Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa of Bahrain passed away on Wednesday at the age of 84.
The cause of death has not been shared, but according to Bahrain’s state-run news agency, the prince was being treated at the Mayo Clinic in the United States.
He is considered one of the longest serving prime ministers in the world.
Khalifa was born in Royalty, the son of former ruler Sheikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa. He is the uncle of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the current ruler of Bahrain.
Bahrain’s prime minister has retained power in the region for decades, even during the 2011 Arab Spring protests, which sought to oust him over allegations of corruption. Associated Press Reports.
Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates once instructed the king to remove the prime minister from office, saying he was “not wanted by almost everyone, but especially by Shiites.”
“Khalifa bin Salman represented the old guard in many ways rather than age and old age. He represented an old social understanding rooted in state privilege and expressed through personal support, ”said Christine Smith Diwan, a senior citizen scholar at the Arab Gulf Institute.
His leadership style rewarded supporters of the Sunni al-Khalifa family, but was challenged by the majority Shiite population in Bahrain during the Arab Spring.
Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa was appointed the new Prime Minister on Wednesday, the first time the island nation had declared independence in 1971.
According to the Andhra Pradesh report, the Prime Minister has been facing allegations of corruption for most of his career. His name was part of a major corruption case against aluminum maker Alkova, which the company allegedly indirectly bribed Bahraini officials.
Former US Ambassador Ronald E. Newman wrote of the caliph, “Although certainly corrupt, he has built much of modern Bahrain.”