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Posted On: 8 October 2020 03:00 pm
Updated On: 13 October 2021 05:18 pm

How will Kuwait’s Sheikh Sabah's death affect GCC relations? -- GCC Crisis Updates Week 173

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GCC Crisis Updates Week 173

Did you miss the important political stories of this week on the GCC crisis? Read ahead for updates on the latest developments in the ongoing Gulf crisis.

Here's what happened last week: GCC Crisis Updates Week 172.

4 October 2020

How will Kuwait’s Sheikh Sabah's death affect GCC relations?

The Kuwaiti Emir His Highness (H.H.) Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah passed away in the United Stated on 29 September at 91 years of age. He was well-known as the architect of modern Kuwait’s foreign policy and was considered as the ‘voice of wisdom’ throughout the Gulf crisis in which Qatar was on one side and three of the GCC countries on the other says a report on the Al Jazeera website.

At the opening session of the Kuwaiti parliament’s new term in 2019, Sheikh Sabah spoke about the GCC Crisis and said:

“It is no longer acceptable nor tolerable to have an ongoing dispute among our brotherly GCC states.” (Al Jazeera)

Now, the new Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah who was sworn in on September 30, will face a lot of the same challenges that H.H. Sheikh Sabah dealt with. Analysts are of the opinion that the commitment of Kuwait’s leadership to speaking up for the unity of the GCC could very well be tested. Sheikh Sabah belonged to that generation of rulers within the Gulf that is now being gradually replaced by younger and more confrontational rulers.

An anonymous source told Al Jazeera:

“Some members of the [Kuwaiti] ruling family are very close to Saudi Arabia. With Sheikh Sabah, it was difficult to influence them. Now, there might be an opportunity.
“Kuwaiti Parliament Speaker Marzouq al-Ghanim has a close relationship to Saudi Arabia, so will this influence the relationship between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in the future? We don’t know.” (Al Jazeera)

Others believe that there will probably not be any major change in Kuwait’s foreign policy or its vulnerability to external pressures due to Sheikh Nawaf’s standing.

Source: Al Jazeera

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