ABU DHABI: Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan was elected as president on Saturday, official media said, a day after the death of former leader Sheikh Khalifa.
The rulers of the country’s seven sheikhdoms made the decision at a meeting held at Al-Mushrif Palace in Abu Dhabi, state news agency WAM said.
WAM described the vote as unanimous among the rulers of the country’s sheikhdoms, who also pledged their loyalty to the new president on Saturday.
“We congratulate him, and we pledge allegiance to him, and our people pledge allegiance to him,” Dubai ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, said on Twitter after the vote.
“The whole country is led by him to take it on the paths of glory and honor, God willing,” he added.
Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi, Sharjah ruler, said Sheikh Mohamed had played, and would continue to play, a significant role in the UAE's development.
“We congratulate President his highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and ask Allah Almighty to grant him success and prosperity,” he said.
“We affirm our permanent solidarity in serving the nation and preserving its union under his wise leadership.”
President Mohamed “expressed his appreciation for the dear trust that his brothers, their highnesses, members of the Federal Supreme Council, have entrusted him with, praying that Almighty God helps him succeed, helps him in taking on this great responsibility and meeting it in serving the UAE and its loyal people”, WAM said.
Global leaders and diplomats are expected to visit Abu Dhabi to pay their respects and meet the new President over the coming days.
It was not clear if US President Joe Biden would be among world leaders heading to Abu Dhabi to offer condolences following Sheikh Khalifa’s death, however he did offer his congraulations to Sheikh Mohamed on Saturday. French President Emmanuel Macron is due to arrive on Sunday.
Dr Anwar Gargash, diplomatic adviser to the President, said: “The smooth transition of power in the UAE reflects the strength of institutional work and the advanced standards of governance and stability.
“We thank God for the blessing of the UAE and pledge allegiance to Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed. May God protect him as President and leader.”