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 stated 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 pace of Saturday’s announcement, only a day after Sheikh Khalifa’s loss of life, appeared designed to point out unity and reassure the world of the soundness of this significant oil-and-gas producing nation that hosts Western navy forces.

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

“We congratulate him, and we pledge allegiance to him, and our folks pledge allegiance to him,” Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said 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 a whole is observing a three-day mourning period which will see businesses shut across the country and performances halted in Sheikh Khalifa’s honor. Electronic billboards all showed the late sheikh’s image in Dubai on Friday night as flags flew at half-staff.

Sheikh Mohammed, 61, had been serving as the UAE’s de facto president since a 2014 stroke saw his half-brother Sheikh Khalifa disappear from public view. Under his leadership, the UAE took on a more military-focused approach in the region, joining Saudi Arabia in their bloody, yearslong war in Yemen that still rages to this day.

Sheikh Mohammed also long has been suspicious of both the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran, likely organizing a campaign targeting Islamists in the UAE after the 2011 Arab Spring and urging the West to take a harder line toward Tehran over concerns about its nuclear program and its support of paramilitary groups throughout the region.

Since the coronavirus pandemic, however, the UAE under Sheikh Mohammed has sought to rehabilitate ties to Iran and Turkey, which has backed Islamists in the region.

“The graceful transition of energy within the UAE displays the sobriety of institutional work and the superior degree of governance mechanisms and their stability,” said Anwar Gargash, a senior Emirati diplomat.


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