European leaders pay tribute to Kuwait's Sheikh Nawaf

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak remembers the Emir as 'a great friend of the UK'

Britain’s Prime Minister paid tribute to Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah, the Emir of Kuwait, who has died, aged 86. Reuters
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Britain’s Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, has led European tributes to Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah, the Emir of Kuwait, calling him a “great friend” of the UK.

Offering his condolences to the Al Sabah family and the people of Kuwait, Mr Sunak said he was “saddened” to hear of Sheikh Nawaf’s death, aged 86, on Saturday.

“His Highness was a great friend of the UK and we will remember fondly all he did for our bilateral relationship and his work to promote stability in the Middle East,” said the Prime Minister in a statement.

Sheikh Meshal Al Ahmad Al Sabah, who has been named the new Emir, visited the UK in August as Crown Prince and met Mr Sunak.

During the trip, the UK and Kuwait signed a memorandum of understanding for investment partnership between the two countries, which have held ties for more than 100 years. Kuwait achieved independence from Britain in 1961.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy sent his condolences to the Kuwaiti nation and said Ukraine would always be grateful for Sheikh Nawaf's support.

“Sending my deepest condolences to the Kuwaiti people on HH Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s passing,” he wrote on X.

“We will always be grateful to His Highness for his unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as humanitarian aid. May current and future generations always remember his commitment to humanitarian assistance around the world.”

Vjosa Osmani, the President of Kosovo, extended her “deepest condolences” on behalf of the nation.

Kuwaiti ruler Sheikh Nawaf dies aged 86

Kuwaiti ruler Sheikh Nawaf dies aged 86

“His leadership and lifelong dedication to his nation will be a lasting legacy,” she wrote on X.

The EU Ambassador in Kuwait Anne Koistinen also shared her condolences with the Al Sabah family and Kuwaiti people.

Writing on X she added: “I’m deeply saddened by the passing of His Highness the late Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah.”

Cristian Tudor, the EU Ambassador to Qatar, said he was “deeply saddened” to hear of Sheikh Nawaf's death.

Writing on X he said: “Having served as the first #EU Ambassador to Kuwait, I witnessed first-hand his wise leadership and commitment to his nation and the world.

“My heartfelt condolences to the people of Kuwait during this time of mourning.”

Updated: December 18, 2023, 7:00 AM