Politics

Kuwait Bids Farewell to Late Emir Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah

Kuwait’s Emir, Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah, was laid to rest following a prayer service. 

His successor, Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad al-Sabah, visibly emotional, attended the ceremony along with members of the ruling Al Sabah family and Kuwait’s parliamentary speaker. 

Sheikh Meshal has been effectively leading Kuwait since late 2021 when Sheikh Nawaf delegated most of his duties.

Continuity in Leadership:

As Sheikh Meshal officially assumes the leadership, he is expected to maintain Kuwait’s key foreign policies, emphasizing support for Gulf Arab unity and Western alliances and maintaining strong ties with Riyadh.

Legacy of Sheikh Nawaf:

Health challenges impacted Sheikh Nawaf’s three-year reign. His predecessor, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, who reigned for 14 years, significantly shaped Kuwait’s foreign policy over two generations.

The late Emir, Sheikh Nawaf, was honored with a burial at the Sulaibikhat cemetery alongside his relatives, following prayers at the Bilal bin Rabah mosque. 

Dignitaries from across the globe paid their respects to the leader known for his extensive six-decade-long public service.

Domestic Perception and Reforms:

Sheikh Nawaf was viewed domestically as a consensus-builder, working to mend strained relations between the parliament and the government. 

He notably pardoned numerous dissidents and citizens who had openly criticized the government, fostering a climate of reconciliation.

While the Emir traditionally selects the crown prince, the ruling family traditionally gathers to establish consensus, which also requires parliamentary approval per the constitution.

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