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Kuwait's ruling emir Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah dies

The sheikh passed away at the age of 86 after ruling the Arab country for three years.

Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah

(Cordon Press / Voz Media)

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The emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, passed away on Saturday at the age of 86. Although the sheikh's cause of death was not immediately made public, he had been hospitalized late last month.

The country declared three non-working days starting Sunday as part of a 40-day mourning period, according to the official Kuna news agency. Nawaf became emir in 2020, following the death of his half-brother, Sabah al Ahmad al Sabah.

The U.S. Embassy in Kuwait released a statement saying, "We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. His Highness the Amir was a friend of the United States and a keen supporter of the deep and longstanding partnership between our two countries."

The next emir

Sheikh Mishal al-Ahmad al-Sabah was confirmed as the next emir, according to the official Kuna news agency.

At 83 years old, he was considered 'the world's oldest crown prince.' He was named as successor to the post in 2020 by Nawaf, according to his official biography. He held several public roles in the Ministry of Interior. In 2004 he was appointed deputy chief of the Kuwaiti National Guard.