Iran FM suggests 90-year-old Kuwait ruler is ill

Iranian FM Javad Zarif suggests Kuwait's 90-year-old ruler is ill
2 min read
18 August, 2019
There has been no official statement by Kuwait saying the nation's Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah is unwell or injured.
Zarif made the claims after a visit to the Gulf nation [Getty]
Iran's foreign minister said on Sunday he was praying for the "speedy recovery" of Kuwait's ruling emir - despite the fact there has been no public word of the 90-year-old ruler being ill or injured.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif made the comment on Twitter after a short visit to the small, oil-rich Gulf state.

"Praying for Emir's speedy recovery," apparently in reference to Kuwait's ruler, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah. 

Zarif did not elaborate on his remarks and Iranian media did not immediately comment.

Sheikh Sabah was seen in public last week during prayers and appeared in good health, AFP reported.

The foreign minister also noted that his talks in Kuwait - held with the country's Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and Foreign Minister Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah but not with the emir - went well. 

Despite enmity and heightened tensions in recent months with Saudi Arabia and the UAE, Iran maintains good ties with Kuwait, which has acted as a mediator to improve ties between Tehran and the Arab Gulf states.

According to Kuwait's state news agency KUNA, the talks concerned "bilateral ties and matters of mutual concern".

Zarif said that, speaking with the crown prince and foreign minister, he had "stressed that Iran's proposal for [a] Regional Dialogue Forum and non-aggression pact trumps reliance on extraneous actors".

Kuwait's Information Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment by the Associated Press. There was no statement on KUNA about the emir's health.

Sheikh Sabah has ruled Kuwait since January 2006. He has pushed for diplomacy to solve regional issues and hosted major donor conferences.

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