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Kuwait's ruler hospitalized, crown prince steps in

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    Agence France-Presse

Kuwait City   /   Sun, July 19, 2020   /   09:24 am
Kuwait's ruler hospitalized, crown prince steps in In this file photo taken in the early hours of June 1, 2019, Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah attends the opening session of a summit of the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in the Saudi holy city of Mecca. (AFP/Bandar al-Dandani)

Kuwait's crown prince stepped in as partial ruler on Saturday after the hospitalization of the 91-year-old emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, state news agency KUNA said.

"The crown prince (Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad Al-Sabah) is to temporarily execute certain prerogatives of the emir," his half-brother, the head of state's office announced, quoted by KUNA.

The agency reported earlier that Sheikh Sabah, ruler of the oil-rich Gulf state since 2006, was hospitalized "to undergo medical tests".

In September 2019, Sheikh Sabah underwent medical tests shortly after arriving in the United States, leading to a meeting with President Donald Trump being called off.

Read also: Pampered Kuwaitis quibble in five-star quarantine

The emir had his appendix removed in 2002, two years after having a pacemaker implanted. In 2007, he underwent urinary tract surgery in the United States.

Sheikh Sabah argued last year for de-escalation in the Gulf as tensions surged between the US and its arch-foe Iran.

He is widely regarded as the architect of modern Kuwait's foreign policy. 

Sheikh Nawaf, 83, is an elder statesman who has held high office for decades, including the defense and interior portfolios.