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Kuwait Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah dies aged 91

The Emiri Diwan announced on Tuesday the death of Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, who has been ruling Kuwait since 2006.

Kuwait Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah dies aged 91
Kevin Lamarque REUTERS

The Emiri Diwan of Kuwait announced on Tuesday that Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah has died at the age of 91. Sheikh Sabah has been Kuwait's emir since 2006 after he had occupied numerous critical positions in the state, including prime minister and minister of foreign affairs, for almost four decades.

The Emiri Diwan released a statement following the emir's death to deliver the news to the Kuwaiti people. "With deep sadness and sorrow the Emiri Diwan sends its condolences to the people of Kuwait, the Arab and Muslim nations, and our friendly nations worldwide," the statement said.

The emir had been undergoing treatment in the US since July, following a surgery he had had in Kuwait during the same month.

Sheikh Sabah political roles

Sheikh Sabah is Kuwait's 15th emir following the declaration of independence in 1961. He started his political career in 1954 as part of the High Executive Committee, which is equivalent to the council of ministers, before being appointed as head of the Social Affairs and Work Department and as a member of the Construction and Development Council in 1955.

Sheikh Sabah was later appointed as the minister of foreign affairs in 1963, serving in the post until 1991. He has witnessed so many historic local, regional and international events during these four decades, and was named the sheikh of Arab diplomats.

In 1992, the sheikh's duties were doubled as he was appointed as the prime minister's first deputy, besides being responsible for the ministry of foreign affairs. In 2003, he became Kuwait's prime minister and in January of 2006, he became Kuwait's emir and was the third emir in Kuwait's history to take the oath before the parliament.