Sunday, May 15, 2022
Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) affirmed their commitment to further strengthen bilateral ties in all dimensions during a visit of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to Abu Dhabi.
The PM remembered the former president of UAE when he met President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
PM Shehbaz Sharif expressed his deepest condolences on behalf of the government and people of Pakistan on the demise of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, former President of the UAE, who passed away on 13 May 2022.
The prime minister called the late Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan a “sincere friend of Pakistan” while condoling with his successor Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nayhan, a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office said.
According to the PM Office, other members of Abu Dhabi’s royal family were also present at the condolence meeting. The PM was accompanied by Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, and Pakistan’s Ambassador to UAE Afzaal Mahmood.
PM Shehbaz offered prayers for the departed soul and conveyed that the Pakistani nation fully shared the grief and sorrow of their Emirati brethren and stood by them in this difficult time.
“Pakistan and the UAE are bound by a close fraternal relationship. Under the leadership of Late Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the relationship between Pakistan and the UAE scaled new heights. He was a sincere friend of Pakistan,” PM Shehbaz said.
The premier said that the “invaluable contributions” of the former UAE president would be “long remembered” by Pakistan.
Moreover, the premier also lauded Sheikh Khalifa's invaluable contributions in strengthening bilateral ties between the two countries and his dynamic leadership under which the UAE transformed into a major economic powerhouse.
He also told the Abu Dhabi royal family that Pakistan has announced three days of national mourning from May 13-15, with the national flag flying at half-mast in solidarity with the UAE.
Besides offering condolences, PM Shehbaz also gave his best wishes to Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan upon assuming his responsibilities as the new President of the UAE. He expressed the confidence that the newly-elected leader would take the UAE to new heights of development and progress in the years to come.
In response, Sheikh Mohamed conveyed sincere gratitude to PM Shehbaz Sharif as well as the leadership and people of Pakistan for their solidarity during the hour of grief.
The PM stopped over in Abu Dhabi while returning from London to Pakistan, where he had met his brother and PML-N supremo, Nawaz Sharif.
Pakistan and the UAE enjoy strong fraternal ties, deep rooted in common faith and shared history and cultural values.
"Pakistan is committed to further strengthening and expanding existing strong bilateral cooperation with the UAE, in particular the trade, economic and investment dimensions," the statement added.
Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed passed away on Friday, state news agency WAM had reported.
“The Ministry of Presidential Affairs condoles the people of the UAE, the Arab and Islamic nation and the world over the demise of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the president of the UAE,” a WAM statement read.
Following his demise, the UAE government announced three days of public holiday and 40 days of mourning.
Born in 1948 to UAE's founding father Sheikh Zayed, Sheikh Khalifa started his official duties in 1966 and went on to rule the country from November 3, 2004, to date.
Sheikh Khalifa was the second president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the 16th Ruler of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the largest of the seven Emirates which comprise the UAE.
Sheikh Khalifa — whose full name is Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan bin Zayed bin Khalifa bin Shakhbout bin Theyab bin Issa bin Nahyan bin Falah bin Yas — was the eldest son of Sheikh Zayed.
Sheikh Khalifa was married to Her Sheikha Shamsa bint Suhail Al Mazrouei, and together they have eight children: two sons and six daughters — and he also has several grandchildren.
After his father's passing and his accession to the role of the president of the UAE, Sheikh Khalifa launched an initiative to evolve the nomination system for members of the Federal National Council, which was seen as a first step towards the establishment of direct elections in the UAE.
Following his death, UAE's long-time de facto ruler Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan was elected as president on Saturday, official media said, a day after the death of former leader Sheikh Khalifa.
The 61-year-old was unanimously elected by the Federal Supreme Council, WAM news agency said, becoming the ruler of the oil-rich country founded by his father in 1971.
Sheikh Mohamed, often known as 'MBZ', met members of the Federal Supreme Council, made up of rulers of the UAE's seven emirates, as the country enters a period of mourning for his half-brother Sheikh Khalifa.