King pays respects to UAE's fallen heroes

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ABU DHABI (June 14): On the second day of the three-day special visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Malaysian Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah visited Wahat Al-Karama, a memorial to the UAE's fallen heroes.

His Majesty spent about 30 minutes late Thursday evening at the site that was built in 2016 as a permanent tribute and war memorial to honour UAE’s martyred soldiers and other Emiratis who sacrificed their lives for the service of the nation.

The tour began when Sultan Abdullah and Executive Director of the Martyr Office, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Tahnon Alnahyan, walked pass through the Guard of Honor involving about 20 UAE’s military personnel.

The Malaysian King then touched wreath with both hands before one-minute silence as a mark of respect to the fallen heroes.

Sheikh Khalifa bin Tahnon Alnahyan then guided the tour and gave an explanation about the monument which Sultan Abdullah nodded his understanding before signing the guest book upon leaving the memorial site.

Present were Malaysian Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Marzuki Yahya, Malaysian ambassador to the UAE Datuk Syed Md Hasrin Tengku Hussin and Consul-General in Dubai, Datuk Yubazlan Yusof.

It was reported that Wahat Al Karama is a place where UAE’s President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s vision to immortalize the memories of the heroes of the country, comes to life.

The massive expanse of the 46,000sqm wide monument is symbolically located between the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the General Headquarters of the UAE Armed Forces, using 31 massive aluminium-clad tablets each leaning on the other, signifying the unity, solidarity and mutual support that bind together the leadership, the citizens and the servicemen and women who protect them.

Earlier, the Malaysian King received an audience from UAE’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan in a closed-door meeting that was held about 30 minutes in Emirates Palace.

Sultan Abdullah arrived in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

According to a statement in Kuala Lumpur issued prior to the visit, the Foreign Ministry said the special visit of His Majesty to the UAE symbolised the warm and close bilateral relations between the two countries.

This is Sultan Abdullah’s maiden visit to the UAE after taking the oath as Malaysia's 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong on Jan 31.