Kuwait continue to mourn the news of the passing of Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, a pillar of strength to the nation during turmoil. The 86-year-old ruler, who assumed power just over three years ago, breathed his last after a recent hospitalization due to undisclosed health complications on Saturday.
Sheikh Nawaf, recognized for his leadership in the U.S.-allied Gulf nation, had been battling health issues even before his ascent to power in September 2020. His frequent medical trips abroad underscored concerns about his health, which had been a subject of speculation.
The royal court confirmed the demise of Sheikh Nawaf, prompting a succession plan to be set in motion. Crown Prince Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad al-Sabah, aged 83 and effectively managing state affairs since 2021 due to the emir’s declining health, was appointed as Sheikh Nawaf’s successor.
While the cause of death was not immediately disclosed, the passing of the emir is not expected to alter Kuwait’s stance on its oil strategy. As one of the globe’s major crude exporters and a significant member of OPEC, Kuwait is anticipated to continue its alignment with the oil cartel, historically coordinated with Saudi Arabia, its de facto leader.
Leaders from around the world expressed condolences following the news. Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed his sadness, saying, “Deeply saddened to learn about the unfortunate demise of His Highness Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. We convey our deepest condolences to the Royal family, the leadership and the people of Kuwait.”
Crown Prince Sheikh Meshal was named Sheikh Nawaf Successor
Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah died aged 86. Crown Prince Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad al-Sabah, was named as Sheikh Nawaf’s successor. He had been the country’s de facto ruler since 2021, when the frail emir handed over most of his duties
The emir’s half-brother, Crown Prince Sheikh Mishaal Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, has been actively involved in managing the daily affairs of the state, aligning with the constitutional order.
Sheikh Nawaf’s legacy intertwines with pivotal moments in Kuwait’s history, notably as defense minister during the Iraqi invasion in 1990. His tenure witnessed the nation’s resilience in the face of adversity, drawing global support to end the occupation.
As Kuwait honors the late emir, national flags were lowered to half-mast outside the iconic Kuwait Towers in Kuwait City on December 16, 2023. Sheikh Nawaf’s three-year rule may have been brief, yet his profound involvement in steering Kuwait through tumultuous times remains etched in the annals of the House of Sabah’s history.