Felipe VI will travel this Sunday, May 15, to Abu Dhabi to participate in the condolence ceremony after the death of the emir, Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan, who died on May 13 at the age of 73. As Zarzuela sources have confirmed, the Monarch will travel to the capital of the United Arab Emirates as Head of State, in a totally institutional trip.
Thus, it is ruled out that Don Felipe will meet again in the emirate with his father, Juan Carlos I, a resident of Abu Dhabi for almost two years. “It is a trip by the Head of State to convey his condolences,” the aforementioned sources explain to EL MUNDO. For that reason, the Monarch will go and return on the day.
Don Felipe will travel to the Emirates accompanied by the Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Luis Manuel Cuesta. Other European leaders have also traveled there, such as the King of the Belgians and the Netherlands. Also Emmanuel Macron, French president, will convey his condolences to the brother of the deceased, the crown prince
Since King Juan Carlos moved his residence to Abu Dhabi in August 2020, where he has decided to stay, the Emirates have become a destination to be avoided by the Royal Family. In fact, this is the first trip that Don Felipe has made to Abu Dhabi since his father moved, and it has been ruled out that he coincides there with his father, whom he has not visited in this time.
Felipe VI did not attend the opening of the Dubai Expo, to which Pedro Sánchez went, as a way to avoid speculation. Dubai is only 400 kilometers from Abu Dhabi, so the presence of the King there gave rise to a possible meeting with his father, which he wanted to do without.
However, the reunion between father and son is getting closer, as Don Juan Carlos will travel at any time to visit Spain. The return of the King’s father is also a problem because, as EL MUNDO published yesterday, Zarzuela has been working for a long time on the return of Don Juan Carlos. What both parties are clear about is that the first meeting that the Emeritus must have when setting foot on Spanish soil is with his son, Don Felipe. However, Juan Carlos I wants to go to Zarzuela and spend the night there, something that he cannot do at the moment. On the other side, the Royal House prefers that they hold a meeting in which faith is confirmed through some photographs and that later the King Father sleeps in another place.
The ties between the Emirati monarchy and the Spanish monarchy are very close due to the good relations woven by Don Juan Carlos. King Felipe VI inherited that friendship, which is why a few months after the proclamation, as part of a tour of the Gulf countries, the King visited the emirates. Since then, he was at the ceremonies marking the death of Qaboos bin Said in 2020 in Oman and after the death of Andullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in 2015 he traveled to Saudi Arabia. In September 2020, Don Felipe was unable to go to Kuwait after the death of Sheikh Sheik Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah due to the pandemic.
Although since then there has been no other state visit, on August 27 Don Felipe held a conversation with Mohamed bin Zayed to “consolidate the ties of friendship and cooperation between the United Arab Emirates and Spain” and exchange “points of view on a series of regional and international issues of interest”.
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