UAE president receives Eid al-Fitr greeting in rare appearance since 2014 stroke

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DUBAI (Reuters) - The president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, made a rare public appearance on Sunday since suffering a stroke in 2014, state news agency WAM said, receiving well-wishers for the Muslim Eid al-Fitr feast.

The agency posted photos of Sheikh Khalifa, who is also the ruler of Abu Dhabi, greeting rulers of other emirates in the seven-member UAE federation at a traditional reception for the feast that marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

In a video also posted on social media, Sheikh Khalifa was shown chatting with the ruler of the emirate of Sharjah, Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed al-Qassimi.

Sheikh Khalifa, a pro-Western modernizer and head of the ruling family of Abu Dhabi, the largest of the federation’s seven emirates, has been president since the death of his father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan, in 2004.

For much of the past decade, Sheikh Khalifa’s younger brother Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, has led negotiations on behalf of the UAE, a major oil producer, in sectors ranging from energy and defense to investment and politics.

In September last year, WAM reported Sheikh Khalifa’s return home after a private trip abroad, without giving further details on the visit.

Reporting by Sami Aboudi, editing by Gareth Jones