Sheikh Nawaf Al Sabah is officially the new Kuwait Emir
Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah has been sworn in as the new Kuwait Emir at the National Assembly, on Wednesday, vowing to carry out his responsibilities to his utmost best, state news agency KUNA has reported.
The body of Sheikh Sabah, an acclaimed diplomat and mediator who ruled for 14 years, is expected to arrive in Kuwait City later on Wednesday. He died on Tuesday in Minnesota where he had been undergoing treatment in hospital since July.
According to the royal court, the funeral will be “restricted to the emir’s relatives” – a move likely designed to avoid large crowds amid the coronavirus pandemic. While the Gulf state has already begun a 40-day period of national mourning.
Al-Sabah said the country’s constitution ensured a “smooth transition” of leadership, as the country mourned the death of his brother Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah who ruled Kuwait since 2006
“The trust bestowed upon me by the Kuwaiti people is a trust I bear in my neck,” the new Emir said.
“Kuwait has been subjected, throughout its long history, to serious and harsh challenges that we managed to overcome through cooperation,” he added.
Al-Sabah paid tribute to the previous leadership and said “Sheikh Sabah’s policy will remain a highlight for us.”
Sheikh Sabah earned a reputation as a remarkable leader who helped steer his country through the 1990 Iraqi invasion, crashes in global oil markets, and upheavals in parliament and on the streets.
World leaders and Kuwaitis alike have hailed the legacy of the late emir, architect of the nation’s modern foreign policy and mediator in some of the worst crises to grip the Gulf.
The Speaker of the Kuwaiti National Assembly Marzouq Al-Ghanim also spoke at the ceremony.
“We are confident that Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah will lead Kuwait to prosperity,” he said.
Kuwait’s new leader, 83-year-old Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf, is Sheikh Sabah’s half-brother.
Sheikh Nawaf is one of the most senior serving members of the House of Sabah and has been serving Kuwait for well over 58 years in various responsibilities.
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