President Museveni has extended his heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the Government and people of the United Arab Emirates, upon the loss of their leader.
President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan died aged 73 on Friday after battling illness for several years.
“I have received, with sadness, the news of the demise of the President of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. On behalf of the people of Uganda, I wish to extend heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the Government and people of the United Arab Emirates, upon the loss of their leader,” Museveni said on Friday.
In a social media statement, Museveni said His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan was a true friend of Uganda.
“Under his wise leadership, the UAE has become one of Uganda’s top trade and investment partners.”
Museveni credited His Highness Sheikh Khalifa for maintaining highly productive trade and diplomatic ties between Uganda and the UAE.
“His foresight has turned the UAE into an enviable destination for trade, investment and tourism globally. May the soul of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan rest in peace.”
AFP reported that the president of the oil-rich Gulf state, who was rarely seen in public, is likely to be replaced by his half-brother, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, who was already seen as the UAE’s de facto ruler.
The Ministry of Presidential Affairs announced 40 days of mourning, with flags at half-mast from Friday and work suspended in the public and private sectors for the first three days.
Sheikh Khalifa took over as the UAE’s second president in November 2004, succeeding his father as the 16th ruler of Abu Dhabi, the richest of the federation’s seven emirates.
He has rarely been seen in public since 2014, when he had surgery following a stroke, although he has continued to issue rulings.