Kuwait’s Emir Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, 91, died on Tuesday in a hospital in the United States, state media reported.
“With great sadness and sorrow, we mourn … the death of Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, emir of the State of Kuwait,” said Sheikh Ali Jarrah al-Sabah, the minister in charge of royal affairs, in a television broadcast.
He was expected to be succeeded by his 83-year-old half-brother and crown prince, Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmed.
Sheikh Sabah was flown to the US for medical treatment following surgery for an unspecified condition in Kuwait, in July.
He has ruled Kuwait since 2006 and had overseen its foreign policy for more than 50 years. Sheikh Sabah served foreign minister between 1963 and 2003.
Known as a “peacemaker”, Sheikh Sabah was dubbed the “dean of Arab diplomacy” for his efforts to restore relations with states that backed Iraq during the Gulf War when Kuwait was invaded by Iraqi forces.
He also acted as a mediator in regional disputes, including the ongoing diplomatic standoff between Saudi Arabia, its allies and Qatar.
Kuwait did not intervene in Syria’s civil war but opted to host several donor conferences for humanitarian aid.
President conveys his condolences
President George Vella has conveyed Malta’s condolences to the people of Kuwait following the announcement. He also expressed his sympathy to the Emir’s family members and the Government of Kuwait at this difficult hour.
Commenting on the Emir’s legacy, President Vella commended the contribution that Kuwait made during his tenure in the interest of regional stability and international dialogue.
President Vella renewed his commitment to the strong and mutual respect between the peoples of Kuwait and Malta