Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah

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Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah
His Highness
POTD-September-5-2018 (cropped).jpg
15th Ruler of Kuwait
5th Emir of the State of Kuwait
Reign29 January 2006 –
29 September 2020
PredecessorSaad Al-Salim
SuccessorNawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber
Prime Ministers
Born(1929-06-16)16 June 1929
Kuwait City, Kuwait
Died29 September 2020(2020-09-29) (aged 91)
Rochester, Minnesota, U.S.
Burial30 September 2020
Sulaibikhat Cemetery[1]
SpouseFatuwah bint Salman Al-Sabah (died 1990)
IssueNasser
Hamad
Ahmed
Salwa
HouseHouse of Sabah
FatherAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah
MotherMunira Othman Hamad Al-Ayyar Al-Saeed

Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah (Arabic: الشيخ صباح الأحمد الجابر الصباح‎; 16 June 1929 – 30 September 2020)[2] was the 15th Ruler of Kuwait and the 6th Emir of the State of Kuwait and the Commander of the Kuwait Military Forces from 29 January 2006 until his death. He was the fourth son of Sheikh Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

Early life and early career[edit]

Al-Sabah was born on 16 June 1929.[3] He received his primary education at Al Mubarakya School in the 1930s and completed his education under tutors. He was the half-brother of the previous Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, who appointed Sabah as Prime Minister in July 2003, replacing the Crown Prince of Kuwait, Sheikh Saad Al-Salim Al-Sabah.[4] His brother was killed after Royal Air Maroc Flight 630 was forcibly crashed by its pilot.[5][6]

Before becoming Emir of Kuwait, Sabah was the foreign minister from 1963 to 1991 and from 1992 to 2003.[7] As foreign minister, Sabah restored Kuwaiti international relations after the Gulf War. He was also first deputy prime minister while serving as foreign minister.[8] He was acting minister of finance from 1965 to 1967.[9]

He was prime minister and de facto ruler in 2003–06, due to Jaber III's ill health.[10]

Reign[edit]

Succession[edit]

U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney meets with Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah to deliver condolences on the death of the Emir in 2006.

On 15 January 2006, the Emir, Sheikh Jaber, died, making Sheikh Saad, Crown Prince of Kuwait, the new Emir.[11] With Saad's accession, Sabah was likely to become the new Crown Prince, retaining his function of Prime Minister. But the Constitution requires that the Emir be sworn in before Parliament, and the oath of office is complex. Soon, word began to spread that Saad was unable to take the oath in full. Some reports suggested that he suffered from Alzheimer's disease or some other debilitating disease; it was generally agreed that he was unable to speak, at least at any length.[12] After a power struggle within the ruling family, Saad agreed to abdicate as Emir of Kuwait on 23 January 2006 due to his illness.[13] The ruling family then conferred and Sabah became the new Emir. On 24 January 2006, the National Assembly of Kuwait voted Saad out of office, moments before an official letter of abdication was received.[14] The Cabinet of Kuwait nominated Sabah as Emir. He was sworn in on 29 January 2006 with the National Assembly's approval, ending that crisis.[15]

Dissolution of the National Assembly[edit]

Sabah at the 13. Session of the Islamic Summit Conference in Istanbul
Sabah with U.S. President Barack Obama in 2009
Sabah with U.S. President Donald Trump in 2018

Sabah dissolved the National Assembly on 19 March 2008 and called for early elections on 17 May 2008, after the cabinet resigned in the week of 17 March 2008 following a power struggle with the government.[16] A struggle broke out between the government and parliament in 2012; he consequently dissolved the parliament.[17][18]

Foreign relations[edit]

Sabah was a respected regional and international mediator due in part to his place in the Gulf Cooperation Council's leadership order and his 40 years of service as Foreign Minister and Prime Minister.[19] Under his leadership, Kuwait acted as a go-between for Pakistan and Bangladesh, Turkey and Bulgaria, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan, factions in the civil war in Lebanon, and the Gulf States and Iran.[20] In 2016 Sabah hosted several United Nations sponsored meetings of leaders from the warring factions in the Yemeni Civil War.[21]

Sabah quickly established Kuwait as the key mediator in the Qatar diplomatic crisis, meeting with Saudi and Emirati officials on 6–7 June before leaving for Doha to discuss the rift with Qatari leaders.[19] His ongoing efforts have been publicly supported by Qatar[22] and other interested parties from the region as well as the U.S., UK, France, and Germany.[20] At the beginning of September 2017, Sabah discussed the situation with top officials in Washington, D.C., including U.S. President Donald Trump, who "hailed his efforts" to mediate and "applauded Kuwait's 'critical contributions to regional stability'".[23] There were some questions from the boycotting countries about any preconditions.[24] French President Emmanuel Macron stated French support for Sabah's mediation efforts after a meeting in Paris on 15 September 2017, reiterating June 2017 statements of support for the initiative.[25][26] Trump and Sabah had a third meeting at the White House on 5 September 2018.[27]

Humanitarianism[edit]

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter called Sabah a "global humanitarian leader", saying, "His support of disaster relief, peace efforts and advancing public health are an inspiration. Other world leaders can learn from the wise example set by my friend, His Highness the Emir."[28]

According to the 2014 Middle East Coutts Report, Sabah provided the largest individual donation in 2013 among GCC members in support of Syrian refugees in neighboring countries, $300 million.[29] Also in 2014, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon cited Sabah as a humanitarian leader globally and presented him with a Humanitarian Award.[30][31] Ban said, "It gives me great pleasure and honour to be here today to recognize the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber al Sabah, Emir of Kuwait. This is a great humanitarian day. We are sitting together with a great humanitarian leader of our world".[32]

In 2015, Sabah pledged $500 million toward easing the Syrian humanitarian crisis at the UN Summit convened in Kuwait.[33]

In August 2017, UN Secretary-General António Guterres expressed gratitude for Kuwait's leadership in humanitarian action, as well as the "dialogue […] and promotion of understanding Kuwait has shown in relation to all conflicts in the region," adding, "But it's not only the humanitarian leadership of Kuwait, it's the wisdom, the dialogue, the promotion of understanding that Kuwait has shown in relation to all conflicts in the region. Kuwait has no agenda. The agenda of Kuwait is peace; is understanding."[34] Guterres further noted the positive role Sabah played in the current GCC crisis[35] and recalled that when he was High Commissioner for Refugees (June 2005 to December 2015[36]) Sabah presided over the three conferences to mobilize the international community to support the Syrian people.[37]

Human rights violations[edit]

Al-Sabah had jailed several members of parliament for criticizing him publicly.[38][39]

Death and succession[edit]

UAE flag in half-mas as part of mourning for Kuwait Emir Sheikh Sabhah Al Ahmad on 29th Sep 2020

After months of hospitalization at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, Al-Sabah died on 29 September 2020 at 08:00 CDT (16:00 Kuwaiti Time) at the age of 91 due to long-term health issues.[40][41][42] The Kuwaiti government declared 40 days of mourning.[43][44] Kuwaiti Television and Radio broke normal programming on that day and broadcast Recitation of the Qur'anic Verses before Sheikh Ali Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah, Minister of the Amiri Diwani Affairs, appeared at 16:48, formally announcing the Emir's passing.[45] Sheikh Sabah's half brother, the crown prince of Kuwait, Sheikh Nawaf, was announced as the Emir of Kuwait.[46] Al-Sabah was buried at Sulaibikhat cemetery alongside his kin.[47]

Titles, honors, and awards[edit]

Foreign honors and awards[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ Downing, Terry Reese (29 November 2009). Martyrs in Paradise: Woman of Mass Destruction. AuthorHouse. ISBN 9781449008819. Archived from the original on 4 October 2020. Retrieved 29 September 2020 – via Google Books.
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  4. ^ Whitaker, Brian (16 January 2006). "Obituary: The Emir of Kuwait". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 12 January 2020. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  5. ^ "Crash that killed 44 was pilot suicide Archived 20 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine." Associated Press at the Altus Times. Thursday 25 August 1994. p. 14. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
  6. ^ Sinha, Shreeya (26 March 2015). "A History of Crashes Caused by Pilots' Intentional Acts". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 18 April 2015. Retrieved 18 April 2015. Moroccan authorities said that Younes Khayati, 32, the pilot of a Royal Air Maroc ATR-42 aircraft, intentionally disconnected the plane's automatic navigation systems on Aug. 21, 1994, and crashed the plane into the Atlas Mountains shortly after takeoff, killing all 44 people aboard. ...
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  12. ^ "The Kuwait Succession Crisis and the New Leadership". The Estimate. 27 February 2006. Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2006.
  13. ^ "Kuwaiti parliament votes to replace emir with Prime Minister". The Independent. Archived from the original on 28 March 2017. Retrieved 27 March 2017.
  14. ^ Tim Butcher (24 January 2006). "Kuwait in crisis as sick emir abdicates". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
  15. ^ "Kuwait's Parliament Decides Who Rules". www.washingtoninstitute.org. Archived from the original on 6 August 2020. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
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  21. ^ Cafiero, Giorgio; Schatz, Jesse (27 June 2017). "Stakes high for Kuwait as mediator in Qatar crisis". Al-Monitor. Intra-Gulf relations. Archived from the original on 13 September 2017. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
  22. ^ Irish, John (12 June 2017). "Qatar backs Kuwait mediation efforts over rift with Arab States". Reuters. Archived from the original on 17 September 2017. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
  23. ^ Lee, Matthew (7 September 2017). "Trump hails Kuwait mediation on Qatar; offers own services". Washington Post. AP. Archived from the original on 21 September 2017. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
  24. ^ Matthew, Lee; Gambrell, Jon; Al-Qatari, Hussein (8 September 2017). "Trump hails Kuwait mediation on Qatar; Arab states react". ABC News. AP. Archived from the original on 17 September 2017. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
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  26. ^ Fuentes, Gonzalo (15 July 2017). "France wants mediator role in Qatar crisis". RFI English. Reuters. Archived from the original on 17 September 2017. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
  27. ^ Remarks: Donald Trump Meets With Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Kuwait's Amir. Youtube. Factbase Videos. 5 September 2018. Archived from the original on 24 August 2019.
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  31. ^ "Kuwait's 'Exemplary Humanitarian Leadership' Has Saved Thousands of Lives, Secretary-General Says at Ceremony Recognizing Amir of Kuwait". www.un.org. 9 September 2014. Archived from the original on 10 September 2017. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
  32. ^ United Nations: Kuwait’s ‘Exemplary Humanitarian Leadership' https://www.un.org/press/en/2014/sgsm16132.doc.htm Archived 10 September 2017 at the Wayback Machine
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  39. ^ https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2012/11/kuwait/
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  49. ^ Presidenti Topi dekoron Emirin e Shtetit të Kuvajtit, Sheikun Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah me Urdhrin, President of Albania, 27 May 2012(in Albanian)[dead link]
  50. ^ "ВСТРЕЧА ПРЕЗИДЕНТА АЗЕРБАЙДЖАНА ИЛЬХАМА АЛИЕВА И ЭМИРА ГОСУДАРСТВА". Газета Бакинский рабочий. 11 February 2009. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011.
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External links[edit]

Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah
Born: 16 June 1929 Died: 29 September 2020
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Saad Al-Salim Al-Sabah
Emir of Kuwait
2006–2020
Succeeded by
Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah
Political offices
Preceded by
Saad Al-Salim Al-Sabah
Prime Minister of Kuwait
13 July 2003 – 29 January 2006
Succeeded by
Nasser Mohammed Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah