Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 15 December 2019

Adnan Pachachi: Sheikh Mohamed pays tribute to visionary politician

An Iraqi diplomat who helped to lay down foundations of Sheikh Zayed's foreign policy has died aged 96

Iraqi statesman Adnan Pachachi. 96, passed away on Sunday. Ravindranath K / The National
Iraqi statesman Adnan Pachachi. 96, passed away on Sunday. Ravindranath K / The National

Iraqi official Adnan Pachachi, a veteran Iraqi politician who passed away on Sunday, has been hailed as a "loyal friend" by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed and thanked for his contribution to the country.

The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces said on Twitter that he had lost a “dear man".

“[Pachachi] worked with Sheikh Zayed sincerely since the beginning of the Union, and contributed his experience and a noble attitude to bringing the voice of the UAE to the world,” he said.

The Iraqi official, who died aged 96, moved to the UAE in 1968 and worked as a legal consultant for the Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed. He played a pivotal role in laying down the foundations of Sheikh Zayed’s early foreign policy and, on December 10, 1971, helped hoist the flag of the newly-formed UAE for the first time at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

With a distinguished career spanning six decades, Pachachi, who was regarded as an elder statesman in his native Iraq, witnessed this region’s biggest wars and met some of history’s best-known figures, including US president John F Kennedy, Malcolm X and Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser. With the late Sheikh Zayed, he worked to lay down the foundations for a new state.

Working with a small group, mostly of Iraqi compatriots, Pachachi also drew up plans for a parliament with an advisory role — what would become the Federal National Council.

Pachachi was appointed Minister of State in the first Government of the emirate of Abu Dhabi and took up his office on July 1, 1971.

Within hours of the UAE’s formation, Pachachi flew to New York and submitted the application from the UAE for membership in the United Nations. Given his long career as Iraq’s foreign minister and ambassador at the UN, Pachachi had many colleagues and contacts at the UN.

Pachachi would often speak at international conferences and summits as part of the UAE delegation, often headed by the late Founding President himself.

Adnan Pachachi seen with late Sheikh Zayed in his photograph collections. Local Caption 
Adnan Pachachi seen with late Sheikh Zayed in his photograph collections. Local Caption 

One momentous moment came in 1973 and was a result of US military support for Israel in the October War. Sheikh Zayed imposed an oil embargo, a move followed by other Arab oil-producing countries, and Pachachi was selected as the spokesman to convey Sheikh Zayed’s message at the European Summit in Copenhagen.

Pachachi also organised the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was granted UAE citizenship in 1974. He served on the board of directors for entities including Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc), the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (Adia) and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Economic Development. He was also a member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and chairman of the General Projects Committee.

In a statement released on Sunday, the UAE Ministry of Presidential Affairs said it was mourning the death of the Iraqi diplomat.

During the formation of the UAE, Pachachi served as assistant minister of foreign affairs and adviser to the Ruler.

He went on to contribute to the UAE through several senior government positions and was on the board of directors of some of Abu Dhabi’s most important entities, including Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Economic Development.

Pachachi was part of the UAE mission team that secured the country’s acceptance into the UN.

In Iraq, he served as minister of foreign affairs from 1965 to 1967, including during the Arab-Israeli War.

He also served as Iraq’s permanent representative to the UN between 1959 and 1965.

Updated: November 18, 2019 07:50 PM

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