Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday extended condolences over the demise of his United Arab Emirates (UAE) counterpart Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Erdogan expressed “great sadness and sorrow” over the passing of 73-year-old Al Nahyan, who served as the president of the UAE since 2004.

“I wish Allah’s mercy on him and extend my sincere condolences to the people of the brotherly United Arab Emirates,” he said on Twitter.

Turkish Parliament Speaker Mustafa Sentop also voiced “deep sadness” in a condolence message.

“I wish God’s mercy, patience and condolences to his family and all the people of the United Arab Emirates,” he said on Twitter.

The UAE will observe a 40-day period of mourning for Sheikh Khalifa, during which flags will be flown at half-mast, while work will be suspended across the public and private sector for three days.

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