July 07
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New UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan held talks on Sunday with French counterpart Emmanuel Macron as world leaders flock to Abu Dhabi to pay tribute to the late President of the United Arab Emirates, AFP reported.

Macron expressed his condolences to Sheikh Mohammed on the death of his half-brother Sheikh Khalifa, who died on Friday after a long illness.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, US Vice President Kamala Harris, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Israeli President Isaac Herzog are also expected to arrive in Abu Dhabi on Sunday and Monday.

Sheikh Mohammed, long the de facto ruler of the UAE during Sheikh Khalifa's illness, was chosen as head of state by a unanimous vote of the leaders of the country's seven emirates on Saturday.

The presidents and monarchs of Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Oman and Tunisia, as well as the de facto leader of Sudan, were among a long line of dignitaries who offered their condolences on Saturday.

Both Macron and Johnson are making their second visits to Abu Dhabi in recent months. Johnson in March failed to convince the UAE and Saudi Arabia to pump more oil after market turmoil caused by the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

The UAE signed a €14 billion contract for 80 Rafale military aircraft during Macron's previous visit in December.

Under President Joe Biden, the UAE's relationship with the US has become tense, with both sides at odds over Abu Dhabi's close ties to Russia and Washington's resumption of nuclear talks with Iran.

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