Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nayhan’s death Friday triggered a flood of condolences from Indian political leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The PM tweeted that he was “deeply saddened” by the passing away of the long-time president of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Abu Dhabi. Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, and union minister Piyush Goyal also offered their condolences to the government and people of the UAE.
“He was a great statesman and visonary leader under whom India-UAE relations prospered. The heartfelt condolences of the people of India are with the people of UAE. May his soul rest in peace,” Modi wrote on Twitter.
Meanwhile, Goyal tweeted to “extend his deepest condolences to the Royal family and the people of UAE” as he remembered Sheikh Khalifa as a “strong and visionary leader”.
“Received with profound grief, the news of the death of the UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. A strong and visionary leader, he steered the UAE through pathbreaking reforms making it an oasis of prosperity,” the Union minister wrote on Twitter.
In another tweet, Goyal said that Sheikh Khalifa’s contribution in “fostering deeper India-UAE ties cannot be overstated”.
“At a time when we have set sail on a new phase of our ties, Sheikh Khalifa’s departure will be strongly felt. I extend my deepest condolences to the Royal family & the people of UAE in this hour of grief,” Goyal’s post read.
Gandhi expressed his “heartfelt condolences” to the family of Sheikh Khalifa and to the people of the UAE. “He will be fondly remembered as a visionary leader who brought rapid development to the UAE,” he tweeted.
Vijayan said he is “deeply saddened” by the passing of the UAE president, who has “always kept cordial relations with Kerala”.
“He was a visionary leader who played a key role in modernising the Emirates. His contributions will be remembered forever,” the Kerala chief minister tweeted.
Local media quoting the Ministry of Presidential Affairs reported the demise of UAE’s President. He was 73 years old.
Sheikh Khalifa served as the President of the UAE and ruler of Abu Dhabi since November 3, 2004. The Ministry of Presidential Affairs has announced 40 days of mourning for Sheikh Khalifa’s demise, the Khaleej Times reported.
Flags will be flown at half-mast and ministries, departments, federal and local institutions will suspend work starting Friday, the report added.
(With inputs from PTI)