The Emir of Kuwait appoints the new Crown Prince, Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al Sabah

Dubai, United Arab Emirates — Kuwait's ruling emir named the small country's new crown prince on Saturday, almost six months after he ascended the throne.

Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al Sabah will be next in line to the throne, state news agency KUNA reports.

Sheikh Sabah, 71, previously served as the country's prime minister and foreign minister.

The announcement did not include any other details or comment from Kuwait's ruling emir, Sheikh Meshal Al Ahmad Al Jaber.

Sheikh Meshal, 83, recently dissolved parliament for a whopping four-year term amid widespread political dysfunction gripping Kuwait.

Domestic political disputes include changes to the social security system, and the impasse has prevented the sheikhs from incurring debt. That has left the country with little in its coffers to pay high public sector salaries, despite generating enormous wealth from its oil reserves.

Kuwait, a country of about 4.2 million people that is slightly smaller than the US state of New Jersey, has the sixth largest known oil reserves in the world.

The country has been a staunch ally of the US since the 1991 Gulf War ousted Saddam Hussein's occupying Iraqi forces. Kuwait is home to approximately 13,500 U.S. military personnel and the forward headquarters of the U.S. military in the Middle East.

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