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KUALA LUMPUR, May 14 (Bernama) -- Leaders of Islamic and Arab countries expressed their condolences to the entire leadership of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and its citizens on the death of its President, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, 73, on Friday.
The sad news was announced by the Ministry of Presidential Affairs of the UAE. The ministry also declared the flag to be flown at half mast and a 40-day mourning period, besides postponing all tasks involving ministries, departments, federal and local and private institutions for three days, starting Friday.
The Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Hamad Al Thani, via his Twitter account, said, "We receive the news of the passing of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan with great sadness. To His Majesty's family and the people of the UAE, I extend my sympathy and condolences."
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi who represented his people and country also extended his condolences to the family of Al Nahyan, whom he described as "his most beloved brother and friend".
According to a statement by the Egyptian president, "The Arab nation today (yesterday) has lost one symbol of loyalty, (namely) Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a wise leader, who dedicated himself to the construction, support and cooperation of all Arab and Islamic nations."
Meanwhile, Jordanian King Abdullah II on Twitter said, "We have lost a beloved brother and a brilliant leader who inherited wisdom from his late father, Sheikh Zayed."
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who also mourned the death of the UAE President, declared a period of mourning, and the flag was flown at half-mast for a day.
According to the Palestinian News Agency (WAFA), "President Abbas expressed his condolences and sympathy to Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and the children of Sheikh Khalifa."
"Condolences also to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, as well as the government and all our fellow UAE citizens," he said.
Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa, in a statement, offered his condolences by stating Sheikh Khalifa "was a wise leader who dedicated his life to serving the people, the country and the universal humanity." Bahrain will also mourn and fly the flag at half-mast for three days.
Meanwhile, Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati also announced in a statement that his country would also be in mourning, and the flag would also be flown at half mast for three days until Sunday.
"All administrations, official institutions and municipalities are asked to modify regular programmes on radio and television stations in line with this sad event," he said.
Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune also offered his condolences and declared two days of mourning for the spirit of togetherness.
Meanwhile, the head of Sudan’s Sovereignty Council Abdel Fattah al-Burhan expressed sympathy for Sheikh Khalifa's departure, saying, "He was a brilliant and wise leader, who contributed to the rise of his country, so that it became a model of development and progress."
Al-Burhan added in a statement, "His Majesty is a hard worker and sincere in promoting Arab cooperation and supporting Arab issues at the regional and international levels."
In Iraq, President Barham Salih, Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kazemi and Parliamentary Speaker Muhammad al-Halbousi, in separate Twitter tweets, offered condolences to the UAE leadership and its people over the death of Sheikh Khalifa.
"He is known for his wisdom and generosity for the sake of his homeland, the Arab and Islamic countries," President Salih said.
Yemen's Presidential Council’s President Rashad al-Alimi said in a statement, "The Arabs and Muslims have lost, with the departure of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, a wise leader, who dedicated his life to serving and contributing to world peace."
"He is a leader who is quick to respond to calls for humanitarian aid in the East and West of the earth," he added. He praised Almarhum for his support for Yemen’s legitimacy and the UAE’s humanitarian contribution in implementing development projects in Yemen.
The Secretary-General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Hissein Brahim Taha, in a statement received by Bernama, said: "The late (Sheikh Khalifa) contributed with his wisdom and abilities in the growth and development of the UAE."
Taha added, "The Late (Sheikh Khalifa) is one of the most prominent leaders in humanitarian work inside and outside the UAE."
The Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council Nayef Al-Hajraf in a statement also expressed his condolences and sympathy to the ruling family, the government and the people of the UAE.
Al-Hajraf said, "The late had a huge role and contribution in supporting and uniting the Gulf Cooperation Concil for the Arab States. We have lost a Gulf, Arab and international leader and pioneer."
The Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, also ordered his country to undergo a 40-day official mourning ceremony, waving a half-mast flag and suspending official department functions for three days, starting Friday.
Al-Sabah was quoted by the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) as saying: "Arab and Islamic countries have lost a dedicated leader, who immortalised his life for the sake of the country and its people, in addition to defending Arab and Islamic issues."
President of Tunisia Kais Saied and King of Morocco King Mohammed VI also sent their condolences, va separate statements, on Facebook, reported Anadolu.
King Mohammed VI stressed that Almarhum was "deeply committed to uniting and developing relations between the two countries, besides strengthening unity and synergy on various important and common issues."
Morocco declared a three-day official mourning and the national flag was flown at half-mast in government buildings, administrations and public places, including at Moroccan embassies and consulates abroad.
According to media reports, Sheikh Khalifa had held the post of President since 2004, replacing his father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan.
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