The Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, has died, the BBC reported on Saturday. He was 86 years old. He was succeeded by his half-brother, 83-year-old Sheikh Mishal al-Ahmad al-Sabah. The country declared 40 days of mourning.
The Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, died at the age of 86 and was succeeded by his half-brother, 83-year-old Sheikh Mishal al-Ahmad al-Sabah – the BBC reported on Saturday, citing Kuwait’s state television.
“It is with great sadness that we mourn (…) the death of Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, who passed away today to be with his Lord,” said the statement, quoted by Al-Jazeera. The station notes that the authorities did not provide the cause of the emir’s death. However, they announced that the country would observe 40 days of mourning and government agencies would be closed for three days.
Nawaf became emir in 2020
Sheikh Nawaf became emir in 2020, taking over from Sabah’s deceased half-brother al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah. He was born in 1937 as the fifth son of former Kuwaiti leader Sheikh Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah. He served as defense minister when Iraq invaded and occupied Kuwait in 1990, starting the First Gulf War. Later he headed the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Kuwait, inhabited by 4.8 million people, of which 3.4 million are foreign workers, has the sixth largest discovered oil deposits in the world and is an important ally of the United States. The Kuwaiti parliament has the most powers of any elected body in the Gulf countries, and opposition MPs openly criticize the emir’s family, the BBC notes.
However, the Sabahas have complete control over the most important positions in the government and administration, and the emir has the last word on political matters. He has the right to overturn the decisions of parliament or dissolve it and call elections.
Main photo source: NOUFAL IBRAHIM/PAP/EPA