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UAE's long-ailing leader Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed dies at 73

UAE's long-ailing leader Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed dies at 73

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The United Arab Emirates' long-ailing ruler, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, died Friday, the management announced inside a brief statement. He was 73.

Khalifa, the president of the UAE, oversaw a a large amount of of the country's blistering monetary grow with every one other accompanied by his name was immortalized on the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, following bailing not here debt-crippled Dubai throughout its monetary crisis over a decade ago.

The UAE's Ministry of Presidential Affairs announced a 40-day time of mourning with every one other accompanied by a three-day suspension of labour across the management with every one other accompanied by private sector, including flags to exist flown at half-staff. An outpouring of messages of condolences poured inside from around the neighbourhood with every one other accompanied by world, foremost the leaders of Arab countries supported by Abu Dhabi.

Sheikh Khalifa had lengthy ceased having involvement inside the day-to-day affairs of ruling the country following suffering a blow with every one other accompanied by undergoing crisis surgery inside 2014, a decade following becoming president.

His half-brother, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, was seen while the country's strong de-factor ruler with every one other accompanied by the decision-maker of greatest overseas policy decisions, such while joining a Saudi-led war inside Yemen with every one other accompanied by spearheading an embargo on neighboring Qatar inside recent years.

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There was no indeed immediate announcement concerning a successor, although Mohammed bin Zayed is anticipated to claim the presidency while Abu Dhabi's crown prince.

Sheikh Khalifa's father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, is widely revered by Emiratis while the country's founding father. The country was founded inside 1971, having not long ago marked its 50-year-anniversary. Sheikh Khalifa, trained at Sandhurst, the royal military academy inside England, was his eldest son.

Though he had been not here of condition sight since the stroke, Sheikh Khalifa's likeness was ubiquitous, gracing every one innmotel lobby with every one other accompanied by greatest management office across the country. On occasion, Emirati condition media published infrequent photographs with every one other accompanied by videos of Sheikh Khalifa.

"The UAE has lost a loyal son, with every one other accompanied by the leader of its blessed empowerment journey, " Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed wrote on Twitter following report of his brother's demise was officially announced on condition media. "Khalifa bin Zayed, my brother, supporter with every one other accompanied by mentor, may Allah Almighty permit you eternal peace."

The late president held the most strong position among the septet semi-autonomous city-states stretching down the shores of the Persian Gulf with every one other accompanied by the Gulf of Oman. His part while president derived from his standing while hereditary ruler of Abu Dhabi, the UAE's largest with every one other accompanied by richest emirate.

Historically, the president of the UAE is from Abu Dhabi with every one other accompanied by the vice president with every one other accompanied by main minister is from Dubai, currently Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

The UAE's geographical ability with every one other accompanied by influence, however, emanates from Abu Dhabi, which has most of the country's lubricant with every one other accompanied by gasoline reserves. Dubai provides the UAE accompanied by a swirl of publicity with every one other accompanied by headline-grabbing way of existence with every one other accompanied by entertainment stories that rights groups speak distracts from contentious policies decided inside Abu Dhabi.

Despite its dimensions with every one other accompanied by wealth, Abu Dhabi regularly finds itself overshadowed by the glitzy emirate of Dubai, the commercial hub that showcases both the UAE's bold visions and, at times, debt-fueled pipe dreams, including a massive palm-shaped man-made island that sits empty years following its creation.

As Dubai's fortunes began to falter down accompanied by the worldwide affluence inside 2009, Sheikh Khalifa led efforts to retain protected from danger the federation by pumping billions of dollars inside crisis bailout funds to Dubai. The set of two emirates do not always see eye-to-eye on overseas policy decisions with every one other accompanied by take part commercially accompanied by one another. In 2003, Sheikh Khalifa ordered the design of a new airline, Etihad Airways, which competes accompanied by Dubai's a a large amount of larger Emirates Air.

Khalifa increasingly used Abu Dhabi's lubricant affluence to attract ethnic with every one other accompanied by educational centers, such while a branch of the Louvre museum with every one other accompanied by satellite campuses of New York University with every one other accompanied by the Sorbonne. He too presided over efforts to go the OPEC country on the far side of its reliance on petrodollars accompanied by investments inside renewable vitality research, including a eyesight for a futuristic low-carbon renounce city known while Masdar. The UAE announced last year a net-zero emissions pledge by 2050, flat while it expands investments inside lubricant with every one other accompanied by gasoline for export.

Abu Dhabi's large spending overseas throughout Khalifa's regulation helped form its investing strategy. The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority is now one of the world's largest sovereign affluence funds accompanied by near to $700 billion inside assets, according to estimates by the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute.

Khalifa too helped boost the UAE's geographical side view by sending warplanes to the NATO-led task opposed to Moammar Gadhafi's management inside Libya inside 2011. In September 2014, the Emirates became one of the most prominent Arab participants inside U.S.-led airstrikes opposed to the Islamic State militant category inside Syria, deploying its earliest feminine air strength airman on the initial raid.

Khalifa was born inside 1948 inside the inland oasis of Al Ain, near the border accompanied by the sultanate of Oman, with every one other accompanied by named following his great grandfather, Sheikh Khalifa bin Shakhbout.

In 1969, while the area was still a British protectorate, Khalifa was named while Abu Dhabi main minister with every one other accompanied by chairperson of the emirate's Department of Defense, which subsequent became the centre of the UAE's armed forces. After self-government inside 1971, he became protection minister.

Although the UAE's ruling sheikhs clasp near absolute power, Khalifa began an experiment accompanied by elections by allowing restricted voting — by a hand-picked electorate — for fifty per cent of the members of a 40-seat confederate advisory body inside 2006. Subsequent rounds of elections inside 2011 with every one other accompanied by 2015 failed to attract flat set of two not here of five of those specified a chance to vote.

The UAE saw none of the Arab Spring road protests that shook other parts of the region, though inside the wake of that unrest, Khalifa oversaw crackdowns on Islamists with every one other accompanied by other activists inside the country, sketch censure from international rights groups. The UAE, which views Islamist movements while a threat to its ruling system, too supported efforts inside the neighbourhood to quash the Muslim Brotherhood, including inside Egypt.

Under his presidency, the UAE joined Saudi Arabia inside sending forces to Bahrain to quell an uprising there by the country's majority Shiite inhabitants demanding greater rights from the island-nation's Sunni leadership.

Questions were raised throughout Khalifa's regulation concerning the UAE's use of overseas military contractors, including one linked to the originator of the former Blackwater safety firm, Erik Prince, who moved to Abu Dhabi inside 2009. Prince was associated accompanied by inside a multimillion-dollar program to train troops to fight pirates inside Somalia, according to an official who spoke to The Associated Press inside early 2009.

A U.S. diplomatic cord made condition by WikiLeaks inside 2010 uncharitably described the president while "a faraway with every one other accompanied by uncharismatic personage." The final years of his presidency are probable to exist associated accompanied by his half-brother, Mohammed bin Zayed, who is too the deputy supreme leader of the armed forces with every one other accompanied by who has shepherded the UAE's budding ties accompanied by Israel following the set of two normalized relations inside 2020.

Sheikh Khalifa was believed to exist among the world's richest rulers accompanied by a personal fortune estimated by Forbes magazine inside 2008 at $19 billion. He built a palace inside the Seychelles, an island-chain nation inside the Indian Ocean, with every one other accompanied by faced complaints there concerning causing aqua pollution from the building site.

Khalifa's personal existence was not a a large amount of inside the condition eye. Like numerous inside the Gulf, he was passionate concerning the orthodox (competitive) game(s) of falconry with every one other accompanied by was said to like fishing. He is known to have had eight children — set of two sons with every one other accompanied by sextet daughters — accompanied by his earliest wife, Sheikha Shamsa bint Suhail Al Mazrouei. He is too survived by some grandchildren.

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Follow Adam Schreck on Twitter at www.twitter.com/adamschreck with every one other accompanied by Aya Batrawy at www.twitter.com/ayaelb

UAE's long-ailing leader Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed dies at 73

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