US delegation flying to UAE to pay respects to late president Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan

May 16, 2022: A high-powered American delegation led by Vice President Kamala Harris is flying to the UAE on Monday to pay respects to the country’s late president Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and meet the new President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The delegation includes Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, CIA Director William Burns and climate envoy John Kerry, among others.

Blinken was first to touch down in Abu Dhabi before talks with his counterpart in UAE.

It marks the highest-level public visit to Abu Dhabi by Biden administration officials.

Sheikh Khalifa passed away on Friday (May 13).

French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson were the first European leaders to jet to the UAE capital to pay their respects.

Before heading to Abu Dhabi, Harris said she was travelling on behalf of President Joe Biden to offer condolences on the death of Sheikh Khalifa.

“The United States takes quite seriously the strength of our relationship and partnership with the UAE,” Harris told reporters. “We are going there then to express our condolences but also as an expression of our commitment to the strength of that relationship.”

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