KUWAIT CITY — Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah has died at the age of 91, state media reported citing a statement from the royal palace.
Sheikh Al-Sabah was flown to the United States in July for medical treatment following surgery in Kuwait.
He had ruled the Gulf state since 2006 and had overseen its foreign policy for more than 50 years.
He was dubbed the “dean of Arab diplomacy” for his efforts to restore relations with states that backed Iraq during the 1990-1991 Gulf War when Kuwait was invaded by Iraqi forces.
Sheikh Al-Sabah was recently given a rare prestigious decoration by US President Donald Trump for his leading regional and global diplomatic efforts.
“A leader in the Middle East for decades, the emir has been a truly unwavering friend and partner to the United States,” the White House had said in a statement.
The Legion of Merit, Degree Chief Commander, is a rarely-awarded, prestigious decoration that can only be bestowed by the US president, typically to chiefs of state or heads of government of other countries. The honor was last awarded in 1991.
Last October, Sheikh Sabah suffered a health setback while in Kuwait and was admitted to a hospital in the US during his trip for a meeting with the US president.