Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah passed away at age 91
Kuwait’s 91-year-old Emir Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah died on Tuesday in a hospital in the United States.
“With great sadness and sorrow, we mourn … the death of Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, emir of the State of Kuwait,” said Sheikh Ali Jarrah Al-Sabah, the minister in charge of royal affairs, in a television broadcast.
Sheikh Sabah was expected to be succeeded by his 83-year-old half-brother and crown prince, Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmed.
In July, he was flown to the United States for medical treatment following surgery for an unspecified condition in Kuwait.
Who is Sheikh Sabah?
Born in 1929, Sheikh Sabah is widely regarded as the architect of modern Kuwait’s foreign policy – having served as foreign minister for nearly 40 years between 1963 and 2003 – when he became prime minister.
He had ruled the oil-rich Gulf Arab state since 2006 and had overseen its foreign policy for more than 50 years.
He was dubbed the “dean of Arab diplomacy” for his efforts to restore relations with states that backed Iraq during the 1990-1991 Gulf War, when Kuwait was invaded by Iraqi forces.
In August 2019, Kuwait acknowledged Sheikh Sabah suffered an unspecified medical “setback” that required he be admitted to hospital.
In July 2020, he flew to the United States seeking medical attention after undergoing surgery.
Sheikh Sabah death comes as the nation continues to fight the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 103,981 people and caused 605 related deaths in the country of 4.1 million.