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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — An array of presidents and prime ministers continued to descend on the United Arab Emirates from around the globe Sunday to pay their respects to the federation’s late ruler. In addition they got here to reward his successor, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan — a vivid signal of Abu Dhabi’s affect in Western and Arab capitals.

The primary Western chief to jet to the oil-rich capital of Abu Dhabi was French President Emmanuel Macron. He met Sunday with Sheikh Mohammed to pay tribute to Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the nation’s long-ailing ruler who died on Friday on the age of 73.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was anticipated to reach later Sunday to supply condolences, together with different leaders together with Israeli President Isaac Herzog after the 2 international locations opened formal relations in 2020.

An American delegation led by Vice President Kamala Harris is because of go to the UAE on Monday, a bid to indicate assist after relations between the international locations have just lately strained.

Arab heads of state, together with shut allies Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi and Jordan’s King Abdullah II traveled to the UAE on Saturday.

“He was respected by all for the values of peace, openness and dialogue that he embodied,” Macron wrote on Twitter of Sheikh Khalifa, expressing “full support” for the ascension of his half-brother Sheikh Mohammed after rulers within the federation unanimously appointed him as president.

As crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed has served because the nation’s de facto chief since Sheikh Khalifa suffered a stroke in 2014. He has turned the small UAE right into a most influential state, wielding outsized energy militarily and commercially throughout the Center East and Africa.

Even whereas the nation turned entangled within the bloody, yearslong battle in Yemen and a chaotic proxy warfare in Libya, it positioned itself as a savvy and dependable companion in Western capitals.

Paris and Abu Dhabi have turn out to be more and more aligned lately, sharing a deep distrust of Islamist actions just like the Muslim Brotherhood throughout the broader area, together with in Turkey and Libya.

France opened a significant abroad naval base in Abu Dhabi. French warplanes and personnel are additionally stationed at a significant facility outdoors the Emirati capital. The 2 governments collectively constructed a gleaming department of the Louvre museum within the emirate.

Throughout Macron’s go to to Dubai final December, France clinched its biggest overseas order for its Rafale fight jet with the UAE — an $18 billion deal that got here as a deliberate U.S. sale of superior F-35 fighter jets to the UAE stalled partly over American issues concerning the Emirates’ relationship with China.

The assertive overseas coverage of Sheikh Mohammed was on stark show as allied Arab leaders rushed to the capital to precise their sorrow over Sheikh Khalifa’s loss of life and provide congratulations on his formal ascension to energy. Among the many first was el-Sissi, the Egyptian common who, with Gulf Arab assist, overthrew an elected however divisive Islamist authorities in 2013.

Emirati-backed Tunisian President Kais Saied, who has amassed almost absolute energy within the nation since dismissing the prime minister final 12 months, additionally flew in to pay tribute, together with Iraq’s president and prime minister.

Sudan’s Abdel-Fattah Burhan, the general who led the coup within the strategic east African nation final 12 months, has made frequent visits to key backer Sheikh Mohammed. He posted footage on social media Saturday sprinting up stairs to board his aircraft to Abu Dhabi to offer tribute to the late president.

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