Both fathers of their nations, their friendship paved the way for a strong and prosperous relationship between the UAE and South Africa
Timeframe: Sheikh Zayed and Nelson Mandela meet in Abu Dhabi in 1998
This year marks the centenary of the birth of two fathers of their respective nations – Sheikh Zayed, Founding President of the UAE, and Nelson Mandela, president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. The pair shared many of the same traits as leaders, including strong vision and a commitment to their people. They met on several occasions, including in 1998, as this image shows, during a GCC summit, and developed a bond that has been the foundation of a long-standing relationship between the two nations.
Earlier this week in Pretoria, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, announced that the UAE Embassy in Pretoria will supervise the restoration of the Nelson Mandela archives in conjunction with the Nelson Mandela Foundation. He also presented the Mandela family with a note of appreciation for the legacy of the activist and politician, and his friendship with Sheikh Zayed.