Kuwait’s emir, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, who ruled over his oil-rich country since 2006 and had been its foreign minister for 40 years has died. He was 91.
He is succeeded by his 83-year-old half-brother, Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah.
Sheikh Sabah underwent surgery in July 2020 for an unspecified medical problem and was flown to the United States for further treatment. Before doing so, he temporarily handed over some of his responsibilities to the crown prince, the state-run KUNA news agency said.
The sheikh had canceled a visit in early September 2019 with President Donald Trump at the White House after being hospitalized in the U.S., according to KUNA. This followed an unspecified health “setback” in August.
The sheikh was the 15th ruler in the Al Sabah dynasty, which dates to 1752, and was the fifth emir since Kuwait gained independence from Britain in 1961. Sheikh Sabah served as foreign minister from 1963 until 2003.