The death of Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah is being mourned by the countries in the Middle East and other parts of the world.
Sheikh Nawaf, who died at 86 earlier on Saturday, kept a low profile, with his three-year reign focused on trying to resolve the tiny, oil-rich nation’s internal political disputes.
He will be laid to rest on Sunday. Public offices in Kuwait will remain shut for three days and a state mourning of 40 days has been announced.
Following Sheikh Nawaf’s death, his half-brother, Crown Prince Sheikh Meshaal al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, 83, was swiftly named the new emir.
Here are some reactions to the Kuwaiti leader’s death:
The Kingdom of Bahrain mourned the Kuwait emir’s death.
“We express our sincere condolences to our brothers, the honorable Al Sabah royal family, and the dear people of Kuwait,” Bahrain’s Royal Court said in a statement.
Flags will be lowered in the country for three days, starting Saturday, in respect for the emir’s passing.
Jordan’s King Abdullah bin Al Hussein shared a message of condolences on X, formerly Twitter, expressing sorrow for Sheikh Nawaf’s death.
“He was an Arab leader who devoted his life to serving his country, his people, and his nation. We knew him to be a man of chivalry, wisdom, and [one diligent about] strengthening Arab relations,” the king said about the emir.
The foreign ministry of Oman shared its condolences on the emir’s passing, saying the late leader is now in “God’s hands”.
Qatar’s Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani expressed sadness about the Kuwaiti leader’s passing.
He also announced a three-day period of mourning and ordered flags in the country be lowered to half-staff.
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sent their condolences to the people of Kuwait and announced a three-day period of mourning.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its people share the sorrows of the brothers in Kuwait,” said a statement by the Saudi Royal Court.
United Arab Emirates
Emirati President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed said on X that Sheikh Nawaf had been a wise leader, and a key instigator in strengthening Kuwait-UAE relations.
US President Joe Biden said he was “saddened” to hear of the Kuwaiti leader’s death.
“Sheikh Nawaf was a valued partner and true friend of the United States throughout his decades of service,” Biden said in a statement.
“Today, we mourn his passing and we honour his life and the vision we shared for greater peace and stability across the Middle East,” he added.
Yemen’s Minister of Foreign and Expatriates Affairs Ahmad Awad bin Mubarak from the country’s Saudi-backed government expressed his condolences on the emir’s passing.
He wished “Kuwaiti people patience and solace” in a statement on X.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said in a statement on X that he was saddened to hear of the passing of the emir, describing him as a friend of the United Kingdom who would be remembered fondly.
Kosovo’s president also expressed her condolences on X.
“His leadership and lifelong dedication to his nation will be a lasting legacy,” Vjosa Osmani said, referring to the emir.
On behalf of the people of Kosovo, I extend our deepest condolences to the Al-Sabah family and the people of Kuwait on the passing of HH the Amir of Kuwait, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.
His leadership and lifelong dedication to his nation will be a lasting legacy.
— Vjosa Osmani (@VjosaOsmaniPRKS) December 16, 2023
United Nations General Assembly
Dennis Francis, president of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly, issued a statement on the emir’s death.
“Our heartfelt condolences to his family and to the Government and the people of the State of Kuwait,” Francis said on X.
Deeply saddened to hear the passing of the Emir of Kuwait, H.H. Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah.
Our heartfelt condolences to his family and to the Government and the people of the State of Kuwait. pic.twitter.com/l32b4NJgKH
— UN GA President (@UN_PGA) December 16, 2023
The EU expressed its condolences and sympathy over the death of Sheikh Nawaf.
“The EU remembers late Emir’s unwavering dedication and commitment to serving his country, even in turbulent times. He will be remembered by all who work for regional stability and mutual understanding between nations,” the regional body said in a statement.