UAE President makes first appearance since suffering stroke in 2014


The President of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan made his first public appearance Sunday since suffering a stroke in 2014, to mark the Eid al-Fitr Muslim holiday.

The official WAM news agency published pictures showing Sheikh Khalifa meeting a number of prominent officials and rulers of the other six emirates that with Abu Dhabi form the UAE.

The guests came to his Abu Dhabi palace on the first day of the Eid, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, and Sheikh Khalifa appeared to be in good spirits, according to the pictures and a short video posted on WAM's Twitter account.

Sheikh Khalifa, 69, had not made a public appearance since the UAE announced that he underwent an operation following a stroke in January 2014.

The president is also the ruler of the oil-rich emirate of Abu Dhabi, the wealthiest of the seven emirates that form the UAE as it sits on the bulk of the nation's oil wealth.

After his illness, Sheikh Khalifa's half-brother Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed took over as de facto ruler, though Sheikh Khalifa continued to issue decrees and deal with protocol issues.

In addition to Abu Dhabi, the UAE comprises the emirates of Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Qaiwain.

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