Kuwait’s crown prince stepped in as partial ruler on Saturday after the hospitalization of the 91-year-old emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, state news agency KUNA said.
Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah was admitted for “routine” medical tests on Saturday. The report added he was in “good health” but gave no further details.
“The crown prince 83-year-old Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad Al-Sabah) is to temporarily execute certain prerogatives of the emir,” his half-brother, the head of the state’s office announced.
Sheikh Nawaf is an elder statesman who has held high office for decades, including the defense and interior portfolios.
Last summer, the emir was reported to have suffered a health “setback” while in Kuwait. The following month, he was hospitalized for medical tests during a visit to the US leading to a meeting with President Donald Trump being called off.
The emir had his appendix removed in 2002, two years after having a pacemaker implanted. In 2007, he underwent urinary tract surgery in the United States.
Sheikh Sabah has been credited with shaping the Gulf nation’s foreign policy and spent decades as a foreign minister before becoming emir in 2006. He is widely regarded as the architect of modern Kuwait’s foreign policy. Sheikh Sabah argued last year for de-escalation in the Gulf as tensions surged between the US and its arch-foe Iran.
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