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Buhari pays a condolence visit to the new President of the UAE and seeks closer ties

Buhari with new UAE president

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the new President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, following the death of his predecessor, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has received President Muhammadu Buhari over a condolence visit and sronger ties.

President Buhari extended his and Nigeria’s sympathies to Sheikh Mohamed and congratulated him on his victory as President during the visit.

He expressed his willingness to do more to ensure the growth of Nigeria’s strategic cooperation with the Asian country to the new UAE leader.

Buhari Abu Dhabi to meet new UAE president

President Buhari also believes that under Sheikh Mohamed’s leadership, the two countries would continue to support a vision of long-term security, increase counter-terrorism cooperation, ease trade and investment, and promote prosperity and development.

Mr Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, said in a statement on Saturday that the two countries “had actively held bilateral discussions” over the Buhari administration’s seven years.

According to him, these discussions resulted in various agreements and Memorandums of Understanding, paving the way for more cooperation, mutual understanding, and advancement in many facets of their bilateral relations.

On Thursday, President Buhari departed Nigeria for the United Arab Emirates, six days after Sheikh Khalifa died.

Sheikh Khalifa, who was rarely seen in public, died on Friday, May 13 at the age of 73, following a long battle with sickness.

The Ministry of Presidential Affairs ordered 40 days of mourning, with flags at half-mast from the day of his death and work was suspended in the public and private sector for the first three days.

Sheikh Khalifa succeeded his father as the 16th ruler of Abu Dhabi, the richest of the federation’s seven emirates, as the UAE’s second president in November 2004.

He hasn’t been seen in public since 2014, when he underwent surgery after suffering a stroke, but he has continued to make decisions. The reason of death was not revealed right away.

The United Arab Emirates, a former British protectorate created in 1971, has grown from a desert outpost to a thriving state in its short history, thanks to its oil wealth and Dubai’s growth as a trading and financial center.

Behind Saudi Arabia, the Arab world’s second-largest economy has begun to exert increasing political influence, filling a vacuum left by traditional powers such as Egypt, Iraq, and Syria.

Buhari meeting with new UAE president

The ten-million-strong country also joined military actions in Libya and Yemen, breaking with majority of the Arab world in 2020 to forge ties with Israel.

On his rare public appearances, the bearded Sheikh Khalifa cut a feeble figure, while his son Sheikh Mohamed hosted international leaders and oversaw diplomatic ventures overseas.

Sheikh Khalifa, who had no formal education, headed the UAE while Dubai grew as a tourism and trade centre and Abu Dhabi became a major OPEC player.

When Dubai was rocked by the global financial crisis in 2009, he came to its aid, giving a multibillion-dollar lifeline to the debt-ridden city.

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