Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard, was in Manama yesterday to pay his condolences to Emir of Bahrain Sheikh Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa, and convey to him expressions of sympathy from Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz on the death of his father Sheikh Isa Bin Salman Al-Khalifa. The Crown Prince was accompanied by Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal, and a number of royal princes, including Prince Abdulaziz bin Fahd bin Abdul Aziz. Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, Second Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector-General, also traveled to Manama to condole the Bahraini Emir.
King Fahd had earlier spoken on the telephone with Emir Hamad, to whom he expressed his deep condolences on the loss of his father to the Arab and Islamic worlds, and the hope that the State of Bahrain would continue its path of progress and development under his leadership. King Fahd also sent a cable of condolences to Emir Hamad, in which he said he was afflicted by the loss of his dear brother Sheikh Isa, who, he declared, "in all circumstances and situations, was generous in his feelings, true in his affections, and faithful to his brothers." He added that Sheikh Isa was known for his contribution to the establishment of the Gulf Cooperation Council and his solidarity in facing Arab and Islamic issues. King Fahd went on to say: "On behalf of myself, the Kingdom, its government and people, I send you and your royal family as well as the people of Bahrain, our heartfelt condolences on this occasion. As we send our condolences, in reality, we, and our nation, are condoling ourselves on this great loss. We pray God Almighty to grant him mercy, blessings and paradise. We trust that you will continue the wise progress embarked upon by our late brother, Sheikh Isa. We affirm to you and the dear people of Bahrain that our hearts are with you at this moment and always in future. I pray God to ensure your success." Crown Prince Abdullah and Prince Sultan sent similar cables of condolences.
Today, Governor of Hail Province Prince Miqren bin Abdul Aziz paid his condolences to Emir of Bahrain Sheikh Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa and Sheikh Muhammad Bin Salman Al-Khalifa, and spoke of the late Sheikh Isa's distinguished role in the service of Arab and Islamic causes.
The announcement came in a statement yesterday from the Emiri Court that Sheikh Isa Bin Salman Al-Khalifa, ruler of Bahrain, had died of a sudden heart attack earlier on Saturday, March 6, and would be laid to rest following afternoon prayers. He was 65. The statement declared a three-month mourning period, and a five-day closure of all public and private institutions.
The Gulf News Agency reported yesterday that Sheikh Hamad Bin Isa Bin Salman Al-Khalifa had been declared the new Emir of Bahrain. Emir Hamad, who is 49, was named Crown Prince on July 27, 1964, and became Commander of the Bahraini Defense Forces in 1970. One year later he was named Minister of Defense. He is credited with having built up Bahrain's well-trained army. Born on January 28, 1950, Sheikh Hamad studied in Bahrain and abroad, and became a qualified helicopter pilot in 1978. He speaks English fluently, rides well and water-skis, used to play basketball and football with his soldiers and is fond of tennis and falconry. He has three sons, the eldest of whom, Sheikh Salman, was appointed Deputy Minister of Defense in 1995. The Gulf News Agency went on to report that Emir Hamad stated: "I am assuming the rule of Bahrain, relying on God, exerting all efforts possible to serve our country and our people.'' He declared that he would continue his father's policies.