Who is Mohamed bin Zayed, the new president of the United Arab Emirates?

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One of the Middle East’s most powerful men has officially taken over the power he has held since 2014, when the late Caliph suffered a stroke that cut him off from public life and decision-making.

Mohamed bin Zayed on taking over presidency (Reuters)
Mohamed bin Zayed on taking over presidency (Reuters)

Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan One of the most powerful men in the Middle East, He became the new Emir of Abu Dhabi and President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after the death of his half-brother, Caliph. A country that has ruled in the shadow of its predecessor for ten years.

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Mohammed bin Zayed, known as MBZ De facto running the small oil-rich country since 2014 When the late President Khalifa suffered a stroke that distanced him from public life and also from the decision-making process.

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MBZ has witnessed the UAE’s transformation from rags to riches and has been working in recent years to transform the country – initially geopolitically insignificant – into a UAE. one of the greatest regional powers, both militarily, economically and politically .

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His declared fierce fight against Islamism and religious extremism inside and outside the UAE borders was one of the main reasons that motivated him to intervene in 2011 to crush pro-democracy protests in the Persian Gulf. an ideal breeding ground for radical ideas.

One of his main fears is that of his country or of the whole region “destabilize “from here MBZ has ordered extensive arrest campaigns against dissidents and participation in wars such as in Yemen. it is also where he perceives a threatening Iranian presence, a major regional political and religious enemy.

Now, this gun and fighter jet enthusiast, at the head of a small country with only 9.8 million inhabitants Like Sparta, a kind of Middle East, that wants to position itself on the map as a military power – only 10% are from the UAE.

Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (EFE/EPA/ANDY RAIN/FILE)
Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (EFE/EPA/ANDY RAIN/FILE)

A MILITARY’S PASSION

MBZ was born on March 11, 1961, in Al Ain, in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, before his father, Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan, united the seven emirates that formed the UAE.

His father, who is still respected in the UAE, is Bin Zayed’s main influence. especially regarding inter-religious tolerance and humility, something he wants to convey to his children, as he says in his interviews.

After a short training in Morocco, MBZ graduated from Sandhurst Military Academy in the UK, became a helicopter pilot and later led the Emirati Air Force, where he was appointed Deputy Supreme Commander in 2005. .

He was named crown prince a year ago, following the death of his father and the ascension of his half-brother Khalifa, who disappeared from the scene in 2014 after suffering health problems, leading to a hyperactive MBZ obsessed with diversifying the country’s economy, and, above all, its largest global partner, the United States. Equipped with the best military technology, bought in bulk from .

Today, The emirates have the best trained and equipped army in the region, second only to Israel. A country with which it has established diplomatic relations in 2020 for economic, development and security purposes.

This change was made to counter Iran, a country that the Palestinians do not want to come to any “thaw” with the West, at the expense of their claims, as a new nuclear deal could bring.

under your orders, The Emirates have engaged in military interventions such as the war against the Islamic State in Iraq; Bombings in support of Marshal Khalifa Haftar’s forces in Libya, and above all – in alliance with Saudi Arabia – the war against the Houthis in Yemen that began in 2015 .

With Pope Francis (Reuters / File)
With Pope Francis (Reuters / File)

A “LIBERAL” AUTOCRAT

MBZ is moving away from the more conservative currents of Islam and has sought to erase its real or perceived influence from the map.

As such, it imposed an embargo on Qatar along with three other countries in 2017, after accusing Doha of funding extremist groups in connection with the Muslim Brotherhood. This has also led to tensions with Recep Tayyib Erdogan’s Turkey, although relations have already begun to improve.

in return, embraces “tolerance” and sought to sell Emirates’ image of a plural and cosmopolitan country with opportunities for men and women .

He also put a lot of effort into it. diversify the economy of the federation, which is highly dependent on oil and promote digital management.

It directly manages the small emirate’s $1.3 trillion investment funds, making the country one of the world’s top business destinations (and tax havens).

MBZ also has a close relationship with the Spanish king, the honorary Juan Carlos. He is the one he has been with and welcomed numerous times in public meetings since the monarch settled in Abu Dhabi after being investigated by the Spanish prosecutor’s office for tax crimes.

Despite his apparent efforts, The lack of freedom of expression and the propensity to oppress and fight dissidents sets the UAE apart from international standards to which the new Emirati leader is not willing to surrender. .

(Carles Grau Sivera – EFE)

Source: Info Bae

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