Saudi Arabia’s aging king has been admitted to hospital in the Red Sea city of Jeddah to undergo medical tests weeks after he had the battery of his pacemaker changed.
A report in the official Saudi Press Agency on Sunday did not provide further details about King Salman’s condition nor the nature of the examinations. It said the king, 86, was admitted to King Faisal Specialist Hospital.
“May God preserve the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and may he enjoy health and wellness,” a royal palace statement was quoted as saying.
Earlier this year, state media reported King Salman was hospitalised in the capital Riyadh to have the battery of his heart pacemaker replaced. In 2020, he had surgery to remove his gallbladder after a stint in the hospital that revived speculation about the state of his health.
Saudi Arabia has generally sought to quell speculation over the health of its king, who has ruled the Arab world’s biggest economy since 2015.
Upon his ascension to the throne, King Salman appointed his son Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 36, as his successor. However, he has also already empowered Prince Mohammed to lead day-to-day affairs of the kingdom.
Since his elevation to power, Prince Mohammed, also known as MBS, has upended Saudi Arabia with dizzying social reforms, sidelined royal rivals, and cracked down on perceived opponents.
Under his rule, the Gulf powerhouse 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.