Bahrain’s long-serving Prime Minister, Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa has died at the age of 84.
Kahlifa, who was the longest-serving prime minister of any government worldwide, died on Wednesday morning, November 11.
“The Royal Court mourns His Royal Highness … who passed away this morning at Mayo Clinic Hospital in the United States of America,” the Bahrain News Agency said on Wednesday, without elaborating.
Khalifa, the uncle of King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, had served as prime minister since the Sunni Muslim-led island kingdom declared independence from Britain in 1971, almost half a century. The al-Khalifa family has ruled since 1783.
In August, Sheikh Kahlifa left the kingdom for what official media called at the time “a private visit abroad.”
Earlier this year he spent time in Germany for unspecified medical treatment, returning to Bahrain in March.
The burial ceremony will take place upon the repatriation of his body and the funeral will be limited to a specific number of relatives, Bahrain’s state news agency said.
The Gulf state’s King Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa announced official mourning for a week during which flags will be flown at half-mast, the agency said.