Late Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan
Eddie Ssejjoba
Journalist @New Vision

President Yoweri Museveni has mourned the United Arab Emirates (UAE) president, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, who died Friday (May 13) at the age of 73.

Museveni said Khalifa, one of the wealthiest monarchs in the world, as having been a true friend of Uganda.

During his reign, UAE became one of Uganda's top trade and investment partners.

“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,” tweeted Museveni on Saturday.

“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."

'Enviable destination'

Tributes continue to flow for the late UAE leader, who had been president since 2004. 

Museveni credited him 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," added Museveni, who in October 2021 visited UAE.

While there, he commissioned Uganda’s participation at the pandemic-delayed Dubai Expo 2020, which attracted several investment opportunities to Uganda. 

“May the soul of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan rest in peace,” tweeted the President.

Khalifa suffered a stroke in 2014. His half-brother, Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, has overseen state affairs, according to a BBC report, which indicated that the news of his death was announced by the official WAM news agency.

As well as being president, Khalifa was also the ruler of Abu Dhabi, the oil-rich capital of the seven emirates which comprise the UAE.

The ministry of presidential affairs has since declared 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.

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