Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad Al-Sabah (2-R) reads a statement asfter being sworn in as Kuwait's new Emir at the National Assembly in Kuwait City, as Parilament Speaker Marzouq al-Ghanem (L) looks on, on September 30, 2020. - Kuwait on Wednesday swore in its new emir, Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, after the death of his half-brother, Sheikh Sabah, who died in the US at the age of 91. (Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat / AFP)

Kuwait on Wednesday swore in its new emir, Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, and prepared to receive the body of his half-brother, the late ruler Sheikh Sabah who died in the US at the age of 91.

Sheikh Nawaf was visibly emotional as he addressed the National Assembly a day after the death of the emir, an acclaimed diplomat and mediator who ruled for 14 years.

He pledged to “serve the nation” in the address before lawmakers, who sat socially distanced and in masks, in line with coronavirus precautions.

The remains of Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah are expected to arrive in Kuwait City later Wednesday, on a flight from Minnesota where he had been undergoing treatment in hospital since July.

According to the royal court, the funeral will be “restricted to the emir’s relatives” — a move likely designed to avoid large crowds amid the coronavirus pandemic. The country has already begun a 40-day period of national mourning.

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