Kuwaiti Emir Sabah Al-Ahmed on Sunday dissolved parliament, the state news agency KUNA reported, a move clearing the way for an early election in the oil-producing Gulf country.

The move was announced in a royal decree, which did not give a specific reason for the assembly’s dissolution.

“In view of delicate regional circumstances and dictates of security challenges ... it is is necessary to return to the people, who are the source of powers, to choose their representatives,” the decree said, according to KUNA.

In recent months, Kuwait, a regional US ally, arrested several people suspected of links to the Islamic State extremist militia.

In June 2015, a suicide bomber attacked a Shiite mosque in Kuwait, killing 27 people.

Radical Sunni group Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.

Like other global oil producers, Kuwait has felt the pinch of a sharp fall in crude prices.

Sunday’s royal decree did not set a date for the new parliamentary vote.

However, the Kuwaiti constitution says the vote must be held within two months.

The country's last legislative election was held in 2013.

Although Kuwait holds broadly free elections, the government is appointed by the emir, who retains effective power.

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