheikh Muhammad bin Zayed. The legacy and great deeds of Sheikh Khalifa were much appreciated in Israel. The State of Israel stands alongside the United Arab Emirates and with it at,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid also tweeted his condolences.

“I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE.

“History is made by people: it is made by people who know history, but are willing to change it. It is made by people who prefer the future to the past,” he said, in an apparent reference to the Abraham Accords.

The UAE and Israel signed the Abraham Accords in September 2020 to begin establishing ties and since then several Israeli officials have visited the UAE.

Bahrain was also a signatory to the accords and was followed by Morocco and Sudan soon after. They were the first Arab countries to establish ties with Israel since Jordan in 1994 and Egypt in 1979.

Updated: May 13, 2022, 2:58 PM