Human Interest

Kuwait’s crown prince to succeed Sabah as emir

Kuwait, Sep 29 (efe-epa).- The Kuwaiti Cabinet on Tuesday named Crown Prince Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah as the country’s new ruler following the death of his half-brother, Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.

“In accordance with the articles of the Constitution, the Kuwaiti council of ministers calls for His Highness Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah as Emir of the State of Kuwait,” Deputy Prime Minister Anas Al-Saleh said.

Nawaf is set to take the oath of office on Wednesday, National Assembly speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim said.

“I had the honor, a little while ago, to meet His Highness the Emir, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, together with my brother, His Highness the Prime Minister,” Al-Ghanim said on Twitter.

“It was decided to invite the National Assembly to hold a special session tomorrow, Wednesday, at 11 am, during which His Highness will take the constitutional oath in accordance with the text of Article 60 of the Constitution,” the speaker said.

Nawaf, who served as interior minister from 1978-1988 and again from 2003-2006, was defense minister when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990.

Following the expulsion of the Iraqi forces, he became minister of labor and social affairs. In 1994, he was appointed deputy commander of the National Guard.

The Kuwaiti government declared 40 days of national mourning for the death of Sabah Al Ahmad al-Sabah, who passed away Tuesday at the age of 91 after spending more than two months hospitalized in the United States.

“With great sadness and sorrow, we mourn to the Kuwaiti people, the Arab and Islamic nations, and the friendly peoples of the world, the death of the late His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Emir of the State of Kuwait, who moved next to his Lord,” the Royal Court said in a statement published by state-run new agency KUNA.

Al-Sabah was hospitalized July 18 and underwent a successful surgery, KUNA reported at the time.

Just days later, however, the emir was taken to Washington for medical treatment, according to the Royal Court, which did not reveal the nature of his health problem.

Before traveling to the US, Al-Sabah temporarily delegated some of his powers to Crown Prince Nawaf.

Al-Sabah, born June 16, 1929, served as Kuwait’s foreign minister for 40 years and became prime minister in 2003.

On Jan. 29, 2006, Al-Sabah became the 18th ruler of the small, oil-rich country. His accession, which was controversial, came after the National Assembly voted unanimously to depose his cousin, Sheikh Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah.

Al-Sabah suffered several health crises during his more than two decades as emir, but the Royal Court never disclosed any details about what were described only as “setbacks.” EFE ta/dr

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