The leader of Kuwait, Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, who ruled the Gulf nation for the last 14 years, has passed away at the age of 91, according to an announcement released on Tuesday.
Known for his attempts to mediate conflicts in the perennially war-torn Gulf region, the Sheikh was noted for trying to effect a resolution after Qatar was the subject of an embargo by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt.
Minister of Royal Court Affairs Sheikh Ali Jarrah announced on national television on Tuesday afternoon “With sincere sadness, Kuwait, its people, the people of the Arab and Muslim world, and the people of the world offer their condolences for the death of Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, may God forgive him.”
Born almost concurrent with the formation of Kuwait as a modern nation, Sheikh al-Sabah was also known for spearheading efforts to help the war-torn country of Syria.
Serving as Kuwait’s Foreign Minister, he was later the Prime Minister of the country before he acceded to the throne Kuwait.
He had recently traveled to the United States, where he underwent medical treatment which was described as “successful” at the time. No other information is known about the exact medical issues he suffered from.
The country of Jordan declared 40 days of mourning on the passing of the Kuwaiti leader, with Jordanian King Abdullah tweeting “Today we lost a great brother and a wise leader who loves Jordan. (He) did not hesitate in his benevolent endeavors to make every effort to unite the Arab ranks.”
Egypt also eulogized the Kuwaiti monarch, saying in an announcement that he had been “a great leader.”
Michel Aoun, the president of Lebanon, also lauded the Sheikh, saying he was a “great brother to Lebanon, and an example of chivalry, moderation and wisdom.”
The US State Department issued a statement upon the Sheikh’s death, which read:
“We are deeply saddened to hear of the death of His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah. We extend our sincere condolences to his family and to the people of Kuwait. His vision shaped Kuwait into the prosperous and modern state it is today, and his global leadership resulted in lasting and positive change in Kuwait and the entire Middle East region.
“His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah was a revered leader and a friend to all nations. The United States deeply valued the Emir’s strong partnership in promoting regional stability and security, as demonstrated by President Trump awarding the prestigious Legion of Merit, Degree Chief Commander to him as a token of our great appreciation.
“We especially appreciated his efforts to facilitate Gulf unity and his humanitarianism. We honor his legacy and remain committed to our strong partnership and friendship with Kuwait.”
The Embassy community wishes to express its deepest condolences to HH the Amir’s family and the people of #Kuwait at this difficult time. We mourn with you and celebrate the extraordinary life & accomplishments of HH the Amir, who devoted his life to peace & regional stability. https://t.co/2gmEqKTuO6
— U.S. Embassy Kuwait (@USEmbassyQ8) September 29, 2020