Saudi Arabia’s King Salman was admitted to hospital in Riyadh for medical tests after experiencing inflammation of the gall bladder, the Saudi Press Agency reported citing a statement from the kingdom’s Royal court.
There has been much speculation about the state of the 84-year-old monarch’s health.
The statement said only that he was being treated at King Faisal Specialist Hospital for cholecystitis, or gall bladder inflammation.
King Salman took over from his deceased half-brother King Abdullah to become the ruler of Saudi Arabia in 2015.
He became heir to the throne in 2012.
He was not the first in line for the job, but two of his predecessors died before becoming king.
In 2017, King Salman ceded most of his power to his son, Crown Prince Mohammed, who is the country’s de facto ruler and is expected to take the crown in the case of the king’s death.
That same year, dozens of Saudi royals, former state officials and influential businessmen were rounded up in an anti-corruption sweep championed by the crown prince.
Mohammed, 34, is seen as the driving force behind opening up the ultra-conservative country to the outside world and weaning its economy off oil.
The prince stands accused of orchestrating the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul in 2018 and an ongoing clampdown on dissidents and activists.
Following the news of the king’s health, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi said his planned visit to Saudi Arabia was postponed.
“I wish King Salman a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing him at the earliest possible time, as we’ll reschedule my visit soon,” he said in a tweet.
This would have been al-Kadhimi’s first visit to the kingdom since he took over his post. (dpa/NAN)