KUWAIT (Reuters) – Kuwait’s new Emir Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah on Sunday met senior U.S., Iranian and Gulf officials who separately paid respects over the death of the Gulf Arab state’s former ruler.
Sheikh Nawaf assumed power after the death last Tuesday of his brother, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad. The late emir balanced ties between larger neighbours Saudi Arabia and Iran and kept a strong relationship with the United States, which led a coalition that ended Iraq’s 1990-91 occupation of Kuwait.
“He will be remembered as a great man and a special friend to the United States,” U.S. Defence Secretary Mark Esper said in comments tweeted by the U.S. Embassy during his visit.
Sheikh Nawaf also received Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who had lauded the late emir for fostering “moderation and balance”, state media said
Sheikh Nawaf, 83, is expected to uphold the OPEC member state’s oil and foreign policy, which promoted regional detente.