UAE President Sheikh Khalifa to make first state visit to UK

The President, Sheikh Khalifa, is set to make a state visit to the UK next month, following an invitation from Queen Elizabeth II.

The last official visit to the UK was by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founding father of the UAE, who visited Britain's Queen Elizabeth II on July 18, 1989. WPA / AP Photo
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ABU DHABI // The President, Sheikh Khalifa, is to make a state visit to the UK next week on the invitation of Queen Elizabeth.

The visit is scheduled to take place between April 30 and May 1.

It follows on from a trip to the UAE by the queen and Prince Philip in 2010, when the two nations reaffirmed the 1971 Treaty of Friendship. That was their first visit since 1979.

The queen will host Sheikh Khalifa at Windsor Castle and hold a state lunch in his honour on the President’s first state visit to the country following from the last official visit by the Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed, in 1989.

The President will also meet the British prime minister, David Cameron, at 10 Downing Street.

Mr Cameron visited the UAE last November, when the two nations agreed to cooperation in areas such as trade, defence and climate change.

Sheikh Khalifawill also lay a wreath at the tomb of the unknown warrior in Westminster Abbey and have tea with Prince Charles at Clarence House.

“The visit will be a significant personal moment in the warm relationship between President Khalifa and the queen, as well as a milestone in the bilateral relationship between our two countries,” the UK ambassador Dominic Jermey said yesterday.