TRIBUTES poured in yesterday from world leaders who praised the visionary leadership of the late Premier.
His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa died in a US hospital yesterday.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who visited the kingdom in 2016, recognised the Premier’s role in raising the levels of education, economic and infrastructure development, as well as standard of living of people in Bahrain.
“HRH Prince Khalifa presided over a period of great change in Bahrain,” Mr Johnson said.
“As a friend of the UK, he exemplifed the deep and close relationship between our two countries and peoples, a historical relationship that will continue to be a positive force for co-operation and partnership into the future,” he posted on Twitter yesterday.
“I would like to extend my profound condolences to the Al Khalifa family, and to the people of Bahrain.”
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who met the Premier during his visit to Manama in 2019, expressed his heartfelt condolences.
“In this moment of grief, our thoughts and prayers are with His Majesty the King of Bahrain, the Royal Family and the people of Bahrain,” Mr Modi posted on his Twitter account.
The German Foreign Office and the German Embassy in Manama offered their condolences in a statement on Twitter, calling the departed leader “a great statesman, visionary and true friend of Germany who contributed for half a century to bilateral relations.”
Libya’s head of the Presidential Council and Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord Fayez Al Sarraj, Sudan’s Sovereign Council President General Abdel Fattah Al Burhan, Iraqi President Barham Salih, Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, Lebanese President Michel Aoun and Maldives President Ibrahim Solih were among others who paid tribute to the Premier.
Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, “The people of Bangladesh join me in conveying shock and sadness and share the grief of the people and Royal Family of the kingdom.
“Bangladesh has lost one of her great brothers.”
Similar sentiments were echoed by Bangladesh president Abdul Hamid who recalled the Premier’s graciousness towards Bangladeshis working in Bahrain.
Reflecting his meeting with the late leader in 2017, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also remembered the Premier stating that around 2,000 Keralites were working under him.
“I learnt that he had a special care towards Indians, especially Keralites,” he said.
“I fondly remember him expressing interest in collaborating on various fronts with Kerala, and he will be missed.”
The late Premier’s efforts to push for peace and unity were lauded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Bahrain.
The UN agency in Manama said the Premier spearheaded numerous initiatives that have upheld UN principles. “Among these, the promotion of the International Day of Conscience as an approved UN Day on April 5, and the more recent launch of the Bahrain Visions Forum stand out,” stated the UNDP.
“As the late Highness valued the United Nations and our work at the global level, he emphasised the need for trust and unity among countries and peoples to realise the goals of the UN in contributing to peace and prosperity.”