Official media reported that Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates, was elected president on Saturday, a day after the demise of former chief Sheikh Khalifa.
The Emirates Information Company (WAM) mentioned the 61-year-old was unanimously elected by the Federal Supreme Council, to grow to be the ruler of the oil-rich nation based by his father in 1971.
Sheikh Mohammed, often known as ‘MBZ’, met members of the Federal Supreme Council, made up of the rulers of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates, because the nation enters a interval of mourning for his half-brother Sheikh Khalifa.
The rise of Sheikh Mohammed, extensively anticipated, formalizes his place as chief of the desert nation of 10 million after years of unleashed whereas Sheikh Khalifa has been sidelined by declining well being.
Underneath his humble steerage, the UAE despatched a person into area, despatched a probe to Mars and opened its first nuclear reactor, whereas utilizing its oil-financed affect to develop a extra assertive international coverage.
Intently allied with Saudi Arabia, it has emerged because the chief of a reshaped Center East because the decline of conventional Arab powers and the decline of US involvement, establishing ties with Israel and becoming a member of the struggle towards Iran-backed militants in Yemen.
And official media had appointed Sheikh Mohammed as ruler of the emirate of Abu Dhabi, the richest emirate within the Emirates, on Friday, and inherited one of many predominant titles held by Sheikh Khalifa, who died on the age of 73.
Carrying a kandoora or mild grey gown, Sheikh Mohammed was neck-bearing on the funeral prayer for his older brother who was buried in Abu Dhabi’s Al Bateen Cemetery simply hours after his demise was introduced, in accordance with Islamic custom.
Flags are ending throughout the UAE and companies and authorities workplaces are closed for 3 days because the nation enters a 40-day interval of mourning for Sheikh Khalifa, who has dominated since 2004.
Sheikh Khalifa’s demise gained the condolences of dignitaries together with US President Joe Biden, Russian President Vladimir Putin, British Queen Elizabeth, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Iran, demonstrating the varied loyalties of the UAE.
The workplace of French President Emmanuel Macron introduced that the French president will journey to Abu Dhabi, on Sunday, to honor the late Emirati president.
Neighboring Saudi Arabia has suspended sports activities and leisure and a number of other nations have declared durations of mourning.
Sheikh Mohammed, who was appointed Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi in November 2004, is the third son of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan – the esteemed founding father of the United Arab Emirates.
He served as Deputy Commander of the Armed Forces and Chairman of the Govt Council of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, which controls the massive monetary sources of the emirate, which accounts for 90 % of the nation’s oil manufacturing.
A former British protectorate, the UAE has moved from a desert outpost to a affluent nation in its quick historical past, fueled by its oil wealth and the rise of Dubai as a business and monetary heart.
Sheikh Mohammed had a outstanding position after Sheikh Khalifa withdrew from view in 2014 when he underwent surgical procedure after struggling a stroke. The reason for his demise was not introduced.
Analysts say the brand new president is more likely to face higher competitors for the UAE’s place as a regional monetary hub, notably from Saudi Arabia, and will toughen its stance on Iran.
However Ryan Pohl, Center East analyst at Stratfor Worldview, tweeted: “Functionally, it would not change a lot; MBZ has been working the present virtually from the beginning.”