The seamless transfer of power in Kuwait just two days following the death of the late Emir, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah is another testament to the country’s deep-rooted constitutional principles and the traditions of the Arab Gulf states, which have been enjoying uninterrupted stability for hundreds of years, in an Arab region that is far from stable.
On Tuesday, hours after the sad announcement of the passing away of Sheikh Sabah, Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmed Al Sabah, the crown prince since 2006, was declared the new emir and two days later Sheikh Mishal Al Ahmed Al Sabah, the Deputy Head of the National Guard and a senior member of the ruling family, was sworn in before the National Assembly as the new crown prince.
Kuwait has always been a source of stability within the GCC block. The late emir has worked tirelessly until the last days of his life to mediate in the Qatar crisis to regain the unity of the GCC. There is no doubt that Sheikh Nawaf and Sheikh Mishal will continue on this noble path
The death of Sheikh Sabah is a great loss to Kuwait and the region at large. He was one of those leaders that command worldwide respect for his great diplomatic skills and global humanitarian initiatives. He is considered as one of the founders of modern Kuwait and his 14 years as emir were marked by renewed development push that covered almost all aspects of life, including diversification of economy, improved infrastructure, new university, new arts and sport centres among many other landmark projects. He also oversaw the resumption of Kuwait’s ties with neighbouring Iraq to overcome the fallouts of the Saddam Hussain’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990.
With all that in mind, Kuwait has shown the world once again its trademark unity in the face of such enormous challenges. The transfer of power to Sheikh Nawaf was smooth with the ruling family, the parliament and the Kuwaiti people united behind him as he assumed his constitutional responsibilities and pledged to continue the work of his predecessors.
Both Emir Sheikh Nawaf and Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal bring decades of experience to the job. They have held various critical positions. Their solid relations with other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will certainly contribute to strengthening of the group and its unity.
The Kuwaiti political experience might be a bit different from that of some of the other Gulf states due to its decades-long parliamentary system. However, the country has always been a source of stability within the GCC block. The late emir has worked tirelessly until the last days of his life to mediate in the Qatar crisis to regain the unity of the GCC. There is no doubt that Sheikh Nawaf and Sheikh Mishal will continue on this noble path.