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US Vice President, Officials Pay Respects in UAE over Death of Sheikh Khalifa

US Vice President, Officials Pay Respects in UAE over Death of Sheikh Khalifa

Monday, 16 May, 2022 - 06:00
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrives in the United Arab Emirates to offer condolences to new leader Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on the death of his half-brother President Khalifa bin Zayed, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates May 16, 2022. (Reuters)

President Joe Biden sent a senior US delegation to the United Arab Emirates on Monday to offer condolences after the death of President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The UAE named Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan its new president following the death of his half-brother last Friday.

The US delegation included Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, CIA Director William Burns and climate envoy John Kerry, among others. It marks the highest-level public visit to the oil-rich capital of Abu Dhabi by Biden administration officials.

US Vice President Kamala Harris spent about three hours in the Emirati capital.

Blinken was first to touch down in Abu Dhabi before talks with his Emirati counterpart.

The make-up of the delegation reflected Washington's desire to show its commitment to the region, senior US officials say.

Harris planned to emphasize the intent to deepen ties across areas ranging from security and climate to space, energy and commerce, they added.

Before heading to Abu Dhabi, she said she was traveling on behalf of Biden to offer condolences on the death of Sheikh Khalifa.

"The United States takes quite seriously the strength of our relationship and partnership with the UAE," Harris told reporters.

"We are going there then to express our condolences but also as an expression of our commitment to the strength of that relationship."

Other world leaders who traveled to the UAE to pay their respects included Jordanian Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II, President of the United Comoros Islands Othman Ghazali, Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Ali Asadov, Prime Minister of Belarus Roman Golovchenko, and Duke of Cambridge Prince William.

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