In the barely two hours that his stay in Abu Dhabi lasted, where he traveled yesterday to offer condolences for the death of Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed al Nahyan, the King, in addition to offering his condolences to the son of the late and new president of the United Arab Emirates Unidos, Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, spoke by phone with his father, King Juan Carlos, and both agreed to a future meeting in Madrid when the latter returns to Spain.
Coincidence, or fatality, has wanted that when King Juan Carlos was preparing his return to Spain for the next few days or weeks, the death of the emir of Abu Dhabi occurred, which motivated the institutional trip of Felipe VI and with him the opportunity to meet his father in the Emirati capital. Yesterday, mid-morning, when the Zarzuela announced Felipe VI’s trip, the possibility of father and son seeing each other was already ruled out and, mid-afternoon, when the return of the King to Madrid was announced, after giving condolences to the son of the emir, it was confirmed that the contact with his father had been by telephone and that, in the course of the conversation, both had postponed their first meeting in almost two years, to the moment in which King Juan Carlos returns to Spain.
The Head of State went yesterday to the capital of the emirates to offer condolences for the death of the emir
In recent days, from various sources close to King Juan Carlos, it has been reported that his first trip to Spain since he went into self-exile to Abu Dhabi on August 3, 2020, could take place shortly with the intention of visiting the town of Sanxenxo ( Pontevedra) where next weekend and, later, between June 10 and 18, two nautical tests will be held. The Galician town was the last Spanish enclave that King Juan Carlos set foot on before leaving Spain.
Everything seems to indicate that, once King Juan Carlos decides the date of his return, and before his possible trip to the Galician town, a meeting between the King and his father will take place in Madrid, which the Zarzuela will give a public account to normalize the visits of King Juan Carlos to Spain. As he himself announced in a statement made public last April after learning that the Supreme Court Prosecutor’s Office had concluded that there were no crimes in his economic activities, King Juan Carlos, after his visit to Spain, will return to Abu Dhabi.
In the aforementioned statement, King Juan Carlos also assured that he had no intention of residing, during his stays in Spain, in any publicly owned residence. That decision rules out that he use the Zarzuela but not that he go to what was his house and continues to be the residence of the Head of State to see his son and the rest of the royal family. The date of this first meeting is still unknown.
The King, on a trip that began yesterday, Sunday at 8 in the morning and ended last morning, followed the strict funeral protocol of the Arab countries where in the condolence ceremonies the relatives, presided over, in this case, by the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayid Al Nahyan, the new president of the United Arab Emirates and emir of Abu-Dhabi, receive the high-ranking Emirati dignitaries, as well as the foreign delegations in a huge room through which they all pass to offer their condolences. In addition to Felipe VI, the presidents of France and Turkey, the kings of Belgium and the Netherlands, as well as the president of the Council of the European Union, Charles Michel, among other leaders, were also expected to attend.
The King has already been present at similar ceremonies held in Oman, for the death of Qabus Bin Said in 2020, or Saudi Arabia, for the death of King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in 2015.
After the death in September 2020 of Sheikh Sabá al Ahmad al Jaber al Sabá, emir of Kuwait, the King was unable to go to the Kuwaiti capital due to the restrictions caused by the pandemic.