The trip was not planned, and will result in the cancellation of Jean Castex’s visit to the Vatican: the Prime Minister, in the last days of his functions, was to represent France at the ceremony of canonization of French religious on the square Saint Peter in Rome before meeting the Pope. Instead, it is Emmanuel Macron who will travel to Abu Dhabi on Sunday May 15 to pay tribute to the President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, who died on Friday at the age of 73, announced the Elysée this Saturday, May 14. Prime Minister Jean Castex remains in effect on French territory, because the two chief executives cannot be out of the country at the same time, said Matignon.
The French head of state intends “to express his support for his brother the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al-Nayane, as well as the rest of the family and all the Emirati people”, indicated the presidency. Emmanuel Macron spoke on Friday May 13 with Sheikh Mohammed, known as MBZ, half-brother of the deceased. Rarely seen in public since a stroke in January 2014, Sheikh Khalifa should soon be replaced by MBZ, already considered the de facto leader of this rich Gulf oil monarchy.