HomeWorldSaudi King Salman leaves hospital after tests

Saudi King Salman leaves hospital after tests

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz delivers a televised speech in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia March 19, 2020. — Saudi Royal Court handout via Reuters

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RIYADH, May 16 — Saudi Arabia’s ageing King Salman has left the hospital one week after being admitted for tests, including a colonoscopy, state media reported.

Video broadcast by the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) late Sunday showed the 86-year-old monarch walking out of King Faisal Specialist Hospital in the coastal city of Jeddah, using a cane and surrounded by officials, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman before being driven away.

He left “after conducting medical examinations and successfully completing the treatment plan and recovery period,” the SPA said on Twitter.

The kingdom has for years sought to quell speculation over the health of the 86-year-old monarch, who has ruled the world’s top oil exporter since 2015.

A week ago, state media reported that the king’s colonoscopy results were “sound” and that doctors had “decided to keep him in the hospital for some time to rest”.

In 2017, Saudi Arabia dismissed reports and mounting speculation that the king was planning to abdicate in favour of Crown Prince Mohammed, the de facto ruler.

King Salman underwent surgery to remove his gall bladder in 2020.

Before this latest hospitalisation, he was most recently admitted in March for what state media described as “successful medical tests” and to change the battery of his pacemaker.

Under his rule, Saudi Arabia has launched ambitious economic reforms for a post-oil era and given more rights to women, while adopting a more assertive foreign policy, including entering a war in neighbouring Yemen. — AFP

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