In early 1995, four years after his election as President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela made a historic visit to the United Arab Emirates, where he was received by the late Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and was decorated with the Zayed Medal, First Class.
In 2000, Mandela came to the UAE again to take part in the 7th annual Emirates International Forum and met with His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, while the latter was still Crown Prince and Defence Minister.
The two leaders had discussed ways to enhance ties between the UAE and South Africa, as well as topics related to human rights, democracy and equality.
During the meeting, Shaikh Mohammed praised Mandela’s crucial role in the struggle against South Africa’s Apartheid regime.
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