The first Western leader in the oil-rich capital, Abu Dhabi, was French President Emmanuel Macron. He met with Sheikh Mohammed on Sunday to pay tribute to Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the country’s longest-ruling ruler who died Friday at the age of 73.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, along with other leaders, including Israeli President Isaac Herzog, was expected to return to mourn Sunday after the two countries formally opened relations in 2020.
An American delegation led by Vice President Kamala Harris will visit the United Arab Emirates on Monday, a bid to show support after the recent strained relations between the two countries.
Arab heads of state, including close ally Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Jordan’s King Abdullah II, visited the United Arab Emirates on Saturday.
“He was respected by all for the values of peace, openness and dialogue that he embodied,” Macron wrote on Sheikh Khalifa’s Twitter account, expressing “full support” for his honest brother Sheikh Mohammed’s ascension after the federation unanimously appointed rulers. He is the President.
As Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed has served as the country’s true leader since Sheikh Khalifa suffered a stroke in 2014. He has made the small United Arab Emirates one of the most influential nations, wielding vast military and commercial power throughout the Middle East and Africa. .
Even when the country is embroiled in Yemen’s bloody, year-long conflict and chaotic proxy war in Libya, it finds itself in the Western capitals as an intelligent and reliable partner.
Paris and Abu Dhabi have increasingly merged in recent years, sharing deep distrust of Islamist movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood across a wide area, including Turkey and Libya.
France has opened a large foreign naval base in Abu Dhabi. French warplanes and crew are also stationed at a large facility outside the UAE capital. The two governments have jointly created a brilliant branch of the Louvre Museum in the UAE.
During Macron’s visit to Dubai last December, France received the largest foreign order for warplanes in its Rafale with the UAE – a 18 billion deal that came as a planned US sale of advanced F-35 fighter jets to the UAE due to US concerns. About the UAE’s relationship with China.
Sheikh Mohammed’s strong foreign policy was fully demonstrated as allied Arab leaders rushed to the capital to express their condolences on the death of Sheikh Khalifa and to congratulate him on his return to power. Among the first was L-CC, the Egyptian general who overthrew an elected but divided Islamist government in 2013 in support of the Gulf Arabs.
Emirati-backed Tunisian President Qais Said, who has gained almost absolute power in the country since ousting the prime minister last year, also flew to pay his respects to the Iraqi president and prime minister.
Sudan’s Abdel-Fattah Burhan, the general who led the coup in the strategic East African country last year, has made frequent visits to main supporter Sheikh Mohammed. He posted footage on social media on Saturday as he climbed the stairs to board his plane in Abu Dhabi to pay his respects to the late president.