The emir last year. Photo: Alexander Shcherbak\TASS via Getty Images

Kuwaiti Emir Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah died on Tuesday at the age of 91. The emir had been hospitalized at Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic since July. He was flown there from Kuwait in a U.S. Air Force plane following a failed surgery.

The big picture: The late emir took power in 2006 following 40 years as Kuwait's foreign minister, and had been a highly active and influential figure in regional diplomacy.

What to watch: The crown prince — the late emir’s half-brother, Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah — has been announced as the next emir.

  • The 83-year-old crown prince has previously held senior posts including as minister of the interior and of defense.

The latest: State television cut away from its regular broadcast on Tuesday and started broadcasting verses from the Quran. Shortly afterwards, the Emiri Court announced his death.

  • Two weeks ago, President Trump awarded the emir with the Legion of Merit, which was accepted on his behalf by his eldest son, Sheikh Nasser bin Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah.

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