India has announced Saturday a day of mourning in tribute to UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who died today (Friday). The Government of India declared on Friday that there will be one day of state mourning across the country on May 14 in a notification issued by the Union Home Ministry to all states and union territories.
The national flag will be flown at half-mast on all buildings where it is routinely flown on the day of mourning, and there will be no official entertainment, according to the letter. Earlier in the day, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed condolences on Sheikh Khalifa’s passing, saying he was a brilliant statesman and visionary leader who helped India-UAE ties flourish.
In a tweet, the Prime Minister said, ‘I am deeply saddened to know about the passing away of HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed. He was a great statesman and visionary leader under whom India-UAE relations prospered. The heartfelt condolences of the people of India are with the people of UAE. May his soul rest in peace’.
Sheikh Khalifa, who had been ill for some time, died on Friday. He was 73. He was the eldest son of the UAE’s founding President, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The UAE king, who was born in 1948, is set to be followed as Abu Dhabi’s next ruler by his half-brother Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, according to Reuters. The monarch of the nation is widely regarded as bringing the UAE to worldwide prominence and guiding the country through challenging times during the 2008 financial crisis.