The Emir of Kuwait dies

The Kuwaiti monarch has died in the United States at the age of 91
The Emir of Kuwait, Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah

FETHI BELAID/POOL PHOTO vía AP  -   The Emir of Kuwait, Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah

The Emir of Kuwait, Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, died on Tuesday at the age of 91 in the United States, according to the Kuwaiti Royal House, which has not provided any further details on his death.

Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah had travelled to US territory in July to receive medical treatment after undergoing an operation in the kingdom, as the Royal Court itself stated. A recent intervention of which no further details were known. Although the Kuwaiti authorities had reported that the head of state's health had improved since then. 

The Royal House of Kuwait has announced "with great regret" the death of Al-Sabah. "We pray to the almighty God that the deceased will be covered by his mercy and live in his fullness," said the royal institution of the Gulf country. 

The minister of royal court affairs reported on the death in a communiqué read on national television, which had suspended normal broadcasting minutes earlier to begin transmitting verses from the Koran, a sign that something of great significance was to be announced, in this case the death of the monarch of the Arab country. 

El emir de Kuwait, Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah
AFP/YASSER AL-ZAYYAT - The Emir of Kuwait, Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah

Al Sabah (1929-2020) came to the throne in January 2006, bringing a certain openness to Kuwait and acting as mediator in several crises in the Gulf. Meanwhile, a wave of mourning has spread across the Persian Gulf to show condolences for the death of the country's former leader. 

Although Kuwait has one of the most active parliamentary activities in the Middle East, the emir continues to hold much of the power in a country that is rich in oil thanks to the oil deposits discovered there not many years ago. Indeed, the emir has the power to appoint a government. 

Al-Sabah, who will be succeeded on the throne by the Crown Prince, his brother Nawaf al-Ahmed al-Jaber al-Sabah, 83, was also prime minister to the previous Amir Jaber al-Ahmed al-Jaber al-Sabah, as well as foreign minister from 1963 to 1991 and from 1992 to 2003.

The recently deceased amir was known for his mediating and conciliatory role in the Middle East. Indeed, he took part in contacts to settle the existing regional conflict with Qatar, which has been under an embargo since 2017 by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, nations that accuse the Qatari state of supporting cross-border terrorism. 

As the top Kuwaiti leader, he even led the rapprochement with Iraq, which, under Saddam Hussein's regime, invaded Kuwait in 1990, a fact which triggered the Gulf War that ended with the intervention of the United States. Precisely from 2003, with the disappearance of Saddam Hussein, relations between Iraqis and Kuwaitis were normalised. The US giant recognised the role of Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah for its support of the US in overthrowing Saddam Hussein and fighting Jihadist terrorism.