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July 4 2022 9:25 AM ˚
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UAE president meets Macron, Johnson, as world leaders send congratulations

3. UAE
France’s President Emmanuel Macron (right) offering his condolences to Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan (left), President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, at Mushrif Palace in Abu Dhabi on May 15, 2022. (Photo: UAE’S Ministry Of Presidential Affairs/ AFP)
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ABU DHABI — The UAE’s new president, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, met his French and British counterparts Sunday as world leaders offered congratulations and paid tribute to his late predecessor.اضافة اعلان

French President Emmanuel Macron, on the maiden foreign trip of his second term, was the first of a number of Western leaders to meet “MBZ”, the oil-rich Gulf state’s long-time de facto ruler who was appointed on Saturday, a day after the death of his ailing half-brother Sheikh Khalifa.

He was followed later by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who offered his commiserations on Sheikh Khalifa’s death and his congratulations on the presidency, an official told AFP. Queen Elizabeth II also sent her congratulations.

Israel’s president and the king of Spain were also scheduled to meet Sheikh Mohamed on Sunday, with US Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of State Antony Blinken due on Monday.

The high-level visits reflect the increased influence wielded by the UAE in the Middle East and further afield due to its wealth, oil resources and strategic location.

Long line of leaders

Sunday’s guest list also included Qatar’s emir, Bahrain’s king, and the Palestinian, German, and Indonesian presidents, among more than 20 senior figures.

Sheikh Mohamed, 61, has controlled the levers of power since 2014 when Sheikh Khalifa, his 73-year-old half-brother, was sidelined by a stroke. The cause of his death was not announced.

Under Sheikh Mohamed’s low-key direction, the wealthy UAE has emerged as a leader of a reshaped Middle East, forging ties with Israel and joining a Saudi-led war against Iran-backed rebels in Yemen.

His close ally, Saudi Arabia’s leader Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, called to congratulate him and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted to commend his “dynamic and visionary leadership”.

Chinese President Xi Jinping also sent his congratulations, promising to work to “deepen the comprehensive strategic partnership” between the two countries.


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