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Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan turns into UAE’s president

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Rulers within the United Arab Emirates introduced Saturday that they unanimously appointed Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan because the president of this hereditarily dominated nation on the Arabian Peninsula.

The state-run WAM information company mentioned the rulers of the nation’s seven sheikhdoms made the choice at a gathering held in Al Mushrif Palace in Abu Dhabi.

It comes after the late President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan died Friday at age 73. The transition of energy marks solely the third time this U.S.-allied nation of seven sheikhdoms has chosen a president since changing into an unbiased nation in 1971.

The final, which noticed Sheikh Khalifa take over for each his and Sheikh Mohammed’s father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, got here after his loss of life in 2004. The velocity of Saturday’s announcement, only a day after Sheikh Khalifa’s loss of life, appeared designed to indicate unity and reassure the world of the soundness of this significant oil-and-gas producing nation that hosts Western army forces.

WAM described the vote as unanimous among the many rulers of the nation’s sheikhdoms, which additionally contains the skyscraper-studded metropolis of Dubai.

“We congratulate him, and we pledge allegiance to him, and our people pledge allegiance to him,” Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, mentioned on Twitter after the vote. “The whole country is led by him to take it on the paths of glory and honor, God willing.”

The UAE as an entire is observing a three-day mourning interval which can see companies shut throughout the nation and performances halted in Sheikh Khalifa’s honor. Electronic billboards all confirmed the late sheikh’s picture in Dubai on Friday evening as flags flew at half-staff.

Sheikh Mohammed, 61, had been serving because the UAE’s de facto president since a 2014 stroke noticed his half-brother Sheikh Khalifa disappear from public view. Under his management, the UAE took on a extra military-focused strategy within the area, becoming a member of Saudi Arabia of their bloody, yearslong battle in Yemen that also rages to today.

Sheikh Mohammed additionally lengthy has been suspicious of each the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran, seemingly organizing a marketing campaign concentrating on Islamists within the UAE after the 2011 Arab Spring and urging the West to take a more durable line towards Tehran over considerations about its nuclear program and its help of paramilitary teams all through the area.

Since the coronavirus pandemic, nevertheless, the UAE underneath Sheikh Mohammed has sought to rehabilitate ties to Iran and Turkey, which has backed Islamists within the area.

“The smooth transition of power in the UAE reflects the sobriety of institutional work and the advanced level of governance mechanisms and their stability,” mentioned Anwar Gargash, a senior Emirati diplomat.

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Follow Jon Gambrell on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jongambrellAP.

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