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New Kuwait Cabinet appoints Gulf's first female finance minister

As finance minister, Mariam Al-Aqeel automatically heads the country's sovereign wealth fund, Kuwait Investment Authority

Bloomberg 

Mariam Al-Aqeel, Kuwait's new Finance minister
Mariam Al-Aqeel, Kuwait's new Finance minister

appointed Mariam Al-Aqeel as finance minister, the first female in the Gulf region to hold the post.

Khaled Al-Fadhel retained his posts as minister overseeing oil, electricity and water in Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah’s first cabinet, which includes three women and eight new faces, according to state-run KUNA news agency. As finance minister, Al-Aqeel automatically heads the country’s sovereign wealth fund, Investment Authority.

The cabinet is expected to serve for less than a year since is scheduled to hold parliamentary elections in 2020. The country has witnessed tumultuous relations between the elected legislature and the government appointed by the country’s hereditary emir. This is the eighth cabinet in as many years.

Sheikh Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah was named minister of foreign affairs. He’s the son of former Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah, who was forced out of office in 2011 by opposition-led protests calling for his ouster.

Sheikh Ahmad Mansour Al-Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah became defense minister, while Anas Al-Saleh was appointed interior minister, a portfolio usually filled by a member of the ruling Al-Sabah family.

Kuwait, home to about 6% of the world’s oil reserves, is the fourth-biggest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. The International Monetary Fund expects its economy to grow 0.6% this year, squeezed by a reduction in oil output as part of an OPEC agreement.

First Published: Wed, December 18 2019. 00:55 IST
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