84-year-old Saudi King Salman hospitalized

Riyadh (Reuters) – The 84-year-old ruler of Saudi Arabia, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, has been admitted to the hospital in the capital Riyadh, suffering from gall bladder inflammation, state news agency SPA said on Monday.

FILE PHOTO: King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (not pictured) on 14 January 2019 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Photo taken on 14 January 2019. Via Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / Pool REUTERS

King, who has ruled the world’s largest oil exporter and has been a close ally of the US since 2015, is undergoing medical examination, without any details, without investigation.

Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said that following this news, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Qadimi postponed the visit to Saudi Arabia.

Patron of Islam’s holiest sites, King Salman spent more than 2-1 / 2 years as Prince and Deputy Premier of the Saudi Crown from June 2012 before becoming King. He also served as the Governor of the Riyadh region for over 50 years.

D Real ruler and the next crown in the queue for the throne, Mohammed bin Salman is widely known as MBS, who launched reforms to transform the state’s economy and end his “addiction” to oil is.

The 34-year-old prince, popular among many young Saudis, pledged to ease social restrictions in the conservative Muslim empire, give women more rights and diversify the economy.

For the King’s supporters, this courage at home and abroad was a welcome change after decades of caution, stagnation and dizzying.

But state control of the media and a rift of discontent in the state made it difficult to measure the extent of domestic enthusiasm.

Corruption allegations, along with the crown prince’s reforms, have led to a purge of top royalty and businessmen and a costly war in Yemen, which has upset all Western allies and investors.

His reputation also suffered a setback after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, as he had close Saudi security personnel.

(This story misses to change the headline)

Reporting by Ala Swilam in Cairo and Marwa Rashad in Riyadh; Writing by Marwa Rashad, editing by Clarence Fernandez and Maha L. Dahan

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