KUWAIT: Kuwait’s new Crown Prince Sheikh Meshal Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah took the oath of office in parliament on Thursday, pledging the Gulf Arab state’s commitment to democracy and peace and calling on Kuwaitis to shun divisions.
The assembly unanimously endorsed the octogenarian Sheikh Meshal for the role in what has been a smooth succession following last week’s death of Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad.
New ruler Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad, 83, assumed power last Wednesday as Kuwait faces a liquidity crunch caused by low oil prices and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sheikh Meshal, in televised remarks, said Kuwait would uphold its regional and international commitments and “its path of peace and democratic approach”.
He pledged to “raise the banner of popular participation and promote a tolerant spirit that shuns division.”
Sheikh Meshal had been deputy head of the National Guard since 2004 and before that headed State Security for 13 years.
Sheikh Nawaf and Sheikh Meshal, both brothers of the late ruler, are expected to focus on domestic issues as the country prepares for parliamentary elections this year and the government tries to shore up its finances.
The new leaders are expected to uphold oil policy and a foreign policy shaped by Sheikh Sabah that strove for unity in a polarised region.