KUWAIT CITY (AFP) – Former Kuwaiti defence minister and senior member of the Al-Sabah ruling family Sheikh Salem Sabah al-Salem al-Sabah died on Monday after a long illness, the Amiri court announced. He was 69.
The elder son of former emir Sheikh Sabah al-Salem al-Sabah, who ruled the oil-rich emirate between 1965 and 1977, Sheikh Salem graduated in law from Britain.
He served as Kuwait’s ambassador to the United States, Britain and several other countries before he took his first ministerial job in 1975 as minister of social affairs and labour.
Sheikh Salem was appointed as defence minister in 1981 until 1988 when he was moved to the interior ministry.
Following Kuwait’s liberation from seven months of Iraqi occupation in February 1991, Sheikh Salem was appointed as foreign minister for about two years.
In 1996, he was appointed as deputy premier and defence minister for the second time until 2001 when he retired from politics because of illness.
The cause of his death was not announced but it is widely believed that Sheikh Salem had cancer.