Kuwait’s new emir on Wednesday named his brother the Gulf country’s crown prince, the official Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reported.
Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al‑Ahmad Al‑Jaber Al‑Sabah issued a royal decree choosing his brother Sheikh Mishaal Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah for the royal post. Kuwait’s parliament will hold a special session Thursday to pledge allegiance to the chosen crown prince.
The announcement came on the same day Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to visit to pay his condolences and hold talks with the new emir.
The 80-year-old new crown prince is a half-brother of the new emir, who was sworn in following last week’s death of Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah at age 91.
Since Kuwait’s independence in 1962, the Al-Sawalem branch of the Al-Sabah royal family used to rotate with the Al-Ahmad branch in ruling the country, before the late emir broke the customary habit by appointing Sheikh Nawaf from the Al-Ahmad branch as crown prince.
The new crown prince has been deputy chief of the National Guard with the rank of minister for 17-years and currently heads the guard due to the poor health of its head, Sheikh Salem Al-Ali Al-Sabah, who is also head of the Al-Sabah family.
Sheikh Mishaal is known for his strict personality and was considered the most likely figure for the position, despite his distance from the country’s political circles.
Mishaal used to accompany the late emir during all his medical trips, including his recent trip to the US, where the emir passed away.
He is the seventh son of Sheikh Ahmad Al-Jaber al-Mubarak Al-Sabah, who ruled Kuwait from 1921 to 1951, and the half-brother of Sheikh Jaber, who ruled Kuwait for 28 years.