Egypt’s El Sisi and Al Azhar Mosque pay tribute to Sheikh Khalifa

The country will mark the death of the UAE's Sheikh Khalifa with three days of mourning

Egypt has announced a three-day period of mourning in remembrance of President Sheikh Khalifa, who died on Friday, as President Abdel Fattah El Sisi offered his condolences.

The announcement of the mourning period was made by the Egyptian presidency, which earlier on Friday said the passing of the UAE leader constituted the loss of one of the Arab world’s great symbols.

Sheikh Khalifa, said the statement, was a “wise leader who devoted his life to the service of his country and who extended the Emirates’ white hands to build and support the Arab and Muslim nations.”

Over the years, Egypt has been the recipient of billions of dollars worth of UAE aid and investments.

The latest batch of UAE support to Egypt was pledged last month to help the most populous Arab nation weather the devastating fallout from the Ukraine war on its economy.

Besides the economy, the two countries are also bound by close military ties, with forces from the two allied nations regularly holding joint war games.

Separately, Mr El Sisi offered his condolences on the loss of “one of the most precious men and glorious leaders”.

Writing on his Facebook page, the Egyptian leader said Sheikh Khalifa “has given his country so much that the Emirates has become a model of progress and modernity in the region”.

Al Azhar Mosque and University, the Sunni world’s foremost seat of Islamic learning, in Cairo, offered its condolences on the passing of Sheikh Khalifa, saying he led a life of achievements.

In a statement, Al Azhar quoted Grand Imam Sheikh Ahmed El Tayeb as saying the late UAE President was an “icon of labour and dedication for the prosperity of his country and who never spared an effort to serve the causes of the Arab and Muslim worlds”.

“His journey was filled with achievements and successes that turned his country into an example to follow in management, innovation and prosperity”.

Egypt's Mufti Shawqi Allam praised Sheikh Khalifa's "efforts at the regional and international levels, in addition to his contribution to the progress and development of his country", in a message of condolence to the UAE leadership, government and people, state news agency Wam reported.

Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church, to which the majority of Egypt’s estimated 10 million Christians belong, offered its condolences on the death of Sheikh Khalifa.

“We will always remember the Emirates’ historic positions in constant support of Egypt, especially during difficult times … We will always remember with appreciation his highness’s continuous support for the presence and activity of the Coptic church in the Emirates,’ it said on its Facebook page.

Evening prayers in the UAE following the death of Sheikh Khalifa — in pictures

Updated: May 14, 2022, 8:41 AM