Bahrain PM, world’s longest-serving, dies at 84

MANAMA (AFP) – Bahrain’s Prince Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa, the world’s longest-serving prime minister who had held the post since independence in 1971, died yesterday at the age of 84, state media announced.

“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 (BNA) said, adding that the country will hold a week of official mourning.

The burial ceremony will take place after the body has been transported home from the United States (US), and will be limited to a “specific number” of relatives in line with coronavirus restrictions.

During the mourning period, flags will be flown at half-mast and government ministries and departments closed for three days.

File photo of Bahrain’s late prime minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Gulf kingdom’s airport in Muharraq, near Manama on August 24, 2013. PHOTO: AFP