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Kuwait's emir leaves US hospital

September 13, 2019 at 11:40 am

Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah IV Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in Tunis, Tunisia on March 31, 2019 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]

Kuwait’s 90-year-old ruler has left a hospital in the United States after successfully completing medical tests, state news agency KUNA reported today.

Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, who has ruled the US ally and OPEC oil producer since 2006, had postponed a meeting with US President Donald Trump planned for this week after being admitted to the hospital.

There have been increasing reports of Al-Sabah’s ailing health over the past few months. In August he failed to meet an Iranian delegation visiting Kuwait because he was undergoing medical tests after a health setback.

Since becoming Emir, Al-Sabah has played a key role in maintaining peace in the region. After fellow Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain severed links and imposed a land, sea and air siege on Qatar in 2017, Kuwait offered its services as mediator in an effort to improve relations and bring an end to the blockade.

READ: Kuwait rebuilds industrial facilities in Gaza 

Though the siege is ongoing, Doha has repeatedly praised Kuwait for its efforts.

While Kuwait’s Parliament Speaker, Marzouq Al-Ghanim, has repeatedly called for Arab, Islamic and international action to pressure Israel to stop its attacks on Palestinians.

In October 2017 he told an Israeli delegation to leave the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) conference which was being held in Russia.

“You should pack your bags and get out of the hall after you saw the reactions of the world’s honourable parliaments.”

“Get out of the hall right now if you have an atom of dignity … You occupier, child killers.”

He continued: “I say to the brutal occupier, if you do not feel shame, then do as you please.”

He returned to Kuwait days later to a hero’s welcome and was praised by Emir of Kuwait Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.