Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the president of the United Arab Emirates and the Emir of Abu Dhabi, died Friday at the age of 73, the Emirati state media outlet WAM reported.
“The Ministry of Presidential Affairs announced that there will be 40 days of official mourning with flags at half mast and three days closure of ministries and official entities at the federal and local levels and the private sector,” WAM tweeted.
Sheikh Khalifa has suffered from health issues for years, sharing power with his brother, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed.
Israel’s President Isaac Herzog offered his condolences to the royal family, saying: “On behalf of the people of Israel I send my deepest condolences to my friend Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed and his family on the death of HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE. This is a great loss for our friends in the UAE and for the whole region.”
"Sheikh Khalifa's bold leadership contributed so much to the advancement of the UAE and its people and to the growing partnership between our countries and is a great legacy for his successors. His life's work pushed the Middle East to new horizons of prosperity and cooperation."
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid eulogized Sheikh Khalifa in a statement Friday afternoon, lauding him for his country’s decision to join the Abraham Accords in 2020.
“I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates. History is made by people: it is made by people who know history, but are willing to change it. It is made by people who prefer the future to the past.”
“Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan was such a leader, and his legacy is the partnership, peace, and brotherhood between our nations. He was a brave leader who looked forward and worked towards the future. A leader who continued the way of the founding father of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.”
“I send our deepest and sincere condolences to the entire royal family, to my friends, Crown Prince His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Foreign Minister His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and to the entire Emirati people. This is a sad day for all who are partners in and believe in the path of peace. We will continue to work together for the sake of our peoples and the memory of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.”