Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed at the funeral of his half-brother, Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, who died on Friday May 13 at the age of 73. AFP
Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed, already considered the de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates, was elected this Saturday May 14 president of the rich Gulf monarchy, succeeding his half-brother, Khalifa bin Zayed Al- Nahyan, who died the day before.
Mohamed bin Zayed, known as “MBZ”, “was elected unanimously” by the members of the Supreme Council of the federation of the Emirates which brings together seven emirates including those of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, indicated the official news agency WAM. Mohammad bin Zayed has “thanked” the sheikhs of the Federal Supreme Council for their trust.
Third son of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan, first president and founding father of the Emirates federation, “MBZ”, crown prince of the capital and emirate of Abu Dhabi, had already been in charge since a stroke in January 2014 dismissed Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan.
The election of “MBZ” formalizes its position as leader of the rich oil country of some 10 million inhabitants. Under his leadership, the Emirates have pursued a more assertive policy on the international scene.
Allied country of Saudi Arabia and the United States, the Emirates of “MBZ” were the first Gulf country to normalize relations with Israel in 2020. “MBZ” is also widely believed to be the one who sent Emirati troops to Yemen in 2015, as part of a Saudi-led coalition against Houthi rebels.