Speculation about the health of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has mounted after he was hospitalized just weeks after undergoing surgery to change his pacemaker battery.
Officials said the 86-year-old was being “medically examined” but declined to give details of his condition.
The monarch has absolute power over the kingdom, although he has handed control of day-to-day affairs to his 36-year-old son, Mohammed bin Salman.
A statement from court officials said: “May God preserve the keeper of the two holy mosques and may he enjoy his health and well-being.”
It is rare for the mysterious royal court to report on the health of the king or his family.
Although he announced that he was changing his pacemaker battery in March, no official confirmation of heart disease has ever been issued.
The only other information the court released related to other unnamed “medical tests” that were said to have been “successful.”
Speculations about King Salman’s health first surfaced in 2017 when widespread reports he was plotting to abdicate the throne in favor of Crown Prince Mohammed, which officials dismissed.
In 2020, after a long stay in the hospital, he had to undergo surgery to remove his gallbladder.
At his most recent publicly photographed meeting, a summit with Turkish President Recep Erdogan at the end of April, the king appeared to be in good spirits.
Mr Erdogan later met with Crown Prince Mohammed, who has implemented drastic reforms and cracked down on dissenters since he effectively took power.
The meetings were the first between Turkish and Saudi leaders after four years of enmity sparked by the 2018 killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, whose body was dismembered and dissolved in acid at the Saudi embassy in Istanbul.
Mr Khashoggi had fled to Turkey after writing newspaper articles criticizing King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed.
After changing its story several times, Saudi Arabia finally admitted that its officials planned the killing and jailed a number of unnamed officials.
Mohammed Bin Salman denied any prior knowledge of the plot, although the CIA said it had confirmed that the prince personally ordered his spies to kill the journalist.
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https://metro.co.uk/2022/05/08/saudi-arabias-king-salman-86-admitted-to-hospital-16605572/ Saudi Arabia's King Salman, 86, has been hospitalized