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UAE President Sheikh Khalifa dies at 73

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The United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan died aged 73 on Friday, state media said, after battling illness for several years.

"The Ministry of Presidential Affairs condoles the people of the UAE and the Islamic world… on the passing of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan on Friday, May 13," the official WAM news agency said.

From Friday, the ministry declared a 40-day period of mourning, with flags flying at half-mast and work suspended in the public and private sectors for the first three days.

In November 2004, Sheikh Khalifa became the UAE's second president, following his father as the 16th ruler of Abu Dhabi, the federation's wealthiest emirate.

He hasn't been seen in public since 2014, when he underwent surgery after suffering a stroke, but he has continued to make decisions.

His brother, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, has been seen as the UAE’s de facto ruler in recent years.
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