Kuwait's Emir, Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah dies, Sheikh Meshal named as successor

AP , Ahram Online , Saturday 16 Dec 2023

Kuwait's Emir, the 86-year-old Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah, has died, state television reported Saturday.

Kuwait s Emir Sheik Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah
FILE PHOTO: Kuwait s Emir Sheik Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah . (AP


"With great sadness and sorrow, we mourn... the death of Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, Emir of the State of Kuwait," said a statement aired on Kuwaiti state television.

Kuwait TV broke into programming with Quranic verses just before making the announcement.

Sheikh Nawaf was hospitalised following an 'emergency health problem' in November.

In the time since, oil-rich nation had been waiting for news about his health. State-run news previously reported that he traveled to the United States for unspecified medical checks in March 2021.

Crown Prince Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad al-Sabah, 83, who has been Kuwait's de facto ruler since 2021, when the frail emir handed over most his duties, was named as Sheikh Nawaf's successor.

Sheikh Nawaf was sworn in as emir following the 2020 death of his predecessor, his half-brother, the late Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah. The breadth and depth of emotion over the loss of Sheikh Sabah, known for his diplomacy and peacemaking, was felt across the region.

In his inaugural address as Kuwait’s emir in September 2020, Sheikh Nawaf pledged to build on his predecessor Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad’s legacy and safeguard the country’s stability and democratic path. 

Sheikh Nawaf previously served as Kuwait’s interior and defense minister. However, he was largely an uncontroversial choice for emir.

Kuwait, a nation home to some 4.2 million people, has the world’s sixth-largest known oil reserves.

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