Kuwait’s ruling Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah has died said an official statement read out on state television on Tuesday.
“With great sadness and sorrow, we mourn… the death of Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Emir of the State of Kuwait,” said Sheikh Ali Jarrah Al-Sabah, the minister in charge of royal affairs, in a television broadcast.
Sheikh Sabah, 91, had ruled the Gulf Arab oil producer and U.S. ally since 2006 and steered its foreign policy for more than 50 years.
His designated successor is his brother, Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah.
He is widely regarded as the architect of modern Kuwait’s foreign policy, having served as foreign minister for nearly 40 years between 1963 and 2003 when he became prime minister.