May 14, 2022 - World

Exclusive: Harris to lead U.S. delegation to UAE after Sheikh Khalifa's death

 Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Vice President Kamala Harris will lead a U.S. delegation to the United Arab Emirates on Monday to offer condolences after the death of President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, according to a senior administration official.

What they're saying: "In addition to honoring the memory and the legacy of Sheikh Khalifa, the Vice President will underscore the strength of the partnership between our countries and our desire to further deepen our ties in the coming months and years," the administration official said.

The big picture: The delegation is expected to include Secretary of State Tony Blinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, CIA director Bill Burns, White House Middle East coordinator Brett McGurk, acting assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs Yael Lempert and CENTCOM commander Gen. Michael Kurilla, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the planning of the trip.

  • A senior administration official told Axios that the administration is "not in a position to confirm delegation members at this time. More information on the delegation accompanying the Vice President will be forthcoming".

What to watch: Harris will also meet with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who was appointed president earlier Saturday, a senior administration official said.

  • MBZ had been serving as the de facto rule of the UAE since his brother, Sheikh Khalifa, suffered a stroke in 2014.

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