May 22, 2022



UAE: Sheikh Mohammed elected as new president

2 min read

In a show of unity, the leaders of the UAE’s various sheikhdoms have chosen a new president. The rapid decision for the half-brother of the recently deceased president came as little surprise.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has been chosen to replace his half-brother as the president of the United Arab Emirates, the leaders of the seven sheikhdoms that comprise the country announced on Saturday.

President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan died on Friday following years of poor health, during which time Mohammed bin Zayed, known as MZB, de facto held the reins of power.

In an apparent show of unity, the speedy decision was welcomed by the leader of the skyscraper-studded city of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who said in a statement: “We congratulate him, and we pledge allegiance to him, and our people pledge allegiance to him.”

Mohammed said he was appreciative of the “precious trust” placed on him by the members of the Federal Supreme Council.

Staying on course

The UAE was founded in 1971 by the father of MZB and the former president, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who died in 2004.

The 61-year-old MZB is only the third ruler of the oil-and-gas producing state, nestled on the Arabian Peninsula neighboring Saudi Arabia and just across the Persian Gulf from the other main regional power Iran.

The official ascension of MZB to the position of president is unlikely to see any major changes in the trajectory of the UAE.

In recent years the country has been part of the Saudi-led coalition against the Houthi rebels in Yemen as well as a US-led push to “normalize” relations with Israel, for which MZB was considered to be the driving force within the UAE.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in Egypt

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan met with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in Egypt in late March

His predecessor Khalifa suffered a stroke in 2014 and had rarely been seen in recent years. His funeral on Friday was kept low-key, but the country is officially undergoing three days of mourning.

ab/wd (dpa, AP)

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