11 years of Sheikh Sabah’s reign

Abdullah Buwair

Talk of His Highness the Amir can be endless, but can be summed in the following lines: HH Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah took over on January 29th, 2006 after the abdication of the Father Amir Sheikh Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah because of health conditions only ten days after he came to office. His Highness was unanimously paid allegiance by the parliament. We recently celebrated His Highness’ 11th  anniversary.

His Highness started public service in July 1954, aged only 25-years-old, when the late Amir Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, appointed him to the Supreme Executive Committee running various government bodies. He was then appointed as head of the Social Affairs and Labor Department. In 1957, he was given extra responsibility for the publications department. On forming the second cabinet in 1963, he was appointed foreign minister and head of the GCC Permanent Aids Committee. And as minister, he was also appointed as an MP. He was Acting Minister of Guidance and News until 1964, when he became Oil Minister and Acting Minister of Information. His Highness took over various portfolios. On February 16, 1978, he was appointed as Deputy Prime Minister until April 20, 1991. On October 18, 1992, he was appointed First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister until July 2003, when he was appointed as Prime Minister.

A state’s man
His Highness’ resume also includes achievements such as political rights for women. As Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem is dubbed as ‘The Father of the Constitution,’ historians will always remember that His Highness made the decision to grant women political rights, called for by the late Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah in 1999.

A leader and his people
In a speech addressing the Kuwaiti people, His Highness stressed that “a leader cannot succeed without the true cooperation of his people.” He urged citizens to prioritize the national interests, ignore theirs for the greater good, to respect law and order and celebrate the nation’s property and achievements.

Kuwait’s role
During this period, His Highness managed to highlight Kuwait’s role in international communities, including regional, Arab, Islamic or global scenes.

March goes on
Ever since he took over as Acting Prime Minister, His Highness realized that he was continuing the legacy of the Father Amir Sheikh Saad Al-Abdullah, and was inspired by the same Kuwaiti spirit, facing local, Arab and international events. His Highness is one of the pillars of ruling Kuwait, and was one of the trio that formed the basis of modern Kuwait’s regime for many years.

His Highness’ Leadership
His Highness’ unique traits greatly impacted on the success he achieved in various positions. As foreign  minister, he managed to achieve a remarkable regional and international status for Kuwait.

Throughout the years he spent in Kuwait’s political leadership, Kuwait was his top priority and he helped its voice to be heard worldwide.

Throughout his long years as foreign minister, His Highness was keen to plan foreign policy not linked to his own personal interests or mood. Instead, he observed Kuwait’s traditions, balancing international relations in sync with GCC and Arab collective resolutions to unite the GCC and Arab states without undermining Kuwait’s sovereignty or status. His Highness has a remarkable economic and political mentality.

As far as foreign policy is concerned, His Highness highly depended on the close ties he had with his counterparts in various parts of the world. He showed excellent knowledge in diplomacy, helped by his long experience, eloquence and political skills.

Amir of Kuwait
On a special session, the Parliament pled allegiance to His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah in accordance with Article 4 of the Constitution on Sunday, January 29, 2006. His Highness took the oath vowing, “I swear by Almighty Allah to respect the Constitution and state laws, to protect the people’s liberties, interests and funds and to defend the nation’s independence and safety of its lands.”

By Abduallah Bowair

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