One of the world’s longest-serving prime ministers, Bahrain‘s Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa passed away on Wednesday, November 11, at the age of 84. The prime minister is understood to have died in the United States, as the news of his passing was announced by Bahrain’s state-run news agency BHA.
According to BHA, Prince Khalifa bin Salman’s body will be repatriated to Bahrain where a funeral, which will be limited to a number of relatives, can take place. In honor of the prime minister’s passing, Bahraini King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa has declared a week of mourning for the country, lowering the national flag and suspending work at government institutions for three days, starting from Thursday.
Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa was reportedly receiving treatment at the US’ number one ranked medical center, Mayo Clinic Hospital at the time of his death.
Born on November 24, 1935, Prince Khalifa was the longest-serving Prime Minister of any government in the world, after stepping into the role in 1970, just one year before Bahrain’s independence in 1971. Prior to his position as PM, the politician served as Bahrain’s head of the State Council and of the Supreme Defense Council.
His 50-year leadership is regarded to have represented an older style of Gulf influence. However, it is currently unknown who will resume the position of Bahrain’s next prime minister following Prince Khalifa’s passing.
As tributes pour in from government officials across the world in respect of Prince Khalifa’s passing, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, offered his deepest sympathies to Bahrain and Prince Khalifa’s family. Sheikh Mohammed noted the achievement of Prince Khalifa’s long leadership and described his influence as a “journey that contributed to shaping Bahrain’s modern history.”