Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, Emir of Kuwait, dies at 91

Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, Emir of Kuwait, dies at 91

Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, who led his small oil-rich country through the enemies and quarrels of the Middle East for four decades as the country’s foreign minister and then ruler. He was 91 years old.

An official statement on state television announced his death. According to Kuwait’s state news agency KUNA, Amir underwent surgery and was sent to the United States for medical treatment in July.

His death is expected to raise his 82-year-old half-brother, Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, under Kuwait’s leadership. Although Aamir’s future policies are not yet clear, analysts predict that Kuwait will continue to act as a mediator in its troubled region, on the one hand, will continue to travel cleverly between Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and on the other. Enemies of the states, Iran and Qatar, on the other hand.

Kuwait, the Persian Gulf country with a population of 2.2 million people, between the Persian Arabian Peninsula and the Arabian Peninsula in northern Iraq to the south, has the world’s sixth-largest oil reserves, which has given it enormous wealth. Which has given it a degree of independence from its powerful neighbors.

Sheikh Sabah was an architect and often a form of independent, non-signed foreign policy.

Kuwait worked on the regional stage in 2014, when Saudi Arabia was at war with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain with Qatar. Accusation That Qatar had weakened the rulers of other countries by financing terrorism, interfering in their domestic affairs, funding the Al Jazeera satellite network and agreeing with Iran.

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Engaged in tribal, religious and political activities in the region, Sheikh Saab personally flew from the Arabian capital to the capital when he was in his mid-80s, leading to major rounds of talks that eventually Both sides became uneasy.

When Qatar’s opponents Cut ties with the country Overall 2017 – this time Egypt – joined by Kuwait Mediation played again, Although with very little success. Qatar and its adversaries have been embroiled in a diplomatic and economic standoff and a land and sea blockade against Qatar. Still in place. (Qatar denies interfering with other countries or sponsoring terrorism.)

Despite the ups and downs, Kuwait remained politically stable. With an elected parliament, collective blocs such as political parties and sometimes violent public debates, Kuwait can participate in its government to a greater extent than its Gulf Arab neighbors, which are ruled by absolute monarchies.

The country has been an important ally of the United States since 1991, when US-led forces repulsed the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait during the Gulf War. Today, Kuwait hosts about 13,000 US troops.

James A. Baker III, who was secretary of state during the war, said in a statement on Tuesday that Sheikh Sabah had “always been a clear and reliable ally.”

“Whether it’s working to quell difficult riots between rival nations or pledging relief to refugees from war-torn countries,” he added. “Sheikh Sabh focused on helping us build a better world.”

However, this stability has been tested. Under Kuwait’s political system, Amir appointed the prime minister from the Saba family and maintained the final say on state affairs, an arrangement that has long been a source of tension between the appointed cabinet and the elected parliament. And this imbalance, in the second half of Sheikh Sabah’s rule, led to his biggest domestic crisis – when the Arab Spring uprising in the Middle East in 2011 reached Kuwait, leaving open questions about the ruling family’s power. Stood up. .

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Protesters in Kuwait and members of the opposition have strongly condemned the government’s efforts to interfere in the parliamentary elections and the corruption scandal among members of parliament. Pushed for constitutional amendments To take control of the ruling family and bring the country closer to a complete parliamentary system.

Protests drew thousands of Kuwaitis to the streets, forcing Amir to replace the prime minister and dissolve parliament. After two years of unrest, during which Amir used emergency laws to change the election rules in such a way that the opposition sided with the government candidates.

Opposition parliament was dissolved, protesters clashed with police on the streets and dozens were arrested for criticizing Amir.

Sheikh Sabh was born in Kuwait on June 6, 1929, the fourth son of Amir at the time. His family ruled Kuwait continuously from the middle of the 18th century. According to an official biography published on the Kuwaiti embassy’s website, the young sheikh was educated in Kuwaiti schools and by private tutors.

Appointed to a government committee at the age of 25, he held various government positions until his death. Before he became rich, his most important role was as foreign minister, a title he held for many years from 1963 to 2003, when he was made prime minister.

According to Kuwaiti tradition, which dictates that the position of the amir should be changed between the two branches of the ruling family, Sheikh Sabah should not have ruled. But he was Inspire power After a health crisis in 2006, his ancestor, Sheikh Saad al-Abdullah al-Sabah, was removed for nine days during Sheikh Saad’s rule. Sheikh Saad died in 2008 at the age of 78.

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Muhammad

About the author: Muhammad

Wayne Ma is a reporter who covers everything from oil trading to China's biggest conglomerates and technology companies. Originally from Chicago, he is a graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program.

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