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Kuwait's ruling Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah dies aged 91

Kuwait's ruling Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah dies aged 91
The Emir of Kuwait, Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, who ruled the oil-rich Gulf country for 14 years, has died at the age of 91, state officials announced on Tuesday.

Kuwaiti state TV interrupted its programs and to cut to Koranic verses, which is usually done when a royal family member passes away, before announcing the Emir’s death officially to the nation.

"With the utmost sadness and grief for the Kuwaiti people, the Islamic and Arab world and people of friendly nations, the Emiri Diwan mourns the death of Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, the emir of Kuwait," the Emir’s office said when confirming his death.

The cabinet later confirmed his brother, Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah, as the new Emir.

Reports of the death had emerged several hours earlier, but were denied by the government, which insisted that the ruler’s health was stable and that he was receiving prescribed treatment.

In June, the Emir underwent an unspecified surgery and then travelled to US for treatment. He also required hospitalization last year after suffering what the Kuwaiti officials described as a medical “setback.”

Sheikh Sabah has ruled Kuwait since 2006, but he steered the country’s foreign policy for more than half a century, making it one of the US' main allies in the region.

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