Kuwait Emir Sheikh Jaber passed away [Archives:2006/912/Front Page]

January 16 2006

KUWAIT, Jan. 15 – Government of Yemen mourns the death Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah, who had died at age of 78 on Sunday after a long illness. The republic has announced an official three-day grieving period in expression of Yemen's condolences and sorrow about the loss. His Highness late Sheikh Jaber had ruled Kuwait since December 31, 1977. During his rule the Yemeni-Kuwaiti relations had thrived and witnessed many cooperations and investment programs.

Under the constitution, Crown Prince Sheikh Saad al-Abdulla al-Sabah, 76, will become emir of the OPEC nation. But because illness has incapacitated Saad, political analysts expect Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah to effectively run the country. Sheikh Jaber had been ailing since suffering a brain hemorrhage in 2001. He had surgery on his leg in the United States in May.

“With the utmost of sorrow and sadness, the (royal court) announces to the Kuwaiti people, the Arab and Islamic nations and the peoples of friendly world nations the death of His Highness Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah,” said a royal court statement carried by the state news agency KUNA. It said the emir, “passed away at dawn on Sunday”. Kuwait said there would be a 40-day official period of mourning and that government offices would be closed for three days from Sunday.

Kuwait, a founder OPEC member, enjoys one of the world's highest standards of living, despite its reliance on oil exports, unpredictable oil income and huge losses from the 1990-1991 Iraq occupation. It hosts up to 30,000 U.S. troops and some 13,000 U.S. citizens live in the country.

Biography of the late Amir of Kuwait, H.H. Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah: KUNA

The late Amir of Kuwait, His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, who passed away early Sunday morning at the age of 78, was Kuwait's 13th ruler and its third since the 1961 independence.

Born in 1928, His Highness Sheikh Jaber, received his preliminary education in the Mubarakia, Ahmadia, and Sharquiah schools, as well as by private tutors for Arabic and English languages.

His father, the late Amir Sheikh Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, allowed him to visit many countries, and at the age of 21, Sheikh Jaber became directly involved in politics.

He was appointed Chief Director of Public Security in the Al-Ahmadi area in 1949, when Kuwait moved from a country dependent on diving to an oil-nation. In 1959, the late Sheikh Jaber became Head of the Finance Department, and on January 17, 1962, he became Kuwait's first Minister of Finance and Economy in the first Kuwaiti cabinet to be formed after independence.

Sheikh Jaber was appointed Minister of Finance and Industry on January 28, 1963.

And on January 3, 1965, Sheikh Jaber became Minister of Finance and Minister of Trade and Industry, and remained in the post until November 27, 1965.

Sheikh Jaber became Prime Minister on November 30, 1965, and an Amiri decree was issued on May 31, 1966 appointing him Crown Prince. The decree was unanimously approved by the country's first National Assembly.

He was appointed Crown Prince and Prime Minister on February 4, 1967, and again in 1971 and 1975.

Sheikh Jaber became ruler of Kuwait on December 31, 1977 upon the demise of Sheikh Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, Kuwait's 12th ruler. Thus, Sheikh Jaber became the country's 13th Amir.

The late Amir of Kuwait, Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah ruled the country since 1977 until his demise this morning.