Tributes are pouring in from the worlds of politics and diplomacy for Sheikh Sabah, who passed away at the age of 91 after ruling Kuwait for 14 years.
Sheikh Sabah passes away at 91
A long-serving statesman and Emir of Kuwait for 14 years, His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah was appointed with numerous ministerial positions that saw Arab state grow into a regional power. He headed the Department of Social and Labour Affairs to organize immigration into the country during the mid-’60s, chaired the Department of Print and Publication to chronicle Kuwaiti journalism in the Arab World and was a member of the first cabinet formation in 1962.
Photograph credit: WAM
40-year-long Foreign Minister role
Sheikh Sabah’s rise to prominence in Kuwaiti politics snowballed after being appointed as Foreign Minister in 1963. He claimed the position for 40 years, establishing the country’s foreign policy blueprint, hoisting the Kuwaiti flag at the United Nations building in New York in 1963 and brokering a peace deal between Oman and Yemen in 1980.
Kuwait entered its darkest phase in 1990 in the wake of the Iraqi invasion, but Kuwait’s strong foreign police and quest for peace helped draw support from around the world, until the UN issued resolution 687, forcing Iraqis and its military out of the country.
In 1985, Sheikh Sabah was appointed as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, and held the positions for seven years, followed by being appointed as Prime Minister in 2003, until he took oath in parliament swearing as Ruler of Kuwait on 26th January, 2006, following the death of former Emir His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.
Kuwait’s biggest moments under Sheikh Sabah’s rulership
Under Sheikh Sabah’s leadership, Kuwait honed its reputation as ‘the pearl of the Gulf,’ followed by notable achievements and moments like allowing women to cast their votes for the first time, the UN honouring Sheikh Sabah as a global humanitarian leader and Kuwait as an international centre for humanitarian efforts, and Kuwait hosting the first Arab social and economic summit in 2009 and being awarded the Degree Chief Commander medal by US President Donald Trump.
Photograph credit: Kuwait News Agency
Sheikh Nawaf takes over as Ruler of Kuwait
Following Sheikh Sabah’s demise, the Kuwait Cabinet announced His Highness Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah as the Amir of Kuwait.
Kuwait also announced a 40-day mourning period.
UAE leaders condole to the death of Sheikh Sabah
Abu Dhabi Crown Prince His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan led condolences by the UAE, saying late Amir “epitomised wisdom, tolerance, and peace and he was a great pioneer of Gulf cooperation.” Meanwhile, Ruler of Dubai, UAE Prime Minister and Vice President His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum terming him as a “noble prince of humanity.”
(Featured photograph credit: WAM)