Ruler of Kuwait dies
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Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, the emir of Kuwait, has died at 91, state media reported Tuesday.

"With great sadness and sorrow, we mourn to the Kuwaiti people, the Arab and Islamic nations, and the friendly peoples of the world, the death of the late His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Emir of the State of Kuwait who moved next to his Lord," the Gulf nation’s royal palace said in a statement.

The emir was flown to the U.S. in a U.S. Air Force C-17 flying hospital earlier this year shortly after an undisclosed surgical procedure, according to CNBC. In September of last year, he canceled a White House visit, citing unspecified health issues.

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More recently, in August, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeted that he was “praying for [the] emir’s speedy recovery” after a meeting with Kuwaiti royals.

Al Sabah has ruled since 2006 following a unanimous parliamentary vote to depose his cousin Sheikh Saad Al Abdullah Al Sabah. He had previously spent nearly 40 years as the nation’s foreign minister.

He held the position during Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion of the oil-rich country. Occupying Iraqi troops forced then-emir Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Al Sabah and his government into exile in Saudi Arabia, with the Sabah family returning in 1991 after U.S. forces drove Iraqi forces out.

The late ruler’s half-brother, Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah, has assumed leadership of the country, Kuwait’s Cabinet announced shortly after confirming the emir’s death.