Kuwait's ruling emir hospitalised for emergency health problem

Kuwait's ruling emir hospitalised for emergency health problem
The 86 year old Kuwaiti prime minister has since been reportedly stable following health issues, according to state media
2 min read
29 November, 2023
Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah was in stable condition following his emergency hospitalisation [Getty]

The ruling emir of oil-rich Kuwait was hospitalised on Wednesday "due to an emergency health problem" but later was in stable condition, the state-run KUNA news agency reported.

The report did not elaborate on the problem faced by 86-year-old Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah.

Such has renewed the longstanding concerns over his health since he became ruler in 2020, as state-run news previously reported that he travelled to the United States for unspecified medical checks in March 2021.

Sheikh Nawaf has handed over power several times during his rule to his deputy while facing medical checks and other issues.

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Sheikh Nawaf was sworn in as emir following the death of his predecessor, the late Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah in 2020.

Sheikh Nawaf's term, meanwhile, has largely been quiet as Kuwait struggles through political disputes — including the overhaul of Kuwait’s welfare system — which prevented the sheikhdom from taking on debt.

That's left it with little in its coffers to pay bloated public sector salaries, even as Kuwait generates immense wealth from its oil reserves.

In 2021, Sheikh Nawaf issued a long-awaited amnesty decree, pardoning and reducing the sentences of nearly three dozen Kuwaiti dissidents in a move aimed at defusing a major government standoff.

Kuwait, a nation home to some 4.2 million people, has the world’s sixth-largest known oil reserves.

It has also been known as a staunch ally of the United States since the 1991 Gulf War expelled the occupying Iraqi forces of Saddam Hussein.