Sheikh Nawaf sworn in as Kuwait’s new ruling emir

The death of Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, the leader of Kuwait who earned a reputation as a seasoned diplomat and a rare ruler who could cross the region’s political and sectarian divides, touched off an outpouring of grief from the Arab world Tuesday.

As news of his death broke, condolence messages streamed in from across the region and from Western countries with longstanding ties to Kuwait, including the U.S. and Britain. Several Arab governments declared days of mourning and lowered their flags to half-staff in his honor.

Diplomats around the world eulogized Sheikh Sabah as an expert statesman who navigated regional feuds and provided humanitarian aid in times of crisis.

Kuwait’s Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah was sworn in before parliament Wednesday as the ruling emir of the tiny oil-rich country, propelled to power by the death of his half-brother after a long career in the security services.

At age 83, Sheikh Nawaf is not expected to deviate from the diplomatic path charted by his predecessor, the late Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah. But his accession touched off speculation about who will become the next crown prince in the country known for its lively elected parliament and relative independence in the neighborhood of Gulf Arab monarchies.

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