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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 November 2018

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed honours Mandela family during South Africa trip

UAE minister gives thank you note to Mandela family in appreciation of late president's friendship with Sheikh Zayed

Thirteen years ago, Nelson Mandela stepped off a plane in Abu Dhabi to be greeted by Sheikh Zayed, the UAE’s founding father.

During his visit, the president of South Africa, at the time, was decorated with the Order of Zayed Medal First Class.

The two leaders were said to have immense respect for each other, and, three years later, Sheikh Zayed told Mandela, "You are a blessing". The South African leader responded, "There is no greater blessing than you."

On Tuesday, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, presented to Zwelivelile 'Mandla' Mandela, the grandson of the late South African President, with a thank-you note addressed to the Mandela family during a visit to Pretoria in South Africa.

The note was in appreciation of the late leader’s legacy and his friendship with the UAE’s first president.

It was also announced on Tuesday that the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation would take part in the restoration of the Nelson Mandela archives through its contribution to the Nelson Mandela Foundation. The UAE Embassy in Pretoria will be supervising the restoration process in co-ordination with the Foundation.

This year marks the centenary of the birth of Sheikh Zayed and Mandela.

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