Kuwait City, December 17, 2023, The Europe Today: Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah, whose six-decade career in public service primarily focused on domestic issues, was buried on Sunday following a prayer service according to “The Gulf Observer“.
His successor, Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad al-Sabah, 83, was seen shedding a tear at the prayer service attended by members of the ruling Al Sabah family and speaker of Kuwait’s parliament.
As he formally takes the helm of the OPEC member from his half-brother, Sheikh Meshal is expected to preserve key Kuwaiti foreign policies including support for Gulf Arab unity, Western alliances and good ties to Riyadh — a priority relationship.
Sheikh Nawaf’s three-year reign as Emir, was marred by ill health. His predecessor and brother, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, reigned for 14 years and shaped the Gulf state’s foreign policy for two generations.
Sheikh Nawaf, whose casket was draped in Kuwait’s flag, was buried in the Sulaibikhat cemetery alongside his kin, after prayers at Bilal bin Rabah mosque.
Dignitaries from around the world paid respects to Sheikh Nawaf, whose six decades in public service included minister of defence, interior, labour and deputy chief of the national guard.
Sheikh Nawaf died on Saturday, aged 86. He was 83 when he became Emir in 2020.
The late Emir was perceived domestically as a consensus-builder who sought to repair a long strained relationship between the parliament and government and who pardoned dozens of dissidents and other citizens who had voiced public criticisms.
Under the constitution, the Emir chooses his successor, the crown prince, but traditionally the ruling family convenes a meeting to build consensus. Parliament also has to approve.