Shortly before the announcement of his death, normal TV programming had already been interrupted and verses from the holy book of the Muslims, the Koran, were broadcast.
Sabah served as Secretary of State for more than 40 years and was regarded as a seasoned diplomat. He tried to smooth out the wrinkles between warring Gulf states and re-establish ties with former enemy Iraq after the fall of President Saddam Hussein, who invaded Kuwait in August 1990.
Under the constitution, the Emir is to be succeeded by Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf, a half-brother who has served as Home Secretary and Deputy Chief of the National Guard. He has been serving for Sabah since July.
Sabah had strong ties with the United States and Great Britain. As for his domestic policy, he occasionally fired parliament when it was too critical of government policy.
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