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Kuwait emir’s health improving: PM

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FILE PHOTO: Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah is seen during the Arab summit in Mecca, Saudi Arabia May 31, 2019. REUTERS/HAMAD L MOHAMMED/FILE PHOTO

The health of Kuwait’s 91-year-old ruler, currently receiving hospital treatment in the United States, has shown a “remarkable improvement”, Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Sabah told parliament on Tuesday.

The ailing emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, was flown to the United States on July 23 to complete treatment after undergoing “successful surgery” at a hospital in Kuwait City.

Officials have released no details on the nature of the emir’s illness or its treatment.

The Kuwaiti prime minister expressed hope that the emir would recover and return home soon.

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

The emir, who has ruled the oil-rich Gulf state since 2006, had his appendix removed in 2002, two years after having a pacemaker fitted. In 2007, he underwent urinary tract surgery in the US.

Under Kuwaiti law, when the emir is absent, Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, 83, the emir’s half-brother, is appointed acting ruler.

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

The emir is widely regarded as the architect of modern Kuwait’s foreign policy.


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