Turkey's Erdogan meets UAE President Sheikh Mohamed in Abu Dhabi

Turkish president offers condolences following the death of Sheikh Khalifa

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Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday to convey his condolences over the death of Sheikh Khalifa.

The leader was welcomed by the President, Sheikh Mohamed, at the Presidential Airport.

Dozens of international leaders, dignitaries and officials have travelled to the capital in recent days to pay their respects to Sheikh Khalifa and congratulate Sheikh Mohamed on his election.

Sheikh Mohamed also paid tribute to Sheikh Khalifa in a social media post on Tuesday.

“With his enduring wisdom and generosity, my brother Khalifa bin Zayed was the heart of our family and the guardian of our nation,” said Sheikh Mohamed.

“He was loved greatly and will be deeply missed, but his remarkable legacy will live on forever. May God grant him eternal peace.”

Tributes also poured in from across the world after Sheikh Khalifa's death at the age of 73 was announced on Friday.

He had served as president since 2004, during which time he ably guided the country's continued development on both the regional and international stages.

Mr Erdogan paid his first official visit to the Emirates in almost a decade in February.

He met Sheikh Mohamed during that two-day stay, which was aimed at bolstering ties between the nations.

The two leaders oversaw the signing of a number of agreements to forge closer links across key fields such as the economy, health and sciences, advanced industries and technology and climate change.

Sheikh Mohamed had revealed plans to double trade between the countries during those talks at Qasr Al Watan, the Presidential Palace.

Meanwhile, Sheikh Mohamed continued to receive messages of support from around the world after being elected president as tributes flooded in for Sheikh Khalifa.

Also on Tuesday, Sheikh Mohamed received a phone call from Russia’s President Vladimir Putin who offered his condolences to the new president and the UAE people on the death of Sheikh Khalifa, reported state news agency Wam.

In the call, Mr Putin "praised Sheikh Khalifa’s pivotal role in the march of development in the UAE and his support for the promotion of the Emirati-Russian relations," said Wam.

Mr Putin also congratulated Sheikh Mohamed on his election as President, wishing him success in leading the state towards new prospects in various fields. He said he was looking forward to expanding cooperation between the two countries.

Italy's President Sergio Mattarella arrived in Abu Dhabi on Monday afternoon to meet Sheikh Mohamed.

Sergio Mattarella, president of Italy, offers condolences to President Sheikh Mohamed. Photo: Ryan Carter/Ministry of Presidential Affairs

“On the occasion of your election to the Presidency of the UAE, I would like to convey to you, on my own behalf and on behalf of the entire Italian people, my warmest congratulations and my best wishes for your success in carrying out the high office entrusted to you,” the Italian president wrote on Twitter.

The European Parliament congratulated Sheikh Mohamed and said it would work to bolster ties with the Emirates, including the Federal National Council.

''I congratulate Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on his election as President of the UAE, and I wish the people of the Emirates further prosperity and advancement under Sheikh Mohamed's leadership,” said Hannah Neumann, the parliament's chairwoman of the delegation for relations with the Arab Peninsula.

''The European Parliament's Delegation for Relations with the Arab Peninsula will continue to work towards consolidating a strong and enduring political and parliamentary partnership with the United Arab Emirates and its Federal National Council.''

She also paid tribute to the “unprecedented era of growth” overseen by Sheikh Khalifa.

“I learnt with sadness of the sudden passing of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. On behalf of the European Parliament's Delegation for relations with Arab Peninsula, I express, together with my colleagues, my deepest condolences to his family, to the people and to the Government of the United Arab Emirates.

''Under Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan leadership, the UAE embarked on an unprecedented era of growth and modernisation, which made the country one of the emerging powerhouses in the region and a global centre for commerce, cultural exchange, and tourism.''

Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, President of the Maldives, offers condolences to President Sheikh Mohamed. EPA

Sadyr Japarov, President of the Kyrgyzstan and Julius Maada Bio, President of Sierra Leone also on Tuesday expressed condolences, state news agency Wam reported.

Sheikh Mohamed also accepted the condolences of Teodoro Mbasogo, President of Equatorial Guinea; Greece's Deputy Prime Minister Panagiotis Pekraminos; Don Pramudwinai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand; and Harjit Sajjan, Minister of International Development of Canada, Wam reported.

Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, President of the Maldives, said Sheikh Khalifa had been a “dear friend” to his nation.

He said Sheikh Khalifa had been among the first world leaders to provide assistance as his country battled against the Covid-19 pandemic.

“With His Highness Sheikh Khalifa’s innovative approach to growth, the UAE has become a centre of global commerce, and of Islamic knowledge and culture. The UAE has prospered at the global stage during his tenure and become a close and dear friend of the Maldives.”

Mr Solih looked forward to deepening ties with the UAE under the leadership of Sheikh Mohamed, who he described as a “brother and a close ally” to the Maldives.

“I wish him every success in his new leadership role, and I look forward to working closely with His Highness to expand our existing relations over the coming years,” the president said.

Maqsoud Kruse, chairman of the National Human Rights Institution, lauded the achievements of Sheikh Khalifa during his 18-year tenure as president.

He pointed to his decision to establish the independent body last year as part of a long-term vision to advance human rights.

Mr Kruse praised the decision to unanimously elect Sheikh Mohamed as his successor.

Sheikha Fatima, the Mother of the Nation, received condolences on the death of Sheikh Khalifa from female members of governments overseas and world leaders’ wives.

Queen Rania of Jordan, the first lady of Egypt, Entissar Amer El Sisi, and Cindy Crowe, Governor General of New Zealand, all shared their sympathies.

Sheikha Fatima, who is also the Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, Chairwoman of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, expressed her thanks for their kind support.

Sheikha Shamsa bint Suhail, Sheikh Khalifa’s widow, also received condolences on his death, from Sayyida Ahad bint Abdullah, the wife of Oman's Sultan Haitham and Sheikha Amthal Al Ahmad Al Sabah, the sister of Sheikh Nawaf, Kuwait's Emir.

Queen Rania, Mrs El Sisi and Linda Hurley, wife of Governor General of Australia David Hurley, also offered their condolences to Sheikha Shamsa.

She also received the sympathies of various Sheikhas and female ministers in the UAE, who shared their condolences with Sheikh Khalifa’s family and the people of the UAE.

They also wished UAE and its people continued progress and prosperity.

Sheikha Shamsa thanked them for their thoughts, wishing them continued good health and wellness.

World leaders pay tribute to Sheikh Khalifa — in pictures

Updated: May 18, 2022, 5:18 AM
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