Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Emir of Kuwait, is dead

The Emir of Kuwait, Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, October 29, 2019, in Parliament.

He was known in the Middle East as the “sheikh of diplomats” or the “father of the Arabs”, a tribute to his talents as a mediator and his commitment to the unity of the Arab world. The Emir of Kuwait, Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, who presided over the destinies of the petromonarchy since 2006 and was his country’s foreign minister for four decades, died Tuesday, September 29, at the age of 91 years old. In accordance with the Constitution, his brother, Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, has been appointed as his successor.

He was born on June 16, 1929, in Kuwait, into the Al-Sabah family, the dominant tribe in this region of the Persian Gulf since the mid-18th century.e century. His father, Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the local wren, governs under the tutelage of London, the protector of the emirates of the Arabian Peninsula since the end of the 19th century.e century.

The young Sabah grew up in a country in crisis, weakened by the development in Japan of pearl farming techniques, which shaken the traditional Kuwaiti pearl industry. Growth resumed at the end of the 1940s, thanks to the beginnings of oil exports, of which the emirate was the pioneer in the Gulf. The huge income from this activity, associated with the semi-liberal political regime that was put in place after the departure of the British in 1961, propelled the country to the forefront of Arab modernity.

Ambitious diplomacy

Appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs two years later, Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah will embody this golden age on the international scene. It promotes an ambitious diplomacy, not refraining from forging relations with any country, including those of the Soviet bloc, yet hated by its Gulf neighbors. He stands out for his concern to preserve the balance of the region, rushing to each crisis to offer his good offices: during the intra-Yemeni conflict of the 1960s; during the bloody events of Black September in 1970 between the Jordanian monarchy and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO); and during the Lebanese civil war, in the 1980s.

Within international bodies, he stands out for his ardent support for the Palestinians, the Arab cause par excellence. His prestige and his interpersonal skills helped the emirate to forge a vast coalition in response to the invasion of Kuwait by Iraqi troops in 1990. This traumatic event was followed by a phase of diplomatic withdrawal. In 2003, Sheikh Sabah was promoted to prime minister, a post with which he should have ended his career. But the poor health of the crown prince, Saad Al-Abdallah Al-Sabah, appointed emir in 2006, forced the Parliament to remove him, after only ten days on the throne.

You have 36.89% of this article to read. The rest is for subscribers only.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here