Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah died on Tuesday aged 91, plunging his country into mourning for a leader regarded by many Gulf Arabs as a savvy diplomatic operator and a humanitarian champion.
The cabinet announced his brother and designated successor Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah as the new ruler, in a statement read on state television. The parliamentary speaker tweeted that Sheikh Nawaf, 83, would be sworn in on Wednesday.
Sheikh Sabah had ruled the wealthy oil producer and U.S. ally since 2006, and steered its foreign policy for more than 50 years.
“With hearts filled with pain and sadness for the Kuwaiti people, the Islamic and Arab world and nations of the world, and with faith in the will of God, the cabinet mourns … Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah who died in the United States on Tuesday at 4 p.m. Kuwait time,” the statement said.
“In line with the constitution … the cabinet names Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah emir of Kuwait,” it said.