New Crown Prince appointment brings joy to Kuwaitis – By Tareq Yousef AlShumaimry

His Highness the Amir Sheikh Meshal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah signed an Amiri Order on Saturday, 1 June nominating His Highness Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah as Crown Prince of Kuwait. The Order directed His Highness the Prime Minister to brief the cabinet on the nomination and to take the appropriate constitutional measures, and added the nomination will take effect on its publication in the official Gazette.

The decision by His Highness the Amir to nominate His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah as the Crown Prince, is both a continued commitment to Article 4 of the country’s Constitution, and an unprecedented departure from the traditional lineage pattern for heir apparents, since the institution of the constitution in 1962.

Article 4 of the constitution mandates that the Amirate be held in succession by descendents of Sheikh Mubarak Al-Sabah (1837–1915), the seventh ruler of Kuwait. The heir-apparent post has traditionally gone to descendents of either the Al-Jaber or Al-Salim lineage of the Sabah family. The nomination of Sheikh Sabah Al Khaled Al-Hamad as Crown Prince marks the first time that a member of the Al-Hamad branch of the Al-Sabah ruling family has held this position.

Sheikh Hamad Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah (1898 – 1938), was one of the many sons of Mubarak Al-Sabah, along with Jaber Al-Mubarak and Salem Al-Mubarak. Hamad Al-Mubarak married Sheikha Hessa Sabah Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah in1908. Among the couple’s offspring was Sheikh Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, the father of His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah.

Kuwaiti citizens from all walks of life received news of the appointment on Saturday with immense happiness, and overwhelmingly welcomed His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al Khaled Al-Sabah as the country’s new Crown Prince. They noted that the nomination was a strong endorsement of the abilities and capabilities of His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled and reflected the trust and confidence bestowed on him by His Highness the Amir.

They described the new Crown Prince as a righteous and conscientious leader whose steadfastness and sincere advice will prove to be a pillar of support to His Highness the Amir. They added that working in concert, the Amir and Crown Prince would bring about “a renaissance in Kuwait, enhancing the well-being of people and meeting their aspirations, as well as guiding Kuwait to attain its rightful place among nations in the region and globally”.

They prayed to God Almighty to continue guiding the steps of His Highness the Crown Prince along the righteous path he has followed, and to ensure his success “as he undertakes his paramount mission and engages in tasks and responsibilities to serve the people and the homeland with the aim of elevating Kuwait to new heights of sophistication, progress, and leadership across various fields”.

Many citizens highlighted the distinguished career and political leadership of His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled over more than four decades of sincere public service to the nation and its people. They praised the positions and views he has adopted throughout his career, which were based on the principles of openness and profound consideration for all opinions, and eventually choosing a path that was in the best interests of citizens and in the development of Kuwait.

In November 2019, the late Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah appointed His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled as the eighth prime minister of Kuwait and assigned him to form Kuwait’s 36th government. He was reappointed as premier in December 2020 by the late Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and tasked to form his second government, and in March 2021 his third government.

In December 2021, the late Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah once again assigned His Highness Sheikh Sabah Khaled to form the fourth government, the country’s 39th government since independence. Persistent hindrances by some legislators and incompatibility in working with opposition members in the National Assembly, forced the premier to tender his resignation on several instances, including most recently in April 2022.

The achievements of His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled during his career as premier were distinguished and numerous, including his efforts to improve governance, diversify the economy, enhance private sector participation, increase youth employment, and reform the business environment to make Kuwait more business- and investor-friendly.

Throughout his premiership the Crown Prince had insisted on more transparency and openness in government, and steadfastly pursued the fight against corruption, misappropriation, and embezzlement of public funds. Those found involved in such illegal activities, as well as people alleged to have taken bribes, engaged in influence-peddling, and residency-trading were referred to the prosecution for further legal action.

As prime minister, His Highness the Crown Prince emphasized that youth and women are the pillars of the country’s future and drivers of the New Kuwait Vision 2035 development plan. He has also remained committed to supporting youth and women’s development and safeguarding their interests, as well as providing them with the resources and assistance to hone their leadership skills and experiences.

Reflecting the significance he attaches to youth and women in the social, economic and political fabric of the nation, His Highness supported ventures aimed at their development in all fields, and asserted on several occasions that “Kuwait’s narrative and its capabilities and assets are based on youth and women, without them no sustainable goal of the country can be achieved successfully”.

Born in 1953, His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled received his bachelor degree in Political Science from Kuwait University in 1977. He began his career as a diplomatic attaché at the ministry of foreign affairs in 1978, and spent the next two decades in the ministry serving in various posts and sections, including in the Arab Affairs Department (1978-1983), and as a delegate at Kuwait’s Permanent Mission at the United Nations in New York from 1983 to1989.

On his return to Kuwait in 1989, he was appointed as Deputy Director of the Arab World Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and continued in various other posts at the ministry until 1995, when he was named as Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. During his ambassadorship he was also Kuwait’s envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and represented Kuwait at ministerial meetings of OIC, and of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states.

In 1998, he was appointed as Chief of the National Security Apparatus, a post he held until 2006, when he was named to his first ministerial post, as the Minister of Social Affairs and Labor. He served in this position until October 2007 and from October 2007 to April 2009 he served as Minister of Information. In April 2009 he was appointed Minister of Information, Acting Minister of Justice and Acting Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, and served in this post till 2011, when he was named as the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

A year later he was named Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs. In January 2014, His Highness Sheikh Sabah Khaled was named First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister; he retained this post from 2016 until 2019, when he was named as premier for the first time. He would continue to head 4 more governments until 2022 when he finally stepped down from the premiership. On 1 June 2024, he was named as Kuwait’s new Crown Prince.

His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah will herald a new era of stability, growth and development in the country’s history. We wish His Highness the Crown Prince success in all his endeavors to take the country forward towards a glorious future.

Tareq Yousef AlShumaimry, served as Chairman of the Finance Committee and Chairman of the General Budget Committee of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague (PCA) and an observer in the Administrative Council of the Court and the Consular at International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the Embassy of the State of Kuwait in the Netherlands during this period from 2013 to 2020.

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