Ailing Kuwaiti Leader Heading to US for Medical Treatment
Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jabar al-Sabah, emir of Kuwait, will travel to the United States on Thursday morning for unspecified medical treatment, according to KUNA, the Gulf nation’s state-run news agency. On Saturday, Sabah, 91, was hospitalized for what official statements called “medical examinations.” He underwent surgery the next day. No specific ailments have been disclosed. KUNA cited a statement issued by the royal court on Wednesday saying the emir’s departure for the States was “based on advice from the medical team treating His Highness to complete his treatment after a successful surgical procedure.” The statement went on to say: “We ask the Almighty to aid his recovery and sustain His Highness, who is healthy and well taken care of, and to protect him from all harm.” Sabah’s hospitalization came a day after Standard and Poor’s Global Ratings index reclassified its outlook for Kuwait’s economy from “stable” to “negative,” saying the country’s General Reserve Fund was too low to cover government deficits resulting from the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as low oil prices. Kuwaiti lawmakers are preparing legislation that will allow the country to float debt as high as $16 billion by the end of next March, and $65 billion over the coming three decades.