Emir Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, leader of Kuwait, has died at the age of 86, as announced by Kuwaiti state TV. The crown prince, Sheikh Mishal al-Ahmad al-Sabah, aged 83, has been named as his successor.
Kuwait declares 40 days of mourning, and government offices will close for three days.
Born in 1937, Sheikh Nawaf was the fifth son of Kuwait’s former ruler Sheikh Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah. He served as defense minister during the Gulf War in 1990 and later as interior minister. Sheikh Nawaf became crown prince in 2006 and assumed the role of emir in 2020.
Kuwait, with a population of 4.8 million, including 3.4 million foreign workers, holds the world’s sixth-largest known oil reserves and is a major US ally. The emirate’s parliament has significant powers, though the ruling family retains control over key government and executive posts.
Regular programming on TV channels has been suspended following the announcement of Sheikh Nawaf’s passing.