UAE strongman named new president

The de facto leader of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, has been elected president of the Gulf Arab state by a federal supreme council, cementing his rule over the OPEC oil producer and actor regional key.

The council, which brings together the rulers of the seven emirates of the federation of the United Arab Emirates, elected Sheikh Mohammed, says MbZ, the day after the death of his half-brother, President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, also ruler of Abu Dhabi .

“We congratulate him and pledge allegiance to him, just like our people…and the whole country will follow his direction towards glory,” said Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, who is also Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates. a post on Twitter.

MbZ, 61, had already been in power for years at a time when Sheikh Khalifa suffered from bouts of illness, including a stroke in 2014.

He becomes president at a time when the UAE’s longstanding ties with the United States are visibly strained due to perceived American disengagement from the security concerns of its Gulf allies.

MbZ led a realignment of the Middle East that created a new anti-Iranian axis with Israel. It also bolstered the UAE’s military might which, coupled with its oil wealth and status as a business hub, extended Emirati influence in the region and beyond.

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