Abu Dhabi deputy crown prince appointed

Ruler of Abu Dhabi and President of the United Arab Emirates Shaikh Zayid bin Sultan Al Nahyan has appointed his son Shaikh Muhammad deputy crown prince of the emirate.

    Shaikh Zayid with Egyptian President Husni Mubarak

    "We are appointing Shaikh Muhammad bin Zayid deputy crown prince effective immediately," said a decree by Shaikh Zayid, carried by WAM, the UAE's official news agency.

    Shaikh Muhammad, 42, has headed the UAE's armed forces since 1993. He is a graduate of Britain's Sandhurst military academy. 

    Abu Dhabi's crown prince is Shaikh Zayid's eldest son, Shaikh Khalifa. 

    Shaikh Zayid, who is in his 80s, has had a number of health problems in recent years, fuelling speculation about who will succeed him. 

    He underwent an operation to remove gallstones in Britain in early November, a kidney transplant in 2000 and neck surgery in September 1996.

    Shaikh Zayid has led the UAE federation which includes Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm Al-Qaiwain since it was established in 1971, following Britain's pullout from the Gulf.

    SOURCE: AFP


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