Kuwaiti ruler dies at age 86

By Jen Krausz on
 December 17, 2023

The ruler of oil-rich Kuwait, Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah, died Saturday at age 86 of unknown causes after only three years in power.

"With great sadness and sorrow, we — the Kuwaiti people, the Arab and Islamic nations, and the friendly peoples of the world — mourn the late His Highness the emir, Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, who passed away to his Lord today," Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah Al Sabah, the minister of his emiri court, said in a brief statement on Kuwaiti television.

Nawaf was named ruler of Kuwait in September 2020 after his brother Sheikh Sabah, who had ruled as emir for more than a decade, died.

Despite being the seventh-richest country in the world due to its oil reserves, Nawaf's rule was consumed by internal struggles and economic problems.

Kuwait has long been an ally of the U.S.

Crown Prince Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad al-Sabah, who is 83 and has been Kuwait's de facto leader since 2021, was named Nawaf's successor.