World leaders pay respects to Sheikh Khalifa

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DUBAI (AP)

An array of presidents and prime ministers continued to descend on the United Arab Emirates Sunday from around the world, to pay their respects to the federation’s late ruler. They also came to praise his successor, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan – a vivid sign of Abu Dhabi’s influence in Western and Arab capitals.

The first Western leader to jet to the oil-rich emirate was French President Emmanuel Macron. He met with Sheikh Mohammed to pay tribute to Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the long-ailing ruler who died Friday at the age of 73, after years presiding over the country’s rapid transformation into a global business hub and regional power centre.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrived later Sunday to offer condolences, along with other leaders including Israel’s president after the two countries opened formal relations in 2020.

EASE TENSIONS An American delegation, led by Vice-President Kamala Harris, is due to visit the UAE on Monday, a bid to ease tensions and show support as relations between the countries have strained under President Joe Biden.

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