The UAE de facto leader Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan was elected president of the Middle East nation on Saturday, a day after the death of former leader Sheikh Khalifa.
Sheikh Mohamed was elected president by Federal Supreme Council, WAMY news agency stated, becoming ruler of the oil-rich country founded by his father in 1971.
Sheikh Mohamed, widely known as MBZ, met with leaders of the Federal Supreme Council, made up of rulers of the seven emirates of the UAE , as the UAE enters a time of mourning for its half-brother Sheikh Khalifa.
“We congratulate him and pledge allegiance to him as do our people…and the entire country will follow his leadership to glory,” Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, who is also UAE vice-president and premier, said in a Twitter post.
MbZ, 61, was dealing with power for many years, during a period in which Sheikh Khalifa had bouts of illness, including a stroke in 2014.
Under its low-key guidance, the United Arab Emirates has built a man in space, sent a probe to the surface of the planet, opened its first nuclear reactor, and used its influence to expand its foreign actions.
Saudi Arabia has developed a lot in recent years, and it has become the salient leader of a reshaped Middle East on account of the decreased involvement of the United States and the retreat of traditional superpowers. It has joined Israel’s fight against Iran-backed militants in Yemen.
Sheikh Mohamed’s predecessor, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, died on Friday. The Ministry of Presidential Affairs announced the passing of Khalifa, who was also ruler of the UAE’s wealthiest emirate, Abu Dhabi.
“The Ministry of Presidential Affairs mourns to the UAE people, Arab and Islamic nations and the world the death of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who passed away on Friday,” the ministry said in a statement on state media.
The UAE observed a mourning period of 40 days, suspending work for 15 days at public and private sector entities.