DUBAI, July 7 (Reuters) – The president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan, is in good health, his brother, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, said on Monday, after speculation on social media about his condition.
OPEC member UAE, a key Western ally, is a major oil exporter and a regional financial, trade and tourism hub.
There has been speculation on social media in recent days about the health of the 66-year-old president, who underwent surgery after a stroke in January.
The WAM state news agency quoted Abu Dhabi’s crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan, as saying his brother was “well and his health was good”.
“(Sheikh Mohammed) urged all to be careful and to seek accuracy when conveying information so that the use of modern technology and social media contributes to everything that is for the good of our society,” WAM quoted Sheikh Mohammed as telling Emiratis.
Sheikh Khalifa has not been seen in public for months but state media regularly carry news of him conducting official business, such as issuing new laws or approving foreign aid donations.
Born in 1948, Sheikh Khalifa is known as a pro-Western moderniser who has ruled the UAE since the death of his father Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahayan in 2004.
He is also the ruler of oil-producing Abu Dhabi, the richest and most powerful of the UAE emirates, which also include Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Umm al-Quwain and Ras al-Khaima.
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