Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah passes away

Clay Curtis
September 29, 2020

Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah died at the age of 91, according to a state media report.

He had been in a hospital in the United States since July, recovering from a surgery he had in his country during the same month.

Earlier, Kuwait television had interrupted regular programming to cut to Quranic verses, a move which often signifies the death of a senior member of the Gulf Arab state's ruling family.

The statement said that the news of HH Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah's passing was received with hearts filled with faith in Allah and his Providence, and with great sorrow and deep sadness.

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Later in July, Sabah was transferred from Kuwait to the Mayo Clinic in the United States city of Rochester, Minnesota, where reportedly underwent surgery to remove two tumours.

His 2006 ascension in Kuwait, a staunch US ally since the American-led war that expelled occupying Iraqi troops, came after parliament voted unanimously to oust his predecessor, the ailing Sheikh Saad Al Abdullah Al Sabah, just nine days into his rule. He became Kuwait's Emir in 2006 after the death of Sheikh Jaber Al-Sabah.

He tried to mediate in a Gulf dispute that saw Riyadh and its allies impose a boycott on Qatar. Oil policy is set by the Supreme Petroleum Council, appointed by the emir.

The new emir's choice of crown prince and prime minister, who would be tasked with managing the government's often hard relationship with parliament, will be watched closely, especially at a time when Kuwait's finances have been strained by low oil prices and the coronavirus pandemic.

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