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Kuwait Says 91-Year-Old Emir Had ‘Successful’ Surgery

2020-07-19 14:30:01
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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The 91-year-old emir of Kuwait underwent a “successful” surgery on Sunday that required the crown prince of the oil-rich nation to be temporarily empowered to serve in his place, its state-run news agency reported.

Kuwait has yet to explain why the emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, needed to seek a previously unannounced medical treatment beginning Saturday. However, Sheikh Sabah’s sudden surgery could renew a power struggle within Kuwait’s ruling family.

The state-run KUNA news agency had described Sheikh Sabah’s hospitalization on Saturday as “medical checks,” citing a statement from the country’s royal court. Several hours later, KUNA published a second report saying that the 83-year-old crown prince, Nawaf Al al-Ahmad al-Sabah, had assumed some of Sheikh Sabah’s powers temporarily, without explaining why that was necessary.

But a copy of the ministerial decree posted by Kuwait’s official gazette, Kuwait Al-Youm, and seen by The Associated Press on Sunday said the crown prince would be empowered for “the duration of a surgical procedure until the health event is over.”

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