Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani arrived in Kuwait ahead of the planned funeral of the Gulf region’s renowned diplomatic leader and peacemaker, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.
Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani landed in Kuwait on Wednesday to attend the funeral prayer of the late Kuwait’s ruler Sheikh Sabah, before swiftly returning to the Qatari capital.
Despite the services being limited to family members only, several leaders and prominent politicians attended the funeral, including UAE’s Deputy Prime Minister, Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.
Sheikh Tamim’s visit came following Qatar’s announcement to hold three days of mourning following the death of the Kuwait leader.
The Amiri Diwan expressed the country’s grief at the loss of its long-term ally by lowering Qatar’s flags at half-mast, while Qatar’s Olympic Committee suspended activities of local sports competitions for three days to mourn the death of the late Kuwaiti Amir.
Sheikh Al-Sabah’s death was described as a regional loss by many, given the former long-time diplomatic leader’s efforts to establish peace in the Gulf and the Middle East as a whole.
“With great sadness and sorrow, the Amiri Diwan mourns the passing of His Highness, the late Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah,” said the Amiri Diwan in a statement reported by Kuwait’s national news agency KUNA.
Al-Sabah has ruled Kuwait since 2006. His death leaves a large gap in the Gulf region given his prominent role in numerous fields including human rights, economy, and most notably as a mediator between conflicting parties across the region.
Al-Sabah’s role in mediating the current Gulf crisis has been praised nationwide.
The late leader exhibited the strength of Qatari-Kuwaiti relations in recent years, especially since the land, air and sea blockade.
“Sheikh Sabah Al-Sabah has a great stature in the heart of every Qatari citizen,” said Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, Qatar’s Minister of Foreign Affairs in a statement on Monday.
The Kuwaiti Emir will be succeeded by his half brother Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al-Sabah.