Harris will also meet the new president, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, while in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi, according to a statement issued by Harris’ press secretary, Kirsten Allen.
“In addition to honoring the memory and legacy of Sheikh Khalifa, the Vice President will underscore the strength of the partnership between our two countries and our desire to deepen our relationship in the months and years ahead,” Allen said Saturday.
Biden said, in a statement congratulating Sheikh Mohammed on his election as President of the United Arab Emirates, that “the United States is determined to honor the memory of the late President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan by continuing to strengthen the strategic partnership between our two countries over the coming months and years.”
Sheikh Khalifa, whose modernization policies helped turn his country into a regional power, died Friday at the age of 73.
The official Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported that Sheikh Mohammed, his brother, was unanimously elected president by the country’s Federal Supreme Council. Sheikh Mohammed was widely seen as the de facto leader of the UAE, handling the day-to-day affairs of the Gulf state, while Sheikh Khalifa’s role has been largely ceremonial since he suffered a stroke and underwent surgery in 2014.