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UAE SHEIKH KHALIFA DIES AT 73

United Arab Emirates (UAE) President, Sheikh Khalifa, has died. He is 73 years old. The sad story was announced by state-run news agency Wam on Friday.





Khalifa, the president of the UAE, oversaw much of the country's blistering economic growth and his name was immortalized on the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, after bailing out debt-crippled Dubai during its financial crisis over a decade ago.



The UAE's Ministry of Presidential Affairs announced a 40-day period of mourning and a three-day suspension of work in all ministries and the private sector beginning Friday, including flags to be flown at half-staff.



He had long ceased having involvement in the day-to-day affairs of ruling the country. Instead, his half-brother, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, was seen as the de-factor ruler and the decision-maker of major foreign policy decisions, such as joining a Saudi-led war in Yemen and spearheading an embargo on neighboring Qatar in recent years.



"It is with great sorrow and grief that we mourn to the UAE people, Arab and Islamic nations and the world the death of President of our country Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the leader of our journey," Sheikh Mohammed wrote on Twitter.



"May Allah bless his soul with ease on his new journey into the hereafter and grant him the highest ranks of Paradise.


"Oh God, we testify that Khalifa bin Zayed has fulfilled his duty, served, and loved his people. Oh God, his people have been satisfied with him, so be pleased with him and grant him your mercy and the highest ranks of Paradise.



"Grant us, his people, his family and his loved ones, patience and solace. To God we belong and to Him we shall return."



There was no immediate announcement about a successor, although Mohammed bin Zayed is anticipated to claim the presidency.

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