Bahrain Roundup 2020: Death of Bahraini Prime Minister in the US

2021-01-05 - 3:45 م

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): On November 11, 2020, the royal court announced the death of Bahraini Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa at the age of 84 after he had spent 49 years in office (i.e. since 1971). "By order of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the Royal Court mourns Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister, who passed away at Mayo Clinic in the United States of America. The King ordered the announcement of an official mourning for a week during which flags will be flown at half-mast," reported Bahrain News Agency (BNA). 

The body of the late PM arrived in Bahrain on November 12, 2020, but his burial was postponed until November 13. His burial ceremony was carried out at Hunainiyah Cemetery in Riffa, where he was buried next to his late brother prince Isa bin Salman.

The Ministry of Information Affairs aired live the arrival of the PM's body to Bahraini territories from the US, where he passed away. A private plane landed in Al-Sukhair International Airport where the king, crown prince and senior members of the ruling family were waiting.

King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa performed funeral prayers upon the body of the PM in Sheikh Isa bin Salman Mosque in Riffa. Present at the burial ceremony were other senior royal family members, in addition to senior representatives of the Bahrain Defence Force, Interior Ministry and National Guard.

The US military flew Bahrain's terminally ill prime minister to America for hospital care two months before his death, the State Department told the Associated Press on November 13, 2020. "On Sept. 18, a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III 'flying hospital' took off from Germany and landed in Rochester, Minnesota, the home of the flagship campus of the Mayo Clinic. It was followed to Rochester by a Boeing 767 owned by Bahrain's royal family. In September, the United States provided medical transportation assistance to Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, a U.S. friend and ally."

Despite the Gulf dispute, Qatar's Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani sent a cable of condolences to the family of Bahrain's PM Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa. In his cable, the Emir prayed that Allah the Almighty have mercy upon the PM's soul and inspire his family with patience and fortitude. BNA reported that Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu also sent a cable of condolences.

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