Kuwait’s emir names new crown prince, Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al Sabah

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Kuwait’s ruling emir on Saturday named the small nation’s new crown prince, nearly six months after he took the throne.

Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al Sabah will become next in line to the throne, the state-run KUNA news agency reported.

Sheikh Sabah, 71, previously served as prime minister and as foreign minister in the country.

The announcement offered no other details or comments from Kuwait’s ruling emir, Sheikh Meshal Al Ahmad Al Jaber.

Sheikh Meshal, 83, recently dissolved parliament for as many as four years amid the widespread political dysfunction that’s gripped Kuwait.

Domestic political disputes include changes to the welfare system, and the impasse has prevented the sheikhdom from taking on debt. That has left it with little in its coffers to pay bloated public sector salaries despite generating immense wealth from its oil reserves.

Kuwait, a nation with around 4.2 million people that is slightly smaller than the U.S. state of New Jersey, has the world’s sixth-largest known oil reserves.

It has been a staunch U.S. ally since the 1991 Gulf War expelled occupying Iraqi forces of Saddam Hussein. Kuwait hosts about 13,500 American military personnel as well as the forward headquarters of the U.S. Army in the Middle East.

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