Kuwait's Cabinet has named Crown Prince Sheikh Saad al-Abdullah al-Sabah as its ruler following the death Sunday of the country's long-time emir, Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmed al-Sabah.

A Cabinet statement says Sheikh Saad's succession as emir is in accordance to rules established in the constitution.

Sheikh Jaber's death was announced early today on Kuwaiti state television.  The government announced a 40-day period of mourning and said government offices would be closed for three days beginning today.

The late emir was the 13th ruler in a dynasty that has led Kuwait for nearly 250 years.  He came to power on the last day of 1977. 

Sheikh Jaber survived an assassination attempt in 1985, and escaped Iraqi troops that invaded his country in 1990.  The 78-year-old sheikh had been in ill health since suffering a brain hemorrhage in 2001.