UK's Boris Johnson among leaders to visit UAE for Sheikh Khalifa condolences

Announcements of official delegations made from number of capitals

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Downing Street, London, May 3, 2022. Reuters

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other world leaders have announced they will travel to the UAE to offer their condolences on the death of Sheikh Khalifa.

Mr Johnson's visit on Sunday will also serve to "reinforce the close bond" between Britain and the UAE which will continue under the presidency of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, the UK government said.

The US will be represented by Vice President Kamala Harris, who will travel to Abu Dhabi on Monday, meet Sheikh Mohamed and "underscore the strength of the partnership" between the two nations, the White House said.

The announcement came after US President Joe Biden congratulated Sheikh Mohamed and said Washington was "determined to honour the memory of the late president" by continuing to strengthen relations.

Jordan's King Abdullah, who had been on a working visit to the United States, arrived in the UAE on Friday to offer his condolances.

Egypt President Abdel Fattah El Sisi left Cairo for the UAE on Saturday, spokesman Bassam Rady said on the Egyptian Presidency's Facebook page.

Among other world leaders, French President Emmanuel Macron will travel to the UAE on Sunday to pay tribute to Sheikh Khalifa and “express his support" to his brother and successor, President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, and the Emirati people, his administration said.

Other leaders are also expected in Abu Dhabi to express their condolences over the passing of Sheikh Khalifa, who was laid to rest on Friday evening in the UAE capital.

Lebanon's Prime Minister Najib Mikati left Beirut on Saturday afternoon with a delegation including the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants Abdullah Bou Habib and Fouad Dandan, Lebanese ambassador to the UAE, the National News Agency said.

Tunisia’s President Kais Saied boarded a flight to the UAE at dawn on Saturday, the Tunisian presidency said on its Facebook page.

Rashid Al Mansouri, UAE ambassador to Tunisia, was among the dignitaries who saw Mr Saied off at the Tunis-Carthage International Airport, the presidency said.

Algeria is sending Prime Minister Aymen Benabderrahmane to deliver condolences, the Algerian presidency said on Twitter.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a message of sympathy on Friday that he intended to visit the UAE to offer his condolences in person.

Updated: May 16, 2022, 4:53 AM