May 14, 2022 - World

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed named UAE president

New leader of the UAE

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, at the Andrews Air Force base for the Nuclear Security Summit on April 11, 2010. Photo: YURI GRIPAS/AFP via Getty Images

The ruling council of the United Arab Emirates appointed Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan as the country's new president after Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan died on Friday

The big picture: MBZ was widely expected to take over the post. He had been acting as the de facto ruler of the UAE since his brother, Sheikh Khalifa, became ill after suffering a stroke in 2014.

State of play: The appointment of 61-year-old MBZ came quickly — before the three days of events for Sheikh Khalifa's funeral and a 40-day mourning period ended.

  • Anwar Gargash, the foreign policy adviser to the UAE president, said the transition was a testament to the stability of the country and to the strength of its institutions. 
  • It's only the second succession process in the UAE since the country was founded more than 50 years ago.

What they're saying: "I congratulate my long-time friend Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on his election as President of the United Arab Emirates," President Biden said in a statement Saturday.

  •  "As I told Sheikh Mohammed yesterday during our phone call, the United States is determined to honor the memory of the late president Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan by continuing to strengthen the strategic partnership between our countries over the coming months and years," he added.
  • "I look forward to working with Sheikh Mohammed to build from this extraordinary foundation to further strengthen the bonds between our countries and peoples."

What to watch: The U.S. will send a delegation, led by Vice President Kamala Harris, to the UAE on Monday to offer their condolences, according to a senior administration official.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with Biden's statement.

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