Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed has been elected the new President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
According to Khaleej Times, Zayed succeeds his brother Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who died on Friday, at the age of 73.
The 61-year-old leader will be the country’s third president and 17th Ruler of Abu Dhabi.
His election was announced on Saturday by the Federal Supreme Council.
It was reported that the Federal Supreme Council convened at Al Mushrif Palace in Abu Dhabi and unanimously elected Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed as the UAE President. The new president is set to hold office for a five-year term before being eligible for re-election.
Sheikh Mohammed, who had previously served as the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, one of the seven city-states that make up the United Arab Emirates, was unanimously chosen as president by a council of the rulers of the seven emirates, the Emirati state news agency said.
Sheikh Mohammed thanked the other rulers for their trust and prayed that God would help him “serve his country and the loyal people of the Emirates,” the news agency said.
Known across the region and in Western capitals for his inquisitive mind and for an understated demeanor that masks ambitions that extend far beyond his country’s borders, Sheikh Mohammed has effectively been ruling the Emirates since 2014, when Sheikh Khalifa had a stroke and stepped back from public life.
Often referred to by his initials, M.B.Z., Sheikh Mohammed has built close ties in Washington by offering up the services of the Emirates and its armed forces to help with Western military endeavors in the region. His country has also spent copiously on American-made weapons and on lobbyists to ensure that his views are promoted in the United States.