Kuwaiti emir admitted to hospital, condition stable: State media

Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah has been taken to hospital to receive necessary treatment, undergo medical exams.

Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah [File: Noufal Ibrahim/EPA-EFE]

Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah has been admitted to hospital following an emergency health issue, according to the state news agency.

The 86-year-old’s condition was stable, KUNA reported on Wednesday.

Quoting a Kuwaiti official, the news agency reported that the emir was taken to hospital “to receive the necessary treatment and conduct medical examinations”.

The report did not elaborate on the health issue; however, Sheikh Nawaf has handed over power several times during his rule to his deputy while facing medical checks and other issues. State-run news previously reported that he travelled to the United States for unspecified medical checks in March 2021.

Sheikh Nawaf was sworn in in September 2020 after the death of his half-brother, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, who died in the US at the age of 91.

Sheikh Nawaf held high office for decades before he took power. Named heir apparent in 2006, he was serving as defence minister when Iraqi troops rolled into the oil-rich emirate in 1990. He also worked as interior minister in the face of challenges from armed groups.

Popular within the ruling al-Sabah family, he has a reputation for modesty, and has largely maintained a low profile.

His term in power has largely been quiet as Kuwait struggles through political disputes – including an overhaul of the country’s welfare system – which prevented the sheikhdom from taking on debt. That has left it with little in its coffers to pay bloated public sector salaries, even as Kuwait generates immense wealth from its oil reserves.

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

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies