Museveni mourns the death of Sheikh Khalifa of the UAE
Uganda's president Museveni offered his deepest condolences and sympathies on behalf of the country and its people upon the loss of the Emirati leader. FILE PHOTO

Yoweri Museveni has joined many distinguished individuals worldwide in mourning the death of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), who died on Friday.

President Yoweri Museveni has joined the list of many distinguished individuals worldwide to mourn the death of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) president, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan who died on Friday.

Aged 73, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan was the eldest son of the UAE’s founder President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. He served as the President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi from November 3, 2004. 

He was elected to succeed his father who served as the UAE’s first president from 1971 until he passed away on November 2, 2004.

In a statement eulogising him, Museveni extended his heartfelt sympathies and condolences on Uganda’s behalf to the Government and people of the United Arab Emirates, upon the loss of their leader.

He said His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan was a true friend of Uganda and under his wise leadership, the UAE has become one of Uganda’s top trade and investment partners.

“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,” Museveni wrote.

“I credit 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,” he added.

Meanwhile, as a pro-Western moderniser, Khalifa was known for aligning the Gulf State closer to the US and its allies.

He oversaw much of the country’s economic growth and bailed out debt-ridden Dubai during its financial crisis more than 10 years ago.

Sheikh Khalifa also helped fund the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, which was named after him.

He became president in 2004 – but suffered a stroke and had emergency surgery a decade later and stopped being involved in the day-to-day affairs of ruling the country.

He had rarely been seen in public since.

During the last few years of his life, his half-brother, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, became the de-facto ruler and decision-maker of major foreign policy decisions, like joining the Saudi-led war in Yemen and leading an embargo on Qatar in the past few years.